Foreign individuals who meet certain criteria can now obtain Cyprus citizenship.
In order to be eligible to apply for citizenship, the foreign individual should a) have a clean criminal record, b) have a permanent, privately-owned residence of a market value of at least €500.000 plus VAT c) the individual’s name should not be included on any list of persons who have had their assets frozen within the EU.
Citizenship can be obtained if a foreign individual meets one of the following criteria:
- Government donation and investment: Deposit €2m in the state treasury in order to purchase shares in the state-run investment company and donate at least €0.5m in the government’s Research and Technology fund.
- Direct investment: Investment of at least €5m in Cyprus projects such as the purchase of real estate, purchase of shares in Cyprus companies, purchase of bonds registered and issued in Cyprus and participation in a company/ joint venture which has undertaken a project for the public sector. This option requires documentation that the individual has been active in Cyprus for at least 3 years.
- Bank deposits: Have deposits or own a company in which the individual is the main beneficiary in Cyprus banks amounting to a minimum of €5m for at least 3 years.
- Combination of options 1 to 3 with a total value of at least €5m.
- Business activities: A foreign individual who is the owner of a company that is run from Cyprus and during the last 3 years prior to the submission of his/ her application the said company has paid at least €0.5m per annum for taxes and professional services. If the said company has its central offices in Cyprus and employs at least 5 or 10 Cyprus citizens, then the amount of taxes and professional fees is decreased to €350.000 and €200.000 respectively per annum.
- Individuals whose deposits in Laiki Bank or Bank of Cyprus suffered a haircut of at least €3m could also apply for citizenship. If the money which was cut amounts to less than €3 million the candidate could possibly combine it with any of the other options.