Nicosia, June 2012
The Cyprus government has formulated a ‘fast track’ citizenship scheme aimed at ultra high net worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs. This allows the applicant, after a successful application, to hold a Cyprus passport and have all the benefits of a Cyprus National. All applications are reviewed by the Ministry of Interior and ultimately approved by the Council of Ministers.
This is especially useful for an individual, national of a country outside the European Union, to hold a passport and citizenship of an EU member state country.
In order to qualify for this scheme, an applicant may engage in any of the following within Cyprus:
The applicant should have direct investments in the Republic of Cyprus amounting to a minimum of €10 million. Direct Investments include, among other things, purchases of immovable properties, businesses / companies, shares, financial assets (e.g. securities registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus);
The applicant should have established or registered in the Republic of Cyprus a Company or Companies controlled by him, with a total minimum turnover, in accordance with the company’s or companies Audited Accounts, of €10 million per annum, on average, over the last 3 years preceding the year of the application and at least 1/3 of the applicant’s employees are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus;
Introduction of new and innovative technologies, Research Centers
The applicant should prove that he has introduced on a large scale new and innovative technologies in vital/major sectors of the Cyprus economy or that he has established an important Research Centre for the conduct of research locally, on a large scale;
The applicant should have personal deposits in Cypriot banks or deposits of privately owned Companies (in which he is a shareholder) or of a trust (in which he is a beneficiary) in the Republic of Cyprus amounting to a minimum of €15 million, spanning a five year fixed period. It should be noted that the above-mentioned deposits must be held in a banking institution within the Republic of Cyprus for a period no less than five (5) years and cannot be touched or used. In the case where following a periodic inspection it is ascertained that the condition is being violated, the naturalisation may be revoked;
Combination of Direct Investments, Entrepreneurial Activities and Deposits in Cypriot banks
The applicant should have a combination of the above-mentioned assets amounting to €15 million;
Direct Income / Remuneration for Services
The applicant should have established a company or companies, the management of which is in the Republic of Cyprus, and in the last 3 years preceding the year of the application to have paid into the Cyprus economy either in the form of income tax payments / V.A.T. and/or in the form of remuneration for the purchase of business services (legal, accounting, auditing, banking and others) at least €500.000 on average per annum.
The applicant should be at least 30 years old.
2. Clean Criminal Record
A clean criminal record from the country of origin and/or from the Cyprus Police. Confirmation that the applicant’s name is not included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the European Union.
3. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus
The applicant is required to have a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the value of which must exceed the amount of €500.000 at current prices.
Submission of Documents
In order to examine any applications various documents are required to be submitted, such as, inter alia, the following:
1. Direct Investments
(a) For the purchase of immovable property: Contract of Sale, Title Deeds
(b) For the purchase of a Business, Company, Manufacturing Company: Confirmation from the Registrar of Companies as to Shareholders
(c) For the purchase of Shares: Share Certificates
(d) For Financial assets: Title/titles and other documents regarding the financial assets.
2. Entrepreneurial Activities
(a) Certificate of Registration of the Company from the Registrar of Companies
(b) Certificate of Shareholders
(c) Audited Accounts of the Business for the last three (3) years preceding the
year of the application
(d) Confirmation from the Social Insurance as to the insurable income of the
employees in the applicant’s companies.
3. Introduction of New Technologies
Patent or other evidential document.
4. Deposits in Banks
Confirmation from Cypriot banks of the applicant’s fixed term five (5) year deposits or of the companies, controlled by him, their fixed term five (5) year deposits.
5. Combination of direct investments, business activities and deposits in Cypriot Banks
Relevant confirmations/documents required for Direct Investments, Entrepreneurial Activities and deposits in Cypriot banks, as set out hereinabove.
6. Direct Income / Remuneration for Services
Receipts as to payment to the State of Income Tax or V.A.T. and/or receipts for the purchase of business services (legal, accounting, auditing and others), that have been paid in the last three years preceding the year of the application.
None of the above affects the absolute discretion of the Council of Ministers in
reaching a decision.
Spouses and/or children of an applicant under this scheme are not granted citizenship. They have to apply for residency (visa) under the residency rules. After 7 years from the date of the granting of the residency, they may apply for permanent residency.
This scheme is an extremely attractive scheme for ultra high net worth individuals to be granted Cyprus naturalization, especially those from outside the EU.
The main requirements are:
• At least 30 years of age
• Clean criminal record
• Be a resident of Cyprus with housing property with a value of at least €500.000
• Proceeds with direct investments of at least €10 million in Cyprus, or
• Entrepreneurial activities in companies with an annual turnover of at least €10 million, or
• Bank deposits in Cyprus banks of at least €15, which cannot be used or withdrawn for a period of 5 years, or
• Introduce of new and innovative technologies, or
• A combination of the above, with assets amounting to at least €15 million, or
• Direct Income / Remuneration for Services into the Cyprus economy and business sector of at least €500.000 per year.
Spouses and/or children of the applicant under this scheme are not granted citizenship.
Initially Focus Business Services (Cyprus) can provide legal assistance with the preparation of the applications and supporting documents, as well as provide professional advice throughout the application process as well as during the operation of the company. Also, our group can provide all Accounting and Audit. Our group can furthermore provide wealth and estate planning.