As part of the Cypriot Government’s continuous effort to maintain Cyprus’ reputation as a global financial centre, the Cyprus’ Council of Ministers issued a Decision on 15/04/13 whereby it was resolved that the Cyprus Government may grant the Cypriot Citizenship to foreign business persons and investors on the basis of exemption, provided that foreign applicants satisfy certain financial and other criteria. A successful application for the Cyprus Citizenship means that the applicant can enjoy all free movement benefits that apply to all European Union Citizens.
Within the above-mentioned framework, the Cyprus Government, taking into account the strong interest of investors, has revised through the recent decision of the Council of Ministers dated 13.9.2016, the criteria for the “Scheme for Naturalization of non-Cypriot investors by exception” (the “Scheme”) on the basis of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2015, article 111A, subsection (2).
On the basis of the Scheme, a non-Cypriot citizen, who meets one of the following economic criteria outlined in Part A below, either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/ she participates as a shareholder – in proportion to his holding percentage, or through investments done by his/her spouse or jointly with the spouse or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception.
Also a high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenues of at least €100,000 over a three year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.
It is important to note that the applicant should have made the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three years as from the date of the naturalization.
In addition, the applicant must fulfil the Terms and Conditions set out in Part B. In the case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been established that a criterion, term or condition of the Scheme has been breached, the granted naturalization may be revoked.
By virtue of the recent decision of the Council of Ministers, the amended criteria are applicable with immediate effect.
Namely, an applicant may acquire the Cypriot Citizenship through the Scheme, in one of the following ways: