by acquiring real estate
An important hub in the heart of the Mediterranean, at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia, Cyprus is diverse, culturally rich and perfectly placed for working and traveling within and beyond the European Union. The economy is rapidly recovering from recent recession through significant activities in the shipping, tourism, the legal and financial services sectors, and has also seen a surge in foreign investments and developments, property and investment values.
Cyprus boasts a rich and diverse culture, mild Mediterranean climate, a safe and stable setting which is ideal for raising families, and the perfect location for business and traveling. Investors also look at Cyprus for business and investment purposes, recognizing numerous investment opportunities.
Offered in accordance with the Civil Registry Laws 2002-2013, the Naturalization of Investors by Exception Scheme, the program is one of the fastest to lead to residence and citizenship in Europe. To qualify for application, you will need to meet one of the requirements outlined in the “Investment Options” section.
In addition to making a financial investment, applicants must also meet the following requirements:
By law, investors who want to obtain citizenship in Cyprus through investments must meet the following requirements:
The Council of Ministers shall have the right on special occasions, to reduce the investment requirement to €2.5 million for investors, who demonstrably participate in a special collective investment scheme, provided that the combined total value of the investment is at least €12.5 million.
Citizenship in Cyprus in the case of investments in real estate, financial assets or other economic sectors of the country, provided for by the laws of the state, takes place in several stages. To begin with, future applicants need to decide on the investment option. The best option is the acquisition of real estate, as in the future property can be used for permanent residence or a temporary stay during the visit to rest or to do business.
Although, the deposit for three years is also considered as a profitable business. Cypriot banks have fairly good interest rates; therefore a tidy sum will run up over a similar period, which will significantly increase the investment.
* The program is currently suspended
Obtaining a Cypriot passport involves going through several stages. At the first, you will need to collect the necessary documents. First of all, you need to draw up documentation that confirms the investment in the country's economy (this can be a certificate of the presence of a deposit, an agreement confirming the purchase and sale of real estate, etc.). Then a standard package of documents is prepared, which includes a passport, a photo, a certificate of no criminal record, etc. After the preparation of all the necessary documents, they are sent to the official bodies of the country for verification. In case of a positive result (preliminary approval of the application), the applicant submits documents for granting the status of a citizen. Consideration of documents takes from three to six months. If the applicant is given a positive answer, he will need to register a certificate of naturalization and only then receive a passport.
As a rule, if the applicant applies for help from specialized companies, the procedure for obtaining citizenship is not particularly difficult. Citizenship documents can be submitted through a representative. To register a certificate and obtain a passport, you will need to visit the country (this must be done within three months).
Yes, passport holders can purchase real estate in the countries of the European Union.
The most preferable option is the purchase of real estate. The presence of real estate on the island allows you to move to the country for permanent residence at any time, use it as a place for recreation or for living during business trips. The acquisition of real estate in general is assessed as a profitable investment. An attractive option is also considered a deposit for a three-year period: such an investment will provide an increase in investment due to fairly good interest rates offered by banking institutions in Cyprus.
As a rule, the consideration of documents by the authorities takes about 3-4 months. In some cases (most often when detecting incorrect execution of any documents, additional questions to the applicant, etc.), this period is increased to 6 months.
To date, there are no active disputes between the parts of the island, so investors may not be afraid of any difficulties.
Granting citizenship does not entail the obligation of permanent residence in the country, so there is no need to fear deprivation of status. However, you need to visit the island for at least one day every seven years.
Yes, the country can offer optimal conditions for entrepreneurs. Many consider the state as an offshore zone, since it has created a favorable environment for conducting international business. Tax legislation provides a fairly simple and profitable taxation system. In addition, the country is going through a period of active economic development, which opens up additional opportunities for entrepreneurs.
When receiving a Cypriot passport, will I have to renounce my existing citizenship?
Indeed, each applicant undergoes a thorough and comprehensive check. The authorities are especially interested in applicants with a criminal record or those who have been noticed in violation of the law (in these cases, there is a high risk of refusal to issue a passport). In addition, the sources of income of the applicant are analyzed and the legitimacy of the origin of the invested funds is checked.
Accounting for the value of existing real estate is possible if it was purchased no earlier than 3 years prior to the moment of filing an application for citizenship.
No, the program does not provide for any requirements for residence in the country, either before granting the status of a citizen, or after.
There are no differences in legal status: the granting of citizenship allows you to enjoy all the benefits that are available to citizens of this state, including unhindered movement within the European Union, the opportunity to work and receive education in European countries, etc.
No, the program does not provide for checking the level of proficiency in the state language of the country, so there is no need to study it. In addition, there is no exam on knowledge of the history of Cyprus.
Yes, the program allows parents to be included in the application. In this case, additional investments will be required in the acquisition of real estate (the amount of additional investments is 500 thousand euros)
Citizens of Cyprus do not need a visa to visit more than 150 countries, including Hong Kong.
Today the Cyprus program is unique. This is due to both the speed of granting citizenship and the availability of a passport in general. As for Austria, obtaining a passport of the Republic of Austria involves larger investments and renunciation of the existing citizenship, therefore, it is not entirely correct to compare programs.
Regardless of which option you choose, you need to take care to collect documents confirming an investment in one of the structures of the country. These may be documents:
In order to receive them, it is not enough just to pay. For example, if you chose to invest in real estate, then you need to take care of its re-registration in your name and confirm the ownership. It is necessary to do all this within 3 months from the date of signing the agreement of sale and purchase . But sometimes the government makes concessions to applicants and accepts documents on citizenship even if there is a certificate stating that the contract has been submitted for registration to the Department.
With such documents, you can begin to collect the rest of the documentation. Its list is quite large and may differ in each case. That is why it is better to clarify all the details with specialists. But still there is a basic standard to be followed.
To begin with, the applicant fills in the questionnaire of the M127 form and must be in English. Attached to it are:
You will also need a standard set of documents: a passport and a photocopy of its pages, two photos, permission to enter and stay in Cyprus, a marriage certificate, a birth certificate of children. In the case of a property purchase, a payment order confirming the fact of full payment and a property valuation certificate from an independent appraiser, which will confirm the value of the apartment or house purchased, may be required from you.
A full package of documents is sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. These bodies inspect the residents and all of its documentation, after which they give preliminary approval.
At this stage it is very important to enlist the support of a lawyer. It is the specialist who will help you to correctly assemble the package of documents and fill in the questionnaires in an appropriate manner, since even minor errors, in your opinion, can because of failure. You may also need the services of a translator and a notary, since all documents must be translated into English. Copies are notarized.
The applicant may submit the documents personally or through his guarantor, who can be a qualified lawyer from a company specializing in obtaining Cypriot citizenship. In the latter case, you will need to write out a power of attorney from a notary, which confirms that you trust the submission of documents on your behalf. In the future, he can also act on your behalf and resolve all issues and nuances. If this is a reliable specialist, he will always keep you up to date and act only after having discussed all the details with you and having received your consent.
Usually The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Internal Affairs examine the documents of the applicant within three to four months. However, sometimes this process can take up to six months. Such a delay may be due to the lack of the necessary documents, the need to re-register any document, incorrect filling in of the form or the requirement of the authorities to submit additional documents for stronger verification. Nevertheless, any problem is solved easily if a qualified lawyer leads the case. With it, you can avoid red tape with documents.
After receiving a positive response, the applicant must come to Cyprus within 3 months. This period is given for the applicant to register a certificate of naturalization issued by government services and receive an identity document. After that, he can apply for the naturalization of minor children. It will be reviewed within three weeks. But you can bring them to issue an identity document at any time. There is no time limit in this case. With adult children, the situation is different. An application for their naturalization is accepted only after payment of state duty in the amount of about 2 thousand euros. It is considered for two months. After receiving a positive decision, the recently minted citizen of Cyprus will have to pay about 5 thousand euros of state duty. Next, adult children will have to visit the country within three months and receive a certificate of naturalization and a passport.
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