Obtaining Cypriot Citizenship

Revised Criteria For the Naturalisation as Cypriot Citizens of Foreign Investors and Entrepreneurs

By a decision taken on 10/10/2011, the Council of Ministers adopted the following criteria on the naturalisation as Cypriot citizens of foreign investors and/or entrepreneurs

Direct investments: The applicant must have direct investments of at least €10 million in the Republic of Cyprus. Direct investments include, inter alia, acquisition of immovable property, businesses/companies, shares and financial assets, such as for example bonds registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus; or

Business activities: The applicant must have incorporated a company or companies in the Republic of Cyprus, which are controlled by himself, the total turnover of which according to the audited financial statements of these companies, is at least €10 million a year, on average, over the last three years preceding the year of application and/or at least 1/3 of the employees of the applicant are be citizens of the Republic of Cyprus; or

Introduction of new and innovative technologies, research centres: The applicant must establish that on the basis of his activities, new and innovative technologies will be introduced on a large scale in key sectors of the Cypriot economy or that the applicant has set up important large-scale research centre for the conduct of on-site research in Cyprus; or

Deposits with banks: The applicant must deposit at least €15 million in five year term fixed deposit accounts in Cypriot banks which belong either to him or to a private company or trust, of which he is the shareholder. Such deposits must remain the said bank accounts for a period of at least five years. Failure to do so would result in the revocation of the naturalisation of the said applicant; or

Combination of any of the above: The applicant must have assets amounting to €15 million from any combination of any of the above; or

Direct revenue and service fees: The applicant must have incorporated a company or companies, the management and control of which is conducted from the Republic of Cyprus and during the last three years preceding the year of application, must have contributed to the Cypriot economy in the form of either income tax payments, V.A.T. payments and/or in the form of fees for the rendering of professional services to the applicants’ companies (such as fees of lawyers, accountants, auditors, bank and others), at least €500.000 on average every year.

Additional Conditions:
· The applicant must be 30 years old and over.
· The applicant must have no criminal record in the country of his origin and/or by the Cyprus Police.
· The applicant must not be on any of the lists of persons for which any orders for freezing any of their assets exist in any part of the EU.
· The applicant must have his permanent residence in the Republic of Cyprus, and the value of which should exceed the amount of €500,000 on the basis of current market prices.

It is noted that any decision is subject to the absolute and unfettered discretion of the Council of Ministers notwithstanding compliance by the applicant to all of the aforementioned criteria.

Please note that the above are merely for guidance and/or information purposes and do not constitute in any way a legal opinion or advice on our part. For any further information and/or clarification on any of the above, please be in touch directly with us.