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Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus

Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus

The Cyprus Golden Visa scheme was terminated permanently as of 2023. This means that direct Cypriot citizenship by investment can no longer be obtained.

Those who want to relocate to Europe and obtain residency by investment can choose Cyprus in order to maximize their chances of success. Below, our specialists in immigration through investment explain how to enter the golden visa program. We can also assist those who want to buy golden visas in other countries in Europe or not.

Citizenship alternatives for foreign investors in Cyprus in 2024

With the Citizenship by Investment program terminated, economic investment is no longer a means of obtaining Cypriot citizenship. The main options remain marriage and naturalization. By marriage, a foreign spouse of a Cypriot citizen can obtain a passport provided the couple has been married for 3 years and has lived in Cyprus for 2 years prior to the application date. In terms of naturalization, a foreigner must spend a significant period of time in the country within the 7 years required for applying for citizenship. In addition, the person must have lived here lawfully and continuously for a full year prior to the application date.

Our golden visa immigration agents can offer more information on the conditions related to other citizenship by investment countries in 2024. We can also help those interested in obtaining citizenship by investment in the United States of America.

Conditions for obtaining a Cypriot citizenship

Apart from the requirements mentioned above which only grant residency and the right to be considered for a Cypriot passport, the applicant must also consider the following investment conditions:

  • investment in real estate, infrastructure projects or land development projects;
  • investments in Cypriot company shares, organizations or other financial assets;
  • investments in Alternative Investment Funds which have been approved by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission;
  • a combination of the investment options above which must be combined with the purchase of government bonds worth at least 500,000 euros.

With vast experience in helping those who want to access citizenship by investment countries, our experts can help those who want to relocate here by applying for permanent residency or citizenship. If you are interested in applying for citizenship in Cyprus in 2024 our agents can provide the necessary details on the program entailing investment.

Renewal of the Cyprus residency by investment program

Recently, the European Union has requested EU member states that had golden visa programs to terminate or amend the conditions of such scheme for security purposes. This was also the case of Cyprus, which has terminated the Golden Visa Scheme and replaced it with a new residency program that entered into effect in 2021.

While the former program provided for lower amounts to be invested, the new one requires higher financial resources, however, the options are also several compared to the old scheme.

If you are considering obtaining EU residence, residency by investment in Cyprus can be an option provided that you meet the latest requirements.

New conditions for citizenship in Cyprus

The Cyprus Ministry of Interior has made public the new conditions under which third-country nationals (non-EU and non-EEA) can obtain immigrant visas in March 2021. The new program provides for more options for those who want to contribute to the country’s economy.

Under the new Cyprus golden visa which can lead to residency, thus indirect citizenship by investment program, a foreign investor can choose between one of the following options:

  • to purchase a house or apartment worth at least 300,000 euros;
  • to acquire other types of real estate (office spaces, hotels, commercial spaces) with  a value of at least 300,000 euros;
  • to invest at least 300,000 euros in the share capital of a domestic business;
  • to invest at least 300,000 euros in shares of a Cyprus-based investment fund organized as an AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF.

When it comes to the purchase of a property, one of the advantages of the program is that one can also opt for a project that is under development.

If business investment is targeted, you should note that the company must have a physical presence in Cyprus, and it must have at least employees in order for your request for Cypriot residency to be accepted.

Other requirements of the new program imply that the applicant to prove he or she has a minimum annual income of 30,000 euros. Family immigration is still possible under this new scheme, with the mention that for each member brought to Cyprus the annual income is raised by 5,000 euros for each dependent. Also, if the applicant plans to bring his/her parents, an additional amount of 8,000 euros is required.

The source of income can be salary, pension, share ownership, as well as other investments, as long as they prove legal. Also, when calculating the minimum income, the applicant’s spouse’s financial resources can also be considered.

As mentioned above, Cyprus was not the only country to alter its golden visa program, which is why if you want to go to other golden visa countries, such as Ireland, Malta, or Italy, our specialists can assist you.

Additional contribution when acquiring property in Cyprus

Those who decide to buy real estate under the Cyprus residency by investment program must complete a few steps. They must file the property title or the purchase contract with the Land Department. In the case of residential properties, a person (and his wife/husband) can purchase up to 2 apartments or houses.

At least 200,000 euros (VAT not included) must be paid at the moment of the purchase. However, the total value of the property must be 300,000 euros, VAT included.

Compared to the old program, the investment must be maintained permanently. Also, the applicant cannot take employment in Cyprus, however, he or she can be a director without a salary in the company they invest in (when this is the selected option).

If you are attracted by this option and want to obtain indirect citizenship by investment in Cyprus, you can obtain the latest information from our local specialists.

Dependents you can bring with you to Cyprus

Moving to Cyprus with your family is an option under the residency by investment scheme, and the following persons can come with you:

  • your spouse;
  • your minor children;
  • children aged 18 to 25 as long as they are students, and are not married;
  • your parents;
  • your parents-in-law.

To become a Cypriot passport holder, the applicant must live here for 5 years in a maximum period of 7 years of permanent residency. The same conditions apply to the dependents. The last year before applying for citizenship, they must stay in the country without interruptions.

Under the new Cyprus residency by investment program applications are verified within 2 or 3 months.

New citizenship rules in Cyprus

While the citizenship by investment scheme is no longer available in Cyprus, the government finds new ways to attract foreigners who can contribute to the economy. This is why, new nationality rules have been set in place.

The main goal of the change is to draw skilled and specialized foreign workers to the island. To that end, a new naturalization pathway based on years of residency in Cyprus has been introduced. Also, the naturalization process for high-skilled employees and their families has been streamlined.

The imposed relaxations concern knowledge of Greek and the length of time a foreign citizen must live in Cyprus before submitting an application for naturalization. The requirements for applicants would remain the same:

  • they would need to be of good character;
  • they must be financially independent;
  • they must speak Greek at conversational level.

Family members of such candidates would also be eligible for Cypriot citizenship. For this purpose, they must have lived in Cyprus for 12 months before the application. Such citizenship petitions might be processed in about 8 months.

This is a good option for skilled people who want to move to former golden visa countries in Europe, even if the program is no longer available.

Conditions to obtain Cypriot citizenship in 2024

The modified law states that if the following requirements are satisfied, a highly qualified worker hired by a foreign-owned company may apply for citizenship. The main requirements to meet in this sense are:

  • a minimum of12 months of lawful, uninterrupted physical presence in Cyprus prior to the filing for naturalization;
  • during this time,  a maximum of 90 days of absence is permitted;
  • having good morals and a clear criminal history;
  • having a suitable place to live in Cyprus ;
  • a Greek language speaking level A2 for those seeking naturalization for a period of five 5 years;
  • a Greek language speaking level B1 for those seeking naturalization for a period of 4 years;
  • proven academic and professional credentials;
  • financial independence and a  minimum salary of EUR 2,500 per month;
  • a good understanding of the political and social environment in Cyprus;
  • the intention to take up residence followed by citizenship.

If you decide to apply for citizenship this way, you can refer to our local consultant for support. Alternatively, you can opt for the revamped golden visa program that is closer to a Cypriot citizenship by investment pathway.

Naturalization based on residency in Cyprus

A revised process for naturalization petitions based on years of residence was also introduced under the modified laws. The procedure is available for those who lawfully reside in Cyprus under previous residency schemes.

To petition for Cypriot naturalization under the new system, a person must have been a lawful resident for 8 of the 11 years prior to submitting their application.  In addition, applicants must have lived in Cyprus lawfully and continuously for a minimum of 12 months prior to filing their application. Unlike under the previous system, absences from the country for up to 90 days in one year do not count against the applicant’s duration of legal residence.

The applicant’s family members may also become naturalized under the new amendment. A family member must also have resided lawfully and continuously in Cyprus for the 12 months before to the application submission date. Absences cannot last longer than 90 days overall during this time.  Spouses, civil partners, and adult children are considered family members.

If you are looking into a state that provides economic citizenship directly, you can contact our local advisors for a list of citizenship by investment countries available.

Why choose to buy a golden visa in Cyprus in 2024?

Those seeking for a European country to move to by making a significant investment should choose Cyprus which offers plenty of advantages. Among these, it is worth noting that the Cyprus Investment Program ranks among the top 10 best golden visa programs in the world.

Cyprus is a great destination to move to for foreign investors in particular. They can open companies here and thus acquire citizenship. The procedure of acquiring a Cypriot passport in 2024 here is also quite short, taking no more than 90 days for the application to be processed. Another advantage of applying for citizenship in Cyprus is the possibility of bringing adult children, as well as the option of purchasing a property together with other family members.

For assistance in obtaining indirect citizenship by investment in Cyprus, please contact us. You can also rely on us if you are interested in other golden visa programs.