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This article/guide is intended to provide the reader with information about the new policy of the Government on the naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by exception.
A non-Cypriot citizen, who meets one (either) of the following economic criteria, either personally or through a company in which he participates as a shareholder – proportionally based on the percentage of participation, or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company that meets one of economic criteria below, may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by exception. A high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenue of at least €100,000 for a three year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.
The applicant should have concluded 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 since the date of the Naturalization. In addition,the applicant must fulfill certain Terms and Conditions provided further below. In the case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been ascertained that any condition is being circumvented, the Naturalization may be revoked.
2. Terms and Conditions
Apart of the above Criteria, the applicant must fulfill the following significant terms and conditions:
3. Submission of Documents
In order to examine any applications the submission of the following documentary evidence is required, together with the applicable form (M127):
4. Depending on the Type of Investment, the following are required:
The Decision of the Council of Ministers dated 19th March 2014 for the Naturalization of Investors by Exception, provides for the grant of the Cypriot citizenship to the spouse as well as the financially dependent adult children (eighteen years old or above) of the investor. Neither the spouse nor the children are obliged to meet any financial criteria. For further information see the next Tab/Section “Family Members” posted on this page.
The examination procedure begins upon the submission, at the Ministry of Interior, of the prescribed application Form (M127) and the payment of the amount of €2.000,00 examination fee. Together with the application, the following original documents must be submitted, along with a photocopy of all the documents:
(1) Contract of Sale
(2) Title Deeds/ Receipt for lodging the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department
(3) Receipts for paying the agreed purchase price
(4) Copy of the wire transfer in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company
(1) Copy of the employment contract
(2) Copy of the receipt by the Inland Revenue Department
(1) Certificate of Registration of the company/ companies by the Registrar of Companies
(2) Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies or certificates evidencing that the applicant is the beneficiary owner of the company/ companies
(3) Audited Accounts of the company (or companies) for the last three years preceding the year of the application
Useful and Important Notes
Examination procedure of an application
Once an application is submitted the examination process begins. First of all, the documents relating to the business activities and investments of the applicant in Cyprus are sent to the Ministry of Finance for evaluation and views on whether the applicant indeed meets any of the criteria established by the Council of Ministers. Simultaneously, the Ministry of Interior investigates whether the applicant meets the other conditions of the abovementioned Decision of the Council of Ministers. If the applicant meets the Criteria and Conditions of the Decision, the Minister of Interior presents the case to the Council of Ministers for final decision. Once the application is approved, the Civil Registry and Migration Department issues the Certificate of Naturalization, following payment of the amount of €5.000 that constitutes the Naturalization Certificate issuing fee.
Provided that such an application is dully submitted and accompanied by all the necessary supporting documents and the investor meets the criteria and conditions of the Decision of the Council of Ministers, the time frame for the completion of the process is approximately 3 months. It should be noted that the application submission date is the date on which the submission fees were paid that is noted on the receipt issued by the Cashier’s Office of the Ministry.
1. Legal Framework
The Decision of the Council of Ministers dated 19.3.2014 provides for the grant of the Cypriot citizenship to the spouse as well as to the financially dependent adult children (eighteen years old or above) of the investor. Neither the spouse nor the children are obliged to meet any financial criteria.
The Decision regulates that adult children of an investor are considered as financially dependent, if they are students up to the age of 28According to the Ministry of Interior, the student must be max 28 years old. If the student is 28 and one (1) day old, he or she is excluded from the Decision and shall not be considered as eligible to apply for citizenship. and are attending an institution of higher education aiming to obtain a diploma or an undergraduate or a master’s degree. The Decision excludes individuals who are studying for the acquisition of a professional qualification (e.g. chartered accountants or barrister) or individuals who are studying for the acquisition of a second, third etc. diploma or degree (either undergraduate or master’s). Additionally, an investors’ child with severe physical or mental disability that makes him/her unable to work is also considered as financially dependent.
Finally, the minor children (under the age of eighteen) of an investor have the right to acquire the citizenship according to the provisions of section 110 (3) of the Civil Registry Law.
2. Submission of an Application
The application is submitted to the Ministry of Interior, where the amount of €2.000 is paid as fees. The application can be submitted along with the application of the investor, so that both spouses will be able to acquire the Cypriot citizenship simultaneously. The list of the necessary documents is as follows:
Once the application is approved, the amount of €5.000 (Naturalization Certificate fees) must be paid.
Investor’s adult children (eighteen years old or above)
The application is submitted to the Ministry of Interior, after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship. The amount of €2.000 has to be paid as fees. The list of the necessary documents is as follows:
Once the application is approved, the amount of €5.000 (Naturalization Certificate fees) must be paid.
Investor’s minor children (under the age of eighteen)
The application is submitted after the investor had acquired the Cypriot citizenship to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, where it is also processed. The list of the necessary documents is as follows:
All the documents issued by a foreign authority should be translated into either Greek or English and be duly authenticated (They should bear the stamp «APOSTILE», if they are issued by countries that have signed the Hague Convention, otherwise they should be sealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Cyprus in the issuing country).
The Ministry of the Interiors has published some questions which are frequently asked by Investors or service providers which are answered as follows:
What is the time frame for the examination of an application?
Approximately three months.
What is the amount of the fees payable for each application?
Concerning the investor the amount of €2.000 is paid at the submission of the application and, if the application is approved, the amount of €5.000 is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate.
Concerning the investor’s spouse the amount of €2.000 is also paid at the submission of the application and, if the application is approved, the amount of €5.000 is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate.
Concerning the investor’s adult child the amount of €2.000 is also paid at the submission of the application and, if the application is approved, the amount of €5.000 is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate.
Concerning the investor’s minor child the amount of €80 is paid at the submission of the application.
In summary the fees are as follows:
APPLICANT APPLICATION SUBMISSION FEE CERTIFICATE ISSUANCE FEE TOTAL
INVESTOR €2.000 €5.000 €7.000
INVESTOR’S SPOUSE €2.000 €5.000 €7.000
CHILD €2.000 €5.000 €7.000
CHILD €80 – €80
Investments must necessarily be made by the investor personally or can they be made through company/companies of the investor or an investment fund or an investment foundation?
An investment through a company or fund or foundation is eligible, provided that there is a proven correlation between the investor and the company or fund or foundation.
What conditions must be met, so that a high – ranking senior manager of a company/ companies may apply for Naturalization on the basis of this Scheme?
The first condition that needs to be fulfilled is that the company/ companies that employs the manager must have concluded in Cyprus such an investment that meets one of the economic criteria stipulated in the Decision of the Council of Ministers. If and when the investment is completed the executive may apply for Naturalization provided that he/she has paid or prepaid an income tax amounting to €100.000 for a three-year period and has acquired a permanent residence of purchase value at least €500.000.
What does it mean: “The applicant should have concluded 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 since the date of the Naturalization?”
It means that for the purpose of filing a Naturalization application in accordance with the provisions of this Scheme, the investor must have concluded the investment during the three years preceding the submission date of the said application. That is to say, if the applicant will submit an application in 2014, the investment must have been concluded during the period 2011 – 2014.
Furthermore, the investor is obliged to retain the investment for at least three years following the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship. The three-year period begins on the date of the approval of the application by the Council of Ministers.