Non-EU nationals who are interested in investing in Cyprus will now have the advantage of their applications being fast tracked under the Cypriot government’s new citizenship scheme. The initiative is specifically meant for non-EU entrepreneurs and businessmen who are considering investing in Cyprus in exchange for its citizenship.
The program allows interested investors and their families to apply for Cypriot citizenship upon making a minimum investment. Based on a “fast track” process, the citizenship program processes applications within three months, provided all necessary documents have been submitted.
To be eligible for citizenship in Cyprus, interested candidates need to purchase a residential property in the country worth at least €500,000 and make necessary investments in one of the tracks listed by the government:
- Business Activities Track: Under this option, the candidate should become a shareholder in a company that is incorporated and trading/operating in Cyprus. The company’s head office should be located in Cyprus, it should employ at least 10 citizens of Cyprus, and in the five years preceding to the application, it should have paid at least 500,000 euros per year as taxes or other contribution to government funds. From each such company, a maximum of two shareholders can apply for the citizenship scheme.
- Investment Track: This option requires applicants to make a minimum investment of five million euros in Cyprus. Such investments can be made by purchasing buildings (shops, offices, houses, hotels etc.), companies or businesses, financial instruments like securities and bonds issued and registered in Cyprus, or shares of public companies registered in Cyprus.
- Deposit with Government Track: Interested investors can use this option by purchasing at least five million euros worth of state bonds issued by the government of Cyprus.
- Deposit at Banks Track: Through this option a candidate or a privately-owned trust or company in which the candidate is a beneficial owner, must hold for a period of three years fixed deposits worth at least five million euros in Cypriot banks.
The Cypriot citizenship by investment program does not require investors to give up their existing nationalities, or to reside in Cyprus or be Cyprus tax residents. However, to qualify for the scheme, the candidates must have a clean criminal record and should not be listed on any sanction lists issued by the EU.
Investors meeting the required criteria will be granted a Cypriot passport, which is particularly beneficial for non-EU nationals as it provides all privileges and rights of being a citizen of a country in the European Union.
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