Cyprus Investor Immigration Program – The Ultimate Guide By Experts | GCS

Cyprus, a Mediterranean land of incredible beauty, charm, and history. Thousands upon thousands of tourists flock to Cyprus each year to enjoy the Mediterranean cuisine, world-renowned beaches, and weather. But how many expats actually uproot their lives here? Thanks to the Cyprus Investor Immigration Permit (also known as the Cyprus CBI program or the Cyprus Golden Visa), non-EU nationals who buy property or set up a business in Cyprus can acquire legal residency and even become an EU citizen with a Cyprus passport.

In this Cyprus Investor Immigration Permit guide, learn about:

  • What the Cyprus Investor immigration permit is
  • Investment options for obtaining the permit
  • Benefits of applying for the golden visa
  • Step-by-step guide to the Cyprus investment program
  • Plus more!

What is the Cyprus Investor Immigration Permit?

To accommodate the Cypriot government’s wishes to enhance foreign affairs and boost its economic growth, Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations has been recently altered by the Ministry of Interior within the migration department. Called the Cypriot Investor Permit, foreign investors can acquire residence permits and live in Cyprus, in exchange for making a qualifying investment in the nation. 

It is important to flag that the Cyprus investor program has existed for many years, however, the program criteria as well as the application process has been recently amended to make the program even more attractive for prospective investors.  While across the world, there are many citizenship by investment programs to consider including the Luxembourg Investor Visa , the Investor Visa Belgium and Malta Citizenship By Investment, Cyprus  offers a unique combination of attractive benefits that make it one of the best investment schemes to consider.

Why consider Cyprus?

Cyprus has a lot to offer, including excellent living standards, low cost of living, leading education institutions, quality healthcare, tax-friendly initiatives, as well as being strategically located for international business investors.

Overall, this is what makes the Cyprus citizenship program so attractive.

Investment options for Cyprus Investor Immigration Permit

Investors have several citizenship by investment routes to consider for residency, including buying a property or investing in alternative investment funds. Primarily, these are split into the following categories:

Cyprus Investment Program Routes:

Buy a residential property in Cyprus that’s valued at minimum €300,000

Buy a residential property in Cyprus that’s valued at minimum €300,000

Buy a commercial property in Cyprus of at least €300,000

Buy a commercial property in Cyprus of at least €300,000

Invest in the share capital of a Cyprus Company with activities and staff based in Cyprus

Invest in the share capital of a Cyprus Company with activities and staff based in Cyprus

Invest in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (e.g. AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF)

Invest in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (e.g. AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF)

Option 1: Buy a residential property

The foreign investor must buy a property for the purposes of residing in it that’s worth at least €300,000 ( excluding VAT). The first €200,000 plus VAT must be invested before the application is lodged. To successfully secure the property, the applicant must prove the funds have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad, and that the money hasn’t been borrowed from within Cyprus. Moreover, the alternative investment funds need to be deposited in a financial institution in Cyprus, and must be sitting in the Vendor’s bank account. Finally, the house or apartment bought has to be done via a Cyprus Land Development Company Corporation

Option 2: Buy a commercial property

The investor must buy a commercial property like an office, shop, a hotel, or a similar development (or combination), with a value of € 300,000 (excluding VAT). The properties  purchased can be resold. As mentioned above, the transaction must be done via a Cyprus Land Development company.

Option 3: Share capital of a Cyprus company with activities and staff based in Cyprus

The investor must make a minimum investment of €300,000 in the share capital of a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus. The company must be based in Cyprus, and the company must generate employment for at least five people.

Option 4: Invest in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization

You must invest in units that’s part of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization. The respective funds are regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and by professional fund managers. By having a fund manager on your side, you can rest assured that the fund investments are managed effectively, particularly in Cyprus start ups or medium-sized projects with great growth potential. In addition, there are investment funds which also qualify for the golden visa program like in the sectors of energy, industry, technology, and real estate. 

What is the best option for Cyprus citizenship?

By far, the real estate investment option is the most popular way to obtain a European passport in Cyprus via the Cyprus citizenship program. This is due to multiple reasons, but the primary being, Cyprus’s dynamic real estate market. Indeed, the Mediterranean island is a prime place to snap up a high-quality property. with the potential to earn back on your investment in rental income (or short-term holiday rental). With high rental yields and a booming tourism sector, applicants can get a solid investment. Note that if you select this investment pathway to residency, you must select a Land Development Company based in Cyprus to help you with your property investment.

Eligibility criteria for the Cyprus investment

While anyone outside the EU can apply for the scheme, several program criteria must be met first.

Specifically:

  • The main applicant must have an income of at least €30,000 outside of Cyprus, and it includes wages, pensions, dividends, deposits, rent income, etc.
  • Clean criminal record without posing a threat to public security or public order.
  • Must complete a declaration of intention not to work in Cyprus (with the exception of being a Director in a company)
  • Visit Cyprus every two years, with proof of your physical presence.

Benefits of the Cyprus Golden Visa Program

Fast track application procedure, with applications generally being approved within two months from lodging the application

Fast track application procedure, with applications generally being approved within two months from lodging the application

Full residency rights in Cyprus, an EU country

Full residency rights in Cyprus, an EU country

Visa free travel access within the European Union (the Schengen Zone)

Visa free travel access within the European Union (the Schengen Zone)

Dual citizenship is recognized

Dual citizenship is recognized

Cypriot passport (European passport) after seven years

Cypriot passport (European passport) after seven years

Fantastic living standards

Enjoy the slow, relaxing pace of life with Cyprus residency, with free healthcare and low living costs.

Return on investment

If you go for the investment in a company option, there is a potential to earn an income derived from dividends. 

Tax-friendly nation

You can obtain tax residency, with no inheritance tax or immovable property tax, without being domiciled.  In addition, capital gains on qualified securities has a 100% tax exemption. With Cyprus being a double treaty member with many countries, you can avoid paying tax twice.

Route to Cyprus citizenship

A Cypriot passport can be procured after seven years of living in Cyprus and maintaining your respective investment and permit. With a Cyprus passport, you have visa-free travel access to over 174 countries, as well as the opportunity to live, work, or study anywhere in the European Union.

Whole family

Your family members are eligible for residency including the spouse, parents and parents-in-law, children under 18 years old as well as dependent children up to the age of 25.  The dependent children in question must prove they are students of a tertiary education abroad and are financially dependent on the applicant.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cyprus Citizenship

1. Make the investment
2. Submit application
3. Biometrics visit & residence permit issuance
4. Citizenship application

1.Invest

Pick your investment route to permanent residency and make the investment.

2.Submit application

Once you collect all the paperwork, lodge your application and wait about two months for your application to be approved.

3.Biometrics visit

When you obtain the letter of approval, attend a biometrics collection session with your personal data in person.

4.Receive the permit

After your biometrics appointment, expect to receive your residence permit within a week. You must pay the government permit fee. The permit is renewable for up to a period of five years, after which you can apply for permanent residence.

5.Apply for citizenship

After procuring permanent residence,  you can apply for citizenship in Cyprus in year seven.

Application Processing Time

Month 1
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Submit application to the Cypriot government

Month 2
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Invest and get application approved by the Cypriot authorities

Month 3
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Acquire residence permit

Year 5
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Apply for permanent residency at the Cyprus embassy

Year 7
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Apply for a Cyprus passport

Can I receive Cypriot citizenship with the Cyprus Investor Immigration Permit?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to receive Cypriot citizenship via the Cyprus Golden Visa program. To be eligible, you must live at least seven years in the Republic and maintain your golden visa status/permanent residence before submitting your citizenship application. You must live in Cyprus continuously during the year before submitting your application, and to succeed in your application, you must possess a clean criminal record.

There are no language tests or nationality tests to complete for a Cyprus passport. Your whole family is also eligible for obtaining passports, which can be passed down to future generations.

Document Checklist for Cyprus Citizenship

The documents required when submitting your Cypriot Golden Visa to the migration department will vary depending on your investment route to permanent residence.

In general, the following documents are needed:

  • Proof of investment
  • Proof of legitimacy of funds
  • Your CV, detailing your professional/and/or academic accomplishments
  • Civil documents, such a birth and marriage certificates
  • Passport sized pictures
  • Certified copies of your passport
  • Clean criminal record, showing no previous criminal history
  • If dependent children are included in the application, proof they are undergoing studies.
  • Title of ownership or contract of sale and proof of payment of the property or rental agreement (original or true copy)
  • Official Statements by the applicant and his/her spouse that they do not intent to undertake any sort of employment in Cyprus, with the exception of their employment as a Director in a Company

Note, that additional documentation applies to acquire Cyprus citizenship. It is best to seek professional advice from an immigration service. The qualified advisors can inform you of the full program criteria to obtain citizenship and become a Cypriot citizen.

Legalizing documents

All documents must be legalized and translated into Greek or English by a certified translator. The documents can be legalized by the Cyprus Consulate or by the Apostille of the Hague Convention. When it comes to translating the documents, only certified translation can be accepted.

Application Fees

For the Cyprus Investor Immigration permit, single applicants must pay €500. Dependents younger than 18 years old can be included in the application, free of charge. For dependents aged 18 and older, an extra fee of €500 applies.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Cyprus Investor Immigration Permit

What is the Cyprus Investor Immigration Permit?

 The Cyprus Investor Program awards investors with  permanent, in exchange for a qualifying investment in the nation (usually real estate). The investor must visit Cyprus at least once every two years to  maintain the permit.

What’s the minimum investment required for the Cyprus Golden Visa?

You must make a minimum investment of €300K in sectors like real estate for example to qualify for the scheme and eventually obtain Cyprus citizenship.

Can my family members be included in the application and get Cyprus citizenship?

Absolutely yes, your family members can apply with the main applicant including the spouse, children under 18, dependent children up to the age of 25, and parents and parents-in-law of the main applicant or spouse. 

What are the benefits of the investor permit scheme in Cyprus?

There are ample benefits to acquiring residency in Cyprus, including the right to live in Cyprus freely, visa free travel to all of Europe, Norfolk island, Virgin Islands, and Caicos Islands. You also have the possibility of obtaining EU citizenship after seven years. A key perk to take note of is that as a resident in Cyprus, you are covered by the country’s new national healthcare system, which is free.

Is obtaining Cyprus citizenship possible?

Yes, it’s possible to obtain Cyprus citizenship after seven years of maintaining your Golden Visa investment.

What’s the application processing time?

It takes around two months for your golden visa application to be approved, making it one of the fastest programs to process your residence permit.

Do I have to visit Cyprus to maintain my golden visa?

 Yes, you need to visit once every two years in order to maintain your investment.

Besides Cyprus, what are some of the other popular golden visa programs?

Some other golden visa programs include Greece, Portugal and Spain golden visa programs.