Oneworld Global Business Services

Investment Programmes

About Cyprus

Cyprus is situated in the north-eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea at the crossroads of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and has an estimated population 830.000. Greek Cypriots form by far the largest ethnic group, accounting for almost 80 percent of the population. Turkish Cypriots, British, Russians, Armenians, Maronites and other ethnic groups make up the remaining 20 percent.

Cyprus became an independent sovereign republic in 1960 with a presidential system of government. In 2004, Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus has set-up a tax system which is ideally suited both to inbound and outbound investors. It resulted in aligning Cyprus with EU directives, abolished all distinctions between international business (formerly "offshore") and local companies as from 1 January 2003 whilst maintaining a favourable tax regime for the international investor.

Cyprus is known for its beautiful Mediterranean beaches and is home to many historical monuments, included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. Cyprus ranked 58 out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index of 2014-2015. Measures implemented to reboot the country's economy and to secure a better quality of life for residents.

Cyprus Investment Programme

The Cyprus Investment Programme based on Section 111A (2) of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2019, was approved by the Cyprus Council of Ministers on the 13 Septemeber 2016 and subsequently amended in May 2018 and February 2019. The latest amendments are effectinve on 19th May 2019 ownwards.

The Cyprus government has formulated the Cyprus investment programme aimed at high net worth individuals, allowing applicants and their families to apply for naturalization of investors.

Investment Options

Cyprus Investment Programme Financial Criteria

The eligible applicant should have made 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 five years as from the date of the naturalization. Below is a summary of the available investment options under the Programme.

Investment in Real Estate, land development or infrastructure projects

The applicant should have a direct investment in Cyprus of at least €2 Million for the acquisition or development of real estate projects (residential, commercial, tourism sector) or other infrastructure projects. Applicants are advised that any land that is located in a zero building zone development, this will not be considered as a qualifying investment.

Purchase or participation in Cypriot companies

The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2 Million in the acquisition or participation in companies, based and which are operational in Cyprus. These companies should have tangible substantial activity in Cyprus, as well as employ at least five Cypriot or EU citizens. Moreover, investments in the shipping sector are eligible under this option.

Investment in AIFs, RAIFs or financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organisations

The applicant can invest in Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (“RAIFs”), which invest exclusively in Cyprus. AIFS or RAIFs are permitted to invest in stocks in the CSE up to €200,000. This criterion also includes financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations issued after approval by CySEC.

Combination of investments

The applicant may choose to proceed with a combination of any of the aforementioned investments, with a total investment amount of at least €2 Million.

Donations to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation

In additional to the above investment criteria, the following donations are obligatory:
  • A donation of at least €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation for the financing of Affordable Housing Schemes and
  • A donation of at least €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation for the promotion of an entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem, which can be used for the purposes of supplementing the investment options above. It can be waived if the applicant invests the same in a certified innovative or social enterprise, or €400,000 out of the main investment in company established in Cyprus whose operations fall within the primary, secondary sectors (excluding construction), R&D, education, health or renewable energy.
For the avoidance of doubt, the donation to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation will be applicable in all case, without the possibility for exemption.

Permanent Residency by Investment

The Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit has been in existence for a number of years, and the requirements, as well as the process, have been amended to become simple. The Cyprus government has introduced recently a new procedure for granting the permit to applicants who are third-country nationals and intend to invest in Cyprus.

The tax burden on residents is low when compared to other countries. Although residence permit holders are not allowed to be employed in Cyprus, they are entitled to be a shareholder and receive income from the dividends of a company registered in Cyprus, and subsequently benefit from a low corporation tax of just 12,5% on net profits and 0% tax on dividends for non-tax residents.

The authorities aim to grant the permit within two months from the date of submission. According to the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, the permit may be granted to third-country nationals who fulfill the following criteria:

(a) purchase of one or more properties in Cyprus, with a value of €300.000 (plus VAT)
(b) provide a clean criminal record certificate issued by the authorities of the country of origin
(c) provide a statement of no intention to work in Cyprus, and
(d)  visit Cyprus at least once every 2 years

There are many foreign families who decide to move permanently to the island to take advantage of the warm weather, high standard of living and EU residency, or might be their preferred jurisdiction through which to conduct international business.

Cyprus Permanent Residency features  
Visa Type Permanent Residence Permit 
Time Frame 2 months
Requirements Purchase of one or more properties with value of €300.000, payment of the property and preparation of residence documents
Minimum Investment Property requirements as above
Taxation 12,5% corporation tax for profits of any Cyprus entity and 0% tax on Cyprus dividends and all other worldwide income  
Years to qualify for Citizenship 7 years residence but can apply at any time under the Individual Investor Programme (Citizenship by Investment)
Language for Citizenship n/a
Permanent Residence Yes
Other requirements None
Dual Citizenship Yes

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