In 2011 the Cyprus Citizenship-by-Investment program was promoted as a viable avenue for investors to obtain a valuable passport - since then the program has seen several updates with The Council of Ministers in Cyprus approving a new plan on May 24, 2013 enabling foreign nationals to gain citizenship if they meet certain criteria set out by the Ministry of Interior, under one of the following options:
Cyprus Citizenship by National Investment and Donation :
An amount of €2 million must be deposited by the applicant with the Treasury of the Republic, as an investment in the National Investment Company. An additional, €500 000 must be donated to the Research and Technology Fund.
Cyprus Citizenship by Direct Investments :
The applicant can also make a direct investment into the Republic of Cyprus amounting to at least €5 million including the purchase of real estate, businesses, shares or other financial assets.
Cyprus Citizenship by Bank Deposits :
Through the bank deposit option, the applicant should have personal deposits in Cypriot banks or deposits of privately owned companies or of a trust (in which he/she is a shareholder, settler or beneficiary) in the Republic of Cyprus amounting to a minimum of €5 million. Such deposits must be held in a banking institution within the Republic of Cyprus for a period no less than three (3) years.
Local Business Activities :
One of the more complex citizenship options is through business ownership. An applicant must establish a new company registered in the Republic of Cyprus in which they have full control. Following this, the company must have paid to the Government of Cyprus an amount of at least €500,000 per annum for the 3 years preceding the citizenship application submission date.
Alternatively, if the headquarters of the company is located in Cyprus and no less than 5 Cypriot citizens find employment there, the annual government fee is reduced to €350,000. If the business employs 10 Cypriot citizens or more, the amount decreases to €250,000. In all of the above cases a 3-year period preceding the application must be met.
Combination (mixed option) :
The applicant can also choose a combination of requirements stated in options 2, 3, and 4.
Impaired deposits with the Bank of Cyprus or Popular Bank after the 15th March 2013 :
A further option is available for applicants who have incurred an impairment in deposits on one or both of the abovementioned Banks amounting to a total of at least €3 million.
Cyprus Citizenship by investing in Property
In all cases except the last option, the applicant must hold a privately-owned property in the Republic of Cyprus, the market value of which must be at least €500,000, not including taxes, and must have a clean criminal record.