The Council of Ministers has decided on 15.04.2013 to implement an “economic citizenship” programme, granting accelerated citizenship to applicants who satisfy one of the following criteria:
Cash: The applicant has invested at least €3 million in Cyprus, comprising €2 million in the Development and Investments Fund and €500,000 each in the Research and Development Fund and the Solidarity and Employment fund. These deposits should remain blocked for at least five years and in the event that this condition is violated, the naturalization may be rescinded.
Direct Investments: The applicant has invested at least €5 million in Cyprus in the following:
- Acquisition of immovable property (residential properties, commercial properties, hotels, and other similar types of properties which are in a progressed stage of completion). Undeveloped land does not qualify;
- Acquisition of businesses or companies;
- Acquisition of shares of public companies registered in Cyprus;
- Acquisition of financial assets (securities) (e.g. bonds, etc registered and issued by the Republic of Cyprus including those which will be issued by the Solidarity Fund in accordance with the National Solidarity Fund Law of 2013);
- Participation in a company or a joint venture which has undertaken the execution of a project in Cyprus.
Business operations in Cyprus: The applicant has significant business activities in Cyprus, being a substantial shareholder of a company incorporated and doing business in Cyprus, the principal offices of which are situated in Cyprus, which employs at least ten Cypriot citizens and which has paid at least €500,000 per year to public revenues over the preceding five years. For each such company no more than two applications for naturalisation may be submitted.
BOC/Laiki depositors: The applicant was the holder of deposits in Bank of Cyprus or Laiki Bank at 15 March 2013 and incurred losses of €3 million or more as a result of the measures imposed on the two banks during March 2013.
Apart from satisfying the criteria set out above, the applicant must have a clean criminal record and be the owner of a permanent residence in Cyprus with a value of €500,000 or more excluding VAT.