Cyprus Citizenship by Exception – 2016 Update

On September 13th, 2016, the Council of Ministers of Cyprus approved a major amendment to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception (section 111A (2) of the Civil Registry Laws 2002-2015). Whereas previously the scheme was available to groups of investors applying with a collective investment (EUR 12.5 million minimum), the amendment allows investors to make individual applications on the basis of making a EUR 2.5 million investment (subject to certain retention criteria, detailed below).


Under the scheme, several categories of investments are approved:

1)    Real Estate

This category includes immovable property, real estate development or infrastructure projects. The applicant is required to make an investment of at least EUR 2,000,000  in the purchase and/or construction, and/or creation and development of commercial, tourist sector and/or any other infrastructure projects. The investment has to be held by the applicant for a minimum of 3 years. In addition to the investment, the applicant must purchase a residential property of at least EUR 500,000 (ex VAT), which must be kept permanently (unless replaced).

2)    Cyprus business

An investment of at least EUR 2,000,000 in incorporating or purchasing a company (or a participation in a company), that has a physical presence and activities in Cyprus and employs at least five Cypriot or EU citizens who have been legally residing in Cyprus for a continuous period of at least 5 years. In case of multiple applicants, the minimum number of employees increases proportionately. Residential property – as above.


3)    Financial assets

Financial assets of at least EUR 2,000,000 via an alternative investment funds (AIFs), registered and operated in the Republic of Cyprus and licensed and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (the CySEC). Other financial assets may also qualify, subject to the Ministry of Finance’ approval.

Retention criteria and residential property – as above.

4)    Combination of investments

Different asset classes can be combined for the purposes of the application, subject to a total minimum investment amount of EUR 2,000,000.




  • The investment amount has been reduced to EUR 2,000,000 plus EUR 500,000 (excluding VAT) for a residential property
  • A broader range of investment classes is now available
  • The applicant has to obtain permanent residence in order to be approved for Cyprus Citizenship (both applications can be made on the same day)
  • The applicant’s parents are also entitled to apply for Cyprus citizenship by exception subject to owning a permanent residence of at least EUR 500.000 (excluding VAT)
  • Where the purchase price of the residential property exceeds EUR 500.000 (excluding VAT), such excess can be included in the total investment amount
  • Bank deposit no longer qualifies as an investment
  • Various asset classes can now be combined in a single portfolio