ImmigrationA Game Changer in EU citizenship: Cyprus’ Three-Year Fast-Track for Global Investors

2 April 2024

On March 22, 2024, the Cyprus Ministry of Interior made a groundbreaking announcement, confirming the operationalization of the Population Registry (Amendment) Law of 2023 for citizenship applications. This amendment introduces a comprehensive set of criteria that applicants must meet to qualify for citizenship, signalling a significant evolution in the country’s approach to naturalization. The required qualifications, to be met cumulatively, underscore Cyprus’s commitment to integrating new citizens who are well-established, of good character, and possess a meaningful connection to the Cypriot community and culture.

Most importantly, the new announcement introduces an expedited three-year pathway to citizenship, establishing it as the most accelerated route available in the European Union via residency. This, combined with Cyprus’s unique legal stipulation requiring the processing of all citizenship applications within a mere eight-month period, presents global investors with an exceptionally attractive and cost-effective avenue to European Union citizenship- truly a game changer in the Residency and Citizenship by Investment (RCBI) space.

The general qualifications for all applicants include:

  • Continuous Legal Residence:  A mandatory 12-month lawful and continuous residence immediately prior to the application, with short absences totalling no more than 90 days, not disrupting the continuity.
  • Extended Residence History:  A requirement of lawful residence for a total period of not less than three, four, or seven years during the decade immediately preceding the 12-month period (depending on the specific route to citizenship which each application is based on).
  • Character and Integration Measures:  Demonstrated good character, sufficient knowledge of the Greek language at a B1 level (for 7 years of residency), A2 (for 4 years of residency as a highly skilled professional), B1 (for 3 years of residency as a highly skilled professional), an understanding of the basic elements of the modern political and social reality of the Republic, suitable accommodation, and stable and regular financial resources to support oneself and one’s family, and an intention to reside within the Republic.

Highly qualified employees, the category which is eligible for the fast track process, is determined as:

  • either employees of an International Business Company with a Work Permit as Director, Key Personnel, or Specialist;
  • or employees of such companies under any other type of permissible permit who receive a minimum of €2,500 per month and hold a university degree (or equivalent, or proof of employment corresponding to 2-years in a relevant position).

This nuanced approach to naturalization, particularly the expedited three and four-year routes, is poised to redefine the Residency and Citizenship by Investment (RCBI) landscape. Coupled with Cyprus’s unmatched non-domicile program—offering HNWIs the opportunity to benefit from a zero tax rate on worldwide income for non-domiciled residents—this policy adjustment opens a ‘Golden Gateway’ for investors. Within a span of three years, not only can investors and their families enjoy the fiscal benefits of one of the world’s most attractive tax regimes, but they can also emerge with European Union citizenship.

This strategic development affirms Cyprus as a premier destination for investors seeking a harmonious blend of fiscal advantages and global mobility. The introduction of a three-year fast-track to citizenship underlines the island’s role as an innovator in the RCBI industry, further enhancing its appeal to a global audience of investors and highly-skilled professionals.

In embracing this new dawn of citizenship planning, Savva & Associates invites global investors to explore the benefits of Cyprus’s citizenship program. With our expertise, HNWIs can navigate this golden opportunity to secure a prosperous future for themselves and their families, enjoying the privileges of EU citizenship and the financial efficiencies of Cyprus’s leading non-domicile program, which offers a 17 year tax holiday on all the main sources of worldwide income of most HNWIs.

For detailed guidance on this exceptional opportunity and to explore how it aligns with your personal and financial aspirations, reach out to Savva & Associates. Embrace the prospect of transforming your future with Cyprus’s golden gateway to Europe.

For comprehensive insights and guidance, we invite you to reach out to our team at:

Charles Savva
Managing Director

BA, MBA, TEP, CA

c.savva@savvacyprus.com

+357 22516671

Mina Pieri
Senior Manager

FCCA, MBA

m.pieri@savvacyprus.com

+357 22510207

We look forward to addressing your questions and providing the necessary guidance for your business needs.

Savva & Associates

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