Cyprus's immigration policy and legal framework enable EU and non-EU applicants to obtain Cypriot citizenship on an expedited basis. The government has formulated a fast-track citizenship scheme aimed at high-net-worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs. This allows successful applicants and their families to hold a Cypriot passport and enjoy all of the benefits afforded to Cyprus and EU nationals.
The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment programme is considered among the world's most successful immigrant investor programmes, offering high-net-worth individuals and their families the fastest route to EU citizenship. The government is expected to announce new measures shortly by means of a regulation committee, which will oversee and vet real estate developers and other immigration service providers in order to ensure that all parties concerned adhere to a code of conduct.
In its recent study of citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes, the Financial Times' Professional Wealth Management ranked Cyprus ahead of other EU countries for its highly attractive travel and residency requirements. The Cyprus CBI programme was first introduced in 2002 at a premium investment of €15 million. The existing scheme became more competitive in 2013 and even more so following the Council of Ministers' September 2016 revisions.
Cyprus recently adopted the start-up visa for third-country nationals interested in residing and investing in innovative businesses in Cyprus. The scheme allows talented entrepreneurs from non-European Economic Area countries to reside in Cyprus and establish, operate or develop their own innovative start-up companies with high growth potential, provided that they meet certain criteria.