Cyprus established its citizenship by investment programme in 2002. The government of Cyprus has established and revised a "Scheme for Naturalization of non-Cypriot Investors by Exception" on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002–2015.
Following a 6-month residence, applicants are fast-tracked toward Cypriot citizenship and the process can be achieved in as little as 6 months. The Cypriot passport offers visa-free access to 163 territories, such as Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and also provides freedom of movement in the Schengen states.
The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme was the first citizenship programme offering European nationality to foreign investors. In 2016 it was amended to satisfy EU standards by requiring applicants to hold a resident permit for 6 months prior to naturalisation.