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Citizenship By Investment in Cyprus

Cyprus at Glance

Cyprus is a picturesque island with a rich history stemming back more than 10,000 years. Relics of its past can be found all around in castles, monasteries, mosaics, tombs and temples from powerful ancient civilizations. In modern day, it’s a flourishing EU state with an abundance of opportunities, both for economic enterprises and a world-class lifestyle.

Cyprus is drenched in sunshine most of the year, which is the perfect complement to its renowned golden beaches, charming old harbors, and myriad of cultural offerings. When it comes to business, Cyprus provides everything you need to expand and prosper. It has arguably the most advantageous tax policy in the European region, a free-market service-based economy, strong legal system, reputable financial center, and many business and investment opportunities.

Cyprus’s citizenship by Investment program (CIP) is one of the most efficient in the world. Citizenship by investment in Cyprus is an attractive opportunity that offers the best of both worlds: a culturally-rich, beautiful place to live and a dynamic international hub for business creation and expansion.

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Investment Options

There are several different routes to attaining a Cypriot Citizenship, all of which entail a minimum €2 million investment in the following sectors:

  1. Purchase or construction in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects
  2. Purchase, establishment or participation in Cypriot business and companies
  3. Investment in alternative investment funds or financial assets of Cypriot enterprises or Cypriot organizations licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission
  4. Combination of the above investments, which can also include an investment in government bonds of up to €500,000 (must be held for 3 years)

In addition to any of the above options, you must also purchase and own a permanent, privately-owned residence in Cyprus that is valued at least €500,000 (+VAT).

The required investments can be made by a single applicant, by or with the applicant’s spouse or partner, or in the name of a business enterprise in which the applicant has a qualifying financial stake.

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Qualifications & Conditions to Apply

  • An investment of at least €2 million in an applicable sector.
  • Ownership of a lifetime, private residence in Cyprus with a purchase price of at least €500,000 (+VAT). In the event that you opt for the real estate investment option, this property can be included as part of the €2 million investment.
  • Official certificate proving you have no criminal record and are not under investigation for criminal offence in your home country.
  • The required investment must be made prior to applying for citizenship and you must retain the investments for at least 3 years from the date of naturalization. Please note that the three-year holding period does not apply for the permanent privately-owned residence—that needs to be kept for life.
  • Prior to citizenship being granted, you must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for at least 6 months. If you haven’t done so, you can submit an application for a residence permit simultaneously with the application for citizenship. In this latter scenario, our lawyers can initiate the citizenship application procedure after the first 3 months of permanent residency have been completed.

Here are two common scenarios we encounter:

Example 1A holder of a Resident Permit submits the Citizenship by Investment application on 01/01/2018. The application will be examined and approved by 01/04/2018 (3 months from the initial application submission).

Example 2: An investor without an existing Residence Permit submits the Citizenship by Investment application on 01/01/2018 along with the Resident Permit application. The Citizenship application will be examined and approved by 01/07/2018 (6 months from the initial application submission).

In summary:

  • It takes 3 months to attain Permanent Residency
  • It takes 6 months to secure citizenship without previously holding a PR
  • There is no requirement to reside in Cyprus after acquiring citizenship. However, you must visit Cyprus at least once every 7 years.

If you’ve previously invested in Cyprus, you can be eligible to capitalize on this as a means to secure citizenship. You are eligible to do so if the investment satisfies the aforementioned requirements and was made within 3 years.

FAST-TRACK PERMANENT RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Cyprus’s Permanent Residency Program serves as a prerequisite for the citizenship application, as well as a separate, less-costly investment option for those that are not necessarily seeking citizenship. The permanent residency program has a different set of qualifications as follows:

  • Deposit €30,000 into a Cypriot bank account and hold it there for at least 3 years.
  • Provide evidence of stable annual income of at least €30,000 (plus an additional €5,000 for every dependent spouse and child and €8,000 for every dependent parent or parent-in-law).
  • Purchase residential real estate of total market value of at least €300,000 (+VAT). Payment receipts submitted with the application should amount to at least €200,000 (+VAT).
  • Provide official certificate proving you have no criminal record and are not under investigation for criminal offence in your home country.
  • The Immigration Permit does not allow you to seek any form of employment in Cyprus.
  • Holders of an Immigration Permit must visit Cyprus once every two years.

Application process

The process from submission to approval normally takes about 6 months, making Cyprus one of the fastest citizenship by investment programs in the EU.

This is an abridged list of general documents required for all applicants. Specific documents vary by investment option chosen and your specific circumstances. Please contact us for an extensive list.

  • Valid Passport from country of origin
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Three passport-sized photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Certificate of clean criminal record from country of origin
  • Documents pertaining to private residence in Cyprus
  • Documents pertaining to investment in Cyprus
  • All necessary documents must be translated to Greek or English and stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant Cyprus Embassy.

Fees: 

  • The application submission fee is €2,000 and the certificate issuance fee is €5,000 per person (including primary applicant, spouse or partner, each approved adult and dependent child)
  • Each minor child under 18 pays €80 for application and processing fees.
  • We’ve provided an example of the application process below. This specific example is for the real estate investment option—each application process will vary slightly depending on the investment option you choose.

Application Process – Real Estate Investment

STEP 1: Select real estate investment

  • Select property (or the property portfolio) either by visiting Cyprus or through correspondence
  • Sign purchase agreement
  • Pay in full for real estate investment

STEP 2: Supporting Documents Preparation

  • Translate all documents to Greek or English and have them properly certified.

STEP 3: Pre-clearance check

  • Appointed legal adviser completes a pre-clearance check

STEP 4: Submission of Citizenship by Investment application and acquisition of Immigration Permit (PR).

  • File an application of Permanent Residency Permit (Fast-Track) together with your application for Cypriot Citizenship and pay the applicable fees. (You must do this in Cyprus.)

STEP 5: Receiving the decision of the Ministry of Interior

  • Upon the completion of the permanent residency period, the Migration Department issues your Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Subsequently, you will need to give the Oath of Faith to the Cypriot Republic before a Registrar of a Cypriot court or a consular officer of the Republic of Cyprus.

Once this procedure is completed, you will be able to acquire a Cypriot passport and Identity Card.

Family Application:

Citizenship by investment in Cyprus is extended to immediate family members including your spouse, children and parents.

  • Your spouse or partner can acquire the Cypriot Citizenship and their application can be filed simultaneously to yours.
  • Minor children: Dependent children up to the age of 18 can apply after you acquire your Cypriot Citizenship. (The other parent needs to consent the citizenship)
  • Adult financially-dependent children:  Your older, financially-dependent children can apply for citizenship provided they are:
  • Students pursuing a degree up to the age of 28 or children with severe physical/ mental disability that prohibits employment.
  • Parents: Your parents may also apply for citizenship after you have attained your citizenship, provided that they purchase a private residence with value of at least €500,000 (+VAT). You and your parents can also collectively acquire one residential property of a total value of at least €1m (+VAT).

 

Passport:

  • The Cypriot passport is valid for up to 10 years. HNWI can take care of the renewal on your behalf when the time comes.

Benefits – Why Cyprus?

When it comes to seeking citizenship by investment in Cyprus, there are numerous benefits that make it stand out from other programs. It’s a welcoming, business-friendly environment that offers an attractive tax regime, high-quality of life and security, all surrounded by a gorgeous natural landscape, rich history, and mild climate. Please see our detailed list of benefits below:

Minimal Program Requirements

  • Fast, simple procedure—can obtain citizenship within 6 months of application
  • No physical residency requirements (must visit Cyprus once every 7 years)
  • No language requirements
  • No restricted nations barred from applying
  • You can maintain a dual citizenship.

Financial

Cyprus offers an attractive and transparent tax regime that is compliant with EU, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and international laws and regulations. Tax benefits in Cyprus include:

  • One of the lowestcorporate tax rates in EU – 12.5%
  • No capital gains tax, wealth tax, inheritance tax, or gift tax
  • No estate duty, and no income tax paid on income from dividends or interest
  • No personal income tax (since there is no requirement to be a Cyprus tax resident)
  • No double taxation agreements with60 countries
  • Attractive tax incentive schemes for new capital investment
  • Dividend participation exemption
  • Exemption on disposal of securities (e.g. shares, bonds, debentures)
  • Attractive intellectual property regime
  • 50% tax exemption on income from employment in Cyprus of a person who was not previously resident in Cyprus. (Applies for ten years, provided that the income from employment in Cyprus exceeds €100,000)

Lifestyle

  • Visa-free travel to 158 countries including EU and Canada
  • Right to live, work and get an education in any of the EU member states
  • As an EU citizen, you have right to vote and stand for European Parliament Elections
  • Consular protection within the EU
  • Full citizenship and passports are granted to the applicant and included family members
  • Cypriot citizenship can be passed to future generations by descent
  • High standard of living
  • Excellent health care
  • Excellent public and private international schools, colleges, and universities. No-cost undergraduate courses in public universities, and the right to seek higher education in any EU member state with EU tuition fees
  • Advanced infrastructure
  • 5thsafest country in world with lowest crime rate in Europe
  • Multilingual, English is widely spoken
  • Warm climate, abundant sunshine, beautiful beaches, stunning coastline, majestic mountains

Rich cultural offerings including museums, historical harbors, castles, amphitheaters, festivals, concerts, delicious food, vibrant nightlife, outdoor sports, etc.

Business

  • Array of investment opportunities in key growth sectors of the economy such as shipping, oil & gas, and tourism
  • Low set-up costs for businesses
  • Credible and reputable financial center
  • Strategic location near Europe, Middle East and Asia
  • Young, educated, skilled, and multilingual workforce
  • 5% reduced vat policy for first property purchase

Properties in Cyprus

Find the perfect expression of your unique lifestyle. Please visit our dedicated Cyprus Property page for more detailed property options.

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A small island with big benefits, Cyprus is a beautiful country with abundant natural beauty and a warm climate, ample business opportunities, and a great environment for residence and raising a family. When it comes to expanding your mobility, protecting your wealth, increasing your freedom and improving your quality of life, securing citizenship in Cyprus is a wonderful opportunity.

If you are interested in learning more about the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program, please contact us today for your free initial consultation.

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