Applicants can secure permanent residency in Cyprus through investment in real estate. The programme is one of the fastest and simplest investor visa programmes in Europe. It requires investment of just €300,000 into property to gain the Cyprus residency permit.The residency visa is granted within two months and covers the whole family. It includes parents of both the main applicant and spouse plus dependent children up to the age of 25. It is valid for life and can be passed down to dependents and spouse.
The permanent residency programme offers ease of travel throughout the European Union and requires just one visit to Cyprus by all family members once every two years. The investment may be made by a company for which the main applicant and spouse are beneficial owners. The investment can be in to a maximum of two properties provided they reach the €300,000 permanent residency limit. The properties purchased must be brand new.
Cyprus has a very favorable tax regime for individuals and companies residing there. Over 80% of the country speaks English and there are excellent education facilities including several UK universities with campuses on the island. Cyprus has the lowest crime rate in Europe and is the 5th safest country in the world. There is a high standard of educational institutions and healthcare facilities. Cyprus is strategically located at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. Cyprus is set to join the EU Schengen zone soon. Property acquired is freehold, there is a low property tax and there is reduced VAT on property of just 5% (subject to conditions).
Cyprus offers the quickest, most assured route to citizenship of a European country through the Cypriot citizenship by investment program. An investment of €2.0 million in real estate is required, plus a donation of €75,000 to the Governments Research and Development fund and €75,000 to the Land Development Organisation. Cyprus is unique in its offering of citizenship within just 6 months of such an investment. This grants a Cypriot passport and citizenship of an EU country, allowing the freedom to work, travel, study and live anywhere within the EU including countries such as Germany, France and the UK. The investment can be reduced down after 5 years to just €500,000.
The applicant needs to have committed to the investment prior to applying for the visa and funds must be in place in Cyprus before application. Such funds can be released in accordance with any payment plan agreed for the property, particularly in the case of off-plan developments. However an application can be made within a few days of committing to the investment. The process for gaining the Cyprus passport will then be completed within 6 months. A full refund can be offered for certain real estate investments in the unlikely case of refusal of the citizenship application.
After 5 years the investment can be reduced down to just €500,000 and this investment must be maintained in order for the investor to retain their citizenship.
One of the key considerations when deciding between residential or commercial property in Cyprus is the rate of tax (VAT) that applies. Commercial property will attract VAT at a rate of 19% whereas residential property will attract just 5% on the first 200sqm of the first and main permanent residence property.
In addition to the real estate investment applicants will need a clear criminal record. There is no language requirement, medical test or interview. Very simple documents are required for the application. It is easy to apply and there is no requirement to stay in the country.
Lawyer fees will apply for the processing of the citizenship application and purchase of the property and typically amount to around €30,000- €40,000 for a family. Government processing and application fees for a family of three would amount to roughly €21,000.
Qualifying family members include spouse, all children up to the age of 28 and all future generations. Parents can also qualify by making a further €500,000 investment in real estate.
The Cypriot government introduced a package of measures in 2015 to encourage international investment and residence from high net worth investors . Non-domiciled investors will be exempt from taxation in Cyprus for personal investment income including dividends and interest. This means that non-domiciled individuals will pay zero tax in Cyprus irrespective of whether the income is earned in Cyprus or abroad. There is no inheritance tax. Cyprus also has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe at just 12.5%.
Applicants gain the full rights of EU citizens and have the ability to live, work and study anywhere in the European Union. However the Cypriot government is keen to encourage residency. Cyprus has the lowest crime rate in Europe. An ex British colony and member of the Commonwealth that offers a high standard and affordable British education. An environmentally clean country, over 80% of the population in Cyprus speak English. At least three United Kingdom Universities have campuses in Cyprus.
Applicants gain a European passport and the access this gains allowing travel to 158 countries and districts without a visa. It includes multiple entry into Canada for six months and Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao for three months.
Cyprus is a full member of the European Union. Citizens of Cyprus are European citizens. One of the fundamental rules of the EU is the ability for its citizens to travel, live, work or study anywhere within the European Union. Cyprus citizens and passport holders are able to live in any of the 28 countries that form the EU.
The application process is fast and very straightforward and with a high approval rate. It has good family structure allowing children up to age 28 to qualify and all future generations. It requires basic documentation and there is no residency requirement. The citizenship investment program in Cyprus is ideal for High Net Worth Individuals seeking a fast and efficient route to a European passport.