The Cypriot government has established a series of incentives to attract direct foreign investment into the country, which include the popular Cyprus citizenship by investment and the Cyprus residency by investment programmes. These programmes grant successful applicants and their families full Cypriot citizenship or residency in return for satisfying several investment requirements. Once an individual holds a Cypriot passport, they gain the automatic right to live, work, travel and study in all 28 EU Member States.
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
In an effort to encourage high net worth individuals to conduct business in Cyprus, the criteria for obtaining Cypriot Citizenship have become even more favourable to potential investors.
Besides undergoing a thorough due diligence procedure, the main applicant must also satisfy the following criteria and requirements:
- An investment of €2 million (excluding VAT) in a qualifying investment category, or a combination of qualifying investment categories;
- An investment in government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of €500,000;
- The applicant must be in possession of a Cypriot residency permit - this can be applied for prior to application for citizenship, or it can be issued simultaneously with the citizenship application;
- The parents of the applicant are entitled to apply for citizenship by exception, if they are owners of a permanent residence in Cyprus with a value of at least €500,000 (excl VAT). Alternatively, the applicant and the parents can purchase one residential property with a value of at least €1 million, provided they contribute €500,000 each.
- The applicant must submit a report containing the findings of a due diligence review from an internationally recognized and accredited firm. The report must be dated not later than 30 days from the date of its submission.
The various means of investment are as follows:
- The applicant may make an investment of at least €2 million for the acquisition or development of a commercial or residential property. If the applicant decides to purchase commercial property, he or she must also additionally purchase or be the existing owner of a permanent residence in Cyprus of a value of at least €500.000 (excluding VAT). This also applies to the three points below.
- The applicant may make an investment of at least €2 million in the purchase, creation, or participation in a business or company structure that is both based and operating in Cyprus. These enterprises must have a tangible and valid presence in Cyprus and must employ a minimum of five Cypriot citizens.
- The applicant may invest at least €2 million in Alternative Investment Funds. This also applies to the purchase of financial assets from Cypriot businesses or companies of at least €2 million in the form of securities, bonds, or other financial vehicles.
- The applicant may invest in a combination of the above three means of investment, provided that the total value of the investment amounts of at least €2 million. It may also include the purchase of government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of up to €500,000.
Once all relevant criteria have been satisfied and an application has been filed, successful applicants will have their citizenship approval within six months. This makes the Cypriot citizenship by investment programme one of the fastest in the world.
Beyond becoming a citizen of a safe, politically stable, economically sound EU country that enjoys more than 3500 hours of sunshine a year, these are some of the other benefits of acquiring naturalisation in Cyprus:
- The right to reside, live, work, and travel within the 28 EU Member States;
- Diplomatic and consular protection from any EU country;
- The right to vote and stand for European Parliament;
- Free movement of goods, capital, and services;
- Visa-free travel to more than 159 countries, including the whole of the EU, and Canada;
- Citizenship can be passed down through the descending family line;
- Dual citizenship means that you do not have to renounce your previous nationality;
- Can be obtained in 6 months;
- High quality of living in an English speaking country with high infrastructure standards, good education systems, and a high standard of healthcare;
- A strategic home base on an island located between Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, which makes Cyprus an ideal hub for intercontinental business and easy travel.
If you are seeking a better future for you and your family, or are simply looking to expand your horizons, then the acquisition of a Cypriot passport is an excellent way to open a world of opportunities. At Askanis Group, our team of experts can offer guidance and assistance in meeting your investment obligations regarding real estate.
CYPRUS PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT
High net worth individuals who have at their disposal a secured annual income that is high enough to allow a decent living in Cyprus for themselves and/or their dependents without having to engage in business, trade or a profession on the island are eligible for a Cyprus Permanent Residence permit.
The requirements for this include:
- Evidence of a steady income from abroad of at least €30,000 from sources other than employment in Cyprus. This includes certificates of dividends, certificates of fixed deposits, pension statements, rents or salary advice.
- Confirmation letter from a Cypriot bank showing deposits in a local account of a minimum capital of €30,000. This amount should be pledged for a period of at least 3 years.
- The necessary minimum income is increased by €5,000 for the spouse and for each child and by €8,000 for the parent of the main applicant and/or their spouse.
- Title deed or purchase agreement of a residential property, issued on the name of the applicant. The minimum market value of the property should be €300,000 plus VAT.
Applicants are expected to visit Cyprus at least once every two years. The Permanent Residence permit takes approximately two months to be issued, from the date of submission of the required documentation.
To find out more about the process of Cyprus Citizenship by Investment or the Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit, and the investment solutions that we offer, please contact us on [email protected] or call us on +357 25 336 171.