Cyprus is an important hub in the heart of the Mediterranean connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa. This country is diverse, culturally rich and geographically beautiful. Some say that this is Europe’s paradise, a perfect place to get away from the stressful life in modern cities. This island has more than 300 sunny days in a year, has very mild winters and the largest number of blue flag beaches per coastal line in the world. This heavenly island is where Aphrodite, goddess of love was born according to Greek mythology. Cyprus is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
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.
Cypriot Citizenship Advantages
Having Cyprus citizenship has multiple advantages.
First of all, this country is EU member since 2004. This means you will have open access to live, study and work in EU countries. It has very low tax rates and it’s in free trade zone with EU.
It’s important to say that this is the safest country in the world with a population under 5 million.
It has very good educational system as well as very developed healthcare.
With this passport you are able to travel VISA free to over 150 countries worldwide, this includes Canada and Australia.
How to get citizenship by investment in Cyprus?
Obtaining passport by investment is pretty easy and straightforward. Approval of citizenship application happens within 6 months.
You need to invest at least 2 million EUR in the country.
Note that we said invest. This means that unlike many other countries Cyprus doesn’t require you to simply donate money to the government. You either invest into local business or buy property in the country. This means that you can get your money back at one point and even make a profit while getting their citizenship! Combination of investments is possible.
The investor must retain the investment for 5 years after which he is free to realize it.
In 2019. cost of this program has increased.
Besides the real estate purchase now you have to make a donation of 75 000 EUR to the Governments Research and Development fund and 75 000 EUR to the Land Development Organisation. This is an additional 150 000 EUR that you can’t get back.
If you invested in real estate at the end of the 5-year period the investment can be reduced to a 500 000 EUR residential property which should be held indefinitely.
The applicant can make multiple property purchases, so long as the total value of 2 million EUR is retained for 5 years, and as the total value of the residential property owned indefinitely in Cyprus remain equal to or above 500 000 EUR.
In case of investing money in local business, you are still required to have real estate worth at least 500 000 EUR which you will have to keep indefinitely, even after you obtained citizenship.
Citizenship is granted to parents, spouse and dependent children of the investor. For each parent, it requires another 500 000EUR investment.
Once you get their passport you will not have to relinquish your current nationality, since dual nationality is allowed.
Residence policies are very flexible once you obtain passport, which means that you don’t actually have to reside in Cyprus. However, it’s important to note that by obtaining Cyprus citizenship and passport you don’t automatically become a tax resident of Cyprus unless you spend more than 183 days in the country in one calendar year.
Also, one important thing to note is that investment through a company or fund or foundation is possible, provided that there is a proven correlation between the investor and the company or fund or foundation.
Language test is not required in order to get Cyprus citizenship which is another big advantage. You don’t have to go through interviews or medical tests in order to qualify.
In our opinion this is probably the best citizenship by investment program for multiple reasons:
-First of all, you get a very good passport that allows you to travel to multiple countries VISA free.
-Very good tax policy
-Fast and straightforward system. You will get a passport in 6 months time.
-No residency requirements. You can spend as little or as much time you want in Cyprus.
Changes in Cyprus Citizenship by investment program
In May 2019. Cyprus decided to introduce more requirements for their citizenship by investment program.
Rules became tougher and now besides the original investment of 2 million, you need to donate an additional 150 000 EUR. Now you need to invest 2 150 000 EUR in order to get Cypriot citizenship.
There are some additional requirements:
-Applicant should possess a Schengen visa
-Applicants who have been previously rejected by another EU country will not be eligible to apply for this program
-The investment should be maintained for 5 years after you obtained your citizenship, as opposed to 3 years
-During the 5-year period, the investor will be able to change the investment, provided that consent is granted by the Ministry of Finance
-A planning permit is mandatory for properties under construction
-If investors chose to invest in re-sale property the required investment amount is increased from 2 000 000 to 2 500 000 EUR.
-Investment into government bonds is no longer possible
Cyprus has faced a lot of pressure from the EU because of its easy and straightforward citizenship by investment program. Many were concerned that it might be a security issue for the EU, therefore Cyprus had to make it more rigid. As we already said, new rules have been introduced in 2019.
Now they have a deeper screening of potential candidates and extensive due diligence and background checks will be carried out by a specialized foreign agency on each applicant applying.
Even though they did make some changes in this program, procedure is still pretty much straightforward and clear.
Cyprus officials say that this is their way of making sure they get only the best possible candidates, who will be granted EU citizenship.
|Dual citizenship allowed||YES|
|Investment required||2 million EUR in real estate + 150 000 EUR donation|
|Time||Citizenship within 6 months|
|Visa free access||171|
|Who doesn’t qualify||Individuals with a criminal record|