Residency permit for foreign investors
As we already wrote before, Cyprus offers citizenship by investment program. It’s one of the most appealing such programs in the world. Besides citizenship, Cyprus offers residency by investment for high net worth individuals and their family members.
Just like in multiple other countries applicants can secure permanent residency in Cyprus through investment in real estate.
This program is one of the fastest and simplest investor visa programs in Europe. It requires an investment of just 300 000 EUR into a property to gain a residency permit.
To qualify for the Cyprus Permanent Residency by Investment program, the foreign investor is required to maintain a three year fixed deposit with a Cyprus bank of at least 30 000 EUR, and funds must originate from outside Cyprus.
In addition, the applicant must provide evidence of secured annual income of at least 30 000 EUR. The funds must originate from abroad and are to be increased by 5 000 EUR for each dependent child and 8 000 EUR for each dependent parent included in the application.
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. This is very appealing since it is very favorable for families.
The permanent residency program offers ease of travel throughout the European Union and requires just one visit to Cyprus by all family members once every two years. Processing time is very fast and usually takes no longer than 2 months, which is a huge advantage if you are in a hurry.
The investment may be made by a company for which the main applicant and spouse are beneficial owners. The investment can be into a maximum of two properties provided they reach the 300 000 EUR. The properties purchased must be brand new.
Favorable tax rates
Cyprus has a very favorable tax regime for individuals and companies residing there. Cyprus has signed international double taxations agreements.
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 the property of just 5% (subject to conditions).
One interesting thing when it comes to Cyprus residency by investment is that it requires the investor to declare that they do not intend to work or to be involved in any form of business in Cyprus. However, they are allowed to set up their own companies/businesses and manage their companies as directors of their companies.
Besides that, all the other requirements are standard such as clean criminal record, valid passport, marriage certificate (if the main applicant wants their spouse to get residency as well), birth certificate, medical insurance, etc.
Cyprus residency by investment is fast and safe. There are no actual residency requirements, besides visiting the country once every two years. This is a very good opportunity if applying with a family since there is no extra cost for family members.
After 7 years of residence in Cyprus, the holder of a Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit may apply for Cyprus citizenship by naturalization (this would need to be actual residence in the country).
Besides gaining EU residency, that is worth a lot by itself since it opens multiple doors, one of the biggest advantages of this program would be tax benefits.
In order to get tax benefits, the investor would need to actually reside in the country. If the investor is not domiciled in Cyprus, there is no tax on dividends and interest income. No tax on profit earned from bonds and shares.
There is tax exemption of 50% of gross employment income, earned in Cyprus if an individual is making more than 100 000 EUR a year and if they were resident outside of Cyprus before the beginning of their employment in Cyprus.
Tax exemption of 20% of gross employment income (maximum 8550 EUR) earned in Cyprus by an individual making less than 100 000 EUR a year if they were resident outside of Cyprus before the beginning of their employment in Cyprus.
No tax on employment income earned for offering services to an overseas employer or to an overseas permanent establishment (PE) of a Cypriot employer for more than 90 days in a tax year.
No tax on total taxable income up to 19 500 EUR. No tax on money received as a retirement gratuity.
5% tax on pension received from abroad exceeding 3420 EUR.
No estate duty, wealth, gift or inheritance tax.
Having in mind all the facts listed above, there is no doubt that Cyprus is one of the most attractive countries in the world when it comes to setting up a permanent residence.