Cyprus Country Background
Cyprus has been a full member of the European Union since 2004. The island is located in the north eastern Mediterranean Sea, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. The strategic location of the island has played an important role in its development as a financial center.
With its warm and stable climate and convenient geographical position, Cyprus considered an attractive place for residence. With at least 320 days of sunshine a year, Cyprus was classified the sunniest European location. The investment landscape in Cyprus is beneficial due to the island’s well-qualified labor force, attractive taxation and a reliable transport and telecommunications system.
Cyprus has recently been ranked the 5th best relocation destination in the world by an international lifestyle review (source: 2014 report prepared by Knight Frank, a leading independent, global real estate consultancy firm). Ranked by key business and leisure indicators, Cyprus was the only European country alongside Switzerland to make it into the top five – ahead of London, Madrid and Monaco.
Cyprus ranked highly because of its favorable tax regime for new residents, particularly high net worth individuals. Also noteworthy are recent studies conducted by global immigration experts who ranked the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program among the “top ten best in the world”. Cyprus has a modern, free-market, service-based economy, with an effective and transparent regulatory and legal framework, giving international investors and businesses confidence to invest, grow and prosper.
Advantages of Cyprus Citizenship
Free Movement of Persons
The whole family can obtain Cyprus Citizenship i.e. the main applicant, his/her spouse, children under 18 years, and adult dependents (ages 18 to 28) and they can all travel, reside and work freely within the EU.
Free Movement of Services
Individual citizens and their companies can offer services within EU Member States without any obstacles.
Free Movement of Capital
Cypriot passport holders can transfer funds between EU Member States, purchase property in any preferred EU country and invest in any type of activities.
Free Movement of Goods
All goods produced in EU Member States can be freely transferred between countries of the European Union.
No Requirement to Physically Reside in Cyprus
The applicant and his/her dependents are not required to reside in Cyprus either before the filing of an application or after obtaining Cypriot Citizenship.
Attractive Tax System
Cyprus is an attractive financial center due to its highly favorable tax system and strategic location at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia.
High Standard of Living
Cyprus presents a high standard of living with access to reputable private schools, trustworthy private medical facilities and among the lowest crime rates within Europe.
Visa Free Travel
Cypriot passport holders do not require a visa to travel within the EU and also to travel to many non-EU countries.
Eligibility for Cyprus Citizenship by Investment
To qualify under the regulations, a Main Applicant for citizenship must be at least 30 years of age. Key requirements include:
– Clean criminal conduct
– Investment in Property of a value of minimum €500,000 plus VAT and fully paid
– Documents supporting the source and origin of the declared funds for investment
– Investor’s name must not be on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU
– Visit Cyprus at least once upon approval (but residency is not required)
The main applicant may also add dependents to a citizenship application including his/her spouse and children, under certain conditions, to benefit under the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Cyprus Investment Options
In 2011 Cyprus first introduced a Citizenship-by-Investment program to provide a method of obtaining citizenship for foreign nationals in as little as 90 days.
To qualify for citizenship, the primary applicant must be over 18 years of age and select one of the following options:
This option requires an applicant to invest at least EUR 2,5 million in real estate or other developments (residential, commercial or infrastructure projects).
Application Time Line & Payments
1. Evaluation: The Ministry of Finance evaluates if the applicant meets the financial criteria as established by the Council of Ministers.
2. Investigation: Simultaneously, the Ministry of Interior investigates whether the applicant meets the other conditions for granting the citizenship including the acquisition of the residential property in Cyprus, possesses a clean criminal record etc.
3. Processing: Provided the applicant meets the financial criteria and all the conditions for granting citizenship, the Ministry of Interior presents the case to the Council of Ministers for final decision.
4. Approval: Once the application is approved, the Civil Registry and Migration Department issues the Certificate of Naturalization.
The application process is expected to take about three months. Government filing fees and attorney fees are in addition to the investment minimums.
Citizenship by Investment Services
Our associated attorneys are amongst the very few providers in Cyprus with actual experience preparing and submitting successful citizenship applications. They are also well positioned to facilitate the provision of additional services to clients filing their citizenship applications, including legal assistance, drafting and review of property acquisition agreements, organizing property valuations and any other related services.
The firm’s extensive and well established network of property experts and real estate agents is also able to assist clients with finding the right property matching their criteria, and ensure they are presented with properties that are good value for money.
Specific application-process related services include:
– Advising you on your chances of success before filing your application;
– Providing you with pre-immigration legal and tax advice;
– Guiding you with the preparation of supporting documentation;
– Vetting and preparing all supporting documentation for submission;
– Corresponding and liaising with government authorities on your behalf during the application process;
– Application progress updates.
Other optional services the firm provides on an as-needed basis include:
– Handling applications for work permits, and any type of residence permits;
– Legal and notarial representation on purchase, rental and re-sale of property in Cyprus;
– Reviews of your contract(s);
– Co-ordination of architectural surveys & planning applications;
– Referral to leading interior designers & turnkey providers for property conversions;
– Personal and corporate international tax planning;
– Dealing with all periodical tax matters including annual returns and tax payments;
– Drawing up of wills, international probate;
– Administration of estates, foundations, trusts;
– Advice on the formation & management of trading & holding companies in Cyprus;
– Yacht registration under the Cyprus flag;
– VAT planning.