Invest in Cyprus
Widely considered a haven for entrepreneurs and businessmen, Cyprus, has long been a sought-after destination for people looking for a new start to their life by moving to a foreign location. Low taxes complimenting the low crime rates, along with a relaxed pace of life and ease-of doing make it the five-star destination that it has grown to be.
Cyprus is an EU member and a small country so the process of immigration is highly regulated to protect the citizens and locals. Anyone applying to move to Cyprus has to prove their worth and need in the Cypriot society along with their ability to independently maintain themselves.
Among the many criteria to apply for a Cyprus citizenship, the government has introduced the fastest route in recent years with the latest changes coming as recently as 2016. The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment is intended to welcome people with the capacity to invest capital and resources in the economy of the country. As much 7% of the GDP of the country has come from such investments since the launch of the program.
As mentioned above, Cyprus has one of the lowest tax rates for a country which is a member of the EU and also in the OECD white-list.
- The corporate tax is only 12.5%. The island country is ideally located at the crossroads of the trade routes between Asia, Europe, and Africa.
- There is minimum bureaucratic red tape in Cyprus and running a business is free from much of the paperwork and formalities in other countries.
- Cyprus has 55 double tax treaties which are increasing rapidly, some of these are with the largest economies of the world, including USA, UK, India, China, Canada etc.
- A Cypriot passport allows a person to travel to visa-free to about 169 countries around the world
- The life on the island is relaxed and the weather is almost always pleasant.
- Most people are able to speak functional English and the workforce is highly skilled and educated.
- Education in Cyprus is among of the best in Europe.
- On top of all these benefits, the overall cost of living in Cyprus is relatively cheaper than any other major European country.
Investment Program Cyprus: The Options & Structure
An applicant willing to acquire the citizenship must meet the criteria for investment laid down under the program.
- The minimum required investment is 2 Million Euros.
- This can be done only via the following investment options –
– Invest in Real Estate or Infrastructure and Land Development Projects,
– Invest in Cyprus Companies – Such an investment qualifies only when the company has a significant presence in Cyprus including physical presence, and employs at least 5 Cypriots. The investment amount shall be directed towards the local functioning of the company and a well-structured investment plan needs to be provided along with the application.
– Invest in Financial Assets, Alternative Investment Funds, and Qualified Securities – Such an investment needs an approval from the Ministry of Finance with yearly reports on the investment to be submitted to the ministry for the period during which the investment has to be mandatorily maintained.
– Invest up to 500,00 EUR in Government Bonds in combination with any of the preceding options.
- One can also achieve the required investment by investing in a combination of the above-mentioned options.
- Other than the 2 Million Euros, an investment of 500,000 EUR, excluding VAT, is also required towards acquiring a residential property in Cyprus. Any amount spent on such a residential property exceeding 500,000 EUR can be subtracted from the minimum investment requirement of 2 Million EUR. In case a person is investing only through the first option of real estate investment then the requirement for a separate residential investment of 500,000 EUR is waived off.
- The investments need to have been made in the preceding 3 years before the date of the application. After 3 years the investment can be reduced to a minimum of 500,000 EUR which then must be maintained for life. The reduction of the investment amount below 500,000 EUR may lead to revocation of the citizenship.
- Along with the main investor, spouse and dependent children up to the age of 28 years, can also apply for the citizenship on the same application.
- Parents can also be added to the same application as long another investment of 500,000 EUR is made in residential property by/for them.
- Other than the above-mentioned options a corporate executive is eligible to apply for the citizenship if the taxes paid by them in Cyprus amount to a minimum of 100,000 EUR over a period of 3 years. This eligibility is only possible if the company in which the executive is employed meets all the originally mentioned criteria of investment.
- The final decision on citizenship applications lies with the Council of Ministers.
Requirements for Qualification under the Cyprus Investment Program
Obtaining the citizenship through investment is only possible when the person already possesses a residence permit in Cyprus. In case an individual doesn’t have this, the most popular criterion is to apply under the Expedited Procedure. Under this option, the applicant needs to prove financial stability to support themselves and dependents while residing in Cyprus without having to work in the country. A deposit of 30,000 EUR needs to made in a Cypriot local bank. Also, the applicant must show an income of 30,000 EUR or more. The minimum income amount goes up by 5,000 EUR for each dependant and 8,000 EUR for each parent. A residential property at least to the value of 300,000 EUR must be acquired and title deed submitted with the application along with a proof of payment of at least 200,000 EUR. The applicant after the success of the application cannot stay out of Cyprus for more than two years continuously and must visit once in 2 years at least. The application for residence permit can be made simultaneously with the citizenship application.
- A clean criminal record is essential
- Cyprus has no required exams on the country’s history and languages like many other popular destinations for citizenship by investment like Latvia and the UK
- There is no restriction on people of any nationality
- The main applicant needs to be at least 18 years of age
- The government processing fee is 7000 EUR along with an additional 7000 EUR for each family member.
Some of the Required Documentation
- Valid Passport
- Application form – M127
- Proof of clean criminal record
- An undertaking of no intention to be employed in Cyprus
- Incorporation Certificate of the Company
- Valuation certificate for the residential property
- Contract of Sale for the residential property
- Title deed of the residential property
- Proof of payment made for the property
Investment in Real Estate
- Contract of Sale
- Valuation certificate
- Title deed
- Proof of payment
- Land development plans (where applicable)
Investment in Cyprus Company
- Investment plan
- Contract of Sale
- Proof of Payment
- Shareholding Certificate
- Employment contracts of Cypriots employed in the company
Investment in Financial Assets
- Certification from Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
- Investment Plan
- Title to the assets
- Copy of wire transfer for payment
Simon Zenios & Co Specialises in all Matters of Immigration
Given the long queue of people wanting to start a new life in Cyprus, it is essential for an application for citizenship to stand out to be successful. Advocates in Cyprus make sure no stone is left unturned to get you the best possible application under the relevant criteria.
Simon Zenios Co has extensive experience dealing with all categories of immigration and we boast a very high success rate for out applications. Every 9 out of 10 applications that we have submitted have resulted in a successful grant of visa or residence permit.
Here are a few things for which you can rely on us to provide the best services
- Consultation on which are the best suitable investment options for individual cases
- Finding & Negotiating the best possible real estate deals
- Covering all necessary due diligence involved with any form of investments
- Approaching and submitting documents and applications with local regulatory bodies
- Arranging all certifications and approvals
- Title deeds
- Proof of Payment
- Bank Accounts
- Contracts of Sale
- Employment Certificates
- Investment Plans
- Valuation Certificates
- Regular follow up on the status of all applications
We are always available to answer any queries related to immigration matters or any other legal matter under the sun.