Over the years Cyprus has carved a special niche for itself as being the go-to destination for entrepreneurs, businessmen, and even for retired folks looking for a quiet life. This can largely be attributed to the low tax rates, ease of doing business, nice weather and geographical advantages among many other advantages. However, another advantage that has been constant is the Cyprus government’s persistent push to keep Cyprus the leading destination for dreamers, leaders, and achievers. Thus, obtaining permanent residence in Cyprus or a Cyprus citizenship is much more accessible in Cyprus than any other EU country for that matter.
Advantages of a Cyprus Citizenship or A Permanent Resident Visa in Cyprus
• Visa-free travel all across EU countries and in total 169 countries globally.
• Some of the lowest tax rates all over the world & a corporate tax rate of 12.5%.
• Strategically advantageous geographical location at the crossroads of routes to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
• The business-friendly regime and negligible bureaucratic red tape.
• More than 55 double tax treaties with some of the largest economies of the world.
• State-of-the-art infrastructure.
• High human development index and skilled personnel.
• Low cost of living relative to other EU countries.
• The sound legal system based on common law.
• Double citizenship allowed in Cyprus though one might have to check the same for the country issuing their first passport.
• Lowest crime rates in the world.
Permanent Residency in Cyprus
• EU Nationals – EU nationals have it fairly easy when it comes to residing in Cyprus to their heart’s extent. All that needs to be done is to get themselves registered and that too only when they intend to stay and work for a period of more than 3 months. To work, an Alien Registration Card is also required regardless of the duration of the stay in Cyprus. The time limit to apply for an ARC is 8 days after arriving and the same for applying for a registration certificate in case of a longer stay is 3 months.
• Non-EU Nationals: Stay for 5 years – One of the ways in which the permanent residence is attainable for non-citizens is to have resided in Cyprus for an uninterrupted duration of 5 years. On acquiring permanent residency in Cyprus, the same is extended to the family of the person who has acquired the permanent resident card of themselves. Where the family members are not from any of the member states this permanent residency extends for 10 years for them and is then renewable automatically there onwards. In case after acquiring the permanent resident card, the person is out of the country for a continuous period of 2 years then this would result in the loss of the permanent residency. One must also submit all required documentation and meet all criteria including that of minimum required income and financial stability.
• Non-EU Nationals: Expedited Procedure – In order to promote investment in Cyprus the government has come up with a program to offer permanent residence to individuals who would prove to be capable to invest in the economy of the country. This type of residence falls under the category (F) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations and does not come with working rights in Cyprus. Therefore, the person cannot be employed in Cyprus but can still receive the dividend income from any of their Cypriot companies. The eligibility is satisfied when the applicant proves the deposit of 30,000 EUR in a Cyprus bank account which is pledged for a period of minimum 3 years. Additionally, the applicant must then prove an annual income or equivalent of 30,000 EUR and over it another 5,000 EUR for each dependant spouse/child, and 8000 EUR for each dependent parent. The income of the spouse can also be taken into account for the aforementioned calculations. It is essential that this income must be proved to be accrued from outside Cyprus and not within the country. The applicant must also furnish a title or sale deed for a residential property in the name of the applicant or their spouse for a market value of 300,000 EUR and with proof of payment of a minimum amount of 200,000 EUR. VAT is applied on top of the minimum investment required and is not included in the published sum. The applicant must not be absent from Cyprus for a continuous period of 2 or more years.
• Non-EU Nationals: Cyprus Investment Program – The latest program by Cyprus government allows a person to become a permanent resident followed by even becoming a full-fledged citizen of Cyprus by investing in the country. To qualify under this scheme, one must invest 2 Million EUR through the provided investment options. One must also own a housing property of a minimum amount of 500,000 EUR. The value of the housing property can be included in the total amount required for investment but only when the investment is being done completely in real estate. After three years the investment can be brought down to a minimum of 500,000 EUR by selling the properties in which one invested, but it must always be maintained at that amount. If the total investment falls under 500,000 the citizenship stands to be revoked.
Options of Investment:
• Real Estate
• Cypriot Companies
• Financial Assets
• Government Bonds
One might invest in any one or a combination of the aforementioned options to reach the minimum target investment amount.
Documentation for Permanent Residence
The exact documentation might differ according to the category being allied for but some of the most commonly required documents are:
• Application Form
• Passport Size Photos
• Residence Proof
• Proof of Investment
• Proof of the sale of property
• Cyprus Bank Account
• Proof of Financial Status like Tax Returns
• Confirmation Letter from Bank proving deposits.
• Clean Criminal Record
• Relevant Fee
How to Gain the Cyprus Citizenship
Cyprus has the following ways to confer citizenship:
• By Birth – Any person born in Cyprus to at least one Cypriot parent on or after 16th Aug 1960.
• By Descent – Any person born outside Cyprus to at least one Cypriot parent or of otherwise Cypriot descent.
• By Naturalisation – Any person having attained 21 years of age and having spent at least 7 years as a lawful and good character resident of Cyprus is eligible to apply for the citizenship. They must also have at least 1 year of continuous residence in Cyprus immediately before applying for citizenship.
• By Marriage – Any person residing in Cyprus legally, who is married and cohabits with a Cypriot citizen is eligible to apply for a citizenship after 3 years of marriage and residing in Cyprus.
• Citizenship Investment Program – Under this a person gets fast-tracked citizenship by making an investment in Cyprus for a set minimum account. The investment must be of at least 2 Million EUR along with a residential property worth 500,00 EUR. This is the same scheme mentioned above the permanent residence through investment and the only formality to be completed before such permanent residence permit is converted into citizenship is the seal of approval of the council of ministers. This is generally only a formality and easily attainable as long as the person has a clean criminal record. Due to the fact that Cyprus is an EU member state, the person would be able to travel freely from one EU country to the next and thereby be able to enjoy all the rights and privileges that come with a Cyprus citizenship.
Simon Zenios & Co Provides Assistance at Every Step of Your Application
The application process for a permanent residency permit or citizenship can be a cumbersome affair involving lots of technicalities and paperwork. Although it might be possible for a person to complete everything by themselves but this would take dozens of hours of research and even then, there would be gaping scope for mistakes which often have fatal consequences for the application.
Since an application of such a nature often involves high stakes for the applicants it is always advisable to rope in professional and expert services.
We at Simon Zenios & Co have extensive experience in this exact domain. Having assisted scores of clients through successful applications. Our diligent efforts and attention to detail have led to a success rate of more than 95%.
Our personnel are equipped with the knowledge of any latest changes in norms and regulations; and make sure not to miss even the tiniest of details in your application. Being in our safe hands you could sit back and relax after providing us with all the required documents, we will take care of the rest.
Areas of Specialised Assistance
• Assistance with Citizenship through Descent.
• Assistance with Citizenship through Marriage.
• Assistance with Citizenship through Investment.
• Acquiring and filling forms.
• Advise on financial information to be provided.
• Guidance on the most beneficial investment options as per the need of the client.
• Sort documentation and ensure meeting of all criteria according to the regulations.
• Assistance with acquiring the right kind of property.
• Fill forms and manage applications for all members of the family.
• Assistance with submitting documents and drafting applications.
• Regular follow-up on the status of the application.