Invest in Cyprus: Acquiring Cypriot Citizenship and Immigration Permit

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, located at the eastern end of Europe, at the crux of the busy shipping and air routes linking three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia. Cyprus’ strategic location, natural beauty and wealth have rendered the island a jewel in the Eastern Mediterranean through the ages.

Cyprus has long established itself as a thriving business hub, with a vast array of investment opportuni es in key growth sectors of the economy. The island is an ideal investment gateway to the European Union, as well as a portal for investment outside the EU, particularly into the Middle East, India and China. As a member of the wider EU and Eurozone community, Cyprus ensures safety and stability for investors, while also offering them market access to more than 500 million EU citizens.

A  foreign direct investment is at the heart of Cyprus’ development strategy,  a key driver for economic growth, amidst today’s constantly changing international environment. In line with this policy, the Cyprus government has introduced two schemes for granting foreign investors Cypriot Citizenship and Immigration Permit to Cyprus.

1. Acquiring Cypriot Citizenship

(Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception)

Financial Criteria:

Eligible persons who meet one of the following nancial criteria may apply for the acquisi on of the Cypriot Citizenship:

  • Investment in real estate, land development and  infrastructure projects of at least €2m
  •  Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or organisa ons of at least €2m
  • Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies/ organisations that are licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission of at least €2m
  • Combination of the above criteria, which can also include investment in government bonds of up to €500.000

Eligibility:

The following non-Cypriot natural persons who meet one of the set financial criteria, are eligible to apply for the acquisition of Cypriot Citizenship:

  • Natural persons, either personally or through a company in which they are participating as shareholders, in propor on to their holding percentage
  • through investments made by their spouse or jointly with the spouse
  • as high-ranking senior manager of a company that meets one of the financial criteria below (provided that they receive a remunera on that generates paid tax revenues of at least €100.000 over three years)

Terms and Conditions:

  • Prior to the naturalisation, investors must hold a residence permit in Cyprus. If not, the applica on for a residence permit can be submitted simultaneously with the application for the naturalisation
  •  In addition to the above investment requirements, an investor must also own a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus of at least €500.000 (+VAT).
  • If investment is made into residential properties, as per the first financial criterion, this requirement is not applicable, if at least one of the units is worth at least €500.000 (+VAT), provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life
  • The investment in government bonds is restricted to €500.000
  • There is no requirement of residing in Cyprus after acquiring citizenship

Family Members

  •  Spouse/ partner: The investor’s spouse or partner may acquire the Cypriot Citizenship. Their applica on may be led simultaneously
  • Minor children: Dependent children up to the age of 18 may apply, a er the investor acquires the Cypriot Citizenship and provided that the other parent consents to the grant of the citizenship
  •  Adult financially dependent children: the right to apply for citizenship is also granted to the financially dependent adult children of the investor belonging to one of the following two categories:
    •  students up to the age of 28
    • children with severe physical/ mental disability that prohibits employment
  • Parents: The investor’s parents may also apply for citizenship a er the investor has acquired his/ her citizenship, provided that they are owners of a private residence of at least €500.000 (+VAT). The investor and his/ her parents may collectively acquire one residen al property of a total value of at least €1m (+VAT)

2. Acquiring an Immigration Permit

Eligibility:

All third country na onals who meet the criteria and terms set out in the scheme are eligible for acquiring an Immigration Permit for Cyprus

Financial Criteria:

  • A non-Cypriot citizen, who meets the following criteria may apply for the acquisition of an Immigration Permit:
  • Deposit minimum capital of €30.000 into a bank account in Cyprus, which will be pledged for a period of at least three years
  • Provide evidence of a secure annual income of at least €30.000 (+€5.000 for every dependent person – spouse and children – and +€8.000 for every dependent parent or parent-in-law)
  • Purchase residential real estate of total market value of at least €300.000 (+VAT). Payment receipts submitted with the application should amount to at least €200.000 (+VAT)

Other Terms and Conditions:

The Immigration Permit does not allow the undertaking of any form of employment in Cyprus
Holders of an Immigration Permit must visit Cyprus once every two years

Family Members:

  • Spouse and financially dependent children: Immigration Permits are also issued for the investor’s spouse and all financially dependent children (up to 18 years old – or between 18 and 25, provided that they are unmarried, students), upon payment of the relevant fee
  • Parents/ Parents in Law: The applicant’s parents may also be granted an Immigration Permit with the submission of an application and payment of the relevant fee
  • Non- financially dependent children: An Immigration Permit may also be granted to non-financially dependent children of the applicant over the age of 18, provided that the market value of the acquired real estate attributed to each child is at least €300.000 (+VAT)

Cyprus Tax advantages

Cyprus offers an a  transparent tax regime, fully compliant with EU, OECD and international laws. Cyprus maintaining a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, one of the lowest in the EU for international investors and domestic businesses to invest, grow and prosper.

Some of the main features of the Cyprus tax system include:

• Dividend participation exemption
• Exempt on on disposal of securities (e.g. shares, bonds,debentures)
• No succession taxes
• No withholding taxes
• Tonnage tax for shipping companies

Significant exemptions are also in place for non-domiciled individuals taking up residence in Cyprus:

• No tax on dividends and interest
• 50% exemption on on income from employment in Cyprus of a person who was not previously resident in Cyprus. The exempt on applies for ten years, provided that the income from employment in Cyprus exceeds €100.000 per annum

Cypriot Passport

Cypriot passport is ranked #17 powerful passport in the world with visa free access to 159 countries, according to Henley 2018 passport rankings.  Holders of Cypriot passport are also treated as EU citizens.

 

 

Source: Invest in Cyprus Agency



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