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Cyprus Citizenship

Specifics of international private law
Citizenship Euro > Cyprus Citizenship

BENEFITS

  • Cyprus Passport is issued within just 6 months, thus fastest EU passport that can be granted within EU
  • The right to live, work, and study in all 28 EU countries
  • The right to security within the European social and legal system
  • The Investor and his family can live, work and travel in all EU countries
  • Dual citizenship is allowed in Cyprus
  • Family members can be included, children up to 28 years old
  • Visa-free travel to more than 160 countries around the world
  • Flexible options with no residence requirement; approval usually within 90 days
  • No language test
  • Qualify by acquiring assets in Cyprus, with no requirement to donate your wealth

Cyprus Citizenship by Investment is available to investors in Cyprus by Exception pursuant to the Decision of the Council of Ministers dated 13th September 2016 issued as per Article 111A(2) of the Civil Registry Law 2002-2013, of the Republic of Cyprus.

Malta has come out top for the third year in row with its Individual Investor Program (MIIP), scoring 81 out of 100. In second place is Cyprus with a score of 72.

European citizenship & passport for investors. Why not live and work everywhere in the EU?

 

Cyprus is offering foreign investors investment programs. These programs can lead to permanent residency and citizenship. They shall stimulate the country’s economy through job creation and capital.

 

The Cypriot immigration policy and legal framework now enable non-EU applicants to obtain Cypriot citizenship on an expedited basis. Thus, approvals granted as fast as three months. This has to happen on request.

Applicants are not required to continuously live in Cyprus before or after citizenship approval.

 

There are no requirements to disclose the applicant’s source of wealth or funds. The great news is that there are no medical testing, and there are no language requirements.

 

International business executives, investors, and important persons who are active worldwide consider an alternative citizenship and passport a powerful tool for international tax planning and safety. This happens when the living conditions at home become unbearable. The applicant and his family receive full citizenship and passports.

 

The Cyprus passport is similar to the passports of Germany, France, or any other EU country.

 

LIVE, WORK OR STUDY IN ANY OF THE EU COUNTRIES

 

The Cyprus Citizenship Program provides for affluent persons of impeccable standing and repute, including their families, to receive citizenship based on an investment in Cyprus. Once you obtain citizenship, you may live, work or study in any of the member countries, like Spain, France, Germany the European Union.

 

VISA-FREE TRAVEL TO OVER 160 COUNTRIES, INCLUDING THE USA

 

Cyprus citizenship (EU citizenship) offers full European Union benefits, including Schengen borderless travel and a United States visa waiver. This means visa-free travel to more than 160 countries in the world, including the USA, Canada, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and most countries in North, Central and South America.

 

 

20000000

Investment

The applicant should make an investment of at least EUR 2 million for the purchase or construction of real estate.

Program Information of Cyprus Investment Programme

 

The government of Cyprus is offering incentives to attract High Net Worth Individuals, who contribute to the country’s economic development.

 

Cyprus has been a full member of the European Union since 2004. The island is located in the Mediterranean island south of Turkey, southeast of Greece, north of Egypt, northwest of Israel and Lebanon, and west of Syria. The strategic location of the island has played an important role in its development as a financial center.

 

On 15 May 2019, the Council of Ministers has amended current rules that enable foreign nationals to obtain citizenship if they meet certain criteria. The changes include the addition of two government contributions of EUR 75,000 each and an approval time frame of six to eight months. 

Any non-European citizen may apply for the CBI program of Cyprus if they are able to fulfill one of the investment criteria presented below.

The qualification may either be done personally or through a company or companies in which the applicant acts as a shareholder or as a high-ranking senior manager. 

Applicants under the Cyprus Investment Programme must:

 

o Donation

 

  A combined donation of €150,000 the Research and Innovation Foundation and to the Land Development Agency

   

o Choose one of four possible five-year investments:

 

1.Investment in real estate, Land developments, and infrastructure projects. You need to make an investment of at least EUR 2 million for the purchase or construction of the real estate.

 

2.You need to buy and establishment of or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies

You must make an investment of at least EUR 2 million in the purchase of, creation of, or participation in businesses or companies that are based and operating in Cyprus. These enterprises need to have a demonstrable presence in Cyprus and they should employ at least five Cypriot citizens.

 

3. Investment in alternative investment funds or financial assets of Cypriot enterprises

You should buy units amounting to at least EUR 2 million from alternative investment funds. This criterion also covers the purchase of financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations for at least EUR 2 million, in the form of bonds, securities, and debt securities.

 

4. A mix of the above investments

You can invest in a combination of the above. Hereby the total investment amounts shall reach at least EUR 2 million.

 

o The applicant may invest in a combination of the above, provided that the total investment amounts to at least EUR 2 million.

 

Aside the above, a property of a minimum value of €500,000 must be held in perpetuity 

 

It is possible to add this property within the €2,000,000 portfolio if the investment is done purely in Real Estate in housing units and has not been used previously to acquire citizenship by investment.

 

Questions & Answers

 

1: What is the minimum investment for obtaining the Cyprus residency?

The minimum investment amount is EUR 300,000 for a “first-time” sale residential property in Cyprus. The applicants’ presence at the time of purchase is not mandatory and they can facilitate it by having legal representatives.

2: What is the recent amendment in relation to locked timing of purchased properties in Cyprus?

Applicants should keep their purchased property for three years before being able to sell them. With the recent amendment the timing changed to five years instead of previous three years.

3: What are some of the reasons the Cyprus citizenship by investment program is attracting so many international investors?

 

International business executives, investors, and important persons who are active worldwide consider an alternative citizenship and passport a powerful tool for international tax planning and a safety net should the living conditions at home become unbearable.

 

Applicants realize that the Cypriot citizenship provides several benefits, including:

 

a) Visa free travel to over 160 countries, including the USA, Canada, and Europe
b) Retirement in a safe country with a warm climate
c) A better education for the applicant’s children
d) Children and grand children gain visa free travel and the right to live, work, or study in many countries
e) A better quality of life for the family, including better healthcare and an unpolluted environment
f) Relatively low real estate prices
g) Personal security
h) Tax advantages
i) Freedom associated with having multiple passports

4: Will the Cyprus citizenship automatically grant me European citizenship?

Yes. Because Cyprus is a member of the European Union its citizens are automatically European citizens, which means you are allowed to live, work or study anywhere in Europe.

5: Under the citizenship program, can I include my family in my application?

Yes. All investment options to citizenship allow for dependents. ‘Dependent’ refers to: (1) children under the age of 18, (2) adult children between the age of 18 and 27 who are students, and (3) parents if they purchase their own residence with a value of at least EUR 500,000. Neither the spouse nor the children are required to make any additional financial investments.

6: As a citizen, am I required to live in Cyprus?

No. Cyprus does not require you to be present or reside in Cyprus before or after approval of your citizenship application.

7: As a citizen, am I required to own real estate in Cyprus?

Yes. Every main applicant must be the owner of a permanent residence in Cyprus, with a market value of at least EUR 500,000 plus VAT. Members of the same family – but filing separate applications – may pool their resources provided that the total amount of the residence/house covers the amount of EUR 500,000 for each applicant. However, the country does not require you to be present or reside in Cyprus.

8: Will my citizenship expire?

No. When you acquire citizenship under the Cyprus citizenship program, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.

9: Does Cyprus allow me to keep my original citizenship?

Yes. There are no restrictions on dual citizenship in Cyprus.

10: Who is eligible to apply for Cyprus Citizenship By Investment?

All nationalities except Iranians.

11: Does a permanent residence permit (PRP) of Cyprus helpt towards obtaining citizenship?

A holder of a PRP has the rights to legally reside in Cyprus. He/she is eligible to file an application for Cyprus citizenship after 5 years of residence in Cyprus (the last 12 months must be a consecutive physical residence). This is opposed to 7 years for all other persons. At present, the Cypriot authorities require about 6 years to review citizenship applications (except in the case of CBI). Hence, PRP does help towards eventually obtaining Cyprus citizenship.

12: When does the successful applicant receive their Cyprus passport?

Once Citizenship is granted, the applicant can receive their Cyprus passport on the same day the certificate of naturalization (CoN) is signed (if the process is carried out in Cyprus). CoN must be signed within 3 months of issuance, however no need to actually apply for the issuance of a Cyprus passport.

13: Does the citizenshipy by investment scheme of Cyprus have an expiry date?

At present no expiry term has been designated for the Program, and no quota has been designated.

14: If the main applicant is not married, are the minor children able to apply for citizenship of Cyprus without the consent from their mother ( if the main applicant is the father)?

No. The minor children are required to submit a written consent from their mother, confirming that her minor children can obtain the Cypriot citizenship, along with their mother’s passport copy. However, the Ministry may require additional documents depending on the specific case. Additionally, if the main applicant was married and then divorced, we are still required to submit written consent from their mother, including the Certificate of Marriage and Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage along with their mother’s passport copy. However, the Ministry may require additional documents depending on the specific case.

15: Can the certificate of naturalization be signed by the applicant’s representative through a power of attorney?

No. The Certificate of Naturalization can be collected from the Migration Department with a Power of Attorney, however, this cannot be signed by the applicant’s representative. In the event that the applicant is unable to visit Cyprus to sign said Certificate before the District Court within 3 months then we can arrange for such to be sent to him so that he may sign such within 3 months of its issue date before an official of the Embassy of Cyprus abroad.

16: Which Cyprus embassies have the equipment to obtain biometrics?

In the event that the applicant does not want to visit Cyprus in order to obtain his Cyprus Passport, he may visit a Cyprus Embassy abroad that has the facility to obtain biometrics to have his picture and fingerprints taken. The following Embassies have these facilities: England (London); Russia (Moscow); Lebanon (Beirut); Greece (Athens); United States of America (New York- only for residents of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut); United States of America (Washington –residents of all other states); Canada (Ottawa); France (Paris). Additionally, we can specifically confirm that the following Embassies do not have these facilities: UAE; China; Hong Kong; Ukraine; Russia (St. Petersburg). Canada (Toronto); Singapore.

17: Can related applicants purchase one residence together under Cyprus Citizenship Program?

Yes, applicants related to each other up to the second degree, may purchase 1 residence for the combined price of EUR 500,000.00 (excluding VAT) each.

18: Can a person choose not to take the oath of the allegiance?

No, however a religious person whose religion prohibits him to swear an oath may affirm/testify to the Oath of Allegiance.

19: Are children of the main applicant who have also obtained Cypriot citizenship obligated to attend armee duty?

No, these children are exempt from any army duty.

20: Can a foreign company invest under the Citizenship By Investment Program of Cyprus and the beneficial owner of this company apply for citizenship?

Yes.

21: Does the applicant who wants to create, acquire or participate in a Cyprus company have to be a majority shareholder?

No, he doesn’t have to be a majority shareholder.

22: Do minor children of the main applicant need to visit Cyprus and file a PRP application?

No, the minor children of the main applicant do not need to file a PRP application and therefore do not need to visit Cyprus.

23: Can a client apply for Citizenship By Investment Program of Cyprus with a world passport instead of a passport from a specific country?

World passport is not accepted by the Ministry of Interior for the CBI program.

24: How is the application filled under CBI of Cyprus for an unborn child?

In the event that the child is born after the Certificate of Naturalization has been granted to the parent of the child (either father or mother) then this child is automatically a Cyprus Citizen. In the event that the child is born after the parent (either father or mother) has filed the application for obtaining Cyprus Citizenship but before being granted the Certificate of Naturalization, then a separate application is required to be filed for the child for obtaining Cyprus Citizenship. The unborn child does not need to be mentioned in the application form of the parent.

25: Can multiple spouses be added under Citizenship by Investment Program of Cyprus?

No, it is not possible to add multiple spouses as dependants to one CBI application. The Republic of Cyprus does not recognize polygamy. As such only, the first spouse can be added to the CBI application. We have however noted exception to both cases i.e. multiple wives being added to the single application; and, cases where 2 nd or latter wife is included, as opposed to the first wife.

26: Are presale properties eligible for the real estate investment criterorion and/or private residence requirement?

Investors can purchase resale properties, where it should be noted VAT is not applicable, for both purposes.

27: How are Cyprus corporate bonds purchased for the purposes of a CBI application?

In terms of corporate bonds, all Cyprus companies, with local (not international) operations are eligible to issue a corporate bond that can be subscribed to by a CBI applicant. The issuing company must have 5 employees (Cyprus or EU nationals who legally resided in Cyprus the past 5 years); If more than one CBI applicant “simultaneously or almost simultaneously” invests in the same issuing company, then the number of employees increases (no set criteria for specific increase). ii. Physical place of business; iii. Investment plan to be approved by the Ministry of Finance.

28: How will new citizens under CBI of Cyprus be taxed?

Becoming a citizen of Cyprus does not have any tax implications unless you move to the country. Individuals are considered a tax resident of Cyprus if they spend more than 183 days per year in Cyprus. Tax residents are taxed on all chargeable income that is accrued or derived from any source in Cyprus and abroad. Nontax residents are only taxed on certain income accrued or derived from a source in Cyprus. Any foreign taxes that are paid can be credited against personal income tax liability. Personal tax on income generated in Cyprus is taxed at progressive rates up to 35%. The corporate tax rate is 12.5%. VAT

29: Will the Cyprus citizenship automatically grant me European citizenship?

Yes. Because Cyprus is a member of the European Union its citizens are automatically European citizens, which means you are allowed to live, work or study anywhere in Europe.

30: Which is the fastest EU passport program?

Cyprus offers passports after 6 months. This time can also be reduced to three months against additional fees.

Malta takes approx. 13 months. No other EU countries have passport programs for investments.

Our lawyers will consult you on the phone and meet you in person.

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