Cyprus has been recently ranked as the 5th best relocation destination in the world by an international lifestyle review (source: 2014 report by Knight Frank). Cyprus ranked highly due to its favorable tax regime for new residents, particularly high net worth individuals. With at least 320 days of sunshine a year, Cyprus has classified the sunniest European location.
On the basis of a Council of Ministers’ revised Decision (dated 13 September 2016), non-Cypriot Investors, are eligible to acquire the Cyprus Citizenship by Naturalization (by an exception on the basis of the Civil Registry Law 2002-2015).
For more information regarding the law click here.
KEY BENEFITS OF OBTAINING CYPRUS EU CITIZENSHIP
Recent studies conducted by global immigration experts have classified the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program among the “top ten best in the world” mainly because of the following benefits it offers:
- A single application provides CYPRUS EU CITIZENSHIP & PASSPORTS for all the Family; that includes the spouse of the applicant, children under 18 years, and adult dependent children (over 18 years and up to 28 years). Neither the spouse nor the children are obliged to meet any financial criteria. Parents of the investor have the right to obtain citizenship as well.
- FAST-TRACK process - 90 days from application to receiving Citizenship & Passports.
- As of September 2016, the Investment amount has been reduced to 2m.
- No Tax Consequences- Applicant does not become a tax resident in Cyprus, unless he/she spends more than 183 days in one calendar year.
- Visa-free travel to more than 157+ countries.
- Valid for life and passed on to new generations.
- Cyprus allows Dual Citizenship - The acquisition of citizenship in Cyprus is not reported to other countries.
- Applies for all nationalities.
- NO requirement to physically reside in Cyprus - Neither before the application nor after obtaining the Citizenship.
- Cypriot citizens enjoy the freedom to live, work, study and travel throughout Europe.
- Freedom to establish a business in any European country.
- No Restriction on Movement of Capital - Transfer any amount of money from any EU Member State to another, purchase property in any EU Member State and invest in any activity.
- No local Language and History tests.
- Cyprus does not have Inheritance Tax allowing for long-term tax planning.
- NO GOVERNMENT DONATIONS - Unlike the other Citizenship programs, 100% of your investment goes against your investment.
- Excellent Rental Yields on Real Estate investments.
CRITERIA & CONDITIONS
One of the following financial criteria must be met:
- Direct Investments in Cyprus amounting to a minimum of €2 million, held for at least 3 years, in one of the following:
- Investment in real estate, land development, and infrastructure projects purchase, creation or participation in businesses and companies based and operating in Cyprus. Such companies are required to have a physical presence in Cyprus and to employ at least 5 Cypriot citizens.
- Investment in Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) is established in Cyprus and licensed by CySEC which invest exclusively in Cyprus. This criterion includes financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations issued after approval by CySEC.
- The combination of the aforementioned criteria amounting to €2million. In the context of this criterion, the applicant may also purchase Cyprus government bonds of a maximum amount of €500.000.
In addition to the above criteria the applicant must fulfill the following conditions:
- hold a Clear Criminal Record from the country of origin or/and country of residence.
- confirm that the applicant’s name is not included in the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the EU.
- privately owned residence in Cyprus, the costs of which must exceed the amount of €500.000 excluding VAT. If the direct investment is made in residential property, this requirement is not applicable.
- in case the investor’s parents are included in the application either purchase an additional property of at least €500.000 or the investor and parents acquire one residential property of a total value, minimum, €1 million.
- The applicant must be a resident before being granted citizenship, thus a simultaneous application for both residency and citizenship must be made.
- have at least one visit to Cyprus.
- The main investment may be sold after three years; however, the investor must always maintain/purchase a property with a value of at least €500,000
- Property purchased up to 3 years prior to the submission of the citizenship application will count towards the required investment
- Abolishment of the criterion of bank deposits.
- The criterion of Collective Investments abolished.
APPLICATION KEY INFORMATION
- The approval of Citizenship under the relevant Decision is granted by the Cyprus Council of Ministers.
- The application package is submitted to the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry of Finance assesses the financial criteria.
- The application of the spouse is submitted concurrently with the application of the main applicant. Upon the approval of these applications, children applications follow.
- After examination by the two Ministries, the application is presented to the Council of Ministers.
- The application processing usually takes 3 months
- Low government fees for the filing of the application
In addition, applicants must supply the following documents:
- Birth certificate*
- Police clearance certificate* from country of origin and/ or country of residence
- Marriage certificate* (if applicable)
- Detailed biography
- Evidence of proof of funds
The documents with (*) require an apostille.
Cypriot Citizenship Processing Fees
|Applicant||Application Submission Fees||Certificate Issuance Fee|
Vat may be reduced to 5% on the first property purchase (first 200m2)
Standard vat rate is 19%.
Additional taxes and duties apply (approximately €4,000)
THE PROCESS - FAST TRACK 3 MONTHS
Step 1 - Review & select real estate investment
Select property (through a visit to Cyprus or via correspondence). Sign purchase agreement and transfer funds to a secure account. Receipt issued by QG, which is required for the application.
Step 2 - Preparation of citizenship application
The client will receive a detailed application package and document checklist. Applicant must gather all necessary papers required for application (see Application Criteria page). The documents must be officially translated into Greek or English and certified with apostil (if in a country which has signed the Hague Convention of 1961) or stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant Cyprus Embassy.
Step 3 - Acquire pre-approval
The appointed lawyer completes a pre-clearance check
Step 4 - Citizenship and PR application submitted to Government
Payment of submission fee €2,000 per adult applicant. Application lodged, together with the property purchase agreement and all required documents, at the Ministry of Interior.
Step 5 – Issuance of Cypriot citizenship
Once ratified by the Council of Ministers, a citizenship certificate is issued. This Certificate must be signed by the applicant either in front of a Registrar of a Cypriot Court or a Consular at any Cypriot Consulate abroad within 3 months of receiving approval. In Cyprus the process, including a collection of biometric ID cards, takes under 1 day, through an embassy the process takes up to 2 weeks. It should be noted that the application submission date is the date on which the submission fees were paid.
Step 6 - Naturalization of children
Submit the applications of children to be naturalized. Applications of minor children are processed within 3 weeks; they can visit Cyprus anytime to collect their papers. Adult children’s applications are processed within 2 months and are subject to a submission fee of €2,000 and approval fee of €5,000. The children must visit Cyprus within 3 months to collect their passport and identity card.
Note: Further to the changes announced on the 13.09.2016 by the Ministry of Interior, an additional government fee may be applicable for the PR application. We are also waiting for clarification on the procedure concerning the submission of the main applicants' parents.
PROFIT FROM OUR EXPERIENCE
- In-depth knowledge of the relevant legislation and procedures to ensure successful applications.
- Vast experience in successful preparation and processing of citizenship applications
- Close collaboration with the authorities and trusted Legal/Tax Advisors
Peace of mind - our problem-solving professionals will help you address all issues.