An essential hub in the center of the Mediterranean at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Asia, Cyprus is distinct, culturally rich and ideally placed for working and traveling within and beyond the European Union. The economy is rapidly improving from a recent depression through important activity in the tourism, legal, tourism, legal and financial services sectors, and has also seen a rise in foreign investments and developments, and property and investment values. Cyprus has a rich and diverse culture, a gentle Mediterranean climate, and is an ideal country for the upbringing of children. Wealthy investors look at Cyprus for trade and investment opportunities, knowing the potential available. Do you already know the interesting Cyprus Individual Investor Programme (IIP)?
The Cyprus Investment Programme is open to investors following the “Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception” based on Section 111A (2) of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013, and on a Council of Minister’s decision dated 19 March 2014. In consideration of this law, the Cyprus Council of Ministers may give citizenship by naturalization to foreign business people.
Additionally, the Cyprus Investment Programme law provides for the granting of the Cypriot citizenship by investment to the spouse as well as financially dependent adult children and parents of the applicant. Improvements to the law carried out in September 2016 allow for the inclusion of parents in the same application, given that additional investment in real estate is made.
Why Apply For A Second Passport?
Dual citizenship is when a person is a citizen of two nations at the same time. Dual citizenship is complex and comes with advantages and responsibilities. The benefits include voting in both the nations, accessing both the countries’ social services, ease to work in any of the states and access to the education/healthcare facilities.
Those having dual citizenship carry passports from both the nations, thus eliminating the need for visas and the interrogation at the border. It also allows the candidate to keep the property in either country since some countries limit land purchase to their citizens. However, as a dual citizen, the Cyprus citizenship law and your country’s law binds you. With all these benefits, an individual also faces disadvantages. A U.S. citizen, for example, cannot purchase another country’s citizenship with mandatory military service. Also, the U.S. imposes taxes on its nationals for income earned internationally; thus, one has to pay double taxes. In a few countries, the process of becoming a dual citizen can take many years and be very costly in the long run but in Cyprus citizenship by investment makes it really convenient.
Why Choose Cyprus?
Cyprus has a very advantageous tax management system for individuals and companies based there. A significant population of the country speaks English, and there are world-class education facilities, including several universities from the United Kingdom. Cyprus has a very low crime rate in Europe and ranks as the fifth safest nation in the world. The property obtained is freehold, with low taxes.
Here are some of the benefits of applying for Cyprus Citizenship:
- The procedure is fast. It takes around six months for approval of the citizenship application.
- The submission of Cyprus citizenship by residency applications takes place simultaneously.
- There are no language requirements for this programme.
- Applicants’ parents are eligible for citizenship given they own a house priced at €500,000 plus tax in Cyprus or hold a part of €500,000 in residential property of the principal applicant.
- All civil unions are qualified to submit applications.
- There are no necessities to renounce current nationality as Cyprus is open to dual citizenship.
- The tax rates are low, and there is an opportunity for free trade within the E.U.
- There is an unlimited right to work, study and live in Europe.
- The applicant has the right to own property in any E.U. member state.
- The geographical location of Cyprus is strategic, forming a bridge between the E.U., the Middle East and North Africa with instant access to the Mediterranean Sea.
- Cyprus is known as one of the safest countries in the world in terms of crime.
- There is an excellent education system. Cyprus has distinguished universities that offer tuition-free education to its residents.
- The public healthcare system is world-class and managed by the Ministry of Health, financed by taxes, and is free for citizens. The citizens receive a state medical card through which they can get healthcare and treatment for free or at subsidized costs.
- Cyprus is a leading holiday destination.
- They get security by the authorities of any E.U. country.
- The citizens get the right to vote and stand in elections.
- They get the ability to move goods, services, and capital freely.
- They get a visa-free travel benefit to over 122 countries and visa-on-arrival to 39 other countries.
- The citizenship is conferred to descendants as well, which means, the citizenship can be passed down to future generations.
- There are no minimum residency conditions before receiving citizenship.
- It is a golden way to countless career opportunities because Cyprus citizens can freely move within the E.U. countries and get a job without restrictions.
- Citizens of Cyprus are all protected under the country’s social security system and get a pension.
Eligibility Criteria For Cyprus Global Residence Programme
The applicant must meet several requirements to apply for this exclusive programme. This has been further divided into groups for a better understanding:
- The primary applicant needs to be at least 18 years of age or above.
- The applicant must commit to making the established contribution or investment in favor of Cyprus.
- The main applicant must meet all the application requirements.
- The main applicant must hold a clean police record.
- The candidate should have a valid passport.
- The main applicant should not have any frozen assets within the boundaries of the EU
- The main applicant must own a permanent private residence in the Republic of Cyprus with a value of a minimum €500,000.
The candidate has to make the following investments when applying for the Cyprus Global Residence Programme.
Contribution to the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation:
- The candidate needs to contribute at least €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation.
- The candidate needs to contribute at least €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation for the funding of housing schemes for reasonable housing, but also the materialization of other housing schemes/measures.
Invest in any one of the following:
- Investment in Land Development, Infrastructure Projects, and Real Estate
The candidate must make an investment of at least €2 million by constructing or purchasing property such as buildings or for the construction of other land expansion projects. It could be either residential or commercial projects or any other infrastructure project. Investment in a land which is currently under development is included in this criteria, given that an advance plan for the development of the plot is in the application. A thorough citizenship planning ensures smooth results. However, any investments made in the purchase of land located in a building zone of zero development is excluded.
- Establishment or Purchase or Participation in Cypriot Businesses or Companies
The candidate should have possession of or should have engaged in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with financing costs of at least €2 million. The amount invested is used towards the financing of the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a particular investment strategy. The applications shall be assessed to confirm that the companies or organizations have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with substantial activity and profit, and hiring at least five Cyprus citizens or citizens of European Union member-states.
- Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or Financial Assets of Cypriot Companies or Organizations
The candidate should have purchased units of at least €2 million from alternative investment funds (AIF) set in the Republic of Cyprus, authorized and controlled by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec). The investments must be made solely in the Republic of Cyprus and should satisfy the rules of this programme or in areas accepted by the Finance Minister. The handler or the auditor of the fund is required to inform in writing and on an annual basis to verify that the investments are maintained for at least three years.
- Combination Investment
The candidate may continue with a mixture of the above investments, given that the whole investment will amount up to at least €2 million.
The Global Residence Programme Cyprus requires the following documents to be submitted along with the application.
Documents required for the principal applicant:
- A police certificate confirming a clean criminal record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if they are different)
- First birth certificate
- A copy of passport
- Medical certificate
- Curriculum Vitae
- An attested copy of the applicant’s wedding certificate if the applicant is married.
- A letter by the candidate or his delegate explaining the investment selected under which the application is submitted.
- A completed application form signed before the Registrar of a Cypriot court
- A residence license for the Republic of Cyprus.
As per the global citizenship program rules, the spouse, minor children, adult children who under the age of 28 studying, and parents of the principal applicant can all apply for citizenship under one application. They can also apply after the primary applicant has acquired the Cypriot citizenship by this programme.
Documents required for the applicant’s dependents:
- A completed application form signed before the Registrar of a Cypriot court
- A valid birth certificates
- A copy of passport;
- A police certificate confirming clean criminal record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if they are different)
- Medical certificate
- Curriculum Vitae
- A certified copy of the Marriage certificate or Civil Union certificate in the case of a spouse.
- Two passports sized photographs
- A residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus.
- A copy of undergraduate degree stamped by a genuine academic institution if applicable.
Application Through Approved Agent:
Applicants for the Cyprus Global Residence Programme need to utilize the services of Approved agents. A candidate’s best chances of getting an application approved are when an authorized agent submits the documents. Due diligence, by all candidates, is studied at the local, regional and global levels. Everything from the governmental and business databases is verified. They also carry out the Know Your Client (KYC) procedure on the client in line with the norms of the financial services industry in the country.
The price of the Cypriot passport programme does not include government fees. Here is a table to understand government non -refundable fee structure:
|Applicant Identity||Submission fee||Certificate Issuance Fee||Total|
|Primary Investor||€ 2,000||€ 5,000||€ 7,000|
|Spouse||€ 2,000||€ 5,000||€ 7,000|
|Minor Child||€ 80||€ 80|
|Adult children and each parent||€ 2,000||€ 5,000||€ 7,000|
Note for each Cyprus passport issuance the cost is €120, and for the Identity card issuance, the cost is €30.
Global Residence Programme Cyprus Application Process:
The steps of gaining citizenship could not be more straightforward and are achievable in just five simple steps.
The process is as follows:
Step 1: Engage and Invest
The first and important step of the process is to visit Cyprus where property viewings can be conducted and meetings with a legal agent. Investors will be required to choose real estate to meet the necessary investment amount of €2,000,000 and place a reservation deposit on the property to start the acquisition. If it is not possible for investors to visit at this stage, they can do so remotely.
Step 2: Submitting the Application
Once the investment is made, the application for the leading investor and spouse is to be completed and all the needed documentation to be prepared. On submission of the citizenship application, a permanent residency permit will also be applied, which takes less than two weeks to get. Every adult candidate is expected to be a holder of a PR card for at least six months before collecting their passport/national ID.
Step 3: Biometrics
Biometric data will need to be submitted, by a further visit to Cyprus or submitting at the Cypriot embassies. Locations such as London, Pretoria, and Moscow provide this service. It is also possible at this step for investors to get their residency permit cards.
Step 4: Approval in Principle
The time frame set by the Cypriot Government for the study of the citizenship application is three months from submission. At this step, the applicant will receive an ‘in principle’ approval certificate.
Step 5: Collect Passport
Once the investors have held their PR cards for a total period of six months, their new passports can be secured in Cyprus or at a Cyprus embassy, after all the investments have been made. The whole process will only have taken just over six months. It’s at this step that the principal applicant’s dependents can then appeal for citizenship. Note that when one gets citizenship under the Cyprus citizenship programme, the investor and the family enjoys full citizenship for life, which can be carried on to future generations.
One of the prime benefits of choosing Cyprus Investment Programme is the chance of achieving a passport within six months, with permission being granted within just a span of two to three months.
There are a lot of benefits that one can enjoy from dual citizenship. If one can afford it and is permitted to keep two passports, then Cyprus Citizenship is a good choice. As per the global residence programme rules, Cyprus allows its nationals to hold dual citizenship.
Global Residence Programme Cyprus has been flourishing in the past years. With this programme, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus draws direct foreign investments, investors of good character and individuals of high personal net worth. In return, the investor under this programme along with his/her family receives various advantages such as low tax rates and free trade within the EU, freedom of movement within the EU, and outstanding educational and health care facilities. With this programme, Cyprus offers the quickest Citizenship-by-Investment Programme in entire Europe. Since the investment required is of a considerable amount, it’s best to apply for such programmes under the guidance of qualified experts.
To learn more about global residence programme rules, understand the benefits better, or to resolve any queries kindly contact us and book an appointment today! Our experienced and qualified team would be more than happy to guide you and provide you with the best advice.