A country which is strategically situated between Asia, Europe, and Africa, citizenship schemes have made Cyprus a destination for hordes of foreign nationals in recent times. There are two types of citizenship programs offered by the Cyprus government – the permanent residency program also known as Cyprus golden visa and the Cyprus golden passport program, which offers citizenship.
The third-largest island in all of the Mediterranean, Cyprus is known for its picturesque getaways which have made it very popular among tourists, along with a large number of foreigners who have made the place their home. There are around 19 percent foreigners residing in Cyprus, which reflects the way the government’s citizenship plans such as the Cyprus golden passport and Cyprus golden visa programs have been successful. The geography of Cyprus is also different across the country, with the north generally being rocky and mountainous while the southern part of the island is replete with beautiful beaches which are major tourist attractions. Cyprus has been on the global map for thousands of years and was also one of the spots of Alexander the Great’s conquests. The two biggest demographics in Cyprus are the Greeks and Turkish people, who have varying degrees of influence in different parts of the island. The country is also known for its exceptionally low crime rate owing to the safe environment that its efficient law and order system has facilitated.
Citizenship of Cyprus
Avenues such as the Cyprus golden passport program and Cyprus golden visa program offer an alternate and quick way to avail the benefits of being associated with Cyprus long term. It is even more important in a contemporary situation when people from third world countries are shifting to other nations on a regular basis for a better living standard. The biggest relaxation that Cyprus gives to applicants who are willing to invest in order to get citizenship, is that they are not required to reside for a fixed time period and can get the citizenship application approved within a very short time, even as early as six months. Therefore, we may see many Cyprus citizens who have been in the country for a very less time even after getting citizenships but are enjoying multiple benefits which come with a Cyprus golden passport.
The requirements of the Cyprus golden passport program and Cyprus golden visa program also differ from each other. While under the Cyprus golden visa scheme, a person is required to invest a sum of €3,00,000 in real estate to be deemed a permanent resident of the country, under the Cyprus golden passport program requires a person to invest a sum of €2 million along with two donations of €75,000 each in order to get citizenship. The time frame of both these programs also differs with the permanent resident scheme taking a less amount of time than the citizenship program. Citizenship of Cyprus helps one to get easy access to other EU countries and lets them move freely and work at any of these nations.
Citizenship of the European Union appeals to many from the global demographic due to the easy access to basic amenities and facilities such as health and education in the countries of the EU. In recent years, more people are looking to entertain the idea of multiple citizenships to avail these benefits and move to better standards of life and improve living conditions. However, the citizenship laws of all European countries are not lenient, and some of the nations in the EU have passport laws which are quite stringent. Some of these countries require a person to fill a large cache of paperwork with conditions that are not easily fulfilled by all while there are others where one needs to reside for a long time before being eligible for citizenship. Therefore, there is an automatic shift of people towards those countries where getting citizenship is comparatively easy. This is because of the simple fact that being a citizen of any one EU country automatically gives a person the right to move freely and reside in any other nation inside the European Union.
When we see Cyprus on the world map, it may seem like just another tiny island nestled in the Mediterranean, but in recent years this country has become increasingly popular in the context of EU citizenships. With a rich history that goes back to the time when Greece was one of the leading powers in the world – and even to the Bronze age before that – Cyprus is now also well-known for opportunities such as the Cyprus golden visa. This allows a person to acquire citizenship and enjoy the perks of being a citizen of the EU without paperwork and rigid conditions. The EU has increasingly become a hallmark for high-quality living standards and facilities which have resulted in its countries filling up with foreigners who left their abode in various continents to join the union. The allure of EU is such that people are willing to pay money as part of the investment for citizenship programs such as the ones in Cyprus just to get an entry into this much-coveted world of comfort and opportunities.
Benefits Of A Cyprus Citizenship In Gaining An EU Citizenship
Following are some of the benefits of being a Cyprus citizen in the context of being a part of the EU-
- Less stringent norms – The norms that one needs to follow to get a Cyprus golden passport are not as stringent as in some other EU countries and involves less paperwork and formalities. This is why initiatives such as the Cyprus golden passport program are immensely popular among foreigners who are hoping to secure an easy entry in the EU. Moreover, a Cyprus golden visa holder doesn’t need to let go of his/her existing citizenship, which acts as an extra incentive because unlike Cyprus, there are many other countries which don’t accept dual citizenship.
- Time frame – The biggest advantage point for an applicant is the speed of the process for a Cyprus golden passport program which is far quicker than other European Union countries. There is no cumbersome paperwork to be filled and generally, within 6-8 months the process can be completed. There are also various consultancy agencies which can help applicants in following the process for speedy citizenship in exchange of fees.
- Better livelihood – Like many other EU countries, Cyprus is also known for its stellar healthcare and education services which it offers for its citizens. A Cyprus golden visa holder can also freely travel to any other EU country and take up residence or study in reputed educational institutions at subsidized rates. The Cyprus golden passport is particularly lucrative for people who are either seeking employment or want to shift to the EU for better living conditions.
Cyprus Golden Passport Program
Cyprus is currently running one of the most popular citizenship-by-investment programs in the world, which over the years has come to be known as the Cyprus golden passport program. Under this scheme, any person can acquire Cypriot citizenship by investing €2 million in the country’s various sectors such as real estate and infrastructure. The Cyprus golden passport allows a person free access to other EU countries and also to conduct businesses or study and avail benefits such as social welfare and healthcare in them.
Following are some of the features about the Cyprus golden passport program –
- Easy access to the EU – One of the most important reasons because of which many people from the world eye the Cyprus golden passport is the fact that by making the payment and becoming a citizen of Cyprus, they ensure that they become part of the European Union and thus change the trajectory of their lives with better quality living and more opportunities.
- Time frame – Unlike the Cyprus golden visa scheme, the golden passport program takes more time to be approved. Generally, the process takes a time of 6-8 months to complete if all the paperwork and credentials of the prospective citizen are right. However, this is still much quicker than the time period in similar processes when it comes to other countries in the EU. This is why the Cyprus golden passport program is very popular among foreign citizens.
- Residence – A person hoping to secure a Cyprus golden passport for the purpose of being counted as a citizen of the country will have to purchase a residential property worth a minimum of €500,000 in the country. As it’s a known fact that the country offers many state-of-the-art properties situated in beautiful locations, the prospect of owning a residence as well as the step helping a person to acquire citizenship of Cyprus is a win-win situation for many.
- Donations – Any person who is applying for citizenship of Cyprus by acquiring a Cyprus golden passport has to pay a total of €150,000 in two donations of €75,000 each. This payment is in addition to the total of €2 million investment which that person will have to make. Generally, people paying the €2 million tend to invest it in real estate and property because, in any case, the purchase of a house in Cyprus is mandatory for getting the country’s citizenship.
- Investing in organizations based in Cyprus – Another avenue of getting Cyprus citizenship is through investing in organizations owned and functioning in Cyprus. For this investment, applicants can also include a substantial part of the €2 million required to invest in companies which are based and functioned in Cyprus. They can also invest in bonds and securities of Cyprus as it helps in getting the Cyprus golden passport, owing to the fact that the authorities look at such investments in their country in a favorable way. The investment in such financial instruments also benefits the applicant in the long run because the money invested gives sufficient returns over time.
Cyprus Golden Visa
Also known as the permanent residency program, the process of getting a Cyprus golden visa can be completed within a period of two months at the earliest. In order to get a Cyprus golden visa, applicants need to invest a sum of € 300,000 in property in the country. This scheme covers the whole family of the applicant including his/her parents, spouse, and dependent children. The permanent residency is valid for life as long as the property is still owned by the family of the applicant and can also be passed on to them in due course. Some of the salient features of Cyprus golden visa program are listed below –
- Cheaper – Unlike the Cyprus individual investment program, the process of acquiring a Cyprus golden visa involves lower costs. Whereas under the individual investor program one needs to make an investment of €2 million at the beginning, the permanent residency program requires a purchase of property valued only €300,000. This is one basic factor because of which people opt for this program.
- Shorter time frame – When it comes to the Cyprus golden visa, for an applicant the time period of getting it is much less as compared to citizenship. Usually, the Cyprus permanent residence permit can be received within 2-3 months whereas, in the case of Cyprus citizenship by investment, the time period generally stretches up to 6-8 months. Due to the shorter time taken, permanent residency is often opted by those people who cannot afford to wait for their citizenship applications to be processed.
- No requirement to reside – One of the biggest advantages of applying for the permanent resident program is that there is no mandatory requirement to reside in Cyprus either before or after the Cyprus golden visa is granted. This means that a person can still be considered a permanent citizen of the country without actually living in it. Over the years, this relaxation, in turn, has attracted a large number of foreign nationals who after getting the Cyprus golden visa occasionally visit the country after long gaps but at the same time retain their permanent resident status.
Benefits Of Cyprus Golden Visa And Passport Programs
Although there are differences between the Cyprus golden visa and golden passport programs, there are certain benefits common to both.
- Multiple citizenships – Many countries require a person to relinquish his/her existing citizenship while applying to be a citizen. However, Cyprus is one such country which is free of such constraints, and applicants can be a citizen of Cyprus while retaining the citizenship of another country. This right to retain multiple citizenships is a major perk when it comes to the Cypriot citizenship. Most people who apply for a Cyprus golden passport keep this in mind. This also means that the person is not restricted to Cyprus and they don’t need to stay on the island for a long time to continue to have citizenship.
- Favorable taxation laws – A person holding a Cyprus golden passport can avail the favorable corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent when it comes to doing business inside the European Union. In today’s age, when the increase in taxes is a matter of major concern, this relaxation not only comes as a relief to numerous foreign nationals but also boosts the reputation of Cyprus as a country that encourages trade. That is why one of the major reasons for people trying to get Cyprus golden visa and passport is the fact that they want to shift to a favorable tax regime. This is among the major considerations for people who want to apply for citizenship in any country and due to tax benefits, Cyprus scores more than other countries in this context.
- Speed – Speed is perhaps the greatest advantage of the Cyprus golden visa and citizenship programs, making the schemes so popular among foreigners. At a time when acquiring citizenship of any country could be a lengthy process involving months and even years, the speedy disposal of citizenship applications by authorities in Cyprus is not only exemplary but also immensely helps many foreign nationals who are hoping to relocate to the island nation for a better life. That is why Cyprus has become a most sought-after destination for people all around the world, resulting in a corresponding increase in demand for the Cyprus golden passport program.
- Employment – By acquiring citizenship of Cyprus, applicants also get the right to find employment not only in the country but also anywhere in the European Union. This is a huge benefit to a person who till now might have been working in a nation where the wages are lower than those of the EU countries. By availing the Cyprus golden passport program, such a person can ensure that he/she doesn’t settle for lesser opportunities and instead gets employment opportunities where the remunerations are the highest in terms of the market standards. This is another significant advantage that comes with Cyprus citizenship.
The Cyprus golden passport and visa program are one of the most popular avenues for people seeking a second citizenship whether for business or pleasure. The European Union citizenship that comes along with the Cyprus citizenship is a major bonus.
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