Global connectivity has emerged as one of the most relevant driving forces of today’s fast transforming socio-political climate. The world has transcended geophysical barriers, and almost every corner of the world is accessible to one and all today. The frequency and volume of international travel, be it for business or recreational purposes, have soared up significantly. Almost everyone faces the need for cross-border travel since financial, diplomatic, academic, and lifestyle opportunities have mainly become cosmopolitan.
Despite the visible progress in the domain of global connectivity, political regulations on transnational travel continue to limit the scope of international travel. As a result, the prospect of visa-free travel has become exceedingly appealing, and in that regard, a passport with a robust global index is considered a highly coveted and valuable possession. By virtue of a highly ranked passport, doors to more number of countries get opened for an individual not only for touristic interests but also for business and academic concerns.
The expansion of globalized markets has made it imperative for individuals to look beyond the horizon of their own country. Also, rarely can enterprises survive in isolation these days. Consequently, international travel is not only desirable but also necessary. The ease of international travel is fuelled by healthy international relations between the country of origin and the destination of potential travel. A high passport ranking is a measure of an impressive global standing, and according to several lists, the Cyprus passport index positions itself among the top ranks worldwide.
The benefits of a Cypriot citizenship are not only constrained to the travel perks it brings along. Life in Cyprus offers a holistic package of luxury and comfort. An idyllic Mediterranean island, situated at the intersection of Europe, North Africa, and West Asia, Cyprus provides a chance to indulge in a rich sense of history alongside overwhelming scenic beauty. Cyprus abounds in sunbathed white sands and sublime waters, making it perfect for outdoor adventures. The island is also home to sprawling meadows filled with wildflowers, lush vineyards, and pine-clad mountains.
Cyprus boasts of a dynamic culture and a thriving economy. By virtue of its location and a stable political climate, Cyprus has emerged as a compelling location for entrepreneurs and investors. The shipping and tourism industry in Cyprus are highly productive sectors and the ease of doing business, with relaxed taxation and immigration policies, have led to an increasing number of businessmen and high net worth individuals turning to Cyprus to seek out a second home. Cyprus has also been declared the fifth safest place in the world, and the education, health care, and law and order facilities of Cyprus manifest among the best in the world. With the convenience of the citizenship programs available, it is not surprising that the Frank Knight Global Lifestyle Review has ranked Cyprus as 5th among the world’s best countries for relocation, boosting the Cyprus passport ranking.
Global Passport Index
The passport index is a hugely popular interactive tool which gives an insight into the rankings of different passports in terms of their recognition, travel and career opportunities, mobility, and overall quality. The portals usually collect data from the available resources like IATA and government agencies about the passport acceptability pertaining to the immigration policies of different countries and then compare the passport of a particular nation with others. Further, following a specific methodology, they rank the passports according to the number of nations which allow visa-free or visa on arrival travel to the holders of a particular passport.
Often, the portals refer to the United Nations Human Development Index report to deduce the global perception of the countries. The Henley Passport Index, Arton Capital, and Ceoworld are some of the most popular passport indexes.
Passport index portals are an extremely reliable factor in evaluating the possibility of applying for secondary citizenship for either business, career, or recreational purposes. They provide an opportunity to compare the regional trends alongside the progress reports of particular countries. Currently, at world rank 8, the Cyprus passport ranking has recorded a steady rise in the recent years with its membership to the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone in 2008. Moreover, with the development of Cyprus’ citizenship by investment program, various high network individuals from different corners of the world have grown attracted to the Cypriot passport. This has enhanced its visibility on the global map.
Passport indexes also enable applicants to compare and assess which passports have more influence regionally. Cyprus has an overall visa score of 161, granting visa-free travel to 122 nations and visa on arrival to 39 nations, placing the Cyprus passport among the top ten powerful passports, giving passport-holders access to most of Europe and North America, including the U.S. However, it leaves out a significant chunk of the Middle East and South-East Asia. By enlisting such insights, passport indexes empower applicants to make an informed choice when applying for the passport of a particular country. It also provides information about further strengthening passport power by identifying countries that suit the goals as well as match the profile of the candidate. With the help of the passport indexes, applicants may greatly improve their global mobility without the hassle of immigration formalities or additional expenditures towards visas and other related travel permits.
Cyprus Passport Index
As one of the most sought after migration destinations, the Cyprus citizenship and residency programs have evolved into dynamic and sophisticated gateways to an effective secondary citizenship. Numerous portals emphasize on the Cyprus passport Index and delve deep into what Cypriot citizenship holds for the applicants. Several well-reputed global passport indexes have endorsed the Cyprus passport strength.
Arton Capital’s Passport Index 2019 collects data from authentic sources, conducts field analyses, and bases their critical findings according to different categories vis-a-vis speed of processing the application, costs involved and simplicity of the application, as well as the quality of life and the prospect of global mobility once citizenship has been granted. According to the Arton Passport Index, Cyprus passport ranking is currently held at world rank 8, way above otherwise dominant world powers. Further, when it comes to countries offering citizenship by investment, it holds the second position globally with visa-free travel to 122 countries and on-arrival visa to 39 countries.
Similarly, among the other portals, the Henley Passport Index Report 2019 highlights the global trends in terms of passport strengths and follows a specific methodology to derive the rankings. The Henley Passport Index emphasizes on Cyprus passport strength by highlighting the access it provides. This comprehensive report not only offers an insight into the relative position of one nation versus the other but also demonstrates the regional trends and the factors that trigger such patterns. The index is made in accordance with the data supplied by the International Air Transport Authority or IATA and engages in rigorous research and monitoring to maintain the accuracy of the information. Such Global Passport Indexes have time and again been used by international organizations and governments across the world for their respective reference and have enabled the applicants of acquired citizenships to make a wise and informed choice.
Why Apply For A Cyprus Passport
As visible from the Cyprus passport ranking, possession of a Cypriot passport ushers innumerable benefits. To begin with, Cyprus has a free-market economy with a transparent legal framework which facilitates increased foreign investment and overseas business engagements. The Cypriot passport holds a global ranking of number 8 in terms of passport power, offering visa-free travel to 122 countries and visa on arrival to 39 countries. Trends predict that with the rapid rise in the economy of Cyprus, the Cyprus passport index will soon climb up the ranks further. Being a member of the European Union as well as the Commonwealth of Nations and the Eurozone, Cyprus enables its citizens to stay, study, or travel without the hassle of a visa or permits in any of the member states of the EU. This has unique advantages for prospective students and professionals who can avail themselves of unlimited access to a broader range of opportunities. Apart from the Cyprus passport ranking, the Cyprus’ citizenship programs are also in demand because they are considered to be among the fastest and the most legitimate routes to acquiring EU citizenship with relatively basic eligibility requirements and expenditures.
Benefits of a Cypriot Passport
- The Cyprus citizenship application follows a fast-track procedure with the approval of the application occurring within approximately six months.
- High Cyprus passport rankings allowing visa-free travel to 122 countries and a provision of on arrival visa in 39 countries.
- Cyprus accords the candidates a chance to submit the residency and citizenship applications simultaneously.
- No language requirements are to be met to be eligible.
- The principal applicant can include the parents in the application, provided they qualify on the grounds of owning a house valued at €500,000 + VAT or a share of €500,000 in residential property of the principal applicant.
- Individuals in civil unions are eligible to submit applications.
- The candidates are under no obligation to forgo their original nationality or citizenships unless their native country requires them to do so.
- Cyprus offers low tax rates and free trade opportunities within the EU.
- Cypriot citizens have an unrestricted right to live, work, and study anywhere in Europe.
- Cypriot citizens may rightfully own a property or an establishment in any of the member nations of the EU.
- It is located strategically at the crossroad of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa with direct access to the Mediterranean Sea.
- It is ranked among the safest countries in the world with a population below five million.
- It also has superior education systems and healthcare facilities.
- A delightful country, blessed with natural splendors and an agreeable climate all around the year.
Eligibility Requirements for a Cypriot Passport
Although the Cyprus passport strength is among the highest in the world, the process of acquisition of Cypriot citizenship is straightforward and hassle-free. To ascertain the credibility of the applicants, the authorities conduct a thorough background check and verify if the applicant holds a clean criminal record or not. That aside, the other criterion revolve mostly around the applicant’s capacity to make the recommended investments.
The financial requirements mainly involve the acquisition of a property in Cyprus of a minimum value of €300,000, excluding the applicable taxes. Further, the applicant needs to demonstrate a steady annual income abroad that can sustain the applicant and all the dependent family members, over and above any revenue generated within Cyprus. Applicants are also required to invest in a three year fixed deposit in Cyprus in order to be eligible for a Cypriot passport. The investment routes for Cypriot citizenship are relatively flexible. Besides a compulsory investment in the country’s Research and Innovation Fund as well as the National Development Fund, the applicants may opt for any of the available investment routes. The applicants may choose to invest in a real estate asset or any business ventures or any government stocks and bonds. Alternatively, applicants are also allowed to use a combination of the plans as mentioned earlier to make the necessary investment.
Such investments may be channelized through either the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program or the Cyprus Permanent Residence program, both of which offer a specific set of benefits. Further, the dual citizenship provision enables the applicants to utilize the Cyprus passport strength while retaining their original passport.
Cyprus CItizenship and Residency Programs
To avail of the citizenship by investment program in Cyprus, an investment of €2.0 million in real estate is sought. The program’s uniqueness lies in the rapid processing system, with the citizenship being granted within six months of such investment. Instead of investing in real estate, the applicants also have an option to invest €2.0 million in any government-sanctioned bonds or equities or any alternative investment funds, licensed by the government. Often, applicants opt for contributing towards a combination of both property and government funds. This confers on a candidate a Cypriot passport and along with it, citizenship of an EU country. Accordingly, they also get the freedom to work, travel, study, and live anywhere within the EU, including countries such as Germany, France, and the UK.
Citizenships in Cyprus acquired through the investment programs are applicable to the dependant family members of the main applicant. At no point does the Cypriot citizenship entail the loss of the native nationality for the applicant or the family members. An additional benefit can be reaped in the form of returned investment under the provisions of this program. The investment can be reduced to just €500,000 after three years.
Cyprus also allows applicants to secure permanent residency in Cyprus by investing in real estate. The permanent residency programs are one of the quickest and simplest investor residency programs in Europe. It requires an investment of €300,000 towards a property in order to be granted the Cyprus residency permit. The residency visa is processed within two months of the application and extends to the whole family. A unique feature of the Cyprus Residency program is that it includes parents of both the main applicants as well as the spouse and dependent children up to the age of 25 years. It is valid for a lifetime and can be passed down to dependents and their spouses.
The permanent residency program facilitates hassle-free travel throughout the European Union with a single visit every two years to Cyprus sufficing, unlike other residency programs which necessitate long-term residency commitments. The investment need not be individually made but can be made by a company of which the main applicant and spouse are benefactors. A maximum of two properties, reaching €300,000 and the permanent residency limit, are allowed. The properties purchased must be brand new and the option of renting is not available.
Why Global Mobility Is Important
The rapid advent of globalization has caused every industry to attain an international character. International travel has become expedient for the process of creation and preservation of wealth. There has been an emerging trend of shifting bases across the borders since certain countries offer better career and educational opportunities than the others. In certain instances, migration is enforced due to political instability, ongoing conflicts, or inclement weather. However, the most common phenomenon of international travel entails the affluent classes tending to retreat to quieter and more suitable destinations in pursuit of an upgraded and luxurious lifestyle. Whatever may be the reason behind such movement, countries foster different degrees of flexibility in terms of permitting entry within its territory. Passport index and global rankings play an essential role in stimulating global mobility. Visa waivers or favorable visa policies enhance access to different countries.
Passports with higher rankings tend to have an advantage over lower-ranking passports in terms of facilitating business deals, admission to academic institutions, or generating off-shore assets. Another aspect of globalized economies is that often, the essential political stakeholders and high network individuals are required to maintain parallel bases in more than one country for a wide array of reasons. This leads individuals to seek access to foreign territories, and acquiring secondary citizenship has been deemed the most gainful process to meet such needs. Given that several nations have the provision of acquiring citizenships by investment, choosing the right citizenship is critical. An influential passport, as may be gauged from the global passport indexes, is one of the most vital determinants of the most suitable secondary citizenship.
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