Cyprus

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Cyprus Citizenship By Investment

Classical mythology associates the island of Cyprus with the birth of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. And with its golden beaches, wondrous sea caves, and dazzling sunshine, it is no surprise that these early traditions linked Cyprus to absolute beauty. Today, Cyprus is the destination of choice for hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, with British people constituting the vast majority of visitors.

Cyprus can also boast a unique history, having welcomed to its shores peoples from Ancient Greece, the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, and much more. It is perhaps this rich heritage that has made Cyprus one of the most multicultural countries in the world, continuing to attract persons from Europe, Asia, and Africa alike.

Cyprus is an active member of the European Union, with a high-income economy and a business-friendly environment. Indeed, Cyprus has the lowest corporate tax rate in the entire European Union – currently standing at 10%. Moreover, Cyprus is ideal for families and students, as it has a world-class education system to which 7% of the country’s GDP is directed every year.

Cyprus is a presidential republic, with the President standing for re-election every five years. Like most of the democratic and modern countries, separation of powers in Cyprus provides checks and balances to vindicate the rule of law. The country’s official languages are Greek and Turkish, although English is widely spoken.

Naturalisation by Exception

Non-EU investors and their families may gain citizenship in Cyprus through a programme called ‘Naturalisation by Exception’, which is one of few citizenship by investment programmes allowing a rapid entry in the European Union. Applicants must first purchase Cypriot real estate, which is declared as their permanent residence. They must then make an investment in the Cypriot economy, such as an investment in Cypriot Government bonds. Finally, before obtaining their passport, they must visit Cyprus to provide their biometrics.

Applicants must be over 18 years old and be of good character without any criminal convictions. They may apply with their spouse and children up to the age of 18. Children between the ages of 18 and 28 may be included in the application if they are financially dependent on the main applicant.

The Law

Cyprus’ Naturalisation by Exception Programme was established pursuant to a 2013 decision by Cyprus’ Council of Ministers, contained in Section 111A(2) of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013. The Cypriot Government then revised the Programme in March 2014.

Benefits

Cypriot citizens may take advantage of a range of benefits, including:

  • The option to establish oneself in any one of the 28 European Union member states, as well as Switzerland.

  • Visa-free access to almost 160 countries

  • The opportunity to maintain dual citizenship if so desired

  • A low tax regime, including no inheritance tax

  • Low cost of living, coupled with a high standard of living

  • A low tax regime, safeguarding citizens from, for example, worldwide income, inheritance, and gift tax

  • Excellent education and healthcare systems, and advanced infrastructure

The benefits of Cyprus’ Naturalisation by Exception Programmes include:

  • The ability to include family members in the application

  • Fast processing time; 4-6 months to citizenship

  • No interview requirement

  • No minimum level of English requirement

  • No physical presence or residency requirement, except that applicants must travel to Cyprus at lease once

  • Excellent education and healthcare systems, and advanced infrastructure

  • All nationalities eligible

Visa-Free Travel

Successful applicants can benefit from visa-free travel to almost 160 countries, listed below. Please note however that visa-free travel to the listed countries is subject to change. We strongly recommend contacting the relevant Government authorities and agencies before travelling.

Application Process

The process of applying for citizenship is rigorous and requires diligent preparation in order to gather all the information needed. Application timelines can vary and be difficult to predict, although they usually depend on how easily an applicant can access the required documentation, as well as the complexity of the application as a whole. We generally advise clients that it will take between 4 to 6 months to obtain citizenship after an application for citizenship is submitted to the Government of Cyprus.

The process may be simplified into the following steps:

Step 1: Application preparation and pre-approval by CS Global Partners.

Step 2: Purchase of real estate.

Step 3: Citizenship application submission and qualifying investment made in an escrow account.

Step 4: Government processing of the application.

Step 5: Approval in principle.

Step 6: Government fees paid and investment released.

Step 7: Citizenship certificate issued.

Step 8: Passport application, biometrics, and passport issuance.

How we can help

At CS Global Partners we understand that applying for an alternative citizenship can be a complex and daunting process. This is why we make the application process as easy for our clients as possible. We offer the following standard services:

  • A dedicated relationship manager as your single point of contact throughout your application.
  • Professional guidance on the application procedure and support throughout the process.
  • Documentation preparation and validation.
  • Representation on your behalf before the Government.
  • Management and resolution of any legal queries related to the application.
  • Additional services available on request for clients wishing to utilise our partner network to support their application, including the following:
    • Concierge services
    • Property investment and advice
    • Notary Public services
    • Relocation assistance
    • Translation services
    • Tax planning
    • Medical services
    • Trust planning
    • Banking services
    • Fiduciary services

Investment Options

Option 1: An investment, of €2 million in residential real estate in Cyprus

The investment in residential real estate must be retained for a minimum period of 3 years. At the end of 3-year period the investment can be reduced to a €500,000 residential property which should be held indefinitely.

The applicant can make multiple property purchases, so long as the total value of €2 million is retained for 3 years, and as the total value of the residential property owned indefinitely in Cyprus remain equal to or above €500,000.

Option 2: €2.5 million (combination of real estate and/or investments)

A 3-year investment of €2. million in one or more of the following:

  1.  Interest bearing Cypriot government bonds, provided the investment does not exceed €500,000.
  2. An investment, of €2 million in “eligible real estate” situated in Cyprus, namely:
    a. Residential;
    b. Commercial;
    c. Infrastructure;
    d. Land, provided there is a development plan in place
  3. Creation, acquisition or participation in a Cypriot company or business where the applicant is a majority shareholder, with activities in Cyprus, and employing 5 Cypriot or EU nationals, who have been resident in Cyprus for a duration of 5 years prior to the filing of the citizenship application.
  4. The alternative Investment Fund or financial assets of a Cypriot entity licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec), with activities in Cyprus.
  5. A €500,000 investment in residential property, which must be held indefinitely.