Cyprus offers a fast track to a full citizenship in just 6 months.
The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program is considered one of the best in Europe because:
- It offers the fastest route to an EU membership – Application process takes 6 months with approval in 2-3 months
- There are no requirements to make a donation to the local government
- No minimum physical residency required at any time apart from one visit where the biometric data is obtained
- Cyprus residency Permit can be submitted simultaneously with the Citizenship application
- It is valid for life and transferrable to the descendants
- The applicants spouse, children and parents can benefit from the scheme as well (conditions apply)
- Dual citizenship is allowed in Cyprus and the acquisition of Cyprus Citizenship is not reported to other countries
- No language proficiency test is necessary
The applicant must be a non-Cypriot citizen who meets the conditions below either personally or via a company in which he/she is a shareholder (in proportion to the holding percentage) or through investments made by his/her spouse either individually or jointly,
an individual who is a high-ranking manager of a company that meets at least one of the conditions below and receives remuneration that generates tax revenues of at least €100,000 in the Republic of Cyprus over a period of 3 years and provided that the tax has already been paid or will be prepaid.
- Invest a minimum of €2 million in:
- Residential properties, other real estate, land and infrastructure projects, OR
- Financial Assets of Cypriot Companies, OR
- Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot Companies or Cypriot organizations that are licenses by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission OR
- A combination of the above with the added option to invest a maximum of €500.000 in Government Bonds of the Republic of Cyprus
- Keep the investment for a minimum of three years after the date of obtainment of the Cypriot Citizenship
- In addition to the above investments, purchase a main residence valued at least at €500.000 (if the investment is in residential properties provided that one of these properties is worth at least €500.000, there is no need to purchase another permanent residence). The residence must be kept for life.
- Have a clean criminal record and not be included in the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the European Union as a result of sanctions.
Tax and other benefits of a Cypriot Citizenship include amongst other *:
Individuals with income from high tax jurisdictions may stay in Cyprus for at least 183 days and be taxed at maximum 35% (with the first EUR19.500 tax free).
Pensioners may stay in Cyprus for at least 183 days and elect to have their foreign pension taxed at only 5% (with approximately EUR3.500 tax free).
Exemption 20% from employment (maximum amount EUR8.550), for individuals not resident in Cyprus before the commencement of his/her employment
Exemption 50% from Employment Income when the Income exceeds the amount of EUR100.000, for an individual who was not resident in the Republic before his/her employment in the Republic.
Non-domiciled individuals are exempt from taxes on interest and dividends earned abroad.
¬ Visa free travel to over 150 countries
¬ Free movement in all EU member states – right to travel, live and work in any EU member state
¬ Benefit from the European Health Insurance card and pay European Union fees for study in EU member states
¬ Cyprus ranks as the fifth best place to relocate beating London, Madrid and Monaco (according to the 2013 Knight Frank Global Lifestyle Review). It offers some of the most extensive advantages for entrepreneurs, families and retired couples looking for a profitable lifestyle change. Ranked by key business and leisure indicators, the country is also marked as having one of the lowest company tax rates in the European Union (12,5%)
¬ Out of 106 countries that generate enough data to run a study about the safest countries in the world, Cyprus is the No 1 safest place to live and visit among countries that have population under 5 million
* Each case should of course be examined on its own merits.
As always, consult experienced tax advisors in each country at an early stage in specific cases
Charis Papademetriou BA (Hons), ACA, ACCA, TEP
Papademetriou & Partners Ltd