Obtaining Cypriot citizenship
The island of Cyprus is the third largest and most populated island in the Mediterranean. It is located at the crossroads of routes from Europe, Asia and Africa, while geographically belongs to Asia. The favorable geographical position plays a key role in the development of the island as a financial center. Since 2004, the Republic of Cyprus has been an official member of the European Union. Among the advantages of the state as a place for permanent residence and doing business are a warm and temperate climate, highly qualified personnel, a loyal taxation system, and a transparent legal system.
On September 13, 2016, the Cypriot Council of Ministers updated the Citizenship by Investment program. The passport of a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus provides the right to live, work and serve in the country, gives access to the national system of health, justice and social security, and also allows you to travel to more than 150 countries around the world without a visa.
The Citizenship by Investment Program is an opportunity to obtain citizenship and a passport of the Republic of Cyprus by investing in the state’s economy in the amount of at least 2 million euros.
The candidate can choose one of the three investment options or a combination of them. Each of them is carried out for a period of 3 years. To date, this program for obtaining European citizenship is distinguished by the shortest terms. To participate in it, the main applicant must be over 18 years of age, have no criminal record and fulfill one of the following conditions:
- Buy residential or commercial real estate, plots of land for construction or a set of objects worth at least 2 million euros.
- Buy, register or take part in a business, share capital of enterprises located and operating in Cyprus. The total investment must be at least 2 million euros. The company must actually be located in Cyprus and provide at least 5 jobs for citizens of Cyprus or the European Union.
- Invest in financial assets in the amount of 2 million euros. This option provides for the possibility of acquiring shares of investment funds or shares in local companies and organizations.
- Make a combined investment totaling at least 2 million euros. This may include the purchase of special government bonds of Cyprus for an amount not exceeding 500,000 euros.
In addition, the main applicant is required to purchase and own for life residential real estate (for the registration address), the value of which is at least 500,000 euros (excluding VAT). If the applicant chooses the option of investing in residential real estate, then its value is taken into account when calculating the investment in the amount of 2 million euros, making this solution the most profitable and affordable.
In addition, state fees for consideration of the application, costs for legal support and other fees are paid. The final amount depends on the number of family members included in the application.
Together with the main investor, citizenship can be obtained by a spouse and children under the age of 28 who are in the financial care of their parents. It is also possible to obtain citizenship for the applicant's parents, provided that they own a separate house or apartment in Cyprus worth at least 500,000 euros. As an alternative, it is possible to purchase a house worth from 1,000,000 euros, which will be owned by the family of the main applicant and his parents.
Procedure and terms of consideration of the application
The entire procedure until the issuance of a passport takes about six months from the date of application. The candidate and his spouse will be able to obtain a passport in 180 days, parents - in another six months. The process of obtaining citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus includes the following steps:
- The choice of instruments for investment and the purchase of real estate.
- Personal submission by the investor of an application for a Cyprus resident card (simultaneously with the application for citizenship). Terms of registration - 5-10 days. Possession of a resident card for 6 months from November 2016 is one of the conditions for obtaining Cypriot citizenship.
- Transfer of a package of documents to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Finance of Cyprus; verification of the information provided (within 3 months).
- Personal arrival of the applicant to Cyprus and taking the oath by him. After that, the candidate is issued a certificate confirming the receipt of a passport of a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus.
The Republic of Cyprus recognizes dual citizenship.
An individual has the status of a tax resident of Cyprus if he stays on the territory of the island for more than 183 days a year. In 2015, a special tax status was officially introduced - non-domicile resident, which implies new residents of Cyprus who intend to live in the state for more than 183 days a year. The status exempts the resident from personal income tax and contribution to the defense fund for 17 years from the moment of moving to the country, only if he receives passive income. Persons who do not have tax residency pay taxes only on income from sources located in Cyprus.
The progressive income tax rate on funds received on the territory of the island varies depending on the tax status of an individual and can reach 35%
Real estate tax is levied at a rate of 0.6-1.9% and depends on its value. It must be paid annually by September 30th.
The profit of legal entities is taxed at a rate of 12.5%. VAT is levied at a rate of 19% on the supply of goods and services, including the purchase of goods in the territory of the EU countries and the importation of goods into the territory of the island.
The main advantages of obtaining citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus:
- The ability to travel without a visa to more than 150 countries, including the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong.
- The prospect of moving to one of the 28 EU countries to live, work or study.
- Simple application process and short terms of consideration of documents (six months).
- No requirement for permanent residence in Cyprus.
- Granting citizenship to the entire family of the applicant.
- An opportunity to profitably invest, rather than donate funds.