Cyprus is a modern and transparent business center offering opportunities for global investors.
With its beautiful climate, located at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa, it also carries the lowest crime rate in Europe and is the 5th safest country in the world. Cyprus is an attractive place for taking up both residence and business.
Over 80% of the country speaks English with excellent health and educational facilities. Cyprus was ranked number 53 out of 190 countries on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2018.
The Cypriot Government has established a number of incentives to attract foreign investment directly. In September 2016, the Government of Cyprus introduced changes to its citizenship-by-investment program.
These changes include:
- reduction of the minimum investment amount to EUR 2 million (from EUR 2.5 million)
- possibility to include the parents of the main applicant in the investment
- EUR 500,000 + VAT (value-added tax) will be invested in the purchase of a private residence in Cyprus.
Cyprus has a great tax system for individuals and companies residing there and the property acquired is freehold. Inclusively, there is a low property tax and there is reduced VAT on the property by 5%.
How Can I Benefit from the Cyprus Investment Program?
- After 3 years the investor is able to reclaim the investment, i.e. there is no gift or donation to the government;
- No requirement to reside in Cyprus either before, during, or after the approval of one’s citizenship application;
- Short 6 months approval period;
- The citizenship is granted to the whole family – husband, wife and all financially dependent children up to the age of 28;
- Dual-citizenship granted and not necessary to declare to home country;
- Having full EU rights: the freedom to reside, work, study and travel in the EU;
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 173 destinations including Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK; and
- No requirement to learn the local language.
Any non-Cypriot citizen may apply for Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by Exception if they meet one of the investment criteria below. The qualification may either be done personally or through a company in which the applicant acts as a shareholder or even as a high-ranking senior manager.
- Investment in real estate, developments and infrastructure projects: The applicant should make an investment of at least EUR 2 million for the purchase or construction of real estate;
- Purchase, establishment, or participation in Cypriot businesses:
The applicant must make an investment of at least EUR 2 million in the purchase, creation or participation of businesses or companies that are based and operating in the Republic. These businesses or companies should have a demonstrable and tangible presence in Cyprus and employ at least five Cypriot citizens;
- Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot enterprises or Cypriot organizations licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission: The applicant should purchase units amounting to at least EUR 2 million from Alternative Investment Funds (AIF). This criterion also covers the purchase of financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations for at least EUR 2 million, in the form of bonds, securities and debt securities; or
- Combination of the above investments: The applicant may invest in a combination of the above, provided that the total investment amounts to at least EUR 2 million. The applicant’s investment combination may include the purchase of special government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of up to EUR 500,000.
Another important requirement that applies, regardless of the investment option chosen, is the purchase and life-time possession of a property in Cyprus that will be declared as the applicant’s residence in Cyprus. The purchase price of the particular property should be at least EUR 500,000 plus VAT. In the case that the applicant proceeds with the real estate option, this property can be included in the EUR 2 million investment.