CYPRUS “GOLDEN PASSPORTS” PROGRAM HAS ENDED. ARE THERE ANY OTHER ALTERNATIVES?
On November 1, 2020, the Cyprus Investment Program ceased to operate, according to which investors who bought real estate in the country and invested 2.5 million Euros in a business in Cyprus could obtain Cypriot citizenship and a European passport. The popular program was cancelled amid a scandal following an investigation by Al Jazeera, which revealed serious violations in the procedures for issuing passports, including to relatives of investors.
It should be noted that a huge number of foreign investors live and conduct their business in Cyprus, who have chosen this jurisdiction for a number of advantages associated with both high quality of life and a favourable business environment.
Let's see what opportunities Cyprus legislation gives to investors who decided to settle and conduct their business in Cyprus, as well as to employees and professionals who decided to emigrate to Cyprus in order to expand their career:
PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN CYPRUS
A person can apply to obtain an Immigration Permit on the basis of one of the Categories referred to in the Aliens and Immigration Regulations of the Republic of Cyprus, provided that the applicant submitted a confirmation of a clean criminal record, and generally are not be considered as a threat in any way to the public order or public security in Cyprus:
Category A - Persons who intend to work as self employed in agriculture, cattle breeding, bird breeding or fish culture in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession adequate land or a permit to acquire same, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of approximately €430,000.
Category B - Persons who intend to work as self employed in mining enterprises in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of approximately €350,000.
Category C - Persons who intend to work as self employed in a trade or profession in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of approximately €260,000.
Category D - Persons who intend to work as self employed in a profession or science in the Republic, provided that they have academic or professional qualifications, for which there is demand in Cyprus. Possession of adequate funds is also necessary.
Category E - Persons who have been offered permanent employment in the Republic, which will not create undue local competition.
Category F - Persons who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income, high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession.
Minimum annual income (at least)
applicant - €9,600
dependant - €4,700
Category Reg. 6(2) - Persons who comply with certain Investment criteria and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income, high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession. can obtain immigration permit by the procedure of Fast Track (within 3 months)
Deposit in a financial institution (3 year pledge) - €30,000
Purchase of Real Estate in Cyprus (at least) - €300,000
Minimum annual income (at least)
Applicant - €30,000
dependent child - €5,000
dependent parent - €8,000
The abovementioned amounts must be proven to have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad and the said purchase of real estate must be in relation to a property(including at least one residence unit) sold for the first time by a development company.
An application can be submitted either from abroad through the local Consular Authorities or in person to the Civil Registry and Migration Department of the Republic of Cyprus. The applicant should submit, together with the application, all the appropriate documents, depending on the Category for which it is submitted.
The Immigration Permit issued to an applicant covers their spouse and children under the age of 18 and/or unmarried children aged between 18 and 25, who are students in an institution of tertiary education, and may also be granted to the parents and parents-in-law of the holder of an Immigration Permit. Additionally, Investment of a higher value permits the Inclusion of children who are not financially dependent.
It is noted that for every such person, a relevant application shall be submitted and only applicants, who were granted an Immigration Permit satisfying themselves the conditions of the acquisition of real estate in the Republic, the secured annual income and the deposit in a financial institution, are allowed to include in their permit their spouses, children and parents. This income should derive from abroad, and may include salaries from employment, pensions, dividends from shares, fixed deposits, rents a.s.o. For the calculation of the total amount of the annual income, the spouse’s income may be also taken into consideration.
Our team is always ready to advise and assist clients with the filing of documentation required for the obtainment of Immigration Permit through investment in Cyprus, taking into account all present requirements, which will considerably increase your chances to obtain a positive response to your application in a timely manner.
In addition to the above, we will undertake the handling of residency issues of any category, based on specific circumstances and full range of legal services and support.
Some key factors that make Cyprus an attractive destination for investment are:
High quality of life - beautiful beaches, 11 months of sunshine a year, welcoming friendly people, relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle supported by modern infrastructure, presence of reputable academic institutions, and access to quality medical services position Cyprus as one the most favourite destinations for immigration.
Safe environment – Cyprus is a country with one of the lowest crime rates in the EU. Stable government and robust legal framework, based on British common law, and synchronized with the EU directives are just few of the foundations of the security and stability conditions prevailing in the country.
Beneficial business environment - Cyprus is the major financial hub in the Mediterranean because of its attractive and transparent tax regime, strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia, access to EU market, reliable legislative and regulatory framework, strong business support services, specialization of human resources, and a banking system with good understanding of International Trust law. Not only does Cyprus have the lowest and most favourable tax rates in Europe, it also has many tax exemptions for non-residents and signed Double taxation treaty with 43 countries. It is worth mentioning that by becoming a Cyprus tax resident but not domiciled in Cyprus, you are exempt from dividend and interest tax for 17 years.
The main goal of the economic policy of the Republic of Cyprus is the further encouragement of foreign direct investments and the attraction of high income individuals for their establishment and activity in Cyprus. The Cypriot Government has enforced favourable immigration policies, and the efficient fast track scheme will allow investors to obtain Immigration Permit in just under 3 months.
The main fields of investment considered to be advantageous and highly promoted and developed over the last years in Cyprus are:
- Investment Funds
- Real Estates
- Innovation & Start-ups
- Tourism & Hospitality
- Media Production
Acquiring property in Cyprus, either as an investment or as a second home, has always been a popular choice among foreign investors for both living and doing business. Historically, being a cornerstone of the Cyprus economy, the real estate and construction sector have experienced noteworthy growth and increased activity in the past years.
Cyprus is becoming one of the top emerging investment fund centres in Europe, The continuous upgrading of legislative and regulatory regime and the recapitalised and modernised banking sector are ensuring the security and transparency of the sector, which has attracted significant amounts of foreign investments in the past years.
Furthermore, participation in an investment fund which is oriented in the property development sector will reduce the risk of volatility in the real estate market to the investors, offering unique access to high-growth markets, as well as securing the possibility to apply under the fast track scheme.
We can offer ready for sale properties and investment schemes. By buying real estate from us you will also get the opportunity to correctly register your investment and due diligence report.
Contact us to find out more and get a consultation.