Citizenship by Investment
To Whom does the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program Apply?
This program applies to high net worth third country nationals who have investments within the European Union (EU) and have the need to travel freely within the EU and be close to their investments, without having the hassle of issuing visas or having restrictions/ limitations to their stay in the EU etc.
It applies to high net worth third country nationals who wish to invest within the European Union (EU) and will have the need to travel freely within the EU and be close to their investments, without having the hassle of issuing visas or having restrictions/ limitations to their stay in the EU etc.
This scheme applies to high net worth third country nationals who wish to invest in Cyprus and take advantage of the opportunity that the island offers at this moment and who wish to be close to their investments, without having the hassle of issuing visas or having restrictions/ limitations to their stay in Cyprus or the EU.
The Citizenship by Investment program suits high net worth third country nationals and European citizens who wish to invest and live in Cyprus, taking the opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean Sea and enjoy everything that this island can offer them.
It targets investors from third countries and European investors who wish to invest in Cyprus and or the EU and take advantage of the lowest tax rate of the European Union by setting up the head offices of their EU operations in Cyprus.
It also applies to high net worth third country nationals and European entrepreneurs who wish to invest and live in Cyprus to take advantage of the dividend, interest and royalty tax exception legislation that the local laws provide to Non-domicile tax residences.
This program may also be valuable to European investors who wish to have a second European ationality, thus waving the uncertainty that some political decisions cause to their business perations or even their everyday life, e.g. Brexit.
Cyprus is located at the eastern end of Europe, at the heart of the busy shipping and air routes connecting three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus, through its ancient history (over 12.000 years), has advanced into a modern and flourishing European Union state. The island at this moment provides great prospects and opportunities for both economic growth and a desirable lifestyle.
Despite the small size of the country it has long been established as a dynamic, strong and reputable financial centre which can excellently host international business activities. The accumulation of expertise in this industry and the competence of servicing, which supports the key growth sectors of the economy, are unique.
Cyprus’ legal framework in combination with its modern, service-based economy offers to international investors and domestic businesses the confidence to invest, grow and prosper. Cyprus has advanced into a place of choice for doing business.
For investors who appreciate a friendly business environment emanating from an advanced infrastructure which at the same time provides high quality of life for themselves, their families and employees, Cyprus is the place to be.
This perfectly geographically placed island, with its comfortable way of doing business, is a place which provides safety with year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches and mountain sceneries in combination with centuries of history and art. Cyprus is one of the most striking destinations in the European Union for both living and economic prosperity.
Contact one of our officers to initiate the incorporation of a Cyprus Registered Company and start reaping the benefits of a low-tax, onshore, and at the same time EU jurisdiction. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on email@example.com
Invest in Cyprus
Progressive business minds and investors accept that Cyprus is one of the best places to invest today. Cyprus’ economy is expected to be transformed completely over the next ten years, or less, after the recently discovered oil and natural gas reserves near to the country’s coast, which is believed to be one of the biggest reserves in the Mediterranean Sea.
Even though the talks for the solution of the Cyprus Problem are still in process, due to the discovery of the oil and natural gas, a new window has opened for the unification of the Island and in parallel the creation of opportunities for many sectors of the island’s economy like the property industry. In addition, it has triggered major investments and big projects like new malls, ports and marinas, high sky buildings and new projects for the tourist and property industries - some of which are already under construction.
Following the global recession and the 2013 financial crisis in Cyprus, which were the reason for extremely low prices of the island’s properties and business generally, it is the best time for foreign investors to invest in Cyprus. Cyprus’ foreign direct investments increased by 9.1% within 2016.
Despite the 2013 financial crisis, during which the banking system of the island experienced the biggest shock ever with the collapse of its second biggest bank, Cyprus Popular Bank, Cyprus’ economy experienced an amazing recovery. The island’s economy during 2016 enjoyed a 2.8% growth, which is faster than the EU average. Cyprus is continuously upgraded by the international credit rating agencies.
Cyprus Citizenship Program
Cyprus’ core development strategy is to attract foreign direct investment. Therefore, the Cyprus government has announced the Citizenship by Investment Program, which fully supports the above policy.
Eligible persons to the scheme are non-Cypriots who meet any of the financial criterial listed below. Applicant(s) can meet the financial criteria either individually or after a company formation in which he or she will participate as shareholder(s) with the percentage of shareholding being calculated as a proportion of the investment. The financial criterial can be met jointly with her/his spouse or over investments made by the legal partner of the applicant. Eligible persons can also be senior managers at a company which meets any of the financial criteria, if they have the right to a remuneration which generates tax revenues of at least €100.000 over more than three years, paid or prepaid.
In addition, the investor must have a clean criminal record and his name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU.
The financial criteria that an eligible person needs to meet are one of the following:
- Real estate investments of a minimum €2m - Investment in infrastructure projects and/or land developments
- Financial asset investments of €2m - A person can invest in Cypriot organisations or companies
- Investments of a minimum €2m in financial assets of Cypriot organisations / companies or Alternative Investment Funds which are licenced by CySec (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission)
- Investment of an amount up to €500.000 in government bonds is possible only with a combination of the above criteria. A combination can be made without government bonds into the portfolio of investments.
At this point it is very important to note some conditions of the scheme which are the following:
- An applicant / investor must possess a Cypriot residence permit prior to the naturalisation. In case the investor does not have a residence permit, the application to acquire one can be submitted simultaneously with the application for the naturalization
- The investor must also possess a residence in Cyprus of at least €500.000 (plus VAT) on top of the above mentioned investments, which will be used for his own purposes and be held permanently. In case the applicant invests only in residential properties, as per the financial criterion one and a unit worth at least €500.000 (plus VAT) is held permanently, then this requirement is not applicable.
- There is a restriction to the investment of government bonds of up to €500.000
- After someone acquires the Cyprus citizenship there is no obligation to be physically in Cyprus at all times. However, in case someone wishes to take advantage of a recent amendment to the law which exempts the taxation on dividends, royalties and interest on worldwide income, the investor needs to stay in Cyprus for at least 184 days.
Someone could ask, what about the family members of the investor? This is not a problem. The scheme takes into consideration the family members of the investor as well, by introducing the following terms:
- The Cyprus Citizenship can be acquired by the investor’s spouse/ partner with a simultaneous application.
- The investor’s dependent minors up to 18 years of age can apply for the citizenship as well, however their application needs to be submitted after the investor acquires the Cypriot Citizenship and with the consent of the other parent.
- The financially dependent adult children of the applicant also have the right to apply for citizenship if they belong to one of the following two categories:
- Students up to age 28
- Children with significant mental / physical disabilities that disallows employment
- The parents of the investor may also be able to acquire the Cyprus citizenship following the investor’s citizenship approval, with the condition of the ownership of a private residence of at least €500.000 (plus VAT). The investor and his / her parents purchase a single property with the minimum value of €1m (plus VAT)
The Way to Cyprus Citizenship
- Since the process requires very careful planning and a professional execution you first need to contact a professional who is able to guide you and provide assistance throughout the process. Our office, based on decades of experience is the best choice, therefore contact know one of our professionals in order to assist you with anything you need regarding this matter.
- The investment of €2m needs to be materialised together with the acquisition of the permanent residence of €0.5m. We can also assist you during this process in case this is required. Following the above, we will prepare the relevant documentation and the application for the Cyprus residence permit and the application for the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment will be submitted to the Ministry of Interior with the government application fee of €2.000.
- Then, if all the conditions are met, the Ministry of Interior will submit the application to the Council of Ministers for final approval.
- Once the Council of Ministers approves the Cyprus citizenship, the fee of €5.000 needs to be paid to the government in order for the Certificate of Naturalization to be issued by the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
Benefits of the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program
By acquiring Cyprus citizenship, the investor automatically acquiring EU citizenship. Due to the above an investor has the right to live, work, and study in all 28 EU countries. In addition, the investor has the right to security within the European social, health and legal system.
The program provides full citizenship and a passport for the investor’s family members as well.
Citizens of Cyprus can travel without a visa to 169 countries around the world including European Union Countries, Canada and Australia. (click here for the list of countries) This ranks Cyprus passports 17th place in the world according to the Visa restrictions Index.
The program does not have a requirement to donate wealth in any public or private institution.
Dual citizenship is permitted in Cyprus and no report is made to other countries. In addition there are no required proficiency tests on history or language, which makes the acquisition of the citizenship easier and risk free.
- Most importantly with the combination of the stay in Cyprus (for at least 184 days) the investor can enjoy great tax benefits like the exemption on dividend tax on worldwide income and the absence of inheritance tax. In addition, Cyprus has the lowest corporation tax in the EU.
Cyprus as a Centre for Doing Business
Cyprus has been recognised, for a long time now, as a successful business centre, with a huge range of opportunities in key sectors of the economy for investors targeting growth and seeking returns. Its advanced infrastructure, supreme strategic location, and positive life experience represent the key reasons for a high net worth individual not only to invest but also relocate to Cyprus.
World Bank Group ranked Cyprus at 45th place worldwide on doing business.
Furthermore, Cyprus’ geographical location has made the island a highly recommended European international financial centre. Cyprus’ strategic location has played an important role in its continuing development.
The island is the best EU capital portal and at the same time a gateway for investments outside the European Union, mostly into China, the Middle East and India. As an EU member and as a wider Eurozone community’s member, Cyprus warrants stability and safety for investors, whereas it also offers them entry to one of the largest markets of the world, the European Union.
Cyprus’ most captivating benefit is its human talent which has been developed during the years and provides high quality professional services. Cyprus, as a vibrant business centre, offers a richness of multilingual, highly educated and skilled individuals like lawyers and accountants, ready to attend to the requirements of any industry.
Cyprus is placed at the top of the list of European countries for higher education per capita.
Modern and Attractive Legal System and Transparency
Cyprus’ legal system, as a former English colony, is based on the English Common law doctrine. Due to the above it is an effective and business-approachable system that guarantees consistency and transparency.
In addition all international regulatory bodies, (FATCA, OECD, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF)) have accepted Cyprus’ legal framework, which also complies with the requirements of the Financial Stability Forum laws and regulations and the EU AML directives, offering foreign and local businesses a trustworthy and familiar context within which to operate.
Cyprus’ tax system has been fully accepted by OECD and EU and it complies fully with the international regulations and laws while at the same time it is one of the most attractive and transparent tax regimes of the world. The same system provides access to a network of more than 60 Double Tax Treaties and in parallel safeguards the lowest corporate tax rate (12.5%) in the European Union. International investors and local industries placed high levels of confidence in Cyprus which is the most significant element for investment, growth and prosperity.
The main advantages of the Cyprus tax system are:
- No succession taxes
- No withholding taxes
- Exemption on disposal of securities and other financial instruments (e.g. shares, debentures, bonds)
- It provides dividend Participation exemption
- An IP regime which is one of the most attractive ones
- For shipping companies there is the option of the Tonnage Tax Significant exceptions provided to individuals which are not non-domiciled by taking up residence in Cyprus like:
- Tax exemption dividends and interest income received from any corner of the world for the first 17 years of their residency
- 50% exemption of employment income which exceeds €100.000 per annum, for the first 10 years, for an individual who was not previously resident in Cyprus.
Cyprus – The Ideal Place to Live
One could wonder why he/she should relocate to an island in the Mediterranean Sea. The answer is easy…
Cyprus, the birth place of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, with its Mediterranean lifestyle, natural attractiveness and wealth is one of the best, if not the best, places to live in the Eastern Mediterranean. Numerous archaeological sites support its rich historical and cultural landscape, representing several historical eras of the island’s development. Cyprus delivers an extraordinary experience in terms of human existence. The combination of an environment with low levels of stress which at the same time provides luxury comparable with any other modern society of our times, is the perfect deal for individuals who likes to combine all the above with business.
Quality of Life
Without a doubt Cyprus provides the best quality of life. 2013 Knight Frank Global Lifestyle Review ranked the island as the 5th best relocation destination worldwide, whereas the 2016 Knight Frank Global Lifestyle Review ranked Limassol the 4th best retirement destination globally (Limassol is a modern city, along the coast and is the largest city following Nicosia). In addition, the cost of living is lower than most of the other international financial centres.
Cyprus’ parks, playgrounds and year-round family events provide an ideal place for families and children.
Cyprus has been ranked 23rd in the world, in terms of the quality life index.
Climate and Natural Beauty
Cyprus has an enjoyable subtropical-Mediterranean climate with sunshine almost all year-round (320 days per year). Long summers and mild winters create a pleasant and desirable place to live and work in. The climate of Cyprus is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world.
Cyprus’ climate ranked 2nd best worldwide by InterNations 2016.
Cyprus’ amazing coastlines, golden sandy beaches which have been awarded with 57 blue flags, clear turquoise waters, blend pleasantly with wonderful mountains with wild natural beauty and peaceful, pretty villages.
The traditional Cypriot hospitality in combination with the famous Cypriot cuisine are the best ingredients for a pleasant life on the island.
Culture and art are rich with international and local festivals, museum nights, concerts and exhibitions at both ancient and modern scenes like open-air historical amphitheatres.
With lovely weather all year long, one can enjoy skiing in January and February, swimming and surfing from May until December, playing tennis, golf and biking throughout the year. An exciting nightlife, with an abundance of restaurants, theatres and concerts, clubs and bars, satisfies all lifestyles and tastes.
Furthermore, the island has high levels of safety due to, but not limited to, the fact that criminality in Cyprus is at very low levels, with a low stress environment which forms an ideal package for a perfect family life.
This is the reason ValuePenguin has recognised the island’s safety and security standards, by ranking Cyprus 5th worldwide and 1st among smaller countries in its Safest Countries in the World study for 2015.
The Infrastructure of the Island
The modern and well-advanced infrastructure of the island makes everyday life easy, efficient and cost-effective. Distances in Cyprus are small. One can travel by car from Nicosia, the capital and business centre, and be at the beach in less than 30 minutes, or 5 minutes if you are staying in the second biggest business hub, Limassol!
In addition, Cyprus provides a competent communication and power infrastructure with European standards. The island has been transformed into a regional shipping centre due to its strong port infrastructure and the two international airports, one in Larnaka and the other in Pafos, which host frequent air connections to many worldwide destinations.
This infrastructure is perfectly suited to business people.
In Cyprus most people are multilingual and English is commonly spoken. The country provides outstanding bilingual educational institutions, where courses are provided in English, Russian, Armenian, Italian, French, German and other languages.
The island’s higher education sector attracts around 10.000 international students wishing to study in one of the highly ranked universities.
The education system of the island offers three public Universities, five private universities, two branches of UK universities, many colleges and 40 private secondary schools.
Focus Business Services can provide legal assistance with the preparation of the applications and supporting documents, as well as providing professional advice throughout the application process. Also, our group can provide all Accounting and Audit. Our group can also provide wealth and estate planning.