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Cyprus Citizenship

2020-06-01

The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program offers the fastest and most assured route to gaining a European passport through investment in real estate. It is quick and guaranteed and is available to investors who have sufficient funds to invest €2.5 million into real estate, either residential or commercial. No other European golden visa program guarantees such assured results offering an EU second passport in just two to three months.

Program Overview
The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program offers the fastest and most assured route to gaining a European passport through investment in real estate. It is quick and guaranteed and is available to investors who have sufficient funds to invest €2.5 million into real estate, either residential or commercial. No other European golden visa program guarantees such assured results offering an EU second passport in just two to three months.

Investment
An investment of €5.0 million is required in real estate in Cyprus as a standalone application to the Cypriot government. However, it is possible to form “collectives” for the where five or more applications are submitted together and where the government then accepts a reduced investment of €2.5 million per applicant.  The property, either residential or commercial, can be rented for income. Any number of properties can combine to make up the €2.5 million minimum investment. The investment can be made personally or through a company in which the applicant is a shareholder.

Process
The applicant needs to have committed to the investment prior to applying for the visa and funds must be in place in Cyprus before application. Such funds can be released in accordance with any payment plan agreed for the property, particularly in the case of off-plan developments. However an application can be made within a few days of committing to the investment. The process for gaining the Cyprus passport will then be completed within 2 – 3 months. A full refund can be offered for certain real estate investments in the unlikely case of refusal of the citizenship application.
After 3 years the investment can be reduced down to just €500,000 and this investment must be maintained in order for the investor to retain their citizenship.

Residential or Commercial Property
One of the key considerations when deciding between residential or commercial property in Cyprus is the rate of tax (VAT) that applies. Commercial property will attract VAT at a rate of 19% whereas residential property will attract just 5% on the first 200sqm of the first and main permanent residence property.

Requirements
In addition to the real estate investment applicants will need a clear criminal record. There is no language requirement, medical test or interview. Very simple documents are required for the application. It is easy to apply and there is no requirement to stay in the country.

Fees
Lawyer fees will apply for the processing of the citizenship application and purchase of the property and typically amount to around €20,000 for a family of three. Government processing and application fees for a family of three would amount to €17,000.

Family
Qualifying family members include spouse, all children up to the age of 28 and all future generations.

Taxes
The Cypriot government introduced a package of measures in 2015 to encourage international investment and residence from high net worth investors. Non-domiciled investors will be exempt from taxation in Cyprus for personal investment income including dividends and interest. Those acquiring a property in Cyprus before 31 December 2016 will also avoid capital gains tax on sale of the real estate irrespective of the date of sale of the asset. Together with existing income tax exemptions this means that non-domiciled individuals will pay zero tax in Cyprus irrespective of whether the income is earned in Cyprus or abroad. There is no inheritance tax. Cyprus also has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe at just 12.5%.

Living, Working and Studying
Applicants gain the full rights of EU citizens and have the ability to live, work and study anywhere in the European Union. However the Cypriot government is keen to encourage residency. Cyprus has the lowest crime rate in Europe. An ex British colony and member of the Commonwealth that offers a high standard and affordable British education. An environmentally clean country, over 80% of the population in Cyprus speak English. At least three United Kingdom Universities have campuses in Cyprus.

Travel
Applicants gain a European passport and the access this gains allowing travel to 158 countries and districts without a visa. It includes multiple entry into Canada for six months and Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao for three months.

Benefits
Cyprus is a full member of the European Union. Citizens of Cyprus are European citizens. One of the fundamental rules of the EU is the ability for its citizens to travel, live, work or study anywhere within the European Union. Cyprus citizens and passport holders are able to live in any of the 28 countries that form the EU.

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