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25 May 2018
In 2014 Cyprus was ranked the fifth-best relocation destination in the world by an international lifestyle review.(1) Cyprus was the only European location alongside Switzerland to make it into the top five – ahead of London, Madrid and Monaco. Coupled with what most international tax advisers agree is the most favourable onshore personal tax regime in the world, Cyprus provides an attractive destination for investment-based immigration.
Cyprus's immigration policy and legal framework enable EU and non-EU applicants to obtain Cypriot citizenship on an expedited basis. There are a number of reasons that Cyprus's citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programme is considered to be the most attractive in Europe, including the following:
The recent amendments to the Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception Scheme, based on Sub-section 2 of Section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws 2002, was approved by the Council of Ministers on September 13 2016. The government has formulated a fast-track citizenship scheme aimed at high-net-worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs. This allows successful applicants and their families to hold a Cypriot passport and enjoy all of the benefits afforded to Cyprus and EU nationals.
Free movement of people
Cypriot citizens can freely travel, reside, study and work in any of the 28 EU member states, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. An entire family can obtain Cyprus citizenship and the children of EU nationals have the right to lower tuition fees within the European Union.
Free movement of services
Individual citizens and their companies can offer services within the EU member states without any obstacles.
Free movement of capital
Cypriot citizens can transfer funds between EU member states, purchase of property in any EU member state and invest in any type of activity.
Free movement of goods
All goods produced in EU member states can be freely transferred inside the European Union.
No requirement to physically reside in Cyprus
There is no requirement for applicants to physically reside in Cyprus either before filing an application or after obtaining Cypriot citizenship.
Attractive tax system
Cyprus is an attractive financial centre due to its favourable tax system and strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia. The Cypriot taxation system is consistently voted by EU tax professionals as the most attractive in Europe. Further, the newly introduced non-domicile regime means zero taxation of worldwide dividends and interest income for 17 years.
High standard of living
Visa free travel
Cypriot citizens require no visa for travel within the European Union and to over 159 non-EU countries.
Cyprus allows its citizens to hold dual citizenship.
The investment options under the CBI programme are as follows.
Investment in residential real estate
This option entails a €2 million (plus value added tax (VAT) of 0%, 5% or 19%) investment in residential real estate that is situated in Cyprus and held for three years, after which the overall investment in real estate can be reduced to a minimum of €500,000 in residential property (excluding any VAT that was paid on initial acquisition).
Examples of possible investment under this option include:
The parents of the main investor can also be included in the same application with an additional investment of €500,000 (plus VAT if applicable) in residential property.
Combination of real estate and other investments
This option entails the following investments:
The main investor's parents can also be included in the same application with an additional investment of €500,000 (plus VAT if applicable) in residential property.
In addition to satisfying any of the above financial criteria, the primary applicant must:
The CBI application timeline can be summarised as follows:
There is no requirement to physically reside in Cyprus before, during or after the CBI application.
The application process can be summarised as follows:
For further information on this topic please contact Charles Savva or Charlie Peter Savva at Savva & Associates Ltd by telephone (+357 22 516 671) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The Savva & Associates Ltd website can be accessed at www.savvacyprus.com.
The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer.
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Charlie Peter Savva