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Buying your Dream Home in Cyprus is the Key to EU Residency
Enjoy Permanent Residency in an EU country when you buy your dream home in Cyprus. Fulfilling your dream of an EU lifestyle has just been made possible by the Cyprus Government, which has recently announced that non-EU citizens making a minimum investment of 300,000 Euros in property on the island, subject to certain requirements, will be granted permanent residency through a special immigration visa. Quite simply, this means you will be able to enjoy the same advantages as everyone else in Cyprus without having to apply for any permits or renewals.
Cyprus is already renowned as the perfect place to live with its almost year-round sunshine, a relaxed, stress-free lifestyle and a very low crime rate. Cyprus offers an ideal family environment, with your children able to benefit from excellent schools and universities, while healthcare and infrastructure are all state-of-the-art. The island also enjoys a favourable reputation as in International business centre & gateway to the EU. Many international companies operate offices in Cyprus. Opening a company couldn’t be easier with low personal & business taxation plus the added benefit of tax treaties with numerous other countries.
Cyprus Permanent Residency
A permanent residence permit can be obtained through purchasing property in Cyprus (fast track or normal option outlined below :).
Cyprus permanent residency scheme has attracted over one billion Euro investments in Cyprus during the last 15 months, Minister of Interior has revealed.
Demand for the residency scheme remains strong, as third country nationals seek to use Cyprus as a gateway for their business in Europe.
A) Permanent residency on a "fast-track" basis (known as a Regulation 6 (2) application)
In line with the Cyprus government’s objective to attract international investments, the Ministry of Interior has recently simplified the procedure for issuing permanent residence permits to Non EU citizens who wish to invest in Cyprus.
The minimum requirements for applying and obtaining a permanent residency permit in Cyprus by investment (“fast-track’) are as follows:
- Acquire new residential premises in Cyprus of a minimum value EUR 300K (excluding VAT).
- Open and maintain a fixed deposit in a Cyprus bank of a minimum of EUR 30K for three consecutive years.
Moreover, the applicant is required to meet the following additional conditions:
- Maintain secured annual income originating from abroad of at least EUR 30K. For each dependent person added to the application for permanent residency (such as wife and children), the minimum amount of the secured annual income is increased by EUR 5K. The income may be from overseas employment, pensions, interest on fixed deposits or rents from abroad. Exceptionally (for the fast track permanent residency applications), it is also possible for the income to be derived from dividends of a Cyprus company. It is important to note that employment in Cyprus is prohibited for this type of permit application.
- An initial payment of at least EUR 200K (excluding VAT) for the residential property to be purchased is required to have been paid by the date of filing of the application.
- A confirmation letter from a Cyprus bank where the fixed deposit of EUR 30K is maintained, indicating the amount is pledged with the bank for a minimum of 3 years. Proof is also required that funds were legally transferred to Cyprus from abroad.
- A clean criminal record certificate issued by the applicant’s country of origin.
- A statement/affidavit confirming that the applicant has no intention to work or be engaged in any form of business in Cyprus.
- The applicant must visit Cyprus at least once every two years.
- No sanction order to have been issued against him/her or any dependent.
Once the completed application has been submitted to the authorities, a decision is reached within 2 months.
Please note that holders of a permanent residency permit are not permitted to work in Cyprus. Therefore, the resident’s income can not emanate from employment, business or trading in Cyprus, but may emanate from dividends received from a Cyprus company, from entities abroad, salaries from employment outside Cyprus, pensions, or rents transferred from abroad.
B) Permanent residency on a "normal-track basis" (known as a Regulation 5 (f) application)
Upon purchasing a house/apartment with a value no less than EUR 200K, a third-country national may apply for a permanent residency (“normal-track bases). The minimum requirements are as follows:
- Minimum annual secured income of approximately EUR 40,000 from sources outside of Cyprus (increased by approximately EUR 5,000 per dependent).
- Applicant does not maintain employment in Cyprus
- Income is derived from legal sources abroad
- Income is secure and provides stable support for the applicant and their family in the long run (including supporting evidence that all financial needs of the family are adequately covered).
- Clean criminal record.
- No sanction order to have been made against applicant or any dependents.
Once the completed application has been submitted to the authorities, a decision is reached within 7 to 9 months.
Obtaining Citizenship by Investment
The Ministry of Interior has the power to grant a certificate of naturalization, upon application by an alien who fulfils certain criteria (special circumstances) for naturalization. The time frame for the examination of the application by the Ministry of Interior is approximately three (3) months. As soon as the applicant, to whom the Certificate of naturalization is granted, makes, under oath, an official declaration of faith to the Republic of Cyprus, he becomes a citizen of the Republic by naturalization.
The relevant laws of the Republic of Cyprus provide investors/entrepreneurs an excellent opportunity to obtain Cypriot citizenship by investing in the Cyprus economy. Many investors/entrepreneurs consider obtaining the Cypriot citizenship in order to enjoy the advantages of being a Cypriot citizen. Such advantages may include free movement within countries of the European Union, the geographical location of Cyprus, excellent climate, low corporate tax rates and/or numerous double tax treaties that Cyprus has concluded with other countries that offer tremendous possibilities for international tax planning through Cyprus.
A non-Cypriot citizen, who meets one of the following economic criteria, either personally or via a company/companies in which he/she participates as a shareholder, or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/companies that meets one of economic criteria, may apply for obtaining the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception.
A high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic of Cyprus, tax revenue amounting to at least € 100,000 for a three year period. This tax must have already been paid or prepaid. The applicant should have concluded the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three years from the date of naturalization.
In the case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been ascertained that any condition is being circumvented, the naturalization may be revoked.
Investment in Government Bonds
The applicant must have purchased state bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of at least €5 million.
Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or organisations
The applicant must have purchased financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organisations (for example, bonds, securities or debentures registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus) of at least €5 million. It is noted that these financial assets can be purchased either at issuance, or subsequently by the market.
Investment in real estate, development and infrastructure projects
The applicant must have invested at least €5 million (VAT is not included) to purchase real estate or construction of real estate or creation of other developments (for example houses, offices, shops, hotels etc or a development of a similar nature). Purchase of land is not included in this criterion.
Purchase, incorporation or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies
The applicant must acquire, incorporate or participate in businesses/companies that are based and have activities in Cyprus of at least €5 million. Such businesses/companies must evidently have a natural presence in Cyprus and employ at least 5 Cyprus nationals. This includes any obligatory conversion of deposits into shares;
Combination of the above conditions (Criterion 1), Investment in Government bonds,(Criterion 2) Investment in financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organisations, (Criterion 3) Investment in real estate, development and infrastructure projects, (Criterion 4) Purchase, incorporation or participation in Cypriot businesses and companies and (Criterion 5) Bank deposits
The applicant is required to have a combination of the above amounting to at least €5 million.
Persons whose deposits with Laiki Bank Public Ltd have been impaired due to the measures implemented after 15/03/2013
The applicant has incurred impairment in deposits amounting to a total of at least €3 million. In the case where the applicant has incurred impairment in his deposits which is lower than €3 million he may still apply for Cypriot citizenship provided that he additionally invests the remaining amount in any one of Criterion I until Criterion 5 as set out above.
Major collective investments
The Council of Ministers has the right, in special occasions, to reduce any one of Criteria I until 4 to:
(a) €2.5 million for investors who evidently participate in collective investment plans, provided that the investment is at least €12.5 million.
(b) €2 million for investors who evidently participate in collective investment plans, provided that the collective investment is beyond €12.5 million. This provision is only valid until 01/06/2014.
- Criminal Record and Confirmation: A clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and/or from the Cyprus Police. In addition, a confirmation is required indicating that the applicant's name is not included in the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen and/or blocked within the European Union.
- Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: The applicant is required to have a permanent privately — owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the value of which must be at least €500.000 (plus VAT) at current prices. The purchase value of the privately - owned residence of the applicant is not included in the minimum investment which is required for the submission of the application, but rather it is additional. However, if the applicant decides to invest solely in the purchase of a privately — owned residence of a purchase price of at least €5 million (Criterion 3) or of at least €2.5 million (Criterion 8(b)), the applicant is not obliged to buy another privately—owned residence worth at least €500.000 (plus VAT).
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Very Best Wishes,
Kleanthis Savva Group Team