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Foytina is a registered & licensed real estate agency (Reg.No:628 / Lic.No:332/E)

Cyprus Citizenship (Cyprus Passport) for Investors, a gateway to Europe

 

Interested in acquiring a European Passport? Here is your chance! Get a Cyprus Passport by naturalization and be treated as a European citizen!  Foytina can definitely help you to achieve this as we list properties meeting the criteria set by the law of Cyprus! 

 

On 13th of September 2016, the Cyprus Council of Ministers has approved the amendments to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception.  The said amendments are in line with the strategy of the Cyprus Government to further attract Foreign Direct Investment and encourage the use of Cyprus by High Net Worth Individuals. 

 

Summary of key changes introduced:

  • Level of investment reduced to a total of €2M - €2.5M, as opposed to €2.5M - €3M under the previous Criteria (between 19/03/2014 to 31/10/2016).

  • Applications will be submitted on a stand alone base (Collective Investments abolished)

  • Introduction of combination of all economic criteria.

  • Parents of the investor can now obtain the Cyprus Citizenship with an additional permanent residence of €500.000 (plus VAT if applicable).

  • Abolishment of the criterion of bank deposits.

  • Cap set on the investment in Cyprus Government bonds.

  • A Permanent Residence Permit will be issued prior to Naturalization (unless the applicant(s) is a Temporary Permit holder already)

For the period until the end of October 2016, investors can chose under which Scheme to apply, ie the revised Scheme approved on 13/09/2016, or the previous one approved on 19/03/2014. As from 1st November 2016, the revised Scheme comes in full effect.

 

 Advantages of the Cyprus Passport Scheme

  • The scheme is unique in Europe and very appealing
  • Cyprus passport is a full EU passport. Investor and his family can freely reside, work, study, have business in any of the EU-member states as well as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland
  • Holder of Cyprus passport can travel visa-free in 157 countries in total
  • Dual-citizenship is permitted. Acquisition of Cyprus citizenship is not reported to other countries
  • The passport is issued also for the investor’s spouse and all financially dependent children (up to 28 years old). All next generations of investor retain EU citizenship
  • The investor’s parents are entitled to apply for citizenship provided that they are owners of a Cyprus permanent residence of at least €500.000
  • An express procedure - 3 months to be approved
  • No requirement to reside in Cyprus 
  • Minimum investment required is €2mln (here and below amounts are excluding VAT where VAT is applicable)
  • The investment must be kept just for 3 years. After that the assets can be sold. To be more precise, the Law states that a property of minimum value of €500.000 must be kept as a private residence (we expect that this condition will be removed; anyway this private residence can be rented out and generate rental income for investor)
  • No donation to the Cyprus government
  • No history and language proficiency tests

Investment options

An investor is free to choose where to invest from a wide choice of options:

  • Residential properties
  • Commercial properties
  • Development projects
  • Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies
  • Investment funds, financial assets of Cypriot businesses or organizations
  • Government bonds (maximum €500.000; the balance €1,5mln should be invested in other options like property)
  • Combination of the above options 

Requirements for investors

An investor must meet the following requirements:

  • The minimum investment amount is €2mln 
  • Keeping investments for a period of minimum 3 years
  • Clear criminal record for applicant, spouse, adult children and parents
  • The investor must own a private residence(ies) in Cyprus, purchased for at least €500.000. If investments are made into residential property(ies), this requirement is not applicable
  • The investor must be the holder of a residence permit in Cyprus to qualify for receiving the Cyprus Citizenship. For this purpose, he/she should submit an application for a residence permit, which will be issued simultaneously with the filing of the Citizenship application. The obtaining of residence permit is a formality due to EU regulation. There is still no requirement for the investor to live in Cyprus.
  • If an investor sells residential property(ies) of €2mln after 3 years, he/she has to buy another residential property(ies) for €500.000 & VAT

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1) Please, advise if there are any requirements to an investor related to living in the country prior to obtaining citizenship and after obtaining citizenship.

There are no requirements.

 

2) In case an investor does not live in Cyprus after he/she has obtained citizenship can he be deprived of citizenship?

No, he cannot.

  

3) Which tax burden is imposed on an investor as soon as he/she obtains citizenship of Cyprus? Which taxes shall the investor pay and what shall be the amount of each? Shall the investor pay taxes on income obtained from sources located abroad?

Upon obtaining citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus no new or additional tax liabilities and/or in any way associated with obtaining citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus arise for the investor.

  

4) How to join a group of investors to reduce the amount of investment ?

The collective investment scheme has been abolished by decision of the Council of Ministers from September 13, 2016.

   

5) Which other family members are entitled to obtain citizenship of Cyprus along with an investor under the program: spouse, children, parents?

An investor and other dependent family members – spouse, minor children (under age 18) and financially dependent adult children (students under age 28) obtain citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus. 

Financially independent adult children from a legal standpoint - it is another family, they may participate in the program on their own in exchange for investments. According to the approved changes from September 13, 2016 the investor may include his parents in the application as well, provided that they have their own real estate worth at least 500,000 euros excluding VAT.

 

6) Can investor’s common-law wife (the marriage has not been registered) also obtain citizenship along with the investor or is only an official marriage recognized in Cyprus in order to participate in the program?

Provided that a marriage between spouses has not been officially registered but common-law spouses are really actual man and wife and live together in common-law marriage then they can register their marriage at a city hall (municipality) of one of Cyprus cities. In case they have no such intention then there is another option – they can be married in church without state registration of their marriage. Certificate of marriage registered and certified by Orthodox Church of Cyprus is legally acknowledged in the Republic of Cyprus as well as a common-law marriage registered at a municipality.

  

7) Do I get it right that citizenship and passport obtained under the program for investors differ in no way from all the other statuses of a citizen and passports of the Republic of Cyprus? Does an investor, who has obtained citizenship under the above program, enjoy all the same rights as other citizens (nationals) of Cyprus including the right to move freely, live and work within the area of the EU without any restrictions?

Yes, you do get it right, all the above is true. We can merely add that an applicant also acquires the voting right in the Republic of Cyprus.

  

8) Please advise if it is required to pass Greek language proficiency test or exam in history of Cyprus as a condition to obtain citizenship of Cyprus?

No, it is not required.

  

9) Shall I renounce my first citizenship if I have used the program for investors and obtained citizenship of Cyprus?

No, Legislation of Cyprus allows you to have citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus as the second citizenship.

  

10) Is a passport of a citizen (national) of Cyprus a full value passport of a country-member of the European Union?

Yes, that is exactly so.

 

11) Does Foytina support the entire process of obtaining citizenship of Cyprus starting from application till obtaining a passport? Is selection of immovable property/other type of investment, investment, paperwork included in your package of services?

Yes, of course, we do support the whole process from the very beginning and until an investor obtains a passport. 

 

12) Is purchase of a private property a compulsory condition to meet the requirements of law when obtaining citizenship for investors?

Yes, that is just so. Regardless of the criterion based on which an investor will prefer to submit an application for obtaining citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus the law provides for purchase of property for private use the value of which is at least €500,000+VAT.

  

13) Suppose I bought residential villa as an investment . Should I buy additional private property worth at least €500,000?

In case you have purchased one or several residential properties totaling at least € 2 mln euros (excl. VAT), provided that one of them is worth at least 500,000 euros (excl. VAT), it is not required to buy additional one. The total investment thus amounted to € 2 mln (excl. VAT).   

  

14) I already have a villa in Cyprus . Can it go to offset when calculating the total investment?

Yes, it can, if you purchased this villa not earlier than three years before applying for citizenship.

   

15) What is the period for immigration authorities of Cyprus to consider an application for granting citizenship to investors?

Period for consideration of applications comprises three months at the most from submission of an application. Thus you obtain a passport of a citizen (national) of the Republic of Cyprus within three months time.

 

16) Please, advise whether I lose fully or partly invested money?

You lose nothing. After three years (minimum duration of investment) you can sell investment properties and get back your funds.

 

17) Shall I provide data on availability of monetary funds (and to what extent) on bank accounts, stocks, bonds, property and other assets apart from invested funds?

No, there are no such requirements of the law.

 

18) Suppose I have purchased a villa the value of which is €5 million. But I am not going to live in it. Can I let it on lease? Can I sell it as soon as I obtain a Cyprus passport?

On obtaining citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus you have a perfect right to let your property on lease. As far as sale of your villa is concerned, the law provides for such an option only three years after purchasing. However, you can sell your property at any time after acquiring the citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus until the expiration of three years, provided the funds will be reinvested back in full, and will remain in Cyprus until the expiration of the three-year period. The appropriate procedure is required for it. Please contact us for detailed explanations, if you are interested in this issue

 

19) I hear that one can apply to the authorities of Austria for obtaining citizenship of that country. Is it easier to obtain a Cyprus passport?

Yes, absolutely. It is easier than anywhere else in the European Union. As to Austria the current program effective for investors in that country implies investment in the Economy of Austria amounting to at least €10,000,000 (euro ten million), prolonged stay in the country and, what is the most unpleasant, you will have to renounce your current citizenship. Being a citizen (national) of Austria you cannot be simultaneously a national of another country. There are some other complicated conditions.

 

As of today there are no counterparts to the Cyprus program of granting citizenship to investors in the European Union. This is the simplest and fastest way to obtain the second citizenship and a passport of citizen (national) of the European Union.

 

Foytina is a registered & licensed real estate agency (Reg.No:628 / Lic.No:332/E)