The Cypriot Citizenship Program
Cyprus is a popular destination due to friendly climate and central location for leisure and business travelers alike. It is also an attractive tax destination and a transparent regulatory and legal framework.
The Cypriot investor program allows investors to acquire a European Citizenship within 6-7 months, giving them full rights as an EU national.
As an EU national, one has the right to live, work and study anywhere in the EU.
There are no residence periods, no language test and no physical stay requirements in order to acquire Cypriot citizenship through investment.
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Cyprus is known as the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite.
People drive on the left hand side in Cyprus.
Greek (official), Turkish (official), English
UN, EU, Eurozone, Commonwealth
1.141 million (2013 est.)
9 251 km2 (3 572 sq mi)
ACQUIRING CITIZENSHIP IN CYPRUs -
The Cypriot citizenship by investment program was launched by the Government of Cyprus in order to attract foreign investment from wealthy business owners and entrepreneurs and bring foreign capital into the country. The legislative framework provides an opportunity for investors looking to obtain a European Union citizenship with a straight forward application process and minimal requirements.
Forming part of the country’s policies the Council of Ministers revised the “Scheme for Naturalization of Non-Cypriot Investors by Exception” and established a new framework and process for entrepreneurs and investors to acquire Cypriot citizenship by investment.
Investors who wish to apply for citizenship must meet the prescribed investment options as set out below:
1. Donation of EUR 75 000 to the Government’s Research, and Development fund and EUR 75 000 to the Land Development Organisation;
2. Property: The applicant must hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500 000.
In addition, the investor must select one of the prescribed investment options as set out below:
1. Investment in real estate, developments and infrastructure projects:
A minimum investment of €2 million is required. The purchase or construction of buildings or other land development projects is accepted.
2. Purchase of Republic of Cyprus Government Bonds:
The requirement is a minimum investment of €2 million. These can be purchased from the primary or secondary market.
3. Purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot Organizations:
The required minimum investment is €2 million and includes bonds, securities, debentures. This includes the creation, participation or establishment in Cypriot businesses.
4. Combination of the above investment
options provided the minimum is €2 million.
CITIZENSHIP, Travel and benefits
Cyprus allows dual citizenship.
A Cypriot citizenship offers the investor and his family the right to live, study and work anywhere in the European Union. Cyprus is a full EU member and therefore with a Cypriot citizenship, investors and their families have the full rights as EU nationals.
With a Cypriot passport, one can travel visa free to 159 countries including the UK, Canada, and Hong Kong.
No residence required and citizenship granted within 180 days.
Applicants must have a valid travel document
Proof of source of funds
No criminal record
Proof of Health Insurance
Must visit Cyprus during the application process
Cyprus has always been an attractive tax and structuring destination due to its transparent and effective regime. Cyprus is fully compliant with the European Union laws and regulations.
Corporate tax rate is 12.5%, 0% Transfer Tax, 0% Inheritance Tax, 0% Property Tax. Income tax is progressive with a maximum of 30%.
VAT is 19%. If you are purchasing your first property for personal use, then the VAT is 5%. If you are looking to rent the property out, then 19%.
To date, Cyprus has double taxation agreements with more than 50 countries, including South Africa. Dividend income is exempt and there is no withholding tax on dividends, interest as well as royalty payments paid from Cyprus. We highly encourage clients to meet with a professional tax consultant and have partnerships with some of the world's leading firms. Ask your adviser for an introduction.
PROCESS AND TIMELINES
Step 1: Investment
Review and select qualifying investment option. The process for obtaining approval for citizenship is typically 3 months with the real estate option.
Step 2: Application
Collect documents and complete application
Step 3: Pre-approval
Step 4: Submit Citizenship and Immigration Permit applications
A visit is required to complete the biometric data.
Step 5: Cypriot citizenship certificate
The Immigration Permit must be held for 6 months before visiting Cyprus for the issuance of the passport and citizenship certificate.
Cyprus - Country Info
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, is both the third largest as well as the third most populous island in the Mediterranean. Located south of Turkey and east of Greece, Cyprus enjoys a beautiful climate year round.
Cyprus has an interesting history, with the earliest known human activity dating back to around the 10th Millennium BC. The country was originally settled by the Mycenaean Greeks in the 2nd millennium BC. Cyprus was placed under British administration in 1878 until it was granted independence in 1960 and then becoming a member of the Commonwealth one year later.
Cyprus is a very popular tourist destination with beautiful beaches and water sports. It joined the EU on 1 May 2004 and has both an advanced high income economy as well as a very high human development index rating. On 1 January 2008 Cyprus joined the Eurozone.
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Visit the official tourism website for Cyprus: http://www.visitcyprus.com/