The Cyprus Residency 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.
For investors and families looking for a straight forward route to residency, the Cypriot residency program offers the opportunity to acquire residency in as little as 3 months.
There are no residence periods, no language test and no physical stay requirements in order to acquire Cypriot residency through investment. Investors are only required to visit Cyprus every two years.
Acquiring Residency in Cyprus
In May 2013, the fast track permanent residency permit was introduced and enables foreigners to be granted permanent residency in exchange for an investment into the country.
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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)
In order to qualify for residency, the following must be met:
1. Purchase of real estate with a minimum value of EUR 300 000
Evidence of ownership of a property purchased in Cyprus for a minimum of EUR 300 000 plus vat needs to be provided. The contract of sale must have been submitted to the Cyprus Department of Land and Surveys. Proof of payment of at least EUR 200 000 plus vat must be included along with the contract.
2. Proof of external income
Investors must show that they receive an annual income of at least EUR 30 000 from sources other than employment in Cyprus. For example, this can include salaries, rental income, dividends, pensions etc.
This increases by EUR 5 000 per dependent child, and EUR 8 000 per dependent parent.
3. Three year fixed deposit
The applicant must submit a confirmation letter stating that a three-year fixed deposit of EUR 30,000 has been made. The letter must come from a Cypriot bank.
The property can be purchased through a company, provided that the company is registered in the name of the applicant and spouse, and that they are the sole shareholders.
Applicants must have a valid travel document
Proof of source of funds
No criminal record
Proof of Health Insurance
Visit Cyprus at least once every two years
TRAVEL AND BENEFITS
A residency card from Cyprus offers the holder visa free travel to the Schengen countries.
The residency program is very fast, taking only 2 - 3 months.
There are no language requirements or physical stay requirements aside from a visit every 2 years.
Investors can include spouses, dependent children as well as dependent parents in the application.
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.
To date, Cyprus has double taxation agreements with more than 50 countries, including South Africa. We highly encourage clients to meet with a professional tax consultant and have partnerships with some of the world's leading firms. Ask your advisor for an introduction.
Dividend income is exempt and there is no withholding tax on dividends, interest as well as royalty payments paid from Cyprus.
PROCESS AND TIMELINES
On submission, there is an administration fee payable as well as for the biometric capturing. The Civil Registry and Migration Department will then examine the application, which will then be sent to the Ministry of Interior for a final decision. This process typically takes around 2 months.
Once approval has been granted for the applicant and his/her family, they must all visit Cyprus within one year in order to obtain the physical permit. During this visit, the biometric data will be captured at the migration office in Nicosia and submitted along with the residency application.
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/