Cyprus citizenship by investment in real estate: Detailed answers to frequently asked questions

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The citizenship of Cyprus has been granted to more than 2,000 foreign investors. Since 2013, over €4,000,000,000 have been contributed to the economy of Cyprus via citizenship by investment program. The information was provided by the Ministry of Finance of Cyprus in April 2017.

The program’s popularity keeps growing, and considering the introduction of a quota regarding the number of program participants starting from 2018 (700 applications annually), the demand in the country citizenship by investment program is likely to increase even more in the coming years. In connection with this, today we are answering the most popular questions that our clients usually have.

Residing in Cyprus

1) Does a foreigner planning to obtain citizenship by means of investing have to reside in Cyprus until the moment he/she gets their passport?

No. There is no obligation in this regard.

2) After the economic citizenship has been issued, is one obliged to live in the jurisdiction?

No. There is no such requirement for new citizens to live in Cyprus after getting its passport. However, they can spend the unlimited number of days per year in the jurisdiction.

Taxes and citizenship cost

3) Do new citizens have to pay taxes to the national treasury? Is there a tax on the income received from the sources outside Cyprus?

After fulfilling the program requirements and getting citizenship, the investor does not get burdened with any tax liabilities. One can obtain a tax resident status if he/she wants to. The jurisdiction taxpayers must live in Cyprus more than 2 months per year.

4) Can several investors share the total cost of investment required for receiving citizenship?

The option of joint applications was canceled by the Government Decree of September 13, 2016.

5) How much does the Cypriot passport cost?

The candidate must fulfill one of the following investment requirements under the existing program:

  • purchase housing/commercial property (one or several objects) worth at least €2,000,000;
  • invest in business (open own company or invest in the existing one) — at least €2,000,000;
  • combine two options (for example, buy government bonds and housing) — at least €2,000,000.

6) What other expenses does the applicant bear?

Apart from the main investment, the candidate is to pay the following fees:

  • fee for submitting the application — €2,000 for each adult listed in the application and €80 for each child under 18;
  • fee upon receiving the certificate of naturalization — €5,000 for each adult participant.

Family of the investor

7) Who else can be listed in the application together with the main applicant?

According to the program conditions, the investor’s close relatives can also apply for citizenship together with the main applicant. The list of such relatives includes a spouse and children under 28.

Investors can also add parents in the application. Note that the latter should be financially dependent on the main applicant and confirm the ownership of a €500,000 property in Cyprus.

8) If the two live in a civil marriage, does the program allow one of the partners apply for citizenship as the investor’s relative?

If the partners live in a civil marriage, they can make it official in one of the Cyprus’s municipalities. Another variant is to get married in a church in the territory of Cyprus, without the further need of the state registration of marriage. The certificate given by the Orthodox Church is legally equivalent to marriage registration in the local municipality.

If you don’t want to register your marriage in your homeland, don’t want to undergo the registration in a Cypriot city, and church ceremony is also not an option for you, you cannot be officially considered a husband and a wife. In this situation, both cabdidates must submit 2 separate citizenship applications, which will result in the doubled investment sum.

Dual citizenship, the process and conditions of getting the passport

9) Which rights do foreign investors receive after obtaining the passport of Cyprus?

Cypriot passport holders get all the rights of EU citizens. One can reside, work and study in European countries without any limitations, travel visa-free to the Schengen and EU countries, change tax residence. One can also vote in the Cyprus elections.

10) Should one pass the language proficiency test?

Foreign investors participating in the CBI program do not have to pass any additional exams.

11) Should a person reject their current citizenship?

The law of the Republic of Cyprus provides for dual citizenship in relations to the citizens of the countries having a specific agreement or arrangement with Cyprus.

Even if the country of your current citizenship doesn’t allow dual citizenship, it’s not always necessary to renounce the first/main citizenship. The information about the passport issuance is strictly confidential and is not transferred to the country of your current citizenship. Thus, you can use both passports.

12) Does the Cypriot passport grant its holders same rights and opportunities any other EU passport does?

Yes.

13) Does the company help the client at every stage of the application processing? Does the client receive assistance with choosing property, investing in an enterprise and case processing?

Yes, we support our clients starting from their first contact with our company and ending with the final stage of the passport issuance. Our lawyers help the program participants with all the documents preparation, help to choose objects for investment and with starting a firm in the territory of Cyprus.

14) How long does the whole process take?

The term of a case consideration by the state authorities is from 3 to 6 months.

Real estate in Cyprus

15) Is one obliged to purchase housing for personal use?

Yes. The program participants must buy housing worth at least €500,000.

If you have bought one or several housing objects with the total cost exceeding €2,000,000 and one unit costs more than €500,000, no additional purchases are required.

Considering you have contributed €2,000,000 in commercial property or business, you must also purchase housing that will cost at least €500,000.

16) Can one include the already owned property in the territory of Cyprus in the application?

Yes, you can list the property you own in Cyprus as the investment proof, but only if the object had been purchased at least 3 years before the citizenship application was submitted.

17) Is it possible to receive profit from the real estate purchased under the program?

You can rent out the property right after obtaining the passport. You can sell it, however, only 3 years after receiving citizenship. It is possible to sell the objects before the 3-year term expiration, but in this case you will need to fully reinvest the money in something else within the country until the retention term is over.

Rejection

20) Why the application can be rejected?

Deliberate misinformation, conviction record, open trial, involvement in illegal activity or terrorism financing — these are the reasons for the application rejection.

Alternative options of getting the country citizenship by investment

21) Is it easier to obtain the citizenship of Cyprus, or the one of Malta or Austria? Where else can one get citizenship in exchange for investment?

There are similar passport programs valid in Austria and Malta. But Cyprus offers the simplest procedure.

Austrian authorities demand that the investor contributes €10,000,000 in the local economy if one wants to apply for citizenship. Moreover, Austria does not support dual citizenship, which means the investor will have to reject the first country citizenship. New citizens also have to comply with a number of conditions, including the obligation to live a certain number of days in the jurisdiction.

The minimum cost of Malta’s citizenship is €1,200,000 in case of property purchase. It is important to mention that the required investment amount depends on the number and age of dependants. Out of this sum, €650,000 is non-returnable. The money remains under retention for at least 5 years, with the investor not allowed to rent out the property throughout this term. The process of getting Malta’s economic citizenship takes more than a year.

Thus, the program of Cyprus a fast and relatively affordable way of obtaining a EU citizenship by investment.

In conclusion, let us answer one of the most important question: “Why Cyprus?” Cyprus is one of the best places in the world for living. It is easily confirmed by the 2017 rating where Cyprus was placed on the 26th position of out 159. You receive access to a high-quality European education and high-standard healthcare services, optimized tax system, and enter the global market.

 

Interested in more detailed information about Cyprus citizenship by investment program? Contact us!

  • We offer free consultations, understanding how important it is for the client to make the only correct decision.
  • We work only in the field of investment immigration, integrating gained experience into the investor’s goal.
  • We work only with official programs of the European Union and Caribbean countries.
  • Before signing the contract, we inform our clients about all additional fees and expenses.
  • We conduct a screening to assess the investor’s chances of obtaining the desired citizenship.
  • We oversee the process at each stage and work exclusively towards the result.
  • We are in touch 24/7.
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