Cyprus Citizenship and Permanent Residence Permit
Cyprus Citizenship is very desirable in the last years as many non-Cypriot citizens are pursuing it in order to take advantage of the many benefits it has to offer.
Investors can acquire the Cyprus Citizenship by Naturalization, on the basis of the Decision by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus in 2014. Iacovou Ltd having over 28 years of experience in the industry can provide clients a high quality service in order to obtain the Cypriot Citizenship.
- Cyprus is a country that offers a great lifestyle to both residents and tourists. Year-round warm weather, awarded beaches, good restaurants, excellent day and nightlife for all ages, a large variety of sports and other
- In the last few years top leading architects have developed luxurious and innovative properties on the island, attracting potential buyers from all over the world for investment, holidays, permanent residence and citizenship
- No requirement to reside in Cyprus
- Dual-citizenship permitted and the acquisition of citizenship in Cyprus is not reported to other countries
- The passport is issued also for the Investments spouse and all nancially dependent children (up to 28 years old). All next generations of investor retain EU citizenship
- A large variety of high yield investment opportunities is available throughout the island
- Travel within the EU without visa Live or work within the EU
- Move Capital within the EU
- EU citizenship for applicant and his/her dependents
- Travel to more than 150 countries with no need of visa
- Easy and fast procedure (passport is issued within 3 months)
- Cyprus is one of the most popular tourist destinations
- Cyprus has the third highest percentage of foreign citizen residents in the EU
- Cyprus Tax is low compared to other EU countries (12.5%)
- Study in the EU with EU fees European Health Insurance card
- Cypriot driving license can be used in any other EU country
- Free healthcare in Cypriot public hospitals
- Easy to obtain visas for other non-EU countries
Obtaining a Permanent Residence Permit and/or Cyprus Citizenship by Exception does not in itself influence the taxability of an individual. Tax is imposed based on the residency and domicile of an individual. In general, a Cyprus tax resident individual can benefit from a number of tax incentives as follows:
- Cyprus tax residents, but non-domiciled individuals, are exempt from all taxes and from special contribution for defense on dividends, interests and rental income
- An individual who resided outside of Cyprus for at least 3 out of the 5 years immediately prior to the year of commencement of employment in Cyprus, including the year immediately before the commencement of such employment, earning €100.000 per annum or more, can benefit from a tax exemption of 50% for the first 10 years
- An individual who resided outside of Cyprus before commencement of employment in Cyprus, earning less than €100.000 can benefit from a 20% exemption on the taxable income (with a maximum exemption of €8.550) for the first 5 years (this exemption will only apply up to the year 2020)
- Personal tax rates are progressive from 20% to 35% after allowing for a tax free amount of €19,500
- Profit from the disposal of securities are exempt from taxation
- Any lump sum received as a retirement gratuity is exempt from tax
- Pension received from abroad is taxed at a at tax rate of 5% on amounts in excess of €3,420
- There is no Capital Gains Tax on the disposal of immovable property located abroad, or if located in Cyprus and acquired between July 16, 2015 and December 31, 2016
- There is no Estate Duty, Wealth, Gift or Inheritance Tax in Cyprus
Acquiring Cypriot citizenship by exception
ACQUIRING CYPRIOT CITIZENSHIP BY EXCEPTION:
On September 13, 2016, the Cyprus Council of Ministers has approved the amendments to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception. The said scheme is based on subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2015.
The amendments in question 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.
A. ECONOMIC CRITERIA:
On the basis of the Scheme, a non-Cypriot citizen, who meets one of the following economic criteria (A), either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/ she participates as a shareholder – in proportion to his holding percentage, or through investments made by his/her spouse or jointly with the spouse or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies that meet (s) at least one of the economic criteria (A), may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalisation by Exception.
A high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she receives a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenues of at least €100,000 over a three-year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.
The applicant should have made 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 as from the date of the naturalisation.
In addition, the applicant must full the requirements of the Terms and Conditions set out in Part B.
In the case, following a periodic inspection, it has been established that a criterion, term or condition of the Scheme has been breached, the granted naturalisation may be revoked.
A.1 Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects:
The applicant must have made an investment of at least €2,0 million (plus VAT) for the purchase or construction of buildings or for the construction of other land development projects (residential or commercial developments, developments in the tourism sector) or other infrastructure projects.
It is noted that investment in land under development is included in this criterion, provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased land will be included in the application. It is understood that investment in land that is situated in a building zone of zero development, is excluded.
A.2 Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations:
The applicant should have made a purchase or should have participated in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus with investment costs of at least €2,0 million. The invested funds shall be channelled towards the financing of the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a specific investment plan.
The applications shall be evaluated to verify that the companies or organizations have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least five (5) Cypriot or citizens
of European Union member-states. The minimum number of employees shall increase, if more than one applicant invest simultaneously or almost simultaneously in the same business or company. In addition, the employees of the companies need to have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the five years preceding the submission date of the application.
A.3 Investment in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organizations that are licensed by CySec:
The applicant should have bought units of at least €2,0 million from alternative investment funds (AIF) established in the Republic of Cyprus, licensed and supervised by CySec and whose investments are made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, in investments that meet the criteria of this Scheme or in areas approved by the Minister of Finance.
In order to confirm that the investments that meet the criteria of the current Scheme will be kept for at least three years, the manager or the auditor of the Fund shall writing and report on an annual basis to the Ministries of Finance and and Interior with reference to the value of the initial investment.
The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations of at least €2,0 million, such as bonds, bills and securities, issued with the approval of CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus, and have as a purpose the financing of the investment plans of these companies or organizations exclusively in Cyprus, based on an investment plan, fall under this criterion.
It is noted that the purchase by an AIF of units of other AIFs is not considered eligible.
A.4 Combination of the aforementioned investments:
The applicant may proceed with a combination of the above investments, provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2,0 million.
Within this criterion (combination of investments) the applicant may purchase special government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus, up to €500.000, which will be issued by the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance, on condition that the investor will retain these bonds for a three year period. The characteristics and the terms of these special bonds will be determined by the General and Special Issue Terms of the Government Bonds of the Republic of Cyprus. Investments in government bonds through the secondary market are not considered eligible.
Terms & Conditions
1. Clean Criminal Record: The applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his/her name must not be included in the list of persons whose assets, within the boundaries of the European Union, have been frozen as the result of sanctions.
2. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus: In all cases listed in Part A, the applicant must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000 (plus V.A.T.)
It is noted that members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers the amount of €500.000 per applicant.
In case that the purchase value of the permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus exceeds the amount of €500,000, part of this additional amount can be used for purposes of supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the criteria of Part A above.
Additionally, it is noted that if the applicant has invested in housing unit/units on the basis of the aforementioned criterion A.1, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000 (plus VAT), provided that the applicant retains the possession of the residence for life.
3. Residence Permit in Cyprus: The applicant, prior to his/her naturalisation as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus.
If the applicant does not already hold a residence permit, he/she may apply for an immigration permit on the basis of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, simultaneously with the application for naturalisation. If the application for acquiring an immigration permit is made solely for purposes of acquiring the Cypriot citizenship, in accordance with the provisions of this Scheme, there are no other conditions than those stated in both Part A and Part B of this Scheme.
It is noted that all of the above also apply for the adult members of the family of the investor, who will apply for naturalisation.
In case the application for naturalisation is rejected for any reason, the immigration permit, obtained in accordance with the provisions of this Decision, will be immediately cancelled.
Permanent Residence Permit
- Category F 6(2) Immigration Permit gives you, a Non-EU national, the right to permanently reside in Cyprus
- Exempts you from immigration entry procedures (i.e. Visitor’s Visa)
- Your family can also obtain it (married spouse, children under 18 years old and financially dependent children up to 25 years old)
- As of February 2016 the parents of the investor and/or of his/her spouse can also obtain Permanent Residence as dependants
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The Permit is granted for an indefinite duration. Applicants must have:
- Purchased in Cyprus one or two, new real estate properties with total purchase cost of at least €300.000 (excluding VAT). Properties can be 2 residences, or 1 residence & 1 o ce or 1 residence & 1 shop. At least €200.000 of the purchase cost must be settled
- A secure and steady annual income transferred on a regular basis from abroad to a bank operating in Cyprus. The income should derive from sources other than employment in Cyprus
- Funds transferred from abroad and deposited in a Bank operating in Cyprus in a 3-year Fixed Deposit Account
- Applicants should visit Cyprus at least once every 2 years
- Confirmation that the applicant does not intent to work or to be engaged in any form of business in Cyprus
- Clean criminal record from Country of origin Birth Certificate
- Copy of Passport
- Medical Insurance Certificate
- Curriculum Vitae
- Applications are reviewed by the Civil Registry and Migration Department, while nal approval is granted by the Minister of Interior
- The processing time is 2 months
- Consultation on the requirements of the application process
- Assistance in drafting the relevant required documents
- Assistance with the legal overview of purchase agreement and/or of relevant documents
- Assistance with the Real Estate due diligence
- Assistance with examining tax implications relating to the investment
- Review of the application documentation to ensure required quality standards
- Submission of the complete application to the authorities on the client’s behalf
- Monitoring of the status of the review by the authorities and debriefing the client
- Acting as a liaison with authorities during the examination of the application
- Escorting the client and his/her dependants to the Civil Registry and Migration Department
Why Iacovou & Co Ltd
OUR TEAM AIMS TO DELIVER THE BEST POSSIBlE SERVICES SO THAT THE PROCESS GOES AS SMOOTHlY AS POSSIBlE AND ENSURES THAT THE ClIENT MAKES THE APPROPRIATE INVESTMENT.
- Liaising with the authorities and make sure the process is as effective as possible
Our team of experts is collaborating with leading developing companies on the island and can present you a large variety of investments depending on your needs
Our extensive experience in the property market can guide you on choosing a high quality investment
Assisting with the collection of all the required documentation
We can help on the management of your investment. Resell your property or rent it if needed
Should the client need to visit Cyprus we can book both flights and hotels. We can also take care of the transportation and make sure the client has a nice stay in Cyprus. Furthermore, we o er tour and guidance through the investment options of the client
We can help with other financial issues if needed (i.e. open a bank account, start a new company, book- keeping, auditing, tax issues, etc.)