CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
Overview Cyprus is the third largest and most populous island in the Mediterranean. Located in the east Med, it is south of Turkey, west of Lebanon, north of Egypt and southeast of Greece. The island is divided into two parts: the northern part is Turkish Cyprus and the South, Greek Cyprus. Cyprus is a member of the EU and of the Commonwealth and is a major tourist destination. It is ranked as one of the safest places in the world.
Health and Education Cyprus has a highly developed system of primary and secondary education with both public and private education and nearly 7% GGP spent on education, making Cyprus one of the top three spenders on education in the EU. State schools are generally seen as equivalent in quality of education to private-sector schools. Cyprus currently has the highest percentage of citizens of working age who have higher-level education in the EU at 30% and 47% of its population aged 25-34 have tertiary education, the highest in the EU. The average life expectancy is high, at 79.3 years (2020). The healthcare system is divided into public and private with public hospitals free.
Transport Cyprus is just one of three countries with cars that drive on the left. Roads are good and distances short, so getting around Cyprus is easy by car. There are a series of motorways that run along the coast from Paphos east to Ayia Napa and two running inland to Nicosia. Private car ownership is the 29th highest in the world (per capita) and public buses are frequent and well-timed. Cyprus has two international airports, Larnaca and Paphos with direct flights to destinations including the UK, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Dubai and Qatar, among others. A third airport, Ercan, operates in the Turkish Cypriot administered area with direct flights only to Turkey. The main harbours, Limassol and Larnaca, service cruise ships.
Lifestyle Cyprus is divided – you have the Turkish north of the island well off the mainstream tourist radar and then the modern, tourist-heavy Greek south. Cyprus is every inch the Mediterranean with its beautiful beaches, ancient monasteries, classical ruins and mountain hiking trails. And while it is renowned for its coastal and tourist-heavy hotspots such as Ayia Napa, Limassol and Paphos, there is so much more to the island especially when you move inland and discover the hiking and cycling trails and the vineyards. The island is dominated by two mountain ranges with the Troodos Mountains covering most of the southern and western parts of the island and Mount Olympus in the centre of the range and the island’s highest point. There are three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Cyprus, including the entire town of Paphos. Its coastline is rocky with many bays and capes.
Climate Cyprus has a sub-tropical climate, Mediterranean meets semi-arid, which equals warm to hot summers and very mild winters, making it one of the warmest climates in the Med with the largest number of sunny days in the Med (up to 13 hours of sun a day during summer) and eight month-long summers. Daytime temperatures range from 21C to 30C.
Population 1,195,204 (2019)
Languages Cyprus has two official languages, Greek and Turkish, but English is widely spoken and features on road signs, public notices etc. Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic are also recognised as minority languages.
Religion Cyprus is characterised by two main religions, with the majority (78%) Christians, mainly Greek Orthodox Christians, plus other denominations, and the remaining Muslim (mainly the Turkish-Cypriot community).
Capital City Nicosia (also known as Lefkosia), it is the only divided capital city in the world with a northern (Turkish) section and a southern (Greek) section.
GDP Per Capita $30,098.28 (2018)
Economy Cyprus has an advanced high-income economy and is part of a monetary union, the Eurozone and of the EU single market. Following the 2012-2013 Cypriot financial crisis and an EU bailout, Cyprus’ GDP per capita is below the average of the EU. Cyprus is often sought as a base for offshore businesses for its low tax rates. Tourism, financial services and shipping are significant parts of the economy, but agriculture and manufacturing also contribute. Its main exports include citrus fruits, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, cement and clothing. Due to the heavy influx of tourists and foreign investors, the Cypriot property rental market has grown in recent years. There are zero taxes for non-domiciled individuals and no dividend tax or inheritance tax.
Did you know…? More than 55 beaches on Cyprus have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for cleanliness and safety.
CYPRUS CBI PROGRAMME
- Established 4 years
- Minimum outlay $2,150,000
- Processing time 180 days (6 months)
- Residency or travel requirements Two visits
- Freedom of movement 174 countries
- Investment Options 4
Overview One of only two CIP programmes in Europe with official EU approval, the Cyprus Investment Programme (citizenship by investment ) is authorised by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus. The programme has undergone various changes since its launch when it initially demanded a €15 investment. New criteria for the current programme came into effect in May 2019 demands a smaller contribution. The programme is capped at 700 applicants per year.
Best for Getting a European passport quickly and easily.
Pros Visa-free access to 173 countries, including Canada and the UAE, and EU citizenship with ability to live and work in any of the 28 EU member states. High score for ease of doing business (54/190) according to The World Bank (2019). The fastest and one of the easiest for residency and travel requirements in Europe. Zero taxes for non-domiciled individuals. Citizenship includes spouse, children, adult dependents up to 28 years as well as parents of main applicant. There is an array of investment options on offer, from small residential properties to luxury villas. Holders of Cypriot citizenship can pass on their European citizenship to their children and grandchildren. There are very high levels of education. Cyprus is one of the safest places to live worldwide.
Cons Unlike other European citizenship by investment programmes, Cyprus’ passport does not offer visa-free access to the Schengen Area or the US. Investment must be made at most three years prior to applying and held for five years following citizenship.
USP The Cypriot Citizenship by Investment programme currently offers the quickest route to citizenship within the EU from application submission in only 180 days.
Ease of processing The application process takes around six months. Applicants must undergo an obligatory residency period for at least six months before obtaining citizenship and the passport, however there is no physical presence requirement. However, applicants must visit Cyprus twice, once to provide biometrics and once to take the Oath of Faith, but these can be done at the same time. Cyprus does not impose tests or the passing of formal interviews.
Freedom of movement The European countries offer the highest numbers of countries and territories to which citizens can travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival and Cyprus is no different. Cyprus’ passport offers visa-free access to 174 countries.
Investment options 4
CYPRUS CBI INVESTMENTS
There are four investments options that require similar financial outlays but offer different investment types. The €150,000 Government donations combine two €75,000 separate donations, one to the Research and Innovation Foundation and one to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation. With regards to the €2m investment, investors may significantly reduce their property investment from €2m to €500,000 after five years from the citizenship being granted. In order to retain Cyprus Citizenship, the applicant must hold real estate to a minimum value of €500,000. It should be noted that VAT is added to all real estate investments. Any of these four options will enable applicants to acquire citizenship for themselves, their spouse and children under 28, as well as for a parent for an additional €500,000.
Option 1 Investment of €2m in the purchasing or constructing of buildings, land development projects or infrastructure.
Option 2 Investment of €2m in the purchase or establishment of, or participation in, a Cypriot company with significant activity and turnover, and employing at least five Cypriot or EU citizens along with a €150,000 donation to the Government.
Option 3 Investment of €2m into Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) or Registered Alternative Investment Funds (RAIF) established and investing exclusively in Cyprus along with a €150,000 donation to the Government.
Option 4 Investment of €2m in any combination of the €2m investments in options 1, 2 and 3 along with a €150,000 donation to the Government.
CYPRUS CBI RANKINGS
Passport Ranking (Henley Passport Index and Global Mobility Report, June Q2) 16 / 109
CBI Programme Ranking (CBI Index 2019, Financial Times) 66% / 7th out of 13 countries
Ease of doing business Ranking (Doing Business 2019, The World Bank) 54 / 190
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