VISA FREE COUNTRIES
Greek Orthodox, Muslim
Golden Visa Cyprus. Residency €300,000. Citizenship €2 million.
Cyprus is one of the most affordable countries in Europe for residency through its golden visa programme. An investment of just €300,000 in real estate is required. Each applicant also needs to deposit a minimum sum of €30,000 into a Cypriot bank account. Cyprus is outside the EU Schengen visa zone but it is unique in its offering of immediate citizenship by investing €2 million in property. This grants a Cypriot passport and EU citizenship then allowing the freedom to work, travel, study and live anywhere within the EU including the UK. The investment can be sold after 3 years reducing down to just €500,000.
Cyprus is currently the only European country which by law offers citizenship and passport in 3 months without having to live there at any point in time (the only fast track EU citizenship program). On the 24 May 2013, pursuant to subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013, the Cyprus Government has enforced favourable immigration policies, further fostering a way of obtaining Cyprus Citizenship by Investment.
The economic slowdown and subsequent EU bailout for Cyprus led to significant drops in real estate values. Prices have fallen sharply to levels that many see as rock-bottom and an opportunity to buy. The investment level in Cyprus is lower than Spain and Portugal and this may overcome some of the economic concerns for many investors. The main attraction for high net worth individuals is the immediate citizenship for higher investments.
- Obtain European Citizenship and Passport in 3 months
- The program is geared towards High Net Worth Individuals with a required investment in Real Estate in Cyprus of EUR 2,000,000 (Two Million Euros). The property investment has to be kept for 3 years. And once it is sold a property worth EUR 500,000 has to be kept indefinite
- Dependent parents qualify for citizenship provided they own a house of €500,000 + VAT or own a share of €500,000 in a residential property of the main applicant
- Open to all nationalities
- Dual citizenship is allowed, no need to give up your current
- No need to reside in Cyprus at any point in time in order to obtain or keep the citizenship
- Main Applicant, wife and dependent children below the age of 28 obtain citizenship
- Grandchildren also inherit the citizenship via naturalization
- Bank deposit required for each applicant
- Full family residency
- Flexible. No requirement to reside
- Part of the EU but not the Schengen visa zone
History In Europe
The Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union on 1 May, 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January, 2008. As an EU citizen, the passport holders of Cyprus can live and work in 28 member countries.
Soon after independence in 1960 the Republic of Cyprus became a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Council of Europe. Cyprus subsequently became a member of other international organizations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the World Bank.
- Citizens have the right to live and work anywhere within the 28 countries of European Union
- Citizens have the right to attend schools and Universities within any EU country for free or at special tuition rates exclusive for EU nationals
- European citizens have the right to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any EU country in a third country (country outside the EU) where your home EU country is not represented by a consulate
- European citizens have the right to vote or stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in the EU country in which you reside, even if you are not a national of that country
- Access to well established EU healthcare systems
- Beneficial tax regime for Cypriot passport holders, no foreign income tax, no inheritance tax, and no withholding tax on interest earned and lowest taxation rates in Europe for residents
- Citizens of EU countries are well accepted and welcomed internationally
Visa Fee Travel Countries
With the Cypriot passport which is part of the European Union the citizen can live in 28 countries in Europe. Apart from this benefit the Cypriot passport holder can travel to 167 countries without visas or simply stamped on arrival.
Offered in accordance with the Civil Registry Laws 2002-2013, the Naturalization of Investors by Exception Scheme, the program is one of the fastest to lead to residence and citizenship in Europe. To qualify for application, you will need to meet one of the requirements outlined in the “Investment Options” section.
- Must have a valid passport
- Provide documents supporting the source and origin of the declared funds for investment
- Provide proof that the applicant has no criminal record
- The applicant’s name must not be included in the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the EU
- Payment of application fees
According to Regulations issued by virtue of the Civil Registry Laws, foreign investors who wish to obtain Cypriot citizenship by investment need to meet the following requirements:
- Must hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500,000 plus applicable VAT
- Must choose one of the prescribed investment options and maintain it for the required duration
There are different options for investments in Cyprus:
1. Mixed investments and a donation to a state fund. Applicants choosing this option must deposit €2 million for the purchase of shares and/or bonds of the State Investment Company (under formation) and should make a donation of at least €500,000 to the Research and Technology Fund. Investors need to maintain the shares and/or bonds for a period of three years.
2. Direct investment. Investors need to maintain ownership of the assets for a period of three years. Applicants choosing this option must make a direct investment of at least €5 million in the purchase of one of the following:
- Businesses or companies
- Financial assets
3. Bank deposit. Applicants choosing this option must have a fixed term deposit of at least €5 million for three years in a Cypriot bank.
4. Combination of options 1, 2 and 3 amounting to at least €5 million
5. Business activities. Applicants choosing this option must be shareholders or beneficiary owners of a company, the management of which is in the Republic of Cyprus and the company has contributed at least €500,000 per annum, in the past three years to state funds (corporate tax, VAT, etc.).
6. Persons deposits. (with the Bank of Cyprus or Popular bank have been impaired). Applicants that have incurred an impairment in deposits on one or both of the aforementioned Banks amounting to a total of at least €3 million can apply for Cypriot citizenship. In case that the impairment incurred is less than €3 million, one can cover the difference by making an additional investment in the above-mentioned options.
The application process can be divided to the following 9 steps. At phase1 the application is made for main applicant and spouse and at phase 2 for other dependents. The whole process will take 3 to 6 months.
STEP 1 - Main Applicant And Spouse
- All necessary documents must be prepared by the applicant and signed before a Cypriot consul or Court Registrar in Cyprus
- Preparation of application file, signing the Sale Agreement for the property and all other steps for property and bank transactions
- Settling the funds into the Cypriot bank for the Financed Investment and full property purchase price into Lawyer's account and payment of fees and costs
- Submission of application to the Ministry of Interior
- Approval, settlement or purchase price of property, settlement of remaining legal and processing fees
- Issuance of naturalization certificate(s) and issuance of passport(s) for the main applicant and spouse
STEP 2 - Family Members
- All necessary documents must be prepared by the applicant and signed before a Cypriot consul or Court Registrar in Cyprus.
- Submission of application to the Ministry of Interior.
- Issuance of naturalization certificate(s) and issuance of passport(s) for the family member(s)
Application fees for a typical family of four are:
- Legal Fees: 50,000 Euros
- Government fees start at 15,000 Euros and vary with the number of dependents
The education system is divided into pre-primary education (ages 3–6), primary education (ages 6–12), secondary education (ages 12–18) and higher education (ages 18+). Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 15. State-provided schooling including higher education is paid for by taxes.
There is also a parallel system of accredited independent schooling, and parents may choose to educate their children by any suitable means. Private school and university fees are not usually covered by the state.
Higher education often begins with a four-year bachelor's degree. Postgraduate degrees include master's degrees, either taught or by research, and the doctorate, a research degree that usually takes at least three years. Universities require accreditation in order to issue degrees.
The economy of Cyprus is classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy, and was included by the International Monetary Fund in its list of advanced economies in 2001. Erratic growth rates in the 1990s reflected the economy's vulnerability to swings in tourist arrivals, caused by political instability on the island and fluctuations in economic conditions in Western Europe.
On 1 January 2008, the country entered the Eurozone and adopted the euro as its official currency, replacing the Cypriot pound at an irrevocable fixed exchange rate of CYP 0.585274 per EUR 1.00.
Quality Of Life
The country is located in the Mediterranean Sea, a short distance from Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Egypt. Cyprus enjoys an idyllic Mediterranean lifestyle, beautiful beaches, 340 days of sunshine a year and welcoming friendly people in a relaxed environment.
Cyprus offers a high standard of living, modern transport and infrastructure, excellent academic institutions (several accredited European Universities such as British), access to quality medical services, a stable government and a robust legal framework which is based on British law and fully harmonized with EU directives.
The country is ancient with rich history, known as the Jewel of the Mediterranean and the birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient “Goddess of Love”. Although the official language is Greek and Turkish, English is spoken in all walks of life.
Not only does Cyprus have the lowest and most favourable tax rates in Europe, it also has many tax exemptions for non-residents. Non-residents are only liable to pay taxes in Cyprus for income generated in the country. Moreover, there is no withholding tax on interest income derived in Cyprus or dividends earned in the country. Cyprus has signed a double taxation treaty with 43 countries to ensure that taxable income derived in Cyprus is credited from the country of tax residence of the individual.
Cyprus is a favoured business destination for international companies for its strategically geographical location between Europe, Middle East and Africa. Cyprus is considered a great hub for offshore banking not only for companies registered in Cyprus but for those which are registered in other tax jurisdictions such as UK, BVI, Seychelles, Belize, etc.
The Cypriot banking system has a good understanding of International Trust law and the use of nominee services for those whom wish to have anonymity, privacy and desire the highest level of confidentiality. The Central Bank of Cyprus permits all major currencies to be held and traded in Cyprus.