citizenship By Investment


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Travel to 157 countries visa-free, including the EU and Canada

  • Gain the right to live, work and study in the EU

  • Option to invest in real estate, hence recoverability of funds

  • Relatively low property prices

  • Applications processed in 4 months

  • When you acquire citizenship under the Cyprus citizenship program, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.

THE COUNTRY

Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, and a member state of the European Union. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt and east of Greece.

The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for four-fifths of GDP. Tourism, financial services, and real estate have traditionally been the most important sectors.

Cyprus has been a member of the European Union (EU) since May 2004 and adopted the euro as its national currency in January 2008. During the first five years of EU membership, the Cyprus economy grew at an average rate of about 4%, with unemployment between 2004 and 2008 averaging about 3%.

The tax system in Cyprus is progressive. In other words, the higher your income, the higher the rate at which you will pay tax. In 2014 the tax rates for an individual are 20% - 35%. There is a reduced rate and/or exemptions that are granted for certain forms of income. The standard rate of Cyprus corporate tax for 2014 is 12.5%.

Resident companies and individuals are subject to defence contribution for passive income, e.g. rental, dividends etc. the rates are 3%-30%. Non residents are exempt from this tax.

THE PROGRAM

Cyprus Citizenship by Investment has been introduced pursuant to subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013 and the decision of the Ministry of Councils in September 2014, and enables foreign nationals to gain citizenship if they meet certain criteria set out by the Ministry of Interior, under one of the following options:

1. National Investment and Donation

An applicant must deposit Eur 2 million with the Treasury of the Republic, as an investment in the National Investment Company and a further Eur 500,000 needs to be donated to the Research and Technology Fund. Investors must maintain the shares and/or bonds for a period of three years.

2. Direct Investments

The applicant can make a direct investment of at least Eur 5 million into the Republic of Cyprus in real estate, businesses, shares or other financial assets. Real estate must be held for a minimum of three years.

3. Bank Deposits

The applicant should have minimum personal deposits of Eur 5 million in Cypriot banks, or deposits of privately owned companies or of a trust (in which he is a shareholder, settlor or beneficiary) in the Republic of Cyprus. These deposits must be held in a banking institution within the Republic of Cyprus for a minimum of three years.

4.Local Business Activities

For this option an applicant must establish a new company registered in the Republic of Cyprus in which they have full control. Then the company must have paid to the Government of Cyprus an amount of at least Eur 500,000 per annum for the three years preceding the citizenship application submission date.

In the alternative, if the company headquarters are located in Cyprus and has five or more Cypriot employees, the annual government fee is reduced to Eur 350,000. If the business employs 10 Cypriots or more, the annual fee decreases to Eur 250,000. In all cases, an applicant must wait three years before they can apply for citizenship.

5. Combination(Mixed Option)

The applicant can also choose to fulfill a combination of requirements stated in options 2, 3, and 4.

6.Impaired deposits with the Bank of Cyprus or Popular Bank after the 15th March 2013.

Another option is available for applicants who have incurred impairment in deposits on one or both of the aforementioned Banks amounting to a total of at least Eur 3 million.

In all cases except the last option, the applicant must hold a privately-owned property in the Republic of Cyprus, with a value of at least Eur 500,000 excluding VAT, and must have no criminal record.


Application procedures are not very well defined, but do require a mandatory visit and will take approximately 3-4 months to complete. Part of the requirements is the publication of the applicant's details in the government gazette prior to the Grant of Citizenship.



SETTLEMENT PROGRAM

Settlement in a new country is a very exciting period where immigrants learn about the new environment and local culture. It can also be a difficult time dealing with changes and the stress of settlement. Our affiliate in Cyprus will work with each client and their family to identify their settlement goals, and help them use available resources to meet their settlement needs. Our affiliate may provide support for:

- Transportation on first day of client's arrival

- Getting settled in your community

- Find housing, see home and business purchase section below for further details

- Find a job, our affiliate assists individuals in resume building and provides access to employment services, skills training and foreign credential assessment

- Find childcare services and register your children in school

- Get information about government services, such as healthcare and social services

- Fill out forms and applications to access government programs and services


HOME AND BUSINESS PURCHASE

Our affiliate in Cyprus has access to a network of high quality real estate agents and agencies, who may provide support for our clients to find housing based on their settlement needs and budgets.

In addition, our affiliate assists in the acquisition of readily established businesses. This might include researching purchase options based on the client's background and work experience, presenting options to the client, negotiating with the vendor on behalf of the client, preparing a purchase and sale agreement with the help of qualified lawyers, and executing the transaction.

For more details, please contact our office or complete an online enquiry form.




Stevens and Associates Immigration Services Inc.
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