Q. Who can participate in the Cyprus citizenship by investment program?
A. The main investor and dependent family members – spouse, minor children under the age of 18 and financially dependent adult children (students under 28) can obtain citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus. Parents of the main investor can also get Cyprus Citizenship if their children have already acquired Cyprus Citizenship and if they provide an additional €500,000 investment in residential property in Cyprus.
Q. What are the main requirements to the applicant?
A. The requirements are the following: • The applicant must be at least 18 years of age • Applicants must invest the required amount • Applicants must have a clean criminal record • The Investor’s name must not be on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the EU • Applicants must possess Cyprus Permanent Residency Permit • Applicants must not have previously been refused granting of citizenship by any other country • Applicants must have a valid Schengen visa
Q. Must the investments be made only by the investor personally or can they be made through the investor’s company/companies or investment funds?
A. An investment through a company or a fund is eligible, provided there is a proven connection between the investor and the company or fund or foundation.
Q. What are the investment options for obtaining citizenship of Cyprus?
A. There are several investment options - Purchase of residential property worth € 2,000,000 - Purchase of commercial property worth € 2,000,000 plus residential property worth € 500,000 - Purchase of shares of Cyprus companies in the amount of € 2,000,000 plus investment in residential real estate € 500,000
Q. Can the investor buy multiple residential units for the purposes of applying for citizenship?
A. The investor can either buy one property or multiple residential units. In case the investor buys multiple residential units, at least one of them must be worth at least €500,000 and the total amount should be minimum €2,000,000.
Q. Can the purchase of land be considered an eligible criterion for citizenship application?
A. No. This criterion only includes ready or under construction properties (residential or commercial developments), as well as a plot of land with an officially approved development plan.
Q. Can the investment include properties that have previously been acquired by another investor to participate in the program?
A. Yes. But in this case, the investment threshold increases to € 2,500,000.
Q. If the investor already owns a property in Cyprus, can it be included in the investment . Can it go to offset when calculating the total investment?
A. Yes, provided that the property was acquired not more than three years ago.
Q. Is Value Added Tax (VAT) considered as part of the investment or is it paid additionally?
A. Value Added Tax (VAT) is not considered as part of the investment. It is paid extra
Q. What taxes will the investor have to pay when purchasing properties?
A. 5% VAT on the first property purchased from the primary market (instead of the standard rate of 19%). For each subsequent unit the VAT is charged at a rate of 19%. - 0.2% - state duty fee for the registration of each sales agreement in the Land Registry. - Title Deeds - a document confirming the property ownership, which allows to sell, mortgage or inherit the purchased housing. The fee for transferring the title deeds depends on the total value of the property, but new buildings subject to VAT are exempt from duty.
Q. Can the bank transfer fees be included in the amount of the investment?
A. No, the transfer fees are not included in the investment amount, nor any other charges or taxes are.
Q. What tax consequences are imposed on an investor after obtaining Cypriot citizenship?
A. Upon obtaining citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus no new or additional tax liabilities arise for the investor unless the investor opts to become a Cyprus tax resident, i.e. to spend 183 more days in Cyprus. Tax residents are taxed on all chargeable income that is accrued or derived from any source in Cyprus and abroad. Personal tax on income generated in Cyprus is taxed at progressive rates up to 35%. Any foreign taxes that are paid can be credited against personal income tax liability.
Q. How soon and in what amount can the investment be returned?
A. The investment can be exited in 5 years, but one property worth € 500,000 plus VAT must be retained or purchased for permanent residency.
Q. Can the investor who was granted Cyprus citizenship sell or replace the property that was purchased for the purpose of the application before the investment exit date (in less than 5 years)?
A. Yes, the main investor can sell or replace the property that was purchased for the purpose of the citizenship application. However, it is then required to invest in another property in Cyprus with equal or bigger value. This also applies to properties of the main applicant’s parents.
Q. What date is considered a starting point for the five-year period during which the investor must own property purchased to participate in the program?
A. The five-year period is counted from the day of the sale agreement registration in the Land Registry.
Q. Can the residential property be rented out once Citizenship is granted?
A. If the investor and his family are not planning to live in Cyprus, they can rent out their property. However, in this case the full VAT amount of 19% must be paid.
Q. What rental income can one expect in different segments of real estate?
A. The average rental income of residential and commercial real estate is about 3-5% per year
Q. What is the procedure for obtaining citizenship?
A. The procedure is as follows: - Selection and purchase of the investment - Preparation and submission of documents to the Cyprus Ministry of Internal Affairs for obtaining first a residence permit, and then citizenship - Receipt of the actual passport
Q. How long does the process of choosing the properties and registering the sales agreement take on average?
A. The selection of properties can take 3-5 days. Registration of the Sales agreement - from 1 day.
Q. What is the time frame for the examination of an application?
A. Approximately eight months.
Q. What documents are required for submission?
А. You will be required to provide our legal team with the following documents: - Copy of passport - Copy of Birth Certificate - Copy of Marriage Certificate - Clean criminal record Certificate - Two passport size photographs - Curriculum Vitae of applicants
Q. What is the amount of the government fees payable for each application?
А. Concerning the investor, investor’s spouse and adult children the amount of €2.000 for each is paid at the submission of the application and, if the application is approved, the amount of €5.000 for each is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate. For the investor’s minor children €80 is paid at the submission of the application with no further fees.
Q. Does the investor need to show proof of all his/ her funds to participate in the program?
A. No, the proof of funds is only necessary for the amount invested within the program.
Q. Does the investor and his family have to immigrate to Cyprus before applying for citizenship?
A. No, but the investor and his family members must have Schengen visas
Q. Are there are any requirements for an investor to live in the country prior to obtaining citizenship.
A. There are no such requirements.
Q. Are the investor and his family required to reside in Cyprus after obtaining citizenship in order to retain it?
A. No, they are not required to reside in Cyprus.
Q. Is it required for the investors and his family to pass Greek language proficiency test or Cyprus history exam as a condition to obtaining citizenship of Cyprus?
A. No, it is not required.
Q. Are any medical tests required prior to applying for a citizenship? Do the investor and his family need health insurance?
A. No medical tests or obligatory health insurance are required prior to applying for Cypriot Citizenship by Investment.
Q. If an applicant for Cypriot Citizenship by Investment is the holder of a European permanent residency, is it required for the residency to be revoked prior to applying for Citizenship in Cyprus?
A. No, it is not required for the European permanent residency of any country to be revoked in order to apply for Citizenship in Cyprus.
Q: Does the investor who has obtained citizenship under the above program enjoy the same rights as other citizens (nationals) of Cyprus including the right to freely move, live, study and work within EU without any restrictions?
A. Yes, that’s true. We can merely add that Cyprus passport holders also acquire the right to vote in the Republic of Cyprus.
Q: Does a Cyprus citizen (national) passport have the same value as a passport of any other European Union member state? Will Cyprus citizenship automatically grant the investor and members of his/her family European citizenship?
A. Yes, that is exactly so. Because Cyprus is a member of the European Union its citizens automatically become European citizens.
Q. How safe is it to live and own property in Cyprus?
A. Cyprus is considered as one of the safest countries in the European Union with the lowest crime rate. Cypriot law based on the British legal system is one of the most reliable in terms of protecting property ownership rights.
Q. What advantages does Cyprus citizenship give in terms of travelling in Schengen Area?
A. The Cyprus citizenship allows you to travel without restrictions across the “Schengen Area” of the European Union. (The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. It functions as a single area for international travelers with a common visa policy.)
Q. Does Cyprus allow dual citizenship? A. Yes, it does
Q. Can a person participate in Cyprus Investment Program if he/ she had been refused application in a similar program in another country?
A. No, he/ she can’t.
Q. If the investor is divorced, can this be an obstacle to obtaining citizenship for his children under 28? A. No. This is not an obstacle.
Q: Can the investor’s partner (if the marriage has not been officially registered) also obtain citizenship along with the investor or does Cyprus only recognise official marriages for the purpose of the program?
A. Provided that a marriage between spouses has not been officially registered but common-law spouses are really actual man and wife and live together in common-law marriage then they can register their marriage at a city hall (municipality) of one of Cyprus cities. In case they have no such intention then there is another option – they can be married in the church without state registration of their marriage. Certificate of marriage registered and certified by Orthodox Church of Cyprus Orthodox Church of Cyprus is legally recognized in the Republic of Cyprus as well as a common-law marriage registered at a municipality.