When it comes to the subject of citizenship, the saying “different strokes for different folks” is very much appropriate. Different countries around the world have certain prerequisites that need to be met before a non-citizen can become a legally recognised citizen. Different countries including Canada, Portugal, and Cyprus amongst others offer citizenship by investment based on various terms.
A lot of people have questions about what it takes to become a citizen of Cyprus by investment. There is a process and there are certain parameters that must be met if you want to become a citizen by investing in the county. This article will explain all that you need to know about Cyprus Citizenship by Investment.
All about Cyprus
Cyprus is an island country that is located in the Eastern Mediterranean, the country is close to Greece, Turkey as well as Egypt. It is the third largest and the third most populous country in the Mediterranean and it is characterized by a rich history and unique culture. The country gained its independence from Great Britain on the 16th of August 1960; however, they celebrate their independence on the first of October every year.
The Island is divided into Northern and Southern regions which are called the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ and ‘the Independent Republic of Cyprus’ respectively.
Major tourist destination
The country is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean and the country’s official languages are Greek and Turkish. Apart from the amazing sites and views that can be visited all over the country, the country is also loved by foreigners because of its low crime rates, fabulous cuisine and relaxed lifestyle of the locals.
Cyprus is statistically one of the safest places in the world and it is a part of the European Union.
Residence and Citizenship in Cyprus
Cyprus offers two golden visa programs through real estate investment. One for permanent residency and one for Cyprus Citizenship by Investment, we will continue in this article to look at how you can acquire citizenship through investments in Cyprus, so with that being said, shall we?
All about the process
Cyprus offers the quickest route to becoming a citizen of a European country, they also offer you the surest route. The way Cyprus has handled the process of citizenship over recent times has been very unique. If you can proceed through the process and you possess the basic requirements then you and your family can enjoy the right to be called Cypriots in 6 months.
With a Cypriot passport, you have also become a citizen of the European Union and that has its own unique set of benefits.
Who can apply?
As long as you as you have a clear criminal record and you are above the age of 18 then you are suitable to apply. Also, there are no language requirements, an interview process or medical tests required. As long as you are above that age, you as well as your spouse and other financial dependents can enjoy the benefits of being a citizen of Cyprus in no time.
Residency and Citizenship by investment, read what’s the best option for you and your family.
What are the requirements?
The application process for Cyprus citizenship by investment is quite rigorous, we must say. It requires a certain level of patience in the process because it can be quite difficult to predict what the application process will entail. Application timelines vary depending on how quickly an applicant can produce their required documentation. Another important factor that determines the complexity of the process is the complexity of the application itself.
There are about six steps when it comes to the procurement of an investment visa:
- The first step in the process is completing and sending the application itself, and the subsequent period before preliminary approval;
- The second step is the purchase of real estate;
- The third step is to submit the citizenship application form and make the investment into an escrow account;
- The fourth step is the processing and approval of the application, this is conducted by the relevant government department in Cyprus;
- The fifth step is the payment of the necessary government fees and the subsequent release of the investment;
- The sixth step is the issuance of the citizenship certificate(s), after which you can proceed to apply for a Cypriot passport, complete the necessary biometrics and then gain a Cypriot passport.
Parents who have children that are Cypriots have access to a discount when it comes to obtaining Cyprus citizenship by Investment. Applicants who have Cypriot children can also become citizens by acquiring a property of €500,000 or above in value.
We’ve also already written about the cost of living in Cyprus.
Other Investment Options
€2 million investment into the country’s real estate industry
This kind of investment can guarantee citizenship for the investor if such an investment is made into a piece of Cypriot residential real estate. The investment has to remain in situ for a minimum of three years and at the end of the third year, the investment can be reduced to a €500,000 property which must be held indefinitely.
Investors are also given the opportunity to spread the €2 million investment through multiple property purchases.
€2.5 million via a combination of both real estate and/or investments
For this option, the investor is given the opportunity to have a 3-year investment of €2 million in one or more of the following;
- Cypriot government bonds that bear interests, but bear in mind this is only possible If the investment does not exceed €500,000);
- An investment of €2 million in the country’s eligible real estate that includes; residential, commercial, infrastructural and so on;
- The creation or acquisition or any other form of participation in a business enterprise. The enterprise must have operational branches in Cyprus and must also employ 5 citizens of Cyprus (or any other EU nationals).
Is Cyprus citizenship by investment extendable to family members?
One common question that people ask about the Cyprus citizenship by investment program is the question of extension. Investors often do not but need to know the privileges that members of their family can enjoy through their Cypriot citizenship.
The answer to that question is that the Cyprus citizenship by investment option is fully extendable to family members. The spouse, children, and other dependents do not need to make any additional payments towards the investment proposal. All options for citizenship also allow for dependents to be equally recognised citizens alongside the investor in a legal sense.
Dependents can include;
- Children under the age of 18 as well as full-time students between the ages of 18-28 who are dependent on the main applicant;
- Parents and grandparents of the main applicant who are over the age of 65. The condition to this is that such a parent or grandparent must be living with the main applicant and must also be dependent on him/her.
It might also be interesting to take a look at the reasons why you should consider to retire in Cyprus.
Benefits of having Cyprus Citizenship by Investment
There are a lot of benefits that you and your loved ones can enjoy when you become a Cypriot. Some of these benefits include;
Visit 159 countries without visa requirement
The opportunity to visit over 159 countries without a visa requirement. The long list of countries includes; Canada and many other nations across Europe.
World-class education system
Access to a world-class education system that competes with the top-tier educational institutions of the world.
Benefits extedendable to family
The benefits do not end with the investor; it extends to his/her closest family members. They all gain visa-free travel that allows them the right to; live, work, or study anywhere in Europe and Switzerland.
Great quality of life
An amazing environment that is renowned for being unpolluted and offers a great quality of life unspoilt by over-tourism. The country’s health care system is top notch and all recognised citizens have full access to it.
A number of tax advantages and a high level of personal/social security.
No need to live in Cyprus
Also, after you have become a citizen, you do not have to psychically reside in the country.
Is Cypriot citizenship worth?
With over 2 million visitors every year, we think its fair to say those most need little or no convincing that it is an amazing place to live long-term. The country is home to a number of fantastic golden beaches, amazing cuisine, endless cultural and historical sites and overall, a healthy balance between urban development/infrastructure and nature for a relaxed lifestyle in the sun almost year-round.
The great part is that if you are keen on the process, it only takes approximately 4-6 months. Cyprus is an amazing place to visit, moreover a serene and unique destination to settle for a fabulous quality of life for you and your family.