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Cypriot Citizenship by Investment: Getting What You Pay For

30 March 2017

Cypriot Citizenship by Investment: Getting What You Pay For
When a passport from your home country places restrictions on your travel freedom throughout the world, “citizenship planning” can come in handy. While there are plenty of Citizenship by Investment Programs in the Caribbean, obtaining European citizenship provides high net worth individuals (HNWI) mobility and amenities to families that are hard to beat. Second citizenship and passports are offered in several European nations, and holders of a European passport have access to over 150 countries, including a number of social benefits granted to citizens. However, not all second citizenships are the same—even in Europe.

For individuals looking for fast-track direct citizenship opportunities in Europe, Cyprus’ citizenship applications are generally approved by the Ministry of Interior in approximately 3 months. For a naturalization certificate to be issued in Cyprus, the applicant must hold a Cypriot permanent residency (PR) card for a minimum of 6 months. After the 6 month period ends, the naturalization certificate is issued to the applicant. Upon issuance of the naturalization certificate, he or must sign the naturalization certificate and swear an Oath of Citizenship in a Cypriot court. Once these steps are completed, the individual’s biometrics must be submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD), whereby he or she is issued a Cypriot passport.

Holders of a Cypriot passport have visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 159 countries across the globe, including the UK, Canada, Australia and Schengen region.

Requirements for Obtaining Cypriot Citizenship

For wealthy foreign nationals, obtaining a second citizenship has come a long way from waiting months or even years through traditional immigration systems. For those who can afford it, obtaining Cypriot citizenship through investment is the quickest path to travel freedom—but for a price. Like most European immigration schemes, applicants to Cyprus’ Citizenship by Investment Program are required to invest a substantial amount in the economy. Investment options include:
  • Purchase of a residential property with a minimum investment amount of EUR 2 million, which must be held for a minimum of 3 years. The investment must also include a permanent personal residence valued at EUR 500,000, including VAT; OR,
  • Make a minimum investment in Cyprus for a minimum amount of EUR 2.5 million that must be held for at least 3 years. This investment option includes a permanent personal residence valued at EUR 500,000, plus VAT. The remaining amount of EUR 2 million can be made using one or a combination of the following options:
  1. Make investment in real estate or development projects by purchasing or constructing buildings, including residential, commercial structures, or other infrastructure projects;
  2. Government securities up to a maximum value of EUR 500,000;
  3. Purchase, create, or participate in businesses or companies that are based in Cyprus and employ at least five Cypriot citizens.
While investing millions in exchange for Cypriot citizenship might seem too pricey for some, successful applicants get what they pay for. Benefits of Cypriot citizenship outrank a number of other European programs, which normally require applicants to permanently reside in their chosen country for years before citizenship can be obtained.

Benefits of Cypriot Citizenship

For starters, the main applicant, spouse, and dependent children up to the age of 28 are able to obtain European citizenship which can be passed to future generations. Cyprus recognizes dual citizenship, so there is no need for applicants to renounce their current citizenship. Cypriot citizens also have right to live and work within any of the 28 EU countries and have an access to the education and health care systems in all participating nations. Even more, applicants to Cyprus’ Citizenship by Investment Program are not required to physically reside in Cyprus to obtain and keep their citizenship. This means successful applicants are not obligated to permanently live in Cyprus, and that real estate investments for residential use can be used as a family vacation home or a rental for visitors to the country. When it comes to flexibility and mobility offered by Citizenship by Investment planning, Cypriot citizenship offers applicants the best of both worlds.

Final Thoughts

 It is true that applicants seeking immigration solutions through Citizenship by Investment Programs will want to know which is the cheapest. However, the most affordable program doesn’t always mean it’s the best for you and your family. For those wanting greater travel freedom and added benefits of European citizenship, Cyprus is the number one choice for getting exactly what you pay for.

For more information on Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus, please click here.

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