Of the few European nations that offer direct citizenship and second passports in exchange for investment, Cyprus is one of the most sought-after countries by wealthy foreign nationals. With an investment requirement of €2 million, however, it is also one of the most expensive programs available. Is it worth the high price tag? Being a Cypriot citizen is an advantage with countless benefits. We will discuss a few of them here and let you be the judge.
A Cypriot citizenship and passport allows visa-free travel to any of the 27 European Union member states. This is certainly an advantage for those conducting business within the EU. Aside from the ease of travel within the EU, a Cypriot citizen is also advantaged with the right to live, work and study anywhere within the EU. Further, a driver’s license from Cyprus is recognized in all member states of the EU, without the need to obtain a new license.
Outside of the EU, Cypriot citizens are also granted much travel freedom. Cyprus has one of the strongest passports in the world allowing visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 80% of the world’s countries. That benefit alone might be worth the price of the passport to some affluent business persons.
As a member of the European Union, citizens of Cyprus have the right to move freely and work in any of the EU member states without restrictions. Cypriot citizens obtain several benefits through social security including sickness benefits, maternity allowances, pensions, and disability allowance. Even those that decide to move to another EU country maintain the right to receive their social insurance benefits. In other words, pension and other allowances are sent from the state in which the person has worked to the state in which the person moves to and resides in.
Employees in Cyprus are protected by the state. In cases of unlawful dismissal, if an employee has worked for at least 26 consecutive weeks, he/she has the right to compensation paid by the employer.
Business and Taxation
With Cyprus being at the crossroad of the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, the country is in a prime location as a base for international trade. Cypriot citizens get to enjoy one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe, now with a 12.5% cap applying to both onshore and offshore companies. This is an advantage for those who wish to expand their business to Cyprus. In addition, gains from security trading, inheritance or gifts, as well as capital gains are completely tax exempt.
Cyprus also has an extensive double tax treaties network with over 50 countries, including the USA, UK, Canada, India, China, and the UAE. These treaties offer beneficial provisions that can result in an advantageous after-tax result when combined with the tax credit offered by Cyprus on withholding tax in the country of origin.
Another benefit gained as a citizen of Cyprus is education. The University of Cyprus and Cyprus University of Technology are two highly recognized and globally acclaimed public universities in Cyprus. These public universities offer Cypriot citizens tuition-free education for undergraduate studies. That’s right: free university.
In addition, Cypriot citizens have the right to study in any other EU member state while obtaining the same advantages and fees as the citizens of that country. This is an enormous benefit since several countries in the EU provide either free education or low tuition fees for post-secondary education. Further, a diploma received in any of the EU countries is recognized in all member states.
Healthcare benefits are also amongst the extensive list benefits obtained with Cypriot citizenship. Cypriot public hospitals are free in certain cases. The hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment in order to provide patients with the highest quality healthcare.
In addition, the EU adopted a Directive on cross-border healthcare which offers all EU citizens widespread healthcare rights in any of the EU member states. EU citizens can receive healthcare in any of the 27 member states and patients are reimbursed for the healthcare received based on the amount that would be covered by their own member state. Further, holders of a European Health Insurance Card have the right to receive treatment at the same cost as those insured in the EU country where treatment is received.
If the above-mentioned benefits aren’t enough, Cyprus is also renowned for being the safest country in the EU and is among the top 10 safest countries in the world. The climate in Cyprus is always temperate being in the Mediterranean. The beaches and its waters are considered the world’s cleanest, and the coastline impressively displays the world’s highest number of eco-certified beaches per mile.
Cypriot citizens enjoy high standards of living, luxury accommodations, and a rich cultural history. Who wouldn’t want to call this gem nation home? With citizenship attainable in just a three-month processing time, a Cyprus citizenship is the ultimate lifetime investment. When considering applying for a second citizenship though, it is essential to have a solid foundation before proceeding. Contact our office today to arrange a consultation.
For more information on Cyprus’ Citizenship by Investment Program, please click here.
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