The golden days, when countries vied with each other to offer their passports in exchange for money injections into the economy, have passed.
However, if at the top of the European Union they look askance at the programs of "golden" passports, on the periphery of the EU governments are in no hurry to abandon them. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, it is beneficial from the point of view of attracting funds to the economy. Secondly, there is always a merchant for this product.
In light of recent events, instability related to the conflict in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia, the next wave of migration and other negative social and economic factors, it should be expected that in the foreseeable future the conditions of similar programs will tighten throughout Europe.
In 2020, Cyprus and Malta stopped issuing citizenship for investments.
And if the Maltese restarted the scheme by the beginning of 2022, the Cypriots announced a longer suspension of the program for issuing "golden" passports. The main reason is the corruption scandal.
Before it, the following conditions were offered: economic citizenship for investments in Cyprus was issued for 2.2 million euros (a grant of 200 thousand euros + 500 thousand euros in housing for life + 1.5 million euros in other housing for 5 years OR 2 million euros in business / real estate). The time of registration is six months.
Will the Cyprus scheme be restarted? Is unknown. Obviously, after the restart, the conditions will be tougher both in terms of prices and in terms of candidate checks.
Nevertheless, foreign investors still have the opportunity to get permanent residence according to an easy scheme.
To do this, you need to purchase a property in Cyprus worth at least 300 thousand euros. Registration of permanent residence (Immigration Permit) without a preliminary residence permit takes place within 2 months. But, the fact of purchase cannot yet be considered a 100% guarantee of obtaining citizenship.
One of the fastest ways to obtain Cyprus citizenship today is to marry a citizen of Cyprus. In this case, in order to get a passport, you must have been married for at least 3 years and 2 of them in Cyprus. Children get citizenship if at least one spouse is a Cypriot.
Why is a Cyprus passport so valuable?
We have repeatedly talked about this in our articles. However, when it comes to how much you will have to pay for a passport of Cyprus, it is impossible not to note the benefits that it gives, and this:
- legal employment, registration and doing business (as in Cyprus or in any other EU country);
- access to quality medical care in any EU country;
- education for children that meets the latest international standards with a diploma recognized worldwide;
- clear "rules of the game" for business;
- one of the most convenient tax systems in Europe, which both individuals and legal entities can optimize for their needs;
- opportunities for recreation — active, relaxed (by the sea), mountain, international;
- high level of personal security;
- comfortable language environment (a large number of Russian-speaking population lives on the island);
- the possibility of obtaining a second citizenship (after receiving a Cyprus passport, you have the right to keep your existing passport, which gives you additional opportunities to plan your life);
- visa-free regime (174 countries have signed the relevant agreements);
- the possibility of living in any other country (there are no permanent residence requirements for obtaining Cyprus citizenship through real estate investments).
The more money, the faster you can count on a Cyprus passport?
The fastest and easiest way to obtain citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus, and with it the status of a citizen of the European Union, is investment. A number of citizens believe that the easiest and cheapest way to naturalize in Cyprus is to marry a Cypriot. However, this is a very controversial opinion.
Immigration to Cyprus by registering a marriage, real or fictitious, is an affordable, but far from the best and certainly not the fastest option. It should be remembered that the legislation of Cyprus, as well as other EU countries, primarily protects the rights of its citizens, so it can be very difficult to achieve your goal.
After three years, you have the right to submit an application, but its consideration may take months or even years. Strictly speaking, there is nothing to calculate here except moral costs, and therefore we will leave this option aside.
Officially, there are several categories of residence permits in Cyprus, which can be obtained by citizens of third countries:
- Category A. For people who want to work in the field of agriculture (you need to have your own plot of land, as well as capital from 430 thousand euros).
- Category B. For persons who want to work in the mining industry (permission from the authorities, confirmation that such work does not harm the economy and nature of Cyprus, from 350 thousand euros of capital).
- Category C.Work in any specialty (only for yourself, not for the company) with a permit from the civil service and capital from 260 thousand euros.
- Category D. Work in science (if you have diplomas, proof of qualifications). Still for those who will work without taking away their potential jobs from the Cypriots. The minimum capital is the same as in the previous category.
- Category E. This is already a work visa, which was discussed earlier.
- Category F.Accommodation for persons who have sufficient income not to work. The amount of income is not clearly defined, but there is an unspoken rule: at least 10 thousand euros per year, additionally for a spouse or children – another 5 thousand euros. In some cases, more income will be required.
It is the F category temporary resident visa that is the most popular and frequently used. Immigration to Cyprus in this way is a common phenomenon for wealthy people who have a good business or investments abroad, accumulated capital, deposits, etc., and want to spend the rest of their lives on the shores of a Mediterranean island in comfortable conditions.
To obtain a residence permit of category F, you also need to have a certain amount in a Cypriot bank (about 30 thousand euros, it is blocked for three years) income from abroad and real estate.
You also need to specify the reason for your stay in Cyprus. For example, emigration with a family, children under 21 who will study on the island is a great option.
How much will it cost?
Applicants who are willing to invest an amount of 300 thousand euros in square meters are provided with permanent residence for up to two months, while the standard procedure takes a year or more. The risk of rejection for property owners is minimal, and the list of relatives who can be included in the application has been expanded.
The permanent residence received for real estate is valid for life, for automatic renewal it is only necessary to come to the country once every two years. The time of residence in Cyprus under this status can be counted within the required period for obtaining citizenship by naturalization (7 years).
In 2021, the Government of Cyprus changed the rules of participation in the program, which made it even more attractive to investors.
Buying residential property in Cyprus
You can buy up to two residential properties for a total amount of 300 thousand euros (plus VAT), of which 200 thousand euros (without VAT) the investor pays immediately regardless of the readiness of the project.
Only new buildings sold by the developer directly to the investor for the first time participate in the program. At the same time, if two objects are purchased, the developer companies may be different.
Purchase of commercial real estate in Cyprus
An investor can purchase one or more objects for a total amount of 300 thousand both on the primary and secondary market.
The terms of the program apply to the "secondary" only in exceptional cases. The application will be approved if the previous owner purchased the object before May 7, 2013.
Pay attention! Access to an accelerated permanent residence permit (permanent residence) in Cyprus is also opened by investments in the country's economy, for example, a contribution to company shares or an investment fund.
Permanent residence for family members
Together with the investor, his family members can also apply for permanent residence:
- minor children under 18 years of age;
- adult children from 18 to 25 years old who are not married, study at a university and are dependent on the investor;
- the investor's parents and spouses.
A child over the age of 25 can also be included in the application. In this case, the investor will need to add another 300 thousand euros to the minimum amount, that is, the total amount of the transaction must be at least 600 thousand euros. Together with the application, it is necessary to provide proof of payment of at least 66% of the property value. And for an adult child to confirm sufficient income to live in Cyprus.
Basic requirements for the buyer of real estate
Minimum real estate price
The total cost of the purchased property must be at least 300 thousand euros (plus VAT). The money should come from abroad. Under the terms of the program, you can buy real estate not only for an individual, but also for a Cyprus company in which the investor is listed as the founder.
Minimum annual income
The confirmed income of the investor is 30 thousand euros per year, plus 5 thousand euros for the spouse and each child, as well as 8 thousand euros for each parent. That is, a family with two minor children should have an annual income of at least 45 thousand euros.
Address of residence in Cyprus
You need to have a residence address in Cyprus. For an investor investing in commercial properties, the availability of housing on the island— own or rented — is also mandatory. As a confirmation, you need to attach a certificate of ownership, a lease or purchase agreement to the application.
Pay attention! To get the right to apply for permanent residence in an expedited manner, it is necessary to fulfill all three requirements, not one of them. At the same time, Cyprus has a standard procedure for issuing the same permanent residence permits of category F — in this case, the conditions are milder, you can not comply with the price limit for real estate and show several times less income.
500 euros is the state fee for obtaining a permanent residence permit.
5-10 thousand euros — depending on the rates of immigration lawyers and the composition of the applicant's family. Some real estate agencies and developers provide their clients with these services for free.
Real estate expenses
The program participant bears the costs associated with the purchase of real estate: VAT for new buildings (19% is the standard rate, 5% is reduced), lawyer's fee and government fees.
Interested in buying a property in Cyprus? Welcome to the DOM website! Here you will find options for houses and apartments in Limassol, Paphos, Larnaca and Famagusta, as well as get the help of experienced specialists.
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