Cyprus: Permanent residency and citizenship rules boost investment
International Tax Review is part of Legal Benchmarking Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX
Copyright © Legal Benchmarking Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Cyprus: Permanent residency and citizenship rules boost investment

intl-updates-small.jpg
nicolaou.jpg
kokoni.jpg

Maria Nicolaou

Zoe Kokoni

Cyprus, one of the sunniest and safest locations in Europe, is an ideal location for both EU and non-EU nationals looking for a high quality standard of living. The recently introduced simplified procedures for issuing permanent residency and citizenship certificates in Cyprus have made this relocation much easier and have increased foreign investments into the island.

Permanent residency in Cyprus

A Cyprus permanent residency can be obtained by investment in real estate. The programme requires investment in real estate with a minimum market value of €300,000 ($336,000) plus VAT, including proof of the initial payment of at least €200,000 (excluding VAT).

In addition to the above mentioned financial criteria, the applicants must fulfil the following requirements:

  • Maintain a deposit in a Cypriot bank with a minimum balance of €30,000 from funds transferred from overseas (the amount requirement increases by €5,000 for each dependent child and €8,000 for each dependent parent);

  • Have a clean criminal record;

  • Visit Cyprus at least once every two years;

  • Declare that they do not intend to work or to be involved in any form of business in Cyprus;

  • Declare that they have a secured annual income from abroad; and

  • Ensure that the applicant's name is not included in the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU.

Provided that the above criteria are met, the application shall be examined by the Minister of Interior and the permit should be granted within two months.

Third country nationals who hold the permanent residence status and reside in Cyprus for at least seven years may apply for citizenship.

Citizenship by investment in Cyprus

In September 2016, Cyprus' Council of Ministers approved the amendments to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception. These amendments resulted in the required investment amount being reduced to €2 million in residential real-estate. The investment should either be made in person or through a company in which the applicant is a shareholder. The type of investment can be one or a combination of the following:

  • Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects;

  • Purchase, establishment or participation in Cypriot companies or businesses; and/or

  • Investment in alternative investment funds or financial assets of Cypriot companies or Cypriot organisations that are licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec).

Depending on the type of the investment, relevant documentation will have to be submitted as part of the application.

The investment may be sold after a period of three years provided that the investor maintains at least a property with a minimum value of €500,000.

The citizenship applicant may also add dependents to the application including his/her spouse, children (up to the age of 18 or between 18 and 27 if they are financially dependent on the main applicant) and parents (provided that they have purchased a permanent residence of at least €500,000 plus VAT).

The applicant is required to have a clean criminal report and it is also necessary that his/her name is not included in the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU. Additionally, prior to his/her naturalisation as a Cypriot citizen, the applicant must hold a residence permit in Cyprus or an immigration permit.

Taxation

Obtaining the permanent resident status or citizenship status in Cyprus does not automatically translate to an individual also being a tax resident. Tax residency will depend on the number of days spent in Cyprus, whilst taxation rights of Cyprus will also depend on the domicile of an individual.

Maria Nicolaou (maria.nicolaou@eurofast.eu) and Zoe Kokoni (zoe.kokoni@eurofast.eu), Nicosia

Eurofast Taxand Cyprus

Tel: +357 22699222

Website: www.eurofast.eu

more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

New requirements for advisers to inform clients of any relevant matters that might impact their relationship have raised concerns from a raft of professional bodies
The fallout from PwC China’s Evergrande audit has reportedly hit the firm hard; in other news, the US and Turkey look to reform their corporate tax rates
Canada risks inflaming US trade relations in a presidential election year and increasing costs for consumers, according to local experts
Dudbridge, ForrestBrown director and head of its advisory practice, FB Consulting, tells ITR about the joys of tax advisory work, what he finds most exciting about the role and what makes tax cool
A UK court rejected Tills Plus’s claim for R&D tax credits due to a lack of technological advancement
View the Social Impact EMEA Awards 2024 shortlist and join us on September 12 at The Waldorf Hotel in London
The announcement is due to be made during the country’s Union Budget statement next week, according to reports
Around 30 roles are to be cut as the firm’s tax controversy and disputes practice will be incorporated into its tax division
The Labour Party has made ambitious commitments to close the UK’s ‘tax gap’, but how can they do it, and what will it mean for business?
The refreshed leadership team does not include Paddy Carney, who previously made headlines for her dual role on PwC Australia’s and PwC International’s boards
Gift this article