Investor Visas For Cyprus
Cyprus offers investors a quick, assured route to citizenship through its Cyprus Investment Programme. And, Cyprus is unique in offering permanent residency in as little as 6 months of such an investment.
An initial investment of €2 million is required, and that investment can be reduced to just €500k after three years.
Cyprus investor visas no longer the preserve of the few.
Migration by Investment programmes are now the fastest growing area of immigration law globally, as people come to realise residency and a second citizenship is not just desirable but, a vital part of any effective global freedom, privacy and security strategy.
Cyprian programme continues to grow in popularity
Our friendly team can provide you with the expert advice and support you will requre to secure Cyprian residency through the Cyprus Investment Programme.
Our team strive to provide the most suitable investment opportunities to meet our clients' needs, so as to ensure they can secure residency under current Cyprian immigration law.
Watch Our Video On Reasons To Invest In Cyprus
Benefits of the Cyprus Investment Programme:
- Full Cypriot citizenship on offer;
- Confers the right to live, work, and study in all 28 European Union countries;
- Acquire security of European Union legal and social protection;
- Full citizenship and passports are granted to the applicant and qualifying family members;
- A Cypriot passport allows visa-free travel to 159 countries around the world;
- Flexible options with no residence required; approval usually within 90 days;
- Qualify by acquiring assets in Cyprus, with no requirement to donate your wealth;
- No dividend tax on worldwide income for non-domiciled tax residents;
- Low rate of corporate income tax;
- Dual citizenship allowed;
- Citizenship is granted to the applicant, the spouse, all financially dependent children up to the age of 28 and the applicant's parents
Terms Of Obtaining Cyprus Citizenship
- Minimum investment EUR 2m (USD 2.2m) excluding VAT
- Non-corporate residency programme requires EUR 500,000+ property purchase;
- Investment to be kept just for 3 years;
- No donations required;
- Cyprus passport typically issued within 6 months;
- No requirement to reside in Cyprus;
- No exams in history or Greek language.
Any non-Cypriot citizen may apply for Cypriot citizenship through Naturalisation by Exception if they meet one of the following economic criteria presented below.
The qualification may either be done personally or through a company/companies in which he/she acts as a shareholder or even as a high-ranking senior manager.
The purchase price of the particular property should be at least EUR 500,000 plus VAT. In the case that the applicant proceeds with the Real estate option, this property can be included in the EUR 2 million investment.
The process of obtaining Cypriot citizenship consists of a series of important steps that need to be implemented carefully, and executed by an authorise service provider. Haskew Law is the only UK-based agent to enjoy this authorisation.
We manage each step of the process to ensure correct and timely execution, as each step can effect the final citizenship approval.
Following the submission of an application, we anticipate approval in about six months. This quick process makes Cyprus one of the fastest destinations in which to obtain a second citizenship.
The procedure for obtaining Cypriot citizenship is a delicate process that requires a high level of focus on the detail in the application, and in the structuring of the investment. We have a wealth of international and local expertise to ensure delivery of your application within requisite time frames.
We only work with investors who have passed our internal due diligence checks, which mirror those used by the Government of Cyprus as part of the application process.
Cyprus Real Estate for Investors
Early 2018 saw a return to full and robust health in the Cyprus property market. After several years of stagnant prices, opportunities to acquire exceptionally good value properties are once again being snapped up. That return to competitiveness has seen bidding between buyers, as a result of a tightening supply of choice properties in the most desirable investment areas.
The main element of a healthy Cyprus real estate market has always been residential property and specifically, within the luxury segment, second homes.
The property options in Cyprus that offer buyers the highest value for money include:
- Seafront properties, typically including private 'infinity' pools
- Integrated master-planned communities
- These usually have a golf course or community at their core, offering properties that cater to all types of owners and include locals, new residents, second homeowners and vacationers
- The areas in highest demand provide lifestyle aspects (i.e. beaches) and infrastructure, notably areas such as Limassol, Pafos, and Ayia Napa.
- The best of these planned communities have high demand for both rental and resale.
- Investors who participate in guaranteed rental schemes can anticipate solid returns, and freshly renovated properties delivered to the buyer upon completion of the rental term.
Most foreign buyers purchase properties in the above-mentioned classifications, as opposed to purchasing a property in the capital city.
Form an Investment Trust in Cyprus
Trust formation in Cyprus is governed by the Cyprus International Trusts Law 1992 which complements the Trustees Law Chapter 193 of 1955 which in its turn was based on the English Trustees Act of 1925.
A Cyprus International Trust in simple terms can be defined as the obligation which is placed upon a Trustee by the Settlor to manage the trust property for the benefit of the Beneficiary in accordance with the trust instrument.
Who can create a Cyprus International Trust and are there any restrictions?
A Cyprus International Trust can be created by anyone provided of course that the Settlor is of sound mind and of the right age. The restrictions imposed by the International Trusts Law of 1992 to 2012 focus on the residency status of the Settlor, the Trustee and the Beneficiary are provided below:
The Settlor is the person who sets the Cyprus International Trust and can be either a natural or legal person but must not be resident in Cyprus during the calendar year immediately preceding the creation of the trust;
The Trustee or at least one of the Trustees must be resident in Cyprus for the whole duration of the Cyprus International Trust. This means that if the Settlor wants to appoint a Trustee who has his residence outside of Cyprus then he must appoint a second trustee.
The Beneficiary or Beneficiaries must not be resident in Cyprus during the calendar year immediately preceding the creation of the trust and that applies equally whether the beneficiary is a natural or legal person.
What are the formal requirements to create a Cyprus International Trust?
The formalities that need to be met for the creation of a Cyprus International Trust are:
a) Comply with the residency requirements of the International Trusts law;
b) Make sure that the trust instrument satisfied the 3 certainties requirement;
c) Provide the information related to the Trustees to the relevant competent authority as per the September amendment to the law;
d) if the Cyprus International Trust is created by a will, the formal requirements indicated in the relevant law on wills must be complied with;
e) Payment of stamp duty of €430;
As stated above order for a Cyprus International Trust to be valid we need to have the following 3 certainties present:
a) Certainty of Intention = we must be able to demonstrate the Settlor’s express intention to create the trust;
b) Certainty of Subject Matter = the assets which will form the trust property must be readily identifiable and tangible;
c) The certainty of Objects = the identity of the beneficiaries must be clearly stated and sufficiently defined in cases where this involves as large group of people.
Types of Cyprus International Trusts
Express private trusts
The most common form of a Trust which is created by the Settlor expressly either by using a deed, in writing, by will and in some exceptional circumstances an oral statement could be seen as sufficient. The 3 certainties must be present at all times.
A Cyprus International Trust shall be deemed to be charitable if the 3 certainties are present and if it falls under the provisions of s.7 of The International Trusts Law of 1992 and 2012 and the Trust must have as its main purpose the achievement of one or more of the following:
a) the prevention or relief of poverty;
b) the advancement of education;
c) the advancement of religion;
d) the advancement of health or the saving of lives;
e) the advancement of citizenship or community development;
f) the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;
g) the advancement of amateur sport;
h) the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity;
i) the advancement of environmental protection or improvement;
j) the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or another disadvantage;
k) the advancement of animal welfare and protection of animals;
l) any other purposes beneficial to the public in general or which may reasonably be considered to be incidental to any purposes falling within any of the paragraphs above.
Fixed Trusts provide that the Beneficiaries shall only be entitled to the specified trust property which is indicated by the Settlor upon the creation of the Trust.
With discretionary Trusts, the Settlor has vested to the Trustees a discretion in regards to the sum each Beneficiary shall be entitled from the trust property.
Legal benefits of creating a Cyprus International Trust
a) A Cyprus International Trust can be used as an asset protection vehicle as it is immune from forced heirship and claw back rules in other jurisdictions where the assets are located;
b) A Cyprus International Trust does not become void even where the Settlor becomes insolvent or bankrupt;
c) A Cyprus International Trust which was set up after 2012 has no limit on the period over which it is valid and enforceable;
d) When a creditor contemplates that the Settlor used the Cyprus International Trust to defraud him the burden of proof is upon the creditor to prove such a sham within 2 years of the creation of the Cyprus International Trust. After a 2 year period, the creditor will be barred from bringing an action against the trustees.
Taxation of a Cyprus International Trust
a) If the Beneficiary is not resident in Cyprus and receives income from outside of Cyprus this income will not be subject to tax;
b) If the Beneficiary is resident in Cyprus and receives income from Cyprus this income is subject to tax;
c) If the Beneficiary is resident in Cyprus and receives income from outside of Cyprus and also from Cyprus then this income will be subject to tax;
d) A Cyprus International Trust does not pay any tax on income received from outside of Cyprus whereas a Cyprus Company pays income tax on its worldwide income;
e) A Cyprus International Trust does not pay any tax on the interest received provided that the beneficiaries are not resident in Cyprus;
f) Cyprus International Trusts are not affected by the non-existence of a double taxation treaty.
Dividends which are received by the Cyprus International Trust from a Cyprus company are not subject to tax.
Payments to beneficiaries
There is no withholding tax on payments to beneficiaries provided that they are not resident in Cyprus.
Any gains from asset disposal, other than immovable property situated in Cyprus, made by the Cyprus International Trust are not subject to capital gains tax in Cyprus.
No estate duty is payable by a Cyprus International Trust that was formed for the purposes of estate duty planning.
Amendments after 2013 affecting Cyprus International Trusts
As part of maintaining an attractive trust jurisdiction and at the same time remaining compliant with European Law and anti-money laundering laws and regulations the Cyprus Parliament has passed laws amending the Law Regulating Companies Providing Administrative Services and Related Matters of 2012 and the International Trusts Law of 1992 to 2012.
The main amendment which clients need to be aware of is the creation of a Trust Registries which will be maintained by 3 Cyprus regulatory authorities; namely the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Cyprus Bar Association and the Cyprus Association of Certified Accountants. For the purposes of ensuring that such information contained in the Trust Registries remains confidential, only the 3 abovementioned authorities will have access to such information and will not be made publicly available in under any circumstance.
What information must be provided to the Trust Registry
1. The name of the Cyprus International Trust;
2. The name and the full address of the Trustee or Trustees of the Cyprus International Trust at all relevant times;
3. The date when the Cyprus International Trust was established;
4. The date of any change in the governing law to the Cyprus International Trust occurred;
5. The date of termination of the Cyprus International Trust.
What details need to be verified?
As per art.7 of the Law Regulating Companies Providing Administrative Services and Related Matters of 2012 Persons providing services of management and administration to trusts are obliged to verify the details and the true identity of the beneficial owners of trusts, including the following categories:
3. Beneficiaries or class of beneficiaries;
4. Protectors, if any;
5. Investment consultants, accountants, tax consultants, if any;
6. Activities of the trust;
7. Any other person that exercises the effective control of the trust.
As the Cyprus International Trust must have at least one (1) Cyprus-resident Trustee, it will be the responsibility of that Trustee to notify the relevant competent authority fifteen (15) days after the creation of the Cyprus International Trust or in a case where Cyprus law becomes the governing law of the Trust. Any amendment that follows must also be notified to the competent authority not later than fifteen (15) days of such amendment.
Will these amendments affect existing Cyprus International Trusts?
These amendments will be retroactive, meaning that every Cyprus International Trust created in Cyprus (provided that it has not been terminated) will have to comply with the amendments to the Law Regulating Companies Providing Administrative Services and Related Matters of 2012 and the requirement to provide the details of the existing International Trust by the 9th of March 2014.
How long will the information be kept on the Trust Register after the termination of a Cyprus International Trust?
The information will remain in the Trust Register for a term not exceeding 5 years after the termination of the Cyprus International Trust.
Establishing a business in Cyprus?
Establishing a company is an easy thing to do in Cyprus. The Cypriot govern is helping the foreign investors in its attempt to attract foreign capital especially by using an advantageous tax system and low red tape.
The registration procedure doesn’t take longer than 10 days and the entrepreneurs are encouraged to open one of the types of business regulated by the Company Law: limited liability companies, public limited companies or a company limited by guarantee or general and limited partnerships.
Setting up of a company in Cyprus must begin with choosing a proper, unique name that can be checked at the Registrar of Companies. The memorandum of association, notarised and elaborated by a lawyer must be a deposit, along with the specific documents at the Companies Section of the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver. After registration, the Ministry of tax must provide a unique tax number and a VAT. The last step is registering at the Ministry of Labour for Social Contribution.
How easy is it to hire personnel in Cyprus?
An important advantage of owning a company in Cyprus is the highly educated work-force, mostly English speaking.
The minimal working age is 15 years old.
The staff can be recruited from the numerous employment agencies. Also, the Cyprus Human Resource Management Association for information and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEBE) can provide information regarding hiring personnel.
The contract of employment can be with determined a period or an undetermined period. It must state the location of the company, details regarding the job, the start and end of the activities, details regarding the salary and other benefits. A collective agreement can also be signed and has a duration of two years usually.
An employer can also hire personnel for a part-time job, for a specific period of time or for working from home. The working time cannot exceed 48 hours a week and at least 11 hours of rest during a 24 hour period.
A series of benefits for the employees are granted. The sickness benefits are paid for a period of 156 days. All the unemployed can receive an unemployment benefit for a period of 156 days. The maternity allowance is paid for 18 months.
There are certain conditions that companies from Cyprus should accomplish before hiring foreign staff: the company must be listed at a stock market and the direct shareholders must be registered at the Immigration Control Board and the Civil Registration Board, the capital sources must be transparent, must have an administrative office located in a proper district and the financial stability is proven by annual balance sheets.
A foreign employee must receive a resident permit before hiring. For this, he must submit the following documents to the Immigration dept at the local police: a tax for the permit, a CV, the passport, medical certificate and insurance, criminal record, the labor contract (must contain the duration of the contract and the salary), bank guarantee and two completed specific forms.
All EU citizens must be registered for taxes at the Department of Inland Revenue for receiving a taxpayer identification code.
Any working dispute is regulated by the Industrial Relations Code, except for the strikes, usually mediated by the Labor Ministry.
What are the main points of interest for foreign investors in Cyprus?
Cyprus is well known for the advantages offered to the investors, especially in the transportation areas. For example, the profits from the operations of the Cypriot vessels are not taxable. Also, the dividends of the companies that own ship are exempt from tax.
Cyprus has an excellent infrastructure, with 2 international airports, 3 shipping ports (in Lemesos, Larnaca and Vasilikos) and a modern road network. This facilitates the export and import of the goods.
International and multinational companies and banks are operating in Cyprus attracted by the small operating costs, economic freedom and the well trained local companies, ready to counsel if necessary.
The pleasant weather, the culture and the Mediterranean cuisine are attracting tourist all year long.
What are the advantages of a holding company in Cyprus?
Cyprus is situated in the Mediterranean Sea, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. Joining EU in 2004 bring major advantages to the foreign investors, such as allowing the foreign ownership of a company, increasing demand for property, signing different treaties in order to protect the interests of the entrepreneurs.
Also, double tax treaties were signed with more than 40 countries, in order to avoid the double taxation of the incomes of the foreign companies.
Since 2008, Cyprus has joined the Economic and Monetary Union and as a result, the exchange rate risks were eliminated and the monetary transparency took its place.
The tax corporate is the lowest in Europe, only 10% and this is encouraging more and more businessman to open companies in Cyprus. Also, the following are not taxable: dividends, dividend income, profits from an overseas permanent establishment. No withholding taxes are applied to interest and royalties paid from Cyprus and dividends.
Considered one of the safest places to live in Europe, Cyprus attracts new investors every year.
Procedures and Time-Frame
A fee of EUR 500 is payable with the submission of the application and EUR 50 extra for the bio-metric capturing. The application will then be examined by the Civil Registry and Migration Department and will be submitted to a permanent secretary of the Ministry of Interior for a decision within two months. Once approval has been granted, the applicant and all the members of the family must visit Cyprus within one year to obtain the actual permit.
When in Cyprus, a visit is organised to the migration office in Nicosia in order to capture the bio-metric data for all members of the family applying. The bio-metric data can be submitted either with the submission of the application for residence, during the application process, or immediately after approval.
Benefits of the Cyprus Residence
- Fast track application procedure, within two months
- High approval rate if all criteria are satisfied
- It is not necessary to reside in Cyprus but a visit once every two years is required
- Dependants can be enrolled in high-quality private schools, offering English language courses
- Residence applies to the whole family (applicant, spouse and children under 18 years old)
- Dependent children between 18-25 and parents of the applicant are also eligible
- The whole process can be arranged without being present in the country, however, a visit is required for bio-metric capturing
More Facts About Cyprus
Applicants gain the full rights of EU citizens and have the ability to live, work and study anywhere in the European Union. However, the Cypriot government is keen to encourage residency. Cyprus has the lowest crime rate in Europe. An ex British colony and member of the Commonwealth that offers a high standard and affordable British education. An environmentally clean country, over 80% of the population in Cyprus speak English.
At least three United Kingdom Universities have campuses in Cyprus.
Cyprus’s economic freedom score is 67.8, making its economy the 48th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 0.1 points, with a steep decline in the score for government integrity and declines in property rights and judicial effectiveness overwhelming significant improvements in financial freedom, fiscal health, and government spending. Cyprus is ranked 24th among 44 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is below the regional average but well above the world average.
As Cyprus continues to recover from the financial crisis, the government has committed to improving fiscal discipline and undertaking other structural reforms such as the sale of state assets to improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises and raise funds to reduce government debt. Cyprus does particularly well in trade freedom and monetary freedom. The regulatory framework is relatively transparent and efficient, and the financial sector has stabilised.
The Background on Cyprus
Cyprus gained independence from the U.K. in 1960. Tensions between the Greek majority and Turkish minority led to repeated episodes of violence. A U.N. buffer zone has separated the Greek Cypriot Republic of Cyprus from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus since 1974. The Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004 and acts as the island’s internationally recognised administration. U.N.-brokered reunification talks continue. Centre-right Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has been head of state and head of government since 2013. In 2016, eight political parties won seats in parliament in a low-turnout election.
Services such as tourism, finance, shipping, and real estate account for more than four-fifths of GDP. Developing offshore hydrocarbon resources is a priority.
The Laws in Cyprus
In exceptional instances, private property may be expropriated for public purposes in a nondiscriminatory manner and in accordance with established principles of international law. The Republic of Cyprus has an independent and impartial judiciary that operates according to the British tradition, upholding due process rights. Corruption, patronage, and a lack of transparency continue to flourish in the Turkish-controlled area.
A regulatory framework that is generally conducive to entrepreneurship and an excellent infrastructure make Cyprus a business-friendly country. Relatively flexible labour regulations facilitate employment and productivity growth, although union power is quite strong. The government is committed to privatising state-owned electricity and telecommunications service providers as well as the ports authority.
Markets in Cyprus
Trade is extremely important to Cyprus’s economy; the combined value of exports and imports equals 124 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 1.6 percent. In general, government policies do not significantly interfere with foreign investment. After strains and uncertainty in the financial system, with banks heavily exposed to Greek debt, recapitalisation and restructuring enabled a relatively rapid return to international markets.
The top personal income tax rate is 35 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent. Other taxes include value-added and real estate taxes. The overall tax burden equals 33.2 percent of total domestic income. Over the past three years, government spending has amounted to 39.6 percent of total output (GDP), and budget deficits have averaged 0.7 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 108.0 percent of GDP.
Bringing Your Family
Qualifying family members include spouse, all children up to the age of 28 and all future generations. Parents can also qualify by making a further €500,000 investment in real estate.
Lawyer fees will apply for the processing of the citizenship application and purchase of the property and typically amount to around €30,000- €40,000 for a family. Government processing and application fees for a family of three would amount to €17,000.
Booking a Consultation
Complete our online enquiry form and one of our senior managers will arrange a confidential consultation to discuss your requirements and potential options.
Our team are highly acclaimed as ready to manage even the most complex of cases. Our thesis, however, is to keep things as simple as possible. We believe it is important our clients are comfortable and remain in control of their international plans throughout the process. We endeavour to protect our clients best interests while delivering outstanding results.
More Facts About Cyprus
The whole of Paphos is a UNESCO world heritage site
Often likened to an open history book, history buffs are certainly spoilt for choice, with the Paphos Mosaics, Tombs of the Kings, Sanctuary of Aphrodite and other special sites taking you on a whirlwind journey back into the past.
Cyprus is one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world
Yes, that’s right! With a wine history spanning over 5000 years, the sweet Commandaria actually takes pride of place as one of the oldest wines in the world still in production. And today, there are over 50 wineries dotted around the island where you can taste what was once hailed ‘the gift of the gods’.
Leonardo Da Vinci is reputed to have visited Lefkara village to buy lace in 1481
With the gorgeous lace of Lefkara included on UNESCO’s representative List of Intangible Culture Heritage, it is reputed that the famous Italian painter, Leonardo Da Vinci, visited the village to purchase lace here for the main alter of the Duomo di Milano.
Ayia Napa was covered in a thick forest, with ‘Napa’ standing as the ancient Greek word for ‘wooded valley’
It may be a tourist haven these days, known for its buzzing nightlife and white sand beaches, but years ago, Ayia Napa was nothing more than woodland. The area was in fact uninhabited, and visited only by hunters from neighbourhood villages!
Greater Nicosia is the only part of Cyprus that has been inhabited continually since the Bronze Age
Boasting a history that goes back 2500 years, when the first inhabitants settled in the fertile plain of Mesaoria, Nicosia is rather special among Cyprus Bronze Age sites as it thrived and developed, while others ceased to exist.
Chirokitia is famed as one of the most important and best preserved prehistoric sites of the Eastern Mediterranean
Standing as the remains of the very first recorded permanent housing on the island high on a looming hillside just off the Nicosia- Limassol highway, officially in the Larnaca district, the distinctly marked out cylindrical stone and mud dwellings constitute an extremely impressive example of the initial establishment of sedentary communities on the island and the development of an original civilisation: the Cypriot Aceramic Neolithic.
Cyprus’ beaches have been continuously named the cleanest in Europe for the past decade
A total of 64 local coastlines received the Blue Flag certification in 2016!
Cyprus’ famous halloumi cheese dates back to the Medieval Byzantine period
Every foodies dream, the salty cheese – that’s now famous the world over – was first made in the Byzantine period with a mix of cow’s and goat’s milk. Local cuisine has never been the same!
Cyprus’ capital of Nicosia was officially named Ledra in Ancient Times
During the first millennium B.C Ledra comprised one of the twelve city-kingdoms of ancient Cyprus built by the Achaeans after the end of the Trojan War. But it was actually not as prominent as other kingdoms, like Paphos and Salamis, most of which laid on the coastline.
The world’s oldest perfume in the world was discovered in Cyprus
It was a team of Italian archaeologists who unearthed the treasures in 2007, found in Pyrgos. Dating back more than 4000 years, the perfumes were scented with extracts of lavender, bay, rosemary, pine and coriander and kept in tiny translucent bottles. The archaeologists also found mixing bowls and funnels with the perfume bottles, which had been covered in earth following an earthquake around 1850 BC.
A Guide to Citizenship by Investment for Cyprus
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