Relocating to Cyprus
When relocating to Cyprus, it is important to consider, if the person currently holds a citizenship in one of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) member countries or Switzerland due to different registration procedures that must be carried out in order to live and work in the country. Having EU, EEA or Switzerland citizenship make it easy to become state’s resident without the additional paperwork and investment. However, Cyprus offers the opportunity to stay on the island for those who arrive from third countries.
According to Eurostat data there were around 2.6 million first residence permits issued to third country nationals (TCN) by European Union member states in 2015. Cyprus issued 18.4 residence permits per one thousand people. It was the 2nd highest number compared with the resident population of each EU member state. The three most popular reasons for obtaining a residence permit in EU countries were: for family reasons (753, 000 or 28.9%), for employment reasons (708, 000 or 27.2%) and for education reasons (526,000 or 20.2%).
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Advantages of having a residence permit or a second citizenship
There are several advantages for foreigners who plan to immigrate to Cyprus. The country can offer low living costs – the property situated on the island is cheaper than in majority of Northern European and Western states. Taxation rates are also lower. Immigrants from all over the world have the availability of socializing with the expat communities from the UK, Russia and Asian countries as well as to study in international schools and universities located on the island. Elderly foreigners can receive their UK (or other country’s) pension, while staying in Cyprus.
Living in Cyprus ensures a feeling of safety, because the country has a low crime rate. Country’s climate provides great opportunities for outdoor activities as the weather is rather stable. Cyprus does not create a language barrier for all the foreigners visiting the country because the majority of Cypriots speak English. Additionally, some of the inhabitants also speak Russian.
Residence permit program in Cyprus
If the immigrant wishes to spend more than 3 months in the country, it is necessary to apply for a Registration Certificate for EU Nationals within 4 months of arrival. There are several basic requirements regarding investor’s contribution to the country’s capital that should be fulfilled in order to receive a residence permit.
For example, a foreigner must provide proofs for the annual income outside the country. The income must be at least 30, 000 EUR as well as for an extra income, amounting to 5, 000 EUR for the spouse and each child, for applicant’s parents 8, 000 EUR each. A person must not have any criminal record or have any criminal offenses committed. In order to apply for a permanent residency in Cyprus, the foreigner should be able to make:
- Real estate purchase
- That can be done by purchasing one real estate property which is new (not a re-sale property) and worth not less than 300, 000 EUR (VAT excluded).
- Bank deposit
- That can be done by transferring at least 30, 000 EUR to the bank account of one of the Cyprus banks for a time period of 3 years.
- Additional fees require
- to pay 200, 000 EUR from the property value in order to demonstrate that the purchase was made by the means of the funds received from the sources outside country’s territory;
- sale agreement charges set by the government at least 10, 000 EUR
- professional fee for preparing the application, amounting to 10, 000 EUR
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Double citizenship program in Cyprus
The country recognizes a double citizenship. If a person has lived in the country for 7 years and is a citizen of EU, EEA zone countries or Switzerland, he will be able to receive a Cyprus citizenship. The foreigner must not have any criminal record. The citizenship can be obtained by making:
- Direct investments (property, government bonds, land or other)
- At least 2 million euros worth. It can be a combination of different investments.
- Establishing one or several companies, purchasing business services of at least 500, 000 EUR worth (during 3 years before applying for citizenship). If the company is situated in Cyprus and has 5 Cypriot employees, the annual 500, 000 EUR is reduced to 350, 000 EUR. If the company is situated in Cyprus and has 10 Cypriot employees, the annual 500, 000 EUR – is reduced to 200, 000 EUR.
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If an individual is not a citizen of EU, EEA zone countries or Switzerland, he must follow the Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by exception. It requires him to be able to make:
- Investment in Cyprus
- Amounting to at least 5 million euros. Additionally, immigrant’s salary must generate in taxes at least 100, 000 EUR in 3 years.
- Real estate
- Which is worth not less than 500, 000 EUR.