Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program
The Cyprus Permanent Residence Program, aka the Golden Visa, was launched in 2020 following the suspension of Cyprus’ citizenship-by-investment program (CBI), which enabled successful applicants to gain EU citizenship with an investment of 2.5 million euros. Since the CBI suspension, Cyprus revamped its Golden Visa to make it more attractive and compensate for the loss of the CBI program.
Residency by Golden Visa
The Golden Visa allows permanent residency in the country. Naturalization is possible after seven years in the country, but it’s possible that Cyprus will amend its law in the near future to fast-track investors.
Cyprus offers a tax-friendly environment, as non-domiciled residents are not levied any tax on capital income. To become a Cyprus tax resident, you only need 60 days of physical presence in the country.
Cyprus Crypto Environment
The Cyprus government embraces the introduction of blockchain technology and there is the willingness to adopt the necessary measures. The Cyprus government published its National Blockchain Strategy (“NBS”) on May 2019, with the core aim to promote the development of the blockchain technology through innovation and the cooperation of the public and private sector. The government collaborated with various entities, both in the public and private sector, in order to identify the needs of the market and committed to implement the NBS, in order to enter into the new era of digitalisation. Cyprus is also one of the first countries with a University Blockchain Master’s program, at the University of Nicosia.
Download our free factsheet with more detailed information about this program.
Who Can Qualify?
To qualify for the Cyprus Golden Visa, you will need to purchase a newly constructed residential property. The minimum property value will need to be at least 300,000 EUR. There is sales tax applicable (VAT) on the purchase of new construction; it is 19% of the property value. You can finance the property if your minimum down payment is at least 200,000 EUR. You are allowed to buy multiple properties.
You will also need to place 30,000 EUR in a fixed-deposit account in a Cyprus bank for three years.
To qualify for the Cyprus Golden Visa, you will need to invest in Cyprus.
Cyprus Golden Visa
You need to invest at least 300,000 EUR in the Cyprus real estate market. Other requirements include:
- You must have a secure annual income of at least 30,000 EUR from abroad. Your spouse’s income can be counted. This annual income increases by 5,000 EUR per spouse and children, and by 8,000 EUR per parent.
- You must submit a police certificate from every country you have resided in.
- You may not take up employment in Cyprus unless you are managing your own company in Cyprus.
As a permanent resident, your status in the country is secure. You only need to visit Cyprus at least once every two years. The application process only takes two months. The weather is warm all year long and makes for a perfect vacation home. Cyprus offers a great tax environment and a solid banking system. Citizenship can be obtained after seven years of residency in the country.
As the principal applicant, you will be allowed to include your spouse, children and parents. Adult children as old as 25 can be included in the application, provided they are students. Married children under 25 years old can also be included; however, their families cannot. Adult children 25 years old and above can only be included if there is an additional investment of at least 300,000 EUR in addition to another 30,000 EUR deposit.
Parents of both the main applicants or their spouse can qualify as dependents.
The requirements for the Cyprus Golden Visa, besides the investment, are as follows:
- Be over 18
- Not have a criminal record in Cyprus or in the countries you have resided in the past 5 years
- Prove sufficient funds to live in Cyprus
- Have a valid health certificate and medical insurance
Cyprus Residency Application Process
The Cyprus Golden Visa application process takes two months to complete. The time spent finalizing the real estate investment can lengthen the process. You can do everything from abroad via a power of attorney, but you will need to physically travel to Cyprus to collect your resident permit and give your biometrics data. The investment must be made before applying.
- Verify eligibility
- Start client onboarding process with Global RCG.
- Global RCG helps you gather the required documents.
- Global RCG assists you in making your investment.
Access to the US
As a Golden Visa applicant, you will receive a multi-exit visa allowing you to travel in and out of the Schengen Area. As an American, you can already spend 90 days in a 180-day period in the Schengen Area, but your Cyprus resident permit will guarantee you entry into Europe even during COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Once you become a Cypriot citizen, you will have freedom of movement within the European Union and can live and work freely in it as long as you desire. The Cyprus passport provides visa-free access to more than 180 countries worldwide, including Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Brazil.
Access to the US
More and more Americans are considering renouncing their American citizenship for multiple reasons. They want to know how they can circle back to the U.S. with their new citizenship. The EU has signed a visa-liberalization treaty with the U.S. Nevertheless, the U.S. has been unwilling to include Cyprus, along with Bulgaria and Romania, into its visa-waiver program. The U.S. has legal obligation to abide by the treaty, so it’s expected that the U.S. government will cave in sooner or later. Currently, if you forfeit your U.S. citizenship in favor of Cypriot citizenship, you will not be able to return to the U.S. without getting a visa first.
Cyprus is one of the most tax-friendly jurisdictions in Europe. You can become a tax resident with only 60 days of physical presence in the country, as long as you don’t live 183 days in another single country. As a non-domiciled person, you will not be liable to any form of taxation on your capital income. That includes capital gains and dividends.
As an American, you are liable to taxation in the U.S. even if you do not live there anymore. If you are living in Cyprus during that time, the double-taxation treaty will be used to make sure you are not overtaxed. To completely break free of U.S. taxation, you must renounce your U.S. citizenship first and go through the process known as the exit tax.
The Cyprus Golden Visa is often combined with another European residency or citizenship-by-investment program, notably with the Greek Golden Visa to reduce tax liability.