With its stunning beaches and warm Mediterranean climate, Cyprus is a great place to call home for non-EU citizens. It is a Mediterranean country of extraordinary charm and history. Thousands of tourists visit the Republic every year to enjoy its Mediterranean cuisine, world-famous beaches, and beautiful weather. With its stable and warm climate and convenient geographic location, Cyprus is attractive for both business and residential purposes. Cyprus’s highly-qualified workforce and reliable transport and telecommunications systems make it a favorable place to invest.
Cyprus is a modern, open-market, service-based economy. Its transparent and effective regulatory and legal framework gives international investors and businesses confidence to grow and prosper. The World Bank’s Ease to Do Business Index 2020 ranked Cyprus 54 out of 190 countries. In the wake of the difficult and massive restructuring of Cyprus’ banking sector, a number of new measures were put in place to revive the economy. These measures, among others, are designed to help stimulate economic growth.
Practically, however, how do expats move to Cyprus? The Cyprus Golden Visa program allows non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizens who purchase property or establish a business in Cyprus to obtain legal permanent residence. This increases their eligibility for Cypriot citizenship and a Cypriot passport.
Many citizenship programs offer investment opportunities, such as the Luxembourg Investor Visa and the Investor Visa Belgium. But Cyprus’s unique combination makes it one of the most attractive investment schemes. It is strategically located for international investors. The program offers great living standards, a low cost of living, and top educational institutions. Let’s look at why obtaining Cypriot citizenship is a great investment.
Benefits of Cyprus Citizenship
Cyprus citizens enjoy many benefits. Cyprus enjoys the best weather in the Mediterranean region of the EU. The people are friendly and can speak English. It boasts excellent infrastructure, high-quality healthcare facilities, and educational institutions. Investors can also benefit from the country’s favorable tax system and growing economy. After seven years, permanent residency applicants are eligible to apply for citizenship. They must reside in Cyprus for at least 365 days before applying for citizenship.
The Guide Passport Ranking Index ranks the Cypriot passport 16th among global passports. Cypriot passport holders can travel visa-free to 176 nations but require visas for 35 countries. This is why the Cyprus passport ranking is so high.
The number of countries that a national passport holder can travel visa-free to is ranked. Therefore, the ranking of Cyprus passports reflects the number and accessibility to visa-free countries for Cypriot passport holders. Visa-free countries are those that allow entry without a visa or with a visa upon arrival/electronic travel authorization (eTA).
Please note that after November 2023, all visa-exempt travelers visiting Cyprus must obtain ETIAS visa waiver. It will be a mandatory online travel authorization application. If you have a residency permit in Cyprus then you do not need to fill in the ETIAS application. However, any other person traveling to Cyprus, including UK citizens, without visa requirements at the moment will need a valid ETIAS.
How to and Why Apply to Cyprus Golden Visa
Cyprus has suspended its citizenship by investment program since November 1st, 2020. However, it still offers permanent residence permits to foreign investors.
The fast-track Cyprus Permanent Residency Permit (PRP) was created to attract foreign direct investment in 2013. Foreign nationals can apply for Permanent Resident Permits (PRPs) by investing in property on the Island. This allows them to avoid the long process of normal immigration. This is one of the easiest and fastest investor visa programs in Europe. Permits are available in as little as two months. The minimum property value for applicants is EUR300,000 + VAT. Property can also be rented out to generate income. Cypriot banks require investors to deposit at least EUR30,000. This will serve as a form bond for three years. Additional EUR5,000 must be added to each dependent’s deposit. Investors are not required to live permanently in Cyprus. Permits can be renewed by visiting the country at least twice a year. For applicants to be eligible for citizenship, they must reside in Cyprus for at most seven years. They will also need to stay in Cyprus for a total of 365 days before applying.
Why apply for a Cypriot Golden Visa
- The application process is extremely efficient and can be completed in less than two months
- If all criteria are met, there is a high rate of approval
- Although it is not required to live in Cyprus, a visit every two years is recommended.
- Dependents may be enrolled at high-quality private schools that offer English language courses
- The main applicant’s spouse, children below 25 years of age, parents, and parents-in-law for a Regulation 6(2) request, and the spouse and children under 18 for a Category 5 application.
- Eligibles are dependent children aged 18-25 years old and the parents of the applicant
- You don’t have to be present in the country to arrange this entire process. For biometric capture, however, you will need to visit the country.
How to apply for Cyprus golden visa
- One of the following investment options is required:
- Purchase of immovable property with a market value of at least EUR 300,000. Plus VAT.The application must be submitted along with the contract of sale and proof that payment was made of at least EUR 200 000 plus VAT. The contract of sale must be submitted to the Cyprus Department of Land and Surveys. A company can also purchase the property provided it is registered in the names of the applicant and the applicant’s spouse, and the company has the proper permits. They must be the sole shareholders.
- Up to 2 new or used non-residential immovable properties (offices, shops, hotels, or other developments) with a market value of at least EUR 300,000 Plus VAT
- A share capital of EUR 300,000. of a registered physical company operating in Cyprus that employs at most five people
- Units in the collective investments of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (AIF, AIFLNP, and RAIF) totaling EUR 300,000.
- The applicant must provide a supporting document proving that they have a secure annual income of no less than EUR 30,000 from overseas.The income must rise by EUR 5,000 per spouse, each additional child, and EUR 8,000 per dependent parent. This income could include salaries from employment, rents, pensions, and shares dividends.
Cyprus Golden Visa Timeframe
The application must be submitted with a fee of EUR 500. Biometric capturing will cost EUR 50 more. After the Civil Registry and Migration Department have reviewed the application, it will be submitted to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior. The decision will be made within two months. After approval is granted, the applicant must travel to Cyprus with all family members within one year in order to receive the permit.
A visit to the Nicosia migration office is made when you are in Cyprus to collect the biometric data of all family members applying. You can submit the biometric data either during or immediately following approval of your application for residence.
Real Estate Investment
The Cyprus residency-by-investment program allows individuals and family dependents to secure permanent residency in Cyprus through real estate investment. The applicant must invest EUR300,000. This money can be used to buy new real estate directly from the developer. It can either be rented out or lived in by the investor’s family. Split the investment into two properties. However, the total value of both properties must not exceed EUR300,000. You can own the properties individually as well as jointly with your spouse.
Cyprus Golden Visa Requirements
Reliable documents are essential for participation in the Cyprus Golden Visa Program. Only investors who have completed the necessary Due Diligence checks can be granted permanent residency in Cyprus. This clearly indicates that international money laundering prevention is integral to the Due Diligence process. Only law-abiding investors who have a good business reputation and no criminal records will be allowed to apply for a residence permit through investment.
Cyprus golden visa main application requirements:
- The investor is at least 18 years of age.
- An annual income of minimum EUR30,000 plus EUR5,000 per child and spouse, and EUR8000 per parent.
- You must show proof that you have no criminal records
- Investors must come from a non-European nation.
- Only applicants who buy shares in a Cypriot business are allowed to work in Cyprus.
The following information can also be included in a visa application:
- Investor with legal income
- Children under 18
- If financially dependent and not married, children under 25
- Children under any age with disabilities
- Parents of an investor or spouse.
Even if they are married or have graduated from university, the children of the investor can still reside in Cyprus permanently.
Investors must submit the necessary documents when applying for Cyprus investment residency. The final list depends on the investor’s financial source, marital status, and investment options.
You will need these documents to apply for a Cyprus visa.
- Certificate of birth
- Certificate certifying marital status (Marriage, Divorce)
- Certificate certifying that there is no criminal record
- Cyprus’ employment status
- A brief biography of the applicant
- The applicant must have a valid passport
- A tax return confirms an annual income of at least EUR35,000
- Confirmation of investment (ownership or purchase of real estate, etc.).
FAQs on Cyprus Golden Visa
What is the price of a Cyprus golden visa?
For a Golden Visa to Cyprus, applicants must invest EUR300,000. This can be used to buy new property directly from the developer. The property can be lived in by the investor or his family or rented out. You can split the investment into two properties, but it must not exceed EUR300,000.
How much does Cyprus citizenship cost?
To obtain citizenship in Cyprus, applicants must invest EUR2m in real estate.
Does my golden visa require me to travel to Cyprus?
Yes, it would be best if you traveled to Cyprus at least once every two years to protect your investment.
How do I get Cypriot citizenship?
Golden Visa holders may apply for citizenship after seven years of residence in Cyprus. They must also spend at least 365 days in Cyprus before applying.
Is dual citizenship possible in Cyprus?
Citizens of Cyprus can hold dual citizenship. Golden Visa applicants do not need to give up their current citizenship.
What was the Cyprus golden visa scandal?
After the 2008 global economic downturn had crippled their economies, many European countries turned to offering golden passports in order to attract investment. Cyprus has raised over 6 billion euros through the program in the past seven years. This is approximately $7 billion. However, in 2020, Cyprus announced it would end the program after a journalist-led undercover investigation showed two legislators helping to arrange a passport for a fictitious businessman despite being told that he had a criminal history. The Cypriot government is open to making changes and reinstating this program.