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Cyprus Golden Visa Residency Investment Guide

Mark Damsgaard

Mark Damsgaard

Founder of Global Residence Index

Last updated: February 15, 2024

The Golden Visa Program in Cyprus is a Permanent Residence program, making it an attractive option for non-EU inventors looking for a secure long-term residence with a pathway to citizenship after five years. 

At Global Residence Index, we provide our clients with exceptional hands-on investment migration services. With over a decade of experience, the company consistently provides solutions to all things relating to the investment migration industry. 

There were a few changes in 2023, and this guide will provide you with all the details and steps you’ll encounter along the way to becoming a PR holder. 

We’ll explore how obtaining Cypriot residence can improve global mobility by diversifying your asset portfolio into a new country and continent. If the topic interests you, there is more information on our website, and you can book a consultation with one of the global experts.

 

Investment Routes for Permanent Residence

The beauty of the Cypriot Permanent Residence program is that investors received PR immediately upon completing the investment criteria. There are no physical presence requirements other than visiting the Mediterranean paradise island for at least one day every two years. 

The investment options for Permanent Residence are reasonably straightforward and are as follows:

  • Investment into residential property worth at least €300,000;
  • Buy a commercial property worth at least €300,000;
  • Investment in €300,000 worth of share capital in a company that is registered in Cyprus; and 
  • Investment at least €300,000 in units that are part of a Cypriot Collective Investment Organization. 

There are a few caveats under each investment option. Investors need to be aware of these additional requirements that can make or break an investment decision or lead to clients being bewildered later when they become known.

The most significant potential misunderstanding is VAT when purchasing real estate. VAT is 19%. Cypriot law provides for a reduced rate of 5% for the purchase of real estate, subject to certain conditions. Thus, the buyer of new real estate is allowed to save significantly.

 

Purchasing Residence Real Estate

The investment value excludes VAT, which makes that total investment requirement a fair bit more than just €300,000. Investors can purchase property for a lower amount and include refurbishments that can then accumulate to over €300,000 plus VAT. The investor may apply for Permanent Residence by completing a transfer of at least €200,000 plus VAT. The funds must come from a foreign bank account.

 

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate can include office, retail, and hospitality (food and beverages, lodging, recreation, travel and tourism, and meetings and events) €300,000 excluding VAT. The investor can combine multiple properties under this route to meet the minimum investment.
 

Seeking expert immigration guidance?

Navigating through immigration programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

During our call, we will:

  • Address any specific questions: We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.
  • Detail every step: We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.
  • Evaluate program suitability: We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.
  • Connect you with local professionals: Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers in the respective country, as well as trusted providers of eligible investment options.

 

 

Investment into Share Capital

The investments must be in a Cypriot company that generates employment for at least five people.

 

Units in a Cypriot Collective Investment Organization (CIO)

The funds under the CIO need to be regulated by the Cypriot Securities and Exchange Commission and professional fund managers who comply with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Laws (AIFM Law). Funds must consider regulations issued further to the Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Law.

Investing in funds has the potential to generate significant returns for investors, particularly when making investments in early rounds or medium-sized businesses with the potential for a positive exit. Funds can equally be more risky on the downside.

 

The Changes in 2023 for Dependents and Proof of Income

1. Parents and in-laws no longer counted as dependents

The new regulations lower the range of family members qualifying as the principal applicant’s dependents. Unfortunately, parents and parents of the spouse and adult children no longer qualify as dependents. Parents need to qualify independently by making investments of their own.

Dependents can include spouses, children under eighteen, and children under twenty-five who are entirely dependent on the primary applicant. 

 

2. Minimum Income Requirement raised

The Cypriot Permanent Residence program has increased the minimum annual income requirements. The income figures are now increased to €50,000 for the principal applicant, €15,000 for a spouse, and €10,000 for each dependent child. 

 

3. Proof of Sustained Investment and Income 

A new criterion includes that investors must prove that they have maintained their investment and that their income in the previous year meets the minimum income requirement. Failure to present proof can cause their residence to be canceled. 

 

Step-by-Step Golden Visa Process

  1. Initial Agency KYC: This step is conducted with the case management team. The request is to KYC the investor to ensure that the chances of approval are enhanced for the Cypriot Permanent Residence Investor Program.

  2. Building an Application Pack: The beginning stages require the collection of standard translated and apostille documents, medical insurance and a basic CV of the primary applicant. Confirming proof of income is one of the most critical steps in the application process.

  3. Complete the investment condition by transferring funds to a local bank account. If clients use our real estate professional team in Cyprus, this will require applying to the Department of Land and Surveys. The professional team further applied to reduce VAT from 19% to 5%. Our vast portfolio of suitable real estate will meet most investment needs.

  4. Conclude final negotiations in real estate offers and ensure the contracts are airtight. We offer complete legal services to conclude the deal, but we have worked with client lawyers to ensure continuity.

  5. Submit the completed application document pack. By giving authority to our local legal team, they can submit on the client’s behalf. Thus, there is no need to fly to Cyprus.

  6. The final decision on approval for Permanent Residence. The decision typically takes around two months. After approval, all applicants must visit Cyprus within one year to complete their biometrics and obtain their permanent residence permits.

 

The Route from Permanent Residence to Citizenship

There is a route to citizenship under the investor program. Applicants will need to live in Cyprus for four years within seven years. In the fifth year, if the applicant stays in Cyprus for twelve consecutive months, they can apply for citizenship.

There is no language requirement or nationality test to apply for citizenship.

After becoming a citizen, there is freedom of movement within the European Union as Cyprus is an EU member state. EU citizens can travel, work, and study in any other EU country without a visa.

 

Pros and Cons of Long-Term Cypriot Residence

Cyprus has one of the best tax residences in Europe. Many EU and non-EU nationals make Cyprus their place of residence for tax purposes, personally, and for their business. Income taxes can be zero in certain circumstances, and company taxes are 12.5% of profits, which can use tax laws to defer at times.

Cyprus is an idyllic Mediterranean paradise; many applicants who participate in the investment program live for considerable time on the island each year. By spending enough time in Cyprus, investors can realistically work towards citizenship. Cyprus recognizes dual citizenship and is part of the European Union.

For those investors who are not going to live in Cyprus, they only need to visit once every two years to maintain their Permanent Residence.

 

Next Steps with Global Residence Index

The Cyprus Golden Visa investment is currently €300,000 plus 5% VAT if you work with our real estate team in Cyprus. The program has many benefits and is an excellent investment migration program for increasing assets in multiple countries that afford long-term residence.  

Our relationships with real estate lawyers in Cyprus allow our clients to get the best locations and real estate. By working in this manner, we work directly with developers to get off-plan and early handover properties. By getting in early, investors can maximize their return on investment.

We hope this guide might have been helpful to you. For an in-depth consultation, we invite you to schedule a meeting with our team. We will see if the program is right for you, after which we can connect you with our experienced real estate agents and legal professionals in Cyprus.

Need help?

Navigating through golden visa & citizenship by investment programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

GET PERSONALIZED GUIDANCE

During our call, we will:

Here is what to expect from a call with our advisory team:

1

We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.

2

We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.

3

We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.

4

Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers in the respective country, as well as trusted providers of eligible investment options.