Buying Property in Cyprus for Citizenship
Imagine walking past the turquoise blue of the Mediterranean Sea every day on your way to an afternoon coffee, not on vacation but as a Cyprus citizen. Every year, more foreigners are discovering Cyprus, the “Jewel of the Mediterranean,” as a gem for permanent residence and citizenship by investment.
This My Kypros Home article will guide you through the process of buying property in Cyprus for citizenship. So, you too can enjoy the benefits of a European Union (EU) passport. Keep reading to find out reasons for investment, benefits to citizens through the citizenship by investment program, the growth of the Cyprus real estate market, and the options for investments. Then let My Kypros Home find you a Mediterranean jewel of your own.
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program and Access to the EU
Cyprus citizenship grants access to an EU passport. The many advantages of the EU are the reason why foreigners are looking for ways to gain citizenship through investment and real estate. The Cypriot government encourages this path to citizenship through straightforward and easy citizenship by investment and permanent residency programs. Real estate investment remains one of the quickest ways to obtain citizenship and doesn’t even require applicants to give up their other passport.
The Cyprus citizenship by investment program only requires purchase of private or commercial property of two million Euros and donations to two governmental organizations in order to meet the application requirements. Once accepted, the applicant and any family members up to the age of 28 or considered dependents are approved for Cyprus passports. In as little as three months, top healthcare, a beautiful new destination, a relaxing lifestyle, and a safe and financially secure EU economy is open completely to new citizens, one of the fastest processes in the world.
A Closer Look at the Process for Cyprus Citizenship or Permanent Residency
Whether you are interested in residential properties or commercial real estate, Cyprus abounds with opportunities for any curious investor and the simple process is certainly alluring.
As mentioned previously, there are two steps in the Cyprus citizenship by investment program for non-EU foreigners.
- The first part is to purchase property in the value of two million Euros. This can be one property or a collection with a final total of two million Euros. At least one property must be at least 500,000 Euros in value.
- The second step is to make two separate donations at a value of 75,000 Euros each to the Cypriot Government’s Research and Innovation Fund as well as the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.
Beyond these two steps, application forms and verification of personal information, a clean criminal background check, and the real estate purchase approval by the Cypriot government are necessary. The entire process usually takes six to eight months but can be done in a shorter time with the help of experts at My Kypros Home.
Once approved, passports for the applicant and family members (spouse and children dependents up to the age of 28) can be picked up. More importantly, citizenship is granted to future grandchildren as well, ensuring Cypriot passports for the family line.
Non-EU foreigners interested in permanent residency in Cyprus have two options through Regulation 6 and Category F.
- Permanent residency via Regulation 6 only takes two months to complete and requires a fixed deposit of 30,000 Euros for three years and the purchase of a new property not for resale worth at least 300,000 Euros. Dependents of the applicant are granted residency for life but at the age of 18 need to renew it. Further, the parents of the applicant are also able to receive permanent residency.
- Permanent residency via Category F takes less than a year to achieve and does not require any fixed deposit. Any property may be bought that is new or for resale. Children dependents lose their permanent residency status at the age of 18 unless they apply individually through the program. Under this program, the parents of the applicant are not eligible for permanent residency unless they invest and apply themselves.
So far, so good. But what are the benefits of investing in Cyprus in the first place?
Reasons to Invest in Cyprus
Cyprus is a thriving economy lush with opportunities and growing markets. The real estate market continues to expand each fiscal year. According to The New York Times in 2019, passport and residency programs have become a booming business, accounting for approximately 20 billion USD annually in investments. Countries such as Cyprus are experiencing economic boosts that develop industry and infrastructures into highly developed regions for business and living.
Knight Frank, a British real estate consulting firm, asserted that over 30% of people with more than 30 million USD in net assets owned two passports, establishing safety nets for those in areas of financial insecurity or general safety concerns. This number is 34% higher than the previous year. New citizens and residents also reference the benefits of having an EU passport, allowing them greater access to travel and business opportunities.
Cyprus is no exception. With 340 days of sun and almost no crime, foreigners are investing in Cyprus real estate. It is also a country with advanced telecommunication systems and medical care, while also being language friendly. About 90% of the residents can speak English.
Beyond that, construction activity has increased. New land development projects are taking place, including those as a result of the attractive Cyprus citizenship by investment program. Newly designed residential and commercial properties are popping up to meet the demands of foreigners looking to invest in the country.
The purchase of property in Cyprus is giving non-EU citizens privileges such as the ability to move freely, for work or study, within the EU. It grants permission to travel visa-free to over 150 worldwide destinations or to move to 28 European countries. Investing in Cyprus real estate is investing in European rights and citizenship.
A Growing Real Estate Market
The real estate market in Cyprus doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The first half of 2019 showed a 25% increase in real estate transactions from the previous year. The Cyprus Department of Land and Surveys estimated that in that quarter, there were 2,129 purchase contracts. The largest increase recorded has been in Limassol (36% of transactions), followed by Paphos (24%). Furthermore, foreigners accounted for 25% of these sales.
Purchasing property in Cyprus is a ticket to an EU passport. It enables new citizens and residents to grow businesses, retire in more ideal destinations, enjoy visa-free movement, and utilize taxation benefits. In the last decade, the Cyprus News Agency announced that over 3,000 new passports were granted to foreign investors, transferring over 6 billion Euros of real estate investment funds into the economy.
The success of the citizenship by investment program has drawn much attention from the Cypriot government who applauds the ability of the program to attract investors and improving the economy of Cyprus.
Within the last few years, the Return on Investments (ROI) has been maintained at 4-6%. Real estate companies are focusing their new projects and rental programs towards individuals interested in gaining citizenship by investment. These programs often come with guaranteed rental around 6% p.a. for an average of three years.
The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) reported that investments in houses in the first two quarters of 2019 totaled 760 million Euros or over 7% of the GDP. Investments in other construction projects added up to 473 million Euros or over 4% of the GDP.
It isn’t just the real estate market benefiting from the increase in investments. Foreign investors get a low maintenance investment through these programs and a stable ROI, on top of the benefits that come with EU citizenship and permanent residency.
Foreign investors are also taking advantage of low property and income taxes. As of January 2017, there is no Immovable Property Tax. Moreover, local and municipality taxes are significantly low.
Compared to other citizenship by investment programs in Europe, Cyprus offers the best value for money. Investors need about 2.4 million USD in order to buy into citizenship. The permanent residency offers a cheaper solution, especially for applicants with business ventures such as online entrepreneurs. Yet, the high quality of lifestyle granted by Cyprus compared to other countries offering similar programs is hard to beat.
Taking into account the ROI of real estate and the many social and financial perks of living in Cyprus, buying a property in an EU member country can’t be beaten. Citizens and residents also relish the freedom of having to only spend a few days in the country, in order to obtain the Cypriot tax residency. Not that the beautiful views of the ocean and mountains are hard to leave, but those who love to travel often or rely on travel for work, can still achieve residency and citizenship without sacrificing their personal and professional lifestyle.
When it comes to real estate investment options for foreign investors, Cyprus has a diverse selection. Do you want to be beachside or possibly close to a marina? Are you looking for a seafront home in Larnaca or to develop commercial real estate in the mixed Turkish, Greek-cultured capital city of Nicosia?
The team at My Kypros Home can help you build your new Cyprus lifestyle. Contact us to discuss how we can help get you in the front door in as little as a few months. Or search our services to learn more about getting your key to Cyprus citizenship or permanent residency in this ornate Mediterranean island jewel.