By: Andrea Neophytou, Advocate and Legal Consultant at NICOS NEOPHYTOU LAW PARTNERS published at Great Britain – Cyprus Business Gazette September 2020 issue.
The Cyprus Island is a small paradise. Τhe excellent hospitality which provides to the tourists, the high quality of accommodations and hotels which offers, in front of the deep blue beaches of the island, the warm climate which prevails during most months of the year and the rich history and attractions that one can visit, are just some of the advantages for the summer holiday season in Cyprus. Furthermore, Cyprus is famous for its wonderful Mediterranean cuisine, since the island is located in the Mediterranean Sea and at the crossroads of three continents between Europe, Asia and Africa.
In addition to the above advantages that the island provides for the summer holiday season, it also provides many other benefits to anyone who wish to acquire a Cypriot Citizenship and to become a Cypriot citizen.
Benefits of owning a Cyprus Passport
- Enables Cyprus Passport holders to travel without the requirement of having visa to 173 countries around the world.
- Cyprus as a member of the EU since 2004, gives the opportunity to the Cyprus Passport holders to travel and reside in the European Union Member Countries, without any restrictions (applies and to their family members even if the spouse is not a European citizen).
2. Educational Benefits
- Cyprus has two recognized public universities (University of Cyprus and Cyprus University of Technology), where a Cypriot citizen can study free.
- Cyprus as a member of the European Union enables Cypriot citizens to study at the universities of the European Union countries, free of charge or by paying low tuition fees.
3. Employment Benefits
- A Cypriot citizen can be employed and work in any other country of the European Union without any restrictions (applies and to their family members even if the spouse is not a European citizen).
- If you are a Cypriot and you are working in Cyprus that gives you a lot of rights and benefits, such as an annual paid leave, parental leave, pension, sick-leave and many more.
4. Healthcare benefits
- With the adoption of cross-border healthcare, European Union citizens have the right to access healthcare in any European Union country and to be reimbursed for care abroad by their country.
- Furthermore, the European health insurance card, gives the right to any European Union citizen to receive a state-provided medical treatment in any other country of the European Union, under the same conditions and at the same cost, as people insured in that country.
- Recently Cyprus has implemented GeSY, which is a full-covered healthcare system, which applies to all Cypriot citizens, with very low costs for the services that provides.
5. Business Benefits
- Free movement of capital, goods and services within the European Union.
- Cyprus due to its geographical position has become a famous business and maritime center internationally and within the European Union with the 3rd largest merchant fleet in Europe and the 11th largest in the world.
6. Taxation Benefits
- Cyprus has one of the lowest rates of corporate income tax in the EU, which is 12.5%.
- Cyprus has double tax treaties with more than 60 countries worldwide.
- No succession taxes.
- No withholding taxes.
7. Dual Citizenship
Cyprus allows dual citizenship. In addition to the Cypriot citizenship, is allowed and the holding of foreign citizenship.
Cyprus is a safe place to live, work and study, as it has one of the lowest crime rates in the EU.
The four ways of obtaining Cyprus Citizenship
Cyprus Citizenship by naturalization (application type M127)
Any person can submit this type of application, for the acquisition of Cyprus Citizenship if he is over the age of 21 and has lived in Cyprus for a period of 7 years, before the submission of the application (this period can be reduced to five years for parents or children of the Cypriot citizen). The applicant must live continuously in Cyprus, for 1 year before the date of the application.
Cyprus Citizenship due to the origin
Αpplication type M121
Such an application can be submitted by minors or adults, who were born abroad after the 16th of August 1960 and whose father at the time of birth was a Cypriot citizen, as well as by persons born after the 11th of June 1999 whose the mother was a Cypriot citizen at the time of their birth.
Application type M126
Furthermore, those who were born before the 11th of June 1999, either in Cyprus or abroad and whose mother is a Cypriot citizen and whose father is a foreigner or whose father acquired Cypriot citizenship after their birth can submit such an application. In addition, minors, whose mother or father acquired the Cypriot Citizenship by naturalization or by registration due to marriage with a Cypriot Citizen, can also submit such an application.
Application type M71
Submitted by persons born before the 16th of August 1960, who are citizens of the United Kingdom and its former colonies, are of Androgenic descent from Cyprus and reside abroad.
Application type M72
Submitted by persons born before the 16th of August 1960, who are not citizens of the United Kingdom and its former colonies and are of Androgenic descent from Cyprus
Application type M123
Submitted by adults born on or after the 16th of August 1960, whose parents were not Cypriot citizens at the time of their birth. In addition, this type of application can be submitted by any person born after the 16th of August 1960 and originating from a person who became a British citizen under the Cyprus Annexation Orders in Council of 1914 -1943 or from a person born in Cyprus after the 5th of November 1914 and before the 16th of August 1960.
Application type M124
Adults who were born either before or after the 16th of August 1960, are British citizens or citizens of any Commonwealth state, and have completed one year of legal residence in the Republic of Cyprus can submit such application.
Cyprus Citizenship by marriage (application type M125)
Such applications, for the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship, can be submitted by foreign spouses of Cypriot nationals who have completed three years of marriage and two years of residence in the Republic of Cyprus before the date of application.
Spouses of Cypriots living abroad can also apply for citizenship, having necessarily completed at least three years of marriage. A letter must in addition accompany this application from the couple explaining clearly the reasons why the foreigner spouse is applying for the grant of Cypriot citizenship. If the couple has been married for at least five years and have at least one child, it is not necessary to attach such a letter.
Cyprus Citizenship by investment
In order for the applicant to acquire Cypriot citizenship under the Cyprus Investment Programme, its needed to invest at least €2.000.000 in one of the following sectors: a) For purchase, establishment or participation in enterprises or companies based in Cyprus and to employ at least nine Cypriot citizens or citizens of European Union member-states or b) In funds approved by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange commission or c) Shall make an investment in the primary sector of the economy, or in the sectors of research and technology, education, health or renewable energy or investing in developments, such as residential or commercial developments, tourism developments or other infrastructure projects, or acquiring or constructing real estate, including investment in building land or d) A combination of the above investments provided that the total investment will amount up to at least €2.000.000.
In addition to the above, the applicant must possess a permanent residence property in Cyprus, the purchase price of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T.
After the approval of the application by the Council of Ministers and before the issuance of a naturalization certificate, the applicant, must also make a donation of the total amount of €100.000, in one of the following government funds in Cyprus: a) to the Research and Innovation Foundation or b) to the Industry and Technology Service for the implementation of targeted Grant Schemes for Very Small and Small Enterprises, or c) to the Fund for Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Saving or d) to the National Solidarity Fund. The applicant must have also donated at least €100,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation for the financing of housing schemes for affordable housing, but also for the materialization of other housing schemes/measures.
All of the above-mentioned are subject to terms, conditions and exceptions.
For further information or consultation kindly contact Andrea Neophytou, Advocate and Legal Consultant at NICOS NEOPHYTOU LAW PARTNERS at [email protected]