Cyprus Citizenship as a Shortcut to the UK Residency

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A growing number of affluent individuals who consider relocation to the UK as a ‘backup plan’ opt for the Cypriot citizenship. Astons immigration experts explain why the Cypriot passport is a handy opportunity to relocate yourself and the family and to the UK. ​

I heard you could move to the UK with a Cyprus passport? Is that true?

Yes. Citizens of EU member state Cyprus can live, work and study in the UK. Moreover, the Cypriot passport not only gives you an opportunity to settle in the UK but also apply for permanent residence (Indefinite Leave to Remain, ILR) in five years, and citizenship - in six years. 

Since British immigration rules are fairly complex, many high-income individuals prefer leveraging the Cyprus passport as a faster and more convenient way of relocation to the UK. 

Sounds great, yet I’m a bit worried about Brexit. Won’t it prevent me from moving to Britain with a Cypriot passport? 

Don’t worry about Brexit. The UK Home Office has published the rules of EU citizen residency in the UK up to 2022. If you enter the UK within this term, all you have to do is register online (Astons’ lawyers will help you with that). Once you’ve registered, the countdown starts to your respective permanent residence application in five years and citizenship application in six years. Moreover, even after 2022 the UK registration procedure for Cypriots will most likely remain equally simple and straightforward. Cyprus is a former British colony and member of the Commonwealth having closer links with the UK than any other EU state. 

It’s crucial that I relocate to the UK with my spouse and children. Can I have Cypriot passports issued for them, too? 

Sure! The Cyprus Investment Programmeis very favourable for family immigration. By filing a Cypriot passport application, you’ll be able to secure a passport for yourself as well as your spouse, financially dependent children (under 28 y.o.) and parents (over 65 y.o.). 

Please note that all children of Cyprus citizens are automatically provided the status of Cypriot citizens regardless of children’s birth country. 

So how fast can I move to the UK? I’ll have to wait for a Cypriot passport, won’t I?

You don’t have to wait. You can relocate to the UK right away. 

Really?

Yes! The Astons experts will help you obtain a tourist visa to the UK. Once you enter the country, you can submit an application for Cyprus citizenship right on the spot. The Cypriot citizenship will enable you to stay in the UK after the tourist visa expires. Our lawyers will guide you through all the milestones of this immigration journey. 

Wow! Can I also arrange the Cypriot passport remotely or will I have to travel there?

You will only have to visit Cyprus once to provide biometric information required for a residence permit and citizenship, and purchase real estate. In practice, this trip will take two to five days. All the rest can be done remotely. 

The entire immigration process will be handled by the Astons lawyers who will provide comprehensive support in citizenship applications. We’ll handpick the realty that fits your tastes and interests, arrange a visit to the venue, engage with independent lawyers who will verify that the sale and purchase transaction is safe and legal. 

Bear in mind that the Cypriot citizenship does not require factual residence in the country, neither before nor after obtaining the passport.

How long will it take to arrange a Cypriot passport? 

The entire process of procuring Cyprus citizenship by investment is fairly quick: you will receive the passport within 180–220 days on average (you will be granted the Cypriot residence permit one week after applying for citizenship). 

After you and your spouse have become Cypriot citizens, the Astons experts will initiate the documentation process for your children and parents. 

I see. What other investment types are available in Cyprus? 

The Cypriot Citizenship by Investment programme offers a reliable, clear and transparent investment scheme.

To obtain a Cypriot passport, you may choose one of the two options: 

Option 1. You may invest €2 million (excl. VAT) into residential property with a term of five years and make a donation of €150,000: €75,000 to the Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) and €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation. 

Option 2. You make a combined investment of €2.5 million into residential property, securities and business. Plus, as in Option 1 you donate €150,000: €75,000 to the Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) and €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.

How are combined investments structured?

If you opt for combined investments, you will be entitled to choose one or several of the options below: 

1. Invest into residential and commercial property, infrastructure facilities and land property (in case there is a construction plan). 

2. Invest into business: establish a company in Cyprus or acquire a functioning local business. It’s worth noting that all invested funds must be transferred from outside of Cyprus and must not leave Cyprus.

3. Invest into the Cypriot shipping sector. 

4. Invest into alternative investment funds (approved by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission).

In five years, you may sell your Cypriot assets. At that, you must remain in possession of residential property valued at $500,000 onwards. 

Which investments are the most popular?​

The most demanded option in the Cyprus Investment Programme is residential property investment. Our clients belong to three major groups. Customers belonging in the first group buy a villa or apartments on the island for family vacations. The second group invests in a diversified portfolio handpicked by the Astons experts in order to receive rental income and exit the investment as soon as possible after the five years. The third segment invests in commercial property or active construction projects to maximise their profits. 

Note! If you invest in residential property previously owned by another applicant to the Cyprus Investment Programme, the cost of property should be no less than  €2.5 million.

It’s optimal that you rely on our investment experts so they could help you select an investment scenario based on your specific conditions, requirements, personal and business interests.

I’m a bit overwhelmed… What do I start with?

All you need to do is put your trust in our immigration experts with their impeccable reputation and all-round knowledge of the entire Cyprus and UK immigration process. 

With 30 years’ experience under the belt, Astons’ lawyers and investment consultants will review your specific situation and offer the best fitting option within the Cypriot Citizenship by Investment Programme. 

Besides, we’ll certainly help you provide the Cyprus authorities with all documentation required to invest in real estate (construction permit, property delivery certificate for ready-built objects and banking guarantee for objects under construction). 

Please tell me what exactly the Astons experts will do.

Every client is serviced by a team of highly experienced British and Cypriot lawyers that have over 12 years of experience in sale and purchase transactions for the Cyprus real estate. 

Astons will take care of all expenses related to organising your visit to Cyprus. Our experts from the Cyprus office will meet you at the airport, arrange property walkthroughs for the facilities of interest and will remain in close contact for any questions that may arise.

Moreover, your Cyprus citizenship application will be personally supervised by Director of the local Astons branch.

Can I rest assured that I’m offered the best investment options? ​

Sure! The Astons team works with all constructors on the island and has access to the market of objects under construction. Astons will help you pick the unique projects with maximum investment potential. Here’s what we’ll do:

1. Provide you with detailed analytics of the Cyprus real estate market 

2. Compile a diversified property portfolio in various regions of Cyprus, including both residential and commercial property, to protect your investment from market fluctuations 

3. Offer you investment-attractive property including special offerings unavailable in the public market

4. Develop your exit strategy that may be effectuated in five years as stipulated by the Cypriot Investment Immigration Programme. 

Astons’s leading lawyers will defend your interests in deals with constructors. 

1. We’ll check the property before the deal and ensure full support of the sale and purchase transaction 

2. We’ll reinforce investment security with a bank guarantee, escrow accounts and legal guarantee of investment redemption should a candidate’s citizenship application be declined 

3. Having deep knowledge of the Cypriot real estate, we’ll negotiate the property cost with the constructor to offer you a better price 

Moreover, our taxation experts will provide you consultancy as of how to minimise taxes when purchasing property in Cyprus. 

Perfect. Are there any requirements that Cyprus imposes on its future citizens?

There are a few simple requirements: 

1. You are an adult (over 18 years old)

2. You have no criminal record

3. You are not under EU sanctions

4. You have a valid Schengen visa

Note! If you had already applied for EU citizenship in another EU member state and your application was declined, you are not eligible for participation in the Cyprus Investment Programme.

OK, which documents do I need to apply for a Cyprus passport? 

To submit an application, you will need the following documents: 

1. Copy of a valid foreign passport (with a valid Schengen visa)

2. Two photos 

3. Proof of residence

4. Investor resume containing key information about the applicant 

5. Standard investor application 

6. Birth certificate

7. Marriage certificate 

8. Certificate of no criminal record including facts of criminal prosecution (the certificate should be up to date and issued not earlier than 3 months before documents submission). 

According to the Cyprus programme, the application documents should be translated into English and apostilled (the actuality of information must be confirmed under oath). The Astons experts will certainly take charge of documents preparation and notarisation. 

What happens after we’ve collected all the documents for the application? 

Before we submit your application to the Cypriot authorities, the Astons experts will thoroughly and repeatedly review and verify all your documents to guarantee that you are granted the citizenship of Cyprus. 

Some time after the documents submission, Astons will receive a notification from the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Finance of Cyprus stating approval of your citizenship application. 

Congratulations! You are now a citizen of Cyprus - just six months after the residence permit (which you receive in seven days after submitting the application)! 

To be on the safe side, will I have to pass any exams to get a passport? 

No. There are no language, history or culture examinations in Cyprus.  

Great! Which other perks does the Cypriot citizenship provide, aside from quick relocation to the UK? 

The Cypriot citizenship has many advantages. With the Cypriot citizenship under the belt, you’ll get the opportunity to live, work and study in any EU country. Customers who are parents to high school and college students find it relevant to secure preferential terms of education for their children. These terms are provided by the passport of EU member state Cyprus.

Another advantage is Cyprus’s attractive taxation system: Cyprus citizens who do not reside in the country pay income tax from Cyprus-based incomes only. The corporate tax for the Cypriot citizens is only 12.5%. 

In addition, Cyprus offers bright business perspectives, a favourable climate, safety, good ecology and high living standards. You may now benefit from all these factors at your convenience!

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Moscow, Dubai, Cyprus and China and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in the UKEU & the Caribbean. Astons is a committed and regulated Member of the Investment Migration Council (IMC), for EU & Caribbean investment immigration.  

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at info@astons.com  or call +44 207 292 2977.