Cyprus Citizenship Investment Scheme for Russians

Cyprus offers highly compelling tax conditions, an exciting and fast-growing economy, and plenty of sun, sea and sand. But those are far from the only attractive features of an island that is increasingly capturing the attention of Russians looking to benefit from this gateway into Europe and the rest of the world.

Thumb st raphael marina   limassolLimassol Marina

Cyprus offers highly compelling tax conditions, an exciting and fast-growing economy, and plenty of sun, sea and sand. But those are far from the only attractive features of an island that is increasingly capturing the attention of Russians looking to benefit from this gateway into Europe and the rest of the world.

Cyprus Citizenship by Investment

As early as 2002, Russian oligarchs were attracted to the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program, which promised a Cyprus passport with a €10 million inward investment to the Cyprus economy. Since then, bilateral agreements have been signed between Cyprus and Russia in 2005 and a Double Tax Treaty in 2009 and the most recent in October 2017, with a commitment to a Joint Action Plan for the period 2018 – 2020 between the Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation. The Joint Action Plan extends to all areas of cooperation, including the economy, politics, commerce, energy, defence, international issues and EU affairs. Moreover, Ministers from both countries signed agreements on commercial shipping, maritime transport and international road transport, on information technology and communications and on humanitarian operations performed in the event of crisis management situations, showing the thoroughness and strong collaboration between the two countries. With Cyprus now a fully-fledged EU member and with investment now being more competitive than ever at only €2 million, there has never been a better time to apply for Cyprus citizenship by Investment or the newly named Cyprus Investment Scheme.

Cyprus Passport Benefits

Cypriot immigration policy enables non-EU Nationals to obtain Cyprus citizenship on an expedited basis – by far the fastest route to attaining citizenship in the EU – offering a range of persuasive benefits that help explain its enormous popularity with Russian nationals (note that Cyprus has granted citizenship to over 3,300 people under the citizenship by investment scheme, with more than a third of these individuals being of Russian origin):

  • There is no requirement to make a government donation, which contrasts with comparable citizenship programs in Malta and elsewhere.
  • The applicant is only required to make a onetime visit only to Cyprus to provide biometrics and receive their PR Permit.
  • Unlike other EU countries where 5 years’ residency is required, the Cyprus passport is awarded within an amazing 180 days of the application being submitted.
  • The Permanent Residency permit can be issued within only 7 days of citizenship application form submission.
  • The application is a simple process and has no requirement for medical or language testing.
  • The immigration program offers citizenship to the entire family, including parents (see below).
  • The applicant can invest in property from the outset and/or a combination of other investments including, commercial real estate and land, government bonds, Cypriot companies or Cypriot investment funds.
  • A Cyprus passport offers visa free access to over 150 countries worldwide and 28 EU member states, including the UK. It also grants Cyprus citizens all the freedoms of an EU national to live, work and study anywhere in the EU – attaining a Cyprus passport within only 180 days.
  • EU nationals residing in the UK are eligible for UK Settlement with the 3 simple steps of proving their EU identity, showing their UK residence, and providing a clean criminal record.

Who is Eligible for Cyprus Citizenship by Investment?

  • Main applicant with a minimum investment of €2 million
  • Spouse of main applicant
  • Children up to the age of 17

Adult children between the ages of 18 and including 28 (subject to their application being reviewed by the Council of Ministers prior to their 29th birthday), provided they are financially dependent on the main applicant and are students working towards either a first university degree, or a first master’s degree.

  • Parents of the main applicant, provided they make an additional investment of €500,000 (plus VAT), in residential property in Cyprus

Tax, Economy and Standard of Living

Cyprus is more than just a means to accessing the EU. It is also a highly attractive proposition in its own right, offering tangible benefits to those looking to invest in the local economy and enjoy its highly attractive tax regime, which is particularly advantageous to HNWIs. This includes corporation tax of only 12.5%, zero taxation for non-dom individuals for up to 17 years, and no succession taxes or IHT.

Furthermore, Cyprus is a strong economic financial centre and communications hub. Russia and Cyprus’s strong relationships in trade have contributed to a flourishing economy, with imports and exports between the countries including areas such as forex, aircraft leasing, investment and corporate services, and tourism, to name but a few. In fact, in 2017 Cyprus grew its GDP by almost 4%, the highest growth seen in Europe, with the same growth forecast for 2018.

It should come as no surprise, then, that there are now over 40,000 Russians that have chosen to live in Cyprus. Many of these individuals and families have located to Limassol, which has become the Russian capital of Cyprus, and is home to a number of Russian schools and nurseries, and over 600 students. The numbers of Russian education centres is also increasing in Paphos and Nicosia.

Cyprus Ranked 5th Best Relocation Destination

These facts of modern Cypriot life, its progressive tax regime, amazing climate, low crime rate, as well as key indicators in the areas of business, education, cost of living and leisure, saw Cyprus ranked as the 5th best relocation destination in the world in the Global Lifestyle Review by Knight Frank (the leading independent, global real estate consultancy firm).

The Attitudes Survey in question was based on responses from over 500 of the world’s leading private bankers and wealth advisers, who between them represent around 50,000 wealthy individuals with a combined wealth of more than $3 trillion.

How we can help?

Astons is an investor immigration firm, with head offices in London, Mayfair, and a multicultural legal and advisory team that are well place to assist you with all your immigration needs, including Private Client Legal Case Management, filing and submission of your residency or citizenship needs in Cyprus, UK or the Caribbean.

Contact us today and start your application process for Cyprus citizenship by investment now or call us at +44(0)207 292 2977.

Disclaimer: Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action based upon this information. Please do not disregard professional advice or delay in seeking advice because of something you have read on this website. Astons professionals will be pleased to discuss any specific questions you have.