The world of golden visas and other investment migration solutions has long been an asset wielded by global High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) for decades – and American HNWIs are now taking note of the Golden Visa offered by Cyprus.

As the trend of investment migration continues its exponential growth in the West, American high-net-worth (HNW) entrepreneurs, investors, and families looking to capitalize on the empowerment they provide are finding plenty of options.

Numerous citizenship and residency-by-investment programs [aka golden visas] exist worldwide, but one program that tends to get overshadowed by the bigger EU programs is Cyprus.

However, those in the know have been leveraging the Cypriot permanent residency program for years – and for good reason.

A snapshot of the Cyprus residency by investment program

Cyprus has one of the simplest residency-by-investment programs in the world. Essentially, Cypriot permanent residency is within reach of any HNW entrepreneur or investor, who: 

  • Is 18 years of age or older 
  • Has a clean criminal record 
  • Able to make a qualifying investment into Cyprus’ economy through an approved investment channel

It is worth noting that the Cypriot Golden Visa provides permanent residency status, as some residency by investment programs only offer temporary residency status.

The permanent residency status is valid indefinitely, but biometrics and the identity card need to be updated every 10 years as long as the investor satisfies three requirements:

  • Maintains a clean criminal record
  • Maintains their investment
  • Visits Cyprus once every two years

The Cyprus residency program has a minimum investment threshold of €300,000. However, the Cyprus government also provides investors substantial flexibility to choose their preferred asset class to funnel their investment.

Under the Cypriot Golden Visa, applicants can choose:

  • Real estate
  • Share capital
  • Investment funds

Standardizing the investment amount allows investors to consider the best asset without factoring in various investment amounts. 

It also allows Cyprus to channel the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) it produces into various and diverse sectors of the Cypriot economy – increasing its overall benefit to the country.

Even though the Cypriot Golden Visa results in permanent residency, golden visa holders can also qualify for citizenship if – among other criteria – they physically reside in Cyprus for eight years (2920 days) in the previous 11 year span leading up to the citizenship application and that must include a full year of physical residency before filing the citizenship application. 

Cyprus golden visa investment options

The Cypriot Golden Visa is unique among other EU golden visa programs as it is the only one that has standardized its minimum investment amount across all asset classes. 

This standardization opens the door for greater economic diversification and allows investors to choose the option that resonates most with them on personal levels.

The four investment options under the official Cyprus Golden Visa are:

  • €300,000 (plus VAT) in a new residential property
  • €300,000 (plus VAT) acquisition of up to two new or used non-residential (i.e., commercial) properties
  • €300,000 investment in the share capital of a company registered and operating in Cyprus, employing at least five people
  • €300,000 investment in the Cyprus Investment Funds Association’s collective investments (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF)

How US entrepreneurs, investors, and families can leverage Cyprus’ investment options

Cyprus’ golden visa offers Americans and all global investors an excellent route to diversify their asset portfolio while obtaining an EU residency that provides a robust Plan B to hedge against political and economic instability.

Being part of the EU, Cyprus has unhindered access to one of the world’s most dynamic, open markets, and it is a safe place to conduct business and trade, making it an optimal destination for US investors.

As mentioned above, all of the investment channels share the exact minimum requirement, so US investors can choose the one that best fits their overarching investment objective.

Here’s a breakdown of each investment channel.

Residential Property

Buying residential real estate is a time-tested method to hedge against inflation and secure your portfolio with a low-risk asset that can act as a core investment.

Residential real estate is also one of Cyprus’s most significant markets. Residential property sales in September of 2023 grew 15% YoY.

Cyprus’ housing market is highly diversified and dynamic. It is also prone to high growth. Real estate prices in Cyprus grew an average of 7.7% YoY in 2023, according to the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC).

The CBC also reported that apartment prices had an exceptionally high growth margin of 8.4%, while house prices grew 6.4% in the same period. 

This makes the Cypriot housing market an excellent option for those looking for a low-risk investment that can yield high capital gains in the long run while maintaining a steady rental income of about 5% throughout. 

Commercial Property

Commercial properties offer an alternative to residential real estate for those looking for higher average ROIs but want to remain within the real estate investment class.

Not only do commercial properties have, on average, a higher ROI rate, typically ranging between 5-6.5% in Cyprus, but they also tend to have longer-term rental agreements, which makes them passive for more extended periods. 

Usually, businesses rent out commercial properties for years, especially if it is an industrial property – making managing the rental process much more manageable, albeit less flexible than residential properties. 

Investors looking to capitalize on the dynamic property market in Cyprus should consider real estate or smaller commercial properties. In contrast, those looking for long-term stability should consider larger-scale commercial real estate investments. 

The commercial property market in Cyprus isn’t growing as fast as the residential market is but is maintaining a healthy, steady growth. Experts forecast a 3.09% Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR) between 2023 and 2028.

Share Capital

US investors looking for an investment with higher risk and higher gains can consider share capital investments. 

The golden visa operates on an open market policy that allows investors to invest in any Cypriot company as long as it is registered as a local entity and employs at least five people.

Investors can choose any company they like, weighing risk vs reward to find the most comfortable balance. They can alternatively decide to register a business themselves, hire five people, and invest the €300,000 into their own company – but this may not be an ideal solution for everyone.

US entrepreneurs looking to access and invest in the EU market can use this method – effectively investing their own money to expand their business and gain Cypriot permanent residency simultaneously. This way, the golden visa becomes a by-product of corporate expansion.

However, those not interested in operating their own business should consider investing in an existing company, as it is more passive and can still be highly profitable.

Investment Funds

Investment funds hit the sweet spot between real estate and share capital. They carry a slightly higher risk than real estate but less than share capital, and similarly, they have a higher average ROI than real estate investments.

Investment funds are entirely passive, as US investors rely upon the expertise of a seasoned fund manager to do what they do best, and investors can relax and collect annual returns.

The exit strategy is also more straightforward than real estate, as they will receive their money back into their bank account once the holding period is over. 

Fund ROI can vary drastically depending on asset class investment policy and risk levels. Investors tend to see an annual return of 5-25%, depending on their chosen fund, of course. 

Careful due diligence is required, and it is advised to have an attorney conduct a proper investigation before deciding. 

Specifically, US investors must also consider whether a fund falls under Passive Foreign Income Corporation (PFIC) tax regulations to structure their tax returns accordingly. 

Sending a fund’s details to a US tax advisor will do the trick, as they can assess any tax liabilities before investing. 

Additional advantages to Cyprus permanent residency

Cyprus’ golden visa comes with a host of benefits, including:

  • Access to the EU market: A Cypriot resident has unhindered access to the EU market thanks to an open trade policy
  • A strategic Plan B: The minimal residence requirement (a visit every two years) and the simplified nature of the Cypriot Golden Visa means it is the optimal way of mitigating political and economic risks
  • Island living: Cyprus’ stunning natural scenery and bustling cities make it an outstanding place to live. There is never a dull moment in one of the world’s most enchanting island nations
  • Non-dom tax: Cyprus’ non-dom tax regime lowers the overall tax liability for new residents; it is especially effective for those with real estate rental income
  • A 60-day tax residency: Cypriot residents also have the choice to claim Cyprus as their tax base allowing them to leverage the country’s double taxation agreements [including with the US] and it only requires 60-days in the country to do so
  • Schengen Zone: Cyprus is poised to join the Schengen Zone in 2024


a passport branded with the astons logo

A fresh start with Astons and the Cyprus golden visa

Cyprus’ investment migration framework went through the wringer a few years ago, but the Cyprus Golden Visa emerged stronger and more appealing than ever.

It is one of the EU’s most popular residency by investment programs, and Astons expects that popularity to continue growing, especially among US HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families looking for a low-key EU destination as their backup plan.

For any HNW entrepreneur, investor, and family that is looking to:

  • Elevate their personal and professional empowerment
  • Diversify their portfolio
  • Expand their international real estate holdings
  • Own the highly coveted EU Plan B

Then the Cyprus Golden Visa is for you. Schedule a Free Private and Personal Comprehensive Consultation with Astons today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the processing time for the Cyprus Golden Visa?

Application processing times are, technically, controlled by law, but realistically are influenced by a plethora of external matters and issues – especially demand.

The average processing time for the Cyprus Golden Visa is typically around six months. Again however, this time frame can be dependent on the nationality of the applicant, the chosen investment channel, and if the government is experiencing any application backlog.

Astons specializes in the real estate investment channel as it the most popular, typically offers the best ROI, and tends to have a more predictable application process.

Who can an investor add their golden visa application?
How long must I maintain my real estate investment?
Can I change my investment after getting Cyprus permanent residency?