With an ever-growing demand for immigration into Europe, several European countries such as Greece, Portugal, and Spain have introduced golden visa schemes that grant permanent residency in exchange for a significant financial investment in the country.
One such scheme is the Cyprus citizenship by investment program that is becoming increasingly popular with investors as it offers the fastest route to EU citizenship. What makes the Cypriot scheme distinctive is that it grants full citizenship rather than just the permanent residency on offer in other European countries. Since its introduction in May 2013, hundreds of Chinese, Russian and Middle Eastern nationals have used this route to gain full European Union citizenship.
The main attraction of the scheme is that a Cypriot passport allows visa free travel to 176 countries throughout the world. It also enables the passport holder to live, work and study anywhere in the EU, which carries the additional benefit of becoming eligible for the lower EU rates of tuition fees.
Under the Cypriot scheme, citizenship is issued within months of fulfilling the investment requirements in the form of a one off investment. The entire process – from the submission of the application to the passports being issued – is usually completed within just three months.
Passports are granted to the applicant, their spouse, children under 18, as well as adult dependents under 28 in full-time education.
A major benefit of the Cypriot citizenship program is that investors are not required to reside in or visit Cyprus after they have been given a passport. By way of comparison, Spain requires golden visa holders to reside in the country for a minimum of 185 days per year.
The Cypriot citizenship program also offers more flexible investment options compared to similar schemes in other EU countries. The most straightforward option is citizenship through the purchase of real estate worth at least €5 million. This real estate investment must be held for a minimum period of three years, after which it can be sold off. The program also requires an investor citizen to have a separate privately-owned residential property with a value of at least €500,000 at all times as a condition of Cypriot citizenship. But even this residential property can be used as a holiday home or as a buy-to-let investment.
With the Cypriot economy projected to return to growth this year, the country’s property market is expected to see rapid growth in the near future. Additionally, current property prices are relatively low due to the tough market conditions of the past few years, making it an ideal time to invest in the Cypriot property market.
Overall, by granting EU citizenship in exchange for a three-year property investment, and with no residency requirements, the Cyprus citizenship by investment program represents good value for money as an investment choice, and is also the fastest way for investors and their families to obtain EU citizenship.
Source: Growth Business