Cyprus – Where Investment Opportunities Prevail
Cyprus At A Glance
Cyprus has long established itself as one of the hubs for international investments. The corporate and legal activities emerging through Russia, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Hong Kong and Singapore have seen huge growth over the last 20 years. Its central location in Europe, the Middle East and Africa combined with the favourable corporate and property tax has played a significant role in attracting foreign investment.
Further to the above, over the past three years, Cyprus has also seen an emerging trend of property investments from investors. This growing trend has been facilitated due to many contributing factors.
As a fast-developing country, large property projects have attracted entrepreneurs wanting to safely capitalize on their future.
Contributing factors for investment also include the evolving oil and gas industry, the commencement of new projects such as golf courses, theme parks and casinos, and inevitably the ability to obtain EU residency and/or citizenship through investments.
Oil And Gas In Cyprus
Energy in Cyprus has already attracted worldwide attention and a large amount of international investment following the discovery of vast natural gas reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Several international companies are involved in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities, including Noble Energy, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil.
Integral in Cyprus plans to become a regional energy hub, is the planned Energy Centre, whereby a €300 million import, storage and distribution terminal for petroleum products is being constructed. The government is currently looking for strategic investors to undertake further construction. Further to this, upon completion, the authorities plan to begin probing potential long-term buyers for Cypriot gas.
On an intentional level, the developments in the oil and gas sector have influenced investments in Cyprus and have also attracted a wide range of high-net-worth corporate entities and investors, and inevitably, have made Cyprus a favourable jurisdiction choice for the future.
Property Investments In Cyprus – Looking Forward
Working closely with leading property developers in Cyprus, we are able to assist in the purchase of a wide range of properties to suit your individual needs. These range from the purchase of a beachfront home, to a plot of land and from new golf projects to collective investments in commercial projects.
Advantages of Property Purchase
When foreign buyers buy property in Cyprus for the first time, an application can be applied whereby there will be a 5% VAT charge instead of 19%. Once this is accepted, this is permanent and will not change.
Further to the above, the Cypriot Government has issued a new regulation on transfer fees. This regulation says that if a foreign buyer buys a new property plus VAT by the end of the year (2014), then the purchaser will not pay any transfer fees, even if the title deeds are issued in the next few years.
Citizenship And Residency Through Property Investments
Under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus, those investing in Cyprus are entitled to either an EU resident permit and/or an EU passport subject to the type and amount the investor embarks upon.
Further to the above, the amount necessary for foreign investors to secure a Cypriot passport is reduced to €2.0 million for someone participating in a collective investment worth more than €12.5 million.
A non-Cypriot citizen may by exception apply for the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship if the applicant meets one of the following criteria:
- An amount of at least €2.0 million for the purchase of shares and/or bonds of an Investment company of the state
- The applicant must have direct investments in Cyprus of at least €5.0 million, including, but not limited to, property purchase, the purchase of businesses or companies that are based and are active in the Republic of Cyprus, the purchase of companies registered in the Republic of Cyprus
- The applicant must be a shareholder or UBO of a company or companies. The management of which is in the Republic of Cyprus and that over the last 3 years prior to submitting the application has paid to State Funds (corporate tax, V.A.T. or other fees and charges etc) and for the purchase of business services (legal, accounting, auditing) as the amount of at least €500.000 per annum.
- The applicant must have personal fixed-term deposits for three years in Cypriot bank(s) or deposits of privately-owned companies or trusts (in which he/she is the beneficial owner) in the Republic of Cyprus of at least €5.0 million.
As regards the acquisition of immovable property by Third Country Nationals, special procedural requirements and certain limitations are set out in the Immovable Property Acquisition (Aliens) Law Chapter 109 (‘IMPA Law’).
It is notable that Third Country Nationals acquiring immovable property in Cyprus may under certain circumstances be eligible to apply for an immigration permit equivalent to a permanent residence permit by purchasing a house in Cyprus at a price of at least €300.000.
For fast-track applications, the applicant must also prove that he/she has at his/her disposal a secured minimum annual income of €30.000 from sources other than employment in Cyprus. The necessary minimum annual income is increased by €5.000 for each dependent person. The required income could derive from salaries of employment abroad, pensions, rents etc. The applicant must also submit a confirmation letter from a Cypriot bank stating that they have deposited a minimum capital of €30.000 in an account that will be in a fixed deposit account for three years.
We are able to assist with the applications for both EU resident permits and/or EU passports and furthermore, we can assist with finding the ideal project for any of the above-mentioned criteria.
Cyprus is a country offering substantial benefits and assistance to investors. Its close proximity to Africa and the Middle East and also its entry into the European Union have made Cyprus one of the most favourable jurisdiction choices for international clients. Investments continue to grow substantially, and purchases have also seen a growth emerging, namely from Chinese and Ukrainian investors. The oil and gas industry, as well as the capability to obtain an EU residency permit or EU passport, as well as the ability to offer a wide range of property projects, are just some of the reasons that Cyprus is a leading investment choice in the world.
If you require future assistance on the topic, please do not hesitate to contact us at United Advocates.