KPMG has released its Cyprus Citizenship by Investment brochure, which details the criteria for granting residency and citizenship on the island and further explains the unique benefits of acquiring this status.
In his introduction to the brochure, KPMG Chairman and Head of Tax Services Angelos Gregoriades – pictured below left – notes that the recent political and social upheaval in the Eastern Mediterranean basin, which has spilled over the wider area of the Middle East, in combination with the political and economic uncertainty in the greater region, not only upgrade the strategic position and geopolitical role of Cyprus in this part of the world, they render Cyprus a symbol of security and stability, in its capacity as the Easternmost border of Europe.
“As a result,” he continues, “the timely adoption of a very successful “Citizenship by investment” programme and the fast track “Permanent Residency” programme enacted by the Cyprus Government in the last few years, rightfully render Cyprus as the “jurisdiction of choice” for many high net worth individuals and their families who decide to live, invest and set up their businesses in Cyprus.”
Third country nationals may acquire Cypriot citizenship through the Individual scheme KPMG notes, which requires a minimum investment amount of €5 million.
The applicant can elect to invest at least €5 million in Cyprus government bonds, in financial instruments of companies and shares of public companies registered in Cyprus or in real estate and land developing.
The applicant may further invest this amount through the establishment or participation in businesses/companies that are based and have activities in Cyprus, deposit this in Cyprus banks for a period of 3 years, or indeed combine any of the above options.
Finally, any applicant who was the holder of deposits in Laiki Bank and suffered an impairment in the value of his/her deposits of at least €3 million as on March 15th 2013, as a result of the measures imposed on the bank, is entitled to local citizenship.
Third country nationals wishing to acquire Cyprus residency and citizenship through a collective investment must invest a minimum amount €2.5 million.
“The applicant can elect to invest a reduced amount of €2.5 million in any of the mentioned categories, on the basis of participation in a collective investment scheme with a total value of at least €12.5 million,” KPMG explains, detailing the categories below:
• Criterion 1: Cyprus government bonds
• Criterion 2: Financial instruments
• Criterion 3: Real estate and land developing
• Criterion 4: Cyprus businesses and companies
In addition to satisfying any one of the above criteria, either under the individual scheme or the major collective investment scheme, the applicant must also have a clean criminal record; and own a permanent residence in Cyprus of a market value of at least €500.000 excluding VAT.