Which are the main benefits that an Investor is seeking for his family when investing in Cyprus?
Cyprus Citizenship By Real Estate Investment
Being a Cypriot citizen is an advantage which entails a plethora of benefits also deriving from the Membership of the Republic of Cyprus in the European Union.
Here are the top benefits and reasons that a Cyprus citizenship can change your life:
Amongst those benefits are the travel benefits that one may gain as a Cypriot citizen. Travelling within the whole of the European Union in any of the 27 Member States without the need of a visa is certainly both an economic relief as well as extrication from bureaucracy. EU citizens enjoy extensive rights also by means of damages in certain cases when they travel. For instance, according to the directions of the European Commission in case of significant delays the airline must provide with meals and refreshments, accommodation and communication facilities and in case of a delay of more than 5 hours the airline should also offer to refund the ticket. Holders of Cypriot driving licenses have the advantage of their license being recognised in any of the Member States of the European Union.
Educational benefits are another aspect of important benefits that one may gain as a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus has two highly recognized public universities (University of Cyprus and Cyprus University of Technology). Cypriot citizens that secure places at the public universities are not subjected to any tuition fees as the entire undergraduate courses are free. Additionally, Cypriot citizens have the right to study in another EU Member State with the same conditions and fees as the nationals of the said country. This is an exceptional advantage given that several EU Member States provide with free education or significantly low tuition fees for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. A great example of counties with low or free tuition fees are Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Greece. Another result of the common market is the mutual recognition of degrees, diplomas or other certifications among EU countries. Accordingly, a certificate granted in any Member State is recognized in all Member States.
Amongst the substantial benefits that the Cypriot citizenship provides with are healthcare rights. Following the adoption of the Directive on cross-border healthcare, EU citizens have extensive and clear rights with respect to healthcare in any of the 27 Member States of the European Union. The Republic of Cyprus provides for healthcare rights based on socio-economic criteria. In certain cases healthcare in Cypriot public hospitals is entirely free. Cypriot public hospitals are equipped with high technology equipment which aims to provide with high quality healthcare. As with respect to healthcare in any of the 27 EU Member States, patients have the benefit to receive healthcare in any EU Member State and be reimbursed with accordance with the amount that would be covered by the affiliated Member State had healthcare taken place on its territory. Additionally, with the acquisition of the European Health Insurance Card one may receive treatment under the same conditions and at the same cost as people insured in that Member State.
Cyprus is certainly among the countries with the lowest corporate tax rate. This is a great advantage for the expansion of business activities especially taking into consideration the treaties that Cyprus has signed with several countries, for the avoidance of double taxation, when a company is registered in two countries, for instance Cyprus and Russia. Cyprus offers an attractive and transparent tax regime, fully compliant with EU, OECD and international laws and regulations. Providing access to an extensive network of more than 60 Double Tax Treaties, and maintaining a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, one of the lowest in the EU, Cyprus offers international investors and domestic businesses confidence to invest, grow and prosper. Some of the main features of the Cyprus tax system include: • Dividend participation exemption • Exemption on disposal of securities (e.g. shares, bonds, debentures) • No succession taxes • No withholding taxes • Attractive IP regime • Tonnage tax for shipping companies. Significant exemptions are also in place for non-domiciled individuals taking up residence in Cyprus: • No tax on dividends and interest • 50% exemption on income from employment in Cyprus of a person who was not previously resident in Cyprus. The exemption applies for ten years, provided that the income from employment in Cyprus exceeds €100.000 per annum.
As a result of the accession of Cyprus in the European Union and the establishment of the common market, EU citizens enjoy extensive rights in all the 27 Member States of the EU. The freedom of movement gives EU citizens the right to move freely and work in any Member State without restrictions. Further to this, nationals of the Members States also have the right to work and reside in any Member State with their family even in cases where their partner is not an EU citizen. Under the social security scheme Cypriot citizens enjoy a number of benefits like sickness benefits, job-seekers allowances, maternity allowances, pension, disability allowance and workplace accident allowance. The law of Cyprus provides for a minimum wage for certain professions for which there is no bargaining power and are not covered by collective agreements (e.g. sales assistant and nursing assistant). According to the Minimum Wage Order 2012 the minimum wage was €870 (gross) and after a six-month employment period with the same employer the minimum wage increases up to €924 (gross). In case of redundancy, employees who have been employed for 104 consecutive weeks with the same employer are protected by the Redundancy Fund. Furthermore, the employees who have been unlawfully dismissed have the right to compensation which is payable by the employer, provided that they have worked for 26 consecutive weeks.
Natural Beauty and Climate
Cyprus has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with year-round sunshine. Stunning coastlines, golden sandy beaches and clear blue waters, coexist harmoniously with glorious mountains of wild natural beauty and peaceful, picturesque villages. Cyprus’ famous beaches have been awarded with 57 Blue Flags in 2015, ranking the island first in the EU for the tenth consecutive year, including three records: • most Blue Flags per capita in the world most dense concentration of Blue Flag Beaches • most Blue Flag beaches per coastline
Quality of Life
High quality of life is without a doubt one of Cyprus’ most compelling advantages. Indicatively, the island was ranked as the 5th best relocation destination worldwide by the 2013 Knight Frank Global Lifestyle Review, while Limassol, the second biggest city in Cyprus has been ranked 4th best retirement destination globally by the 2016 Knight Frank Global Lifestyle Review.
Cypriots are known worldwide for their genuine and sincere hospitality and friendliness, but also for the famous Cypriot cuisine, based on the healthy Mediterranean diet. Recipes dating back hundreds of years offer delicious gastronomical experiences, particularly the “Cyprus Meze” which consists of a large number of different cold and hot “hors d’oeuvres” such as assorted dips, salads, meats, vegetables, as well as various fresh fish delicacies. With a buzzing cosmopolitan environment, arts and culture are flourishing with museum nights, local and international festivals, exhibitions and concerts taking place at both modern and ancient venues, such as historical open-air amphitheatres. With pleasant weather throughout the year, sports enthusiasts can ski in February, swim and kite surf until December, bike and play tennis and golf all year. A vibrant nightlife, with plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs, theatres and concerts caters to all tastes and lifestyles.
Besides its natural beauty, Cyprus offers a very safe environment, with low stress levels and crime rates, ideal for a peaceful family life. Acknowledging the island’s safety and security standards, Value Penguin has ranked Cyprus 5th worldwide and 1st among smaller Countries in its Safest Countries in the World study for 2015.
All the Cypriot citizens who are insured under the social security scheme are entitled to receive pension. They also have the same rights to social insurance with the citizens of the Member State in which they live or work. Moreover, EU citizens maintain the right to receive their social insurance benefits even in cases where they move to another Member State. Thus, their allowance is being sent from the Member State in which they have worked to the Member Sate of their residency.
No more Work Visa headaches
Having a Cyprus citizenship broadens your professional opportunities and career growth, as only EU citizens have the freedom to move to an EU country and be easily employed without a work permit.
Transfer citizenship to children, parents and further ancestors
If you have dependent children who are under the age of 18 at the time your application for citizenship is accepted, they will not need to submit a separate application. They will receive their citizenship at the same time as you do. Furthermore, your children or their children born after the Cyprus citizenship is obtained will automatically be Cypriot citizens, as Cyprus citizenship is automatically transferred to new family members with no need for additional paperwork or application.
Cyprus accepts dual citizenship. Thus those who are not willing to farewell their initial citizenship are not obliged to do so when obtaining Cyprus citizenship.
The island benefits from a well-advanced and modern infrastructure that makes day-to-day life easy, cost-effective and efficient. Commutes are minimal in Cyprus. One can drive from the capital, Nicosia, to the beach in Larnaka, in about 30 minutes.
Benefits from Doing Business in Cyprus
Cyprus is a modern, cosmopolitan, transparent business centre offering opportunities for investment across a wide range of sectors. Cyprus has long established itself as a thriving business hub, with a vast array of investment opportunities in key growth sectors of the economy. The island’s ideal strategic location, advanced infrastructure and high quality of life do not only represent key reasons to relocate and live in Cyprus, but are also at the heart of an investor’s choice to invest in it.
The island is an ideal investment gateway to the European Union, as well as a portal for investment outside the EU, particularly into the Middle East, India and China. As a member of the wider EU and Euro zone community, Cyprus ensures safety and stability for investors, while also offering them market access to more than 500 million EU citizens. The local infrastructure is ideally suited for business people who need to get things done. Thanks to its modern road network, extensive port facilities and two new international airports, travel and transport in and beyond Cyprus is fast, efficient and economical.
Human talent probably constitutes Cyprus’ most compelling advantage, complemented by a broad range of high quality professional services. As a dynamic business centre, Cyprus offers an abundance of highly educated and skilled individuals, multilingual in their majority, ready to serve the needs of any business.
Cyprus, indeed, has all the right ingredients to maintain a strong and resilient economy, due to its small size, productive labour force, business friendly and flexible government.
Legal System and Transparency
Our country’s competitive advantages are significantly enriched by a robust and transparent legal and regulatory framework and an attractive tax regime, which offers a wide range of incentives and advantages both for legal and natural persons.
Cyprus’ legal system, based on English Common Law principles, is widely recognised as a business-friendly and effective system that ensures transparency and reliability in business practices. Offering foreign businesses a familiar and reliable framework within which to operate, Cyprus’ legal system is also fully compliant with the EU, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), OECD, FATCA, the Financial Stability Forum laws and regulations and EU AML directives.