Citizenship & residence cyprus

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | 06 Jul 2016

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Cyprus is one of the fore-runners in the industry when dealing in tax planning. This is valid for both corporate entities as well as individuals. As matter of fact, many ultimate beneficial owners who have established a corporate structure in Cyprus, now also hold residency status in Cyprus due to the immediate positive effect of relocating or commencing their business structure in Cyprus.

Citizenship in Cyprus

An individual wishing to obtain Cypriot Citizenship must satisfy the requisite of a 7 year residence period in Cyprus. An opportunity is also available for those individuals who do not fulfil the residency requirement but are persons who would have attained the minimum age of 30 years and who in turn hold a clean Police Conduct. Such individual is also required to have purchased property in Cyprus with a minimum worth of €1 million which is being used as the person’s permanent residence. The latter may then apply for Citizenship status via a rapid procedure provided that that a significant contribution is made. A significant contribution is when the individual injects certain disbursements into the Cypriot economy as follows:
 
a. The individual possesses a net worth of €10 million in any of the following:
    - Immovable property
    - Shares or other securities registered and issued in Cyprus;
b. Any individual who controls a Cypriot entity having a minimum turnover of €10 million per annum during a term of 3 years preceding the application, provided that the Company would have contributed at least €500,000 in the previous 3 years in the form of taxes, VAT or the purchase of professional services;
c. Any individual who controls a Cypriot entity having at least 1/3 of its employees being Cypriot nationals, provided that the Company would have contributed at least €500,000 in the previous 3 years in the form of taxes, VAT or the purchase of professional services;
d. Any individual or any of his  companies or any trust of which he is the beneficiary whose Cypriot bank deposits exceed €15 million;
e. The combination of any of the above-mentioned qualifications must at least amount to €15 million.

Cyprus Residence

The acquisition of a Cypriot Residence Status is perceived as being more straight forward. This is due to the fact that the requirement to obtain such status is based on the individual’s possession of adequate financial resources at their disposal, provided that it is sufficient to maintain themselves independent of any trade, business or profession. Adequate financial resources are taken to mean that:
 
a. The individual is the owner of immovable property in Cyprus worth at least €300,000; or 
b. The individual holds a minimum of €150,000 in bank deposits; or 
c. The individual’s annual income arising outside Cyprus exceeds that of €9,568.
d. The above stands solely on obtaining a valid health insurance policy in Cyprus.

Cyprus Work Permit

When attaining a Work Permit in Cyprus, official documentation required by law is to be produced before the adequate authority and governmental fees are required to be paid, as well as provide:
 
a. Certificates from various governmental departments including Income Tax, Social Security and Immigration;
b. Certificate of Health insurance and medical examination;
c. Employment contracts having paid the stamp duty;
d. Bank guarantee varying depending on the individual’s nationality (varies between €350 - €850);
e. An entry permit if its the first work permit or any other previous work permits provided that they exist;
f. CV; 
g. Police Conduct issued by the Place of Origin and apostilled in English; and
h. Contract of lease for residence during term of work in Cyprus.
 
In the event that it is the corporate entity which wishes to employ a non-citizen of Cyprus for its first time, the following documents must be produced:
 
a. Details of the entity’s Directors and Shareholders;
b. Tax Statement from the Income Tax Department;
c. Audited Financial Statements of the Entity’s previous year; and
d. A Cypriot’s registered auditor’s report showing the Company’s Good Standing.
 
For those corporate entities that have previously entered into a contract of employment with a non-citizen of Cyprus, the following must be produced:
 
a. Certificates of the Corporate entity’s incorporation, Registered Office, Directors, and Shareholder;
b. A description of the Company’s profile including details of the office operations and staff requirements;
c. Details of the Directors and Shareholders;
d. A Bank account having a deposit of at least €41,006 which serves as guarantee of the employee’s salary;
e. A Title of ownership or lease in the name of the Corporate entity; and
f. Capital investment of at least €170,680 which must be produced through a SWIFT transfer.
 
Our Firm provides assistance in the attainment of an individual’s Citizenship, residency status, as well as work permits both from the individual’s perceptive as well as from the business point of view. CC Cyprus moreover, deals in any of the ancillary services which are connected to the above including the opening of bank accounts, incorporation of Corporate entities, assistance with employment and lease contracts as well as any of your further queries. 

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