Cyprus Citizenship and Permanent Residency
Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is an influential country in Europe, featuring excellent infrastructure and a very strong banking system which is known for its good data protection and confidentiality. Cyprus is a big hub for international trade. It is a member of the European Union and is expected to join the Schengen scheme in the near future.
Cyprus is a hot-spot for tourists, with its attractive beaches and lively night life. The country enjoys a pleasant tropical-Mediterranean climate and gets about 300 days of sunshine every year. The capital city is Nicosia; other big cities are Limossol, Larnaka and Pafos.
Benefits of Cyprus Citizenship:
- Friendly English-speaking people
- Excellent infrastructure in terms of transportation and telecommunication
- Attractive tax laws and incentives for investors
- Good climate, beautiful beaches and lively nightlife
- High quality of life
- Popular as a retirement and holiday destination
Non-EU residents who want to apply for permanent residency in Cyprus can apply for an Immigration Permit issued by the government of Cyprus in lieu of fulfilment of certain investment criteria.
Application Procedure and Processing Time
An application needs to be submitted by the candidate personally or through an agent to the Civil Registry and Migration Department of Cyprus along with a fee of €500 per application.
Each application must be placed in a standard envelope along with a list of all accompanying documents. Each accompanying document of the application must be punctured, numbered in blue ink on all pages, and inserted in the envelope along with the main application.
Once the application has been processed, it is sent to the Minister of Interior through the Permanent Secretary. The Ministry may ask for a personal interview of the candidate. Provided all documents have been submitted on time and necessary investment has been made by the candidate, it takes up to two months to examine the application and provide the final decision.
Inclusion of Family Members
The applicant can include the following categories of family members in his/her application:
- Spouse or children below 18 years of age
- Unmarried children between 18-25 years of age, provided they are students or undergraduates, and are financially dependent on the investor. In such cases, the investor must have an additional annual income of €5,000 for every such dependent child.
- Children above 18 year of age can be included in the application if:
- The child is not financially dependent on the applicant
- Besides the mandatory real estate investment, the applicant must also make an extra real estate investment of minimum €300,000 (excluding VAT and other taxes) for each child applying for the permit.
- The applicant’s child must submit all required documents and submit proof of annual income of a minimum of €30,000, along with proof of a deposit of a minimum of €30,000 in a financial institution in Cyprus with a minimum lock-in period of three years.
Other Eligibility Conditions
- The investor applicant and his/her dependent should show proof of a clean criminal record and should not be a threat or pose a risk to public order and security in Cyprus.
- The applicant and his/her spouse cannot seek, directly or indirectly, employment in Cyprus. However, dividend income from a company registered in Cyprus in which the applicant and/or spouse are shareholder(s) is not a disqualification.
- The applicant and his/her family members included in the Immigration Permit must visit Cyprus at least once in two years.
Investment Criteria for Cyprus Investor Immigration Programme
The following conditions must be met by the investor for obtaining investment immigration in Cyprus:
- Deposit a minimum sum of €30,000 in an account with a financial institution in Cyprus. This deposit should be confirmed by a letter issued by the financial institution. The deposit should be made for a minimum period of three years. The deposit should have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad.
- Provide evidence that the applicant alone or with his/her spouse has a minimum annual income of €30,000, earned outside Cyprus.
- Purchase a property worth minimum of €300,000 excluding VAT and other charges.
Investment Immigration: Hungary Business Immigration Programme
Residence Investment Programme
Hungary is a developed country in Central Europe, and is a member of the European Union Schengen Area. The country has a vibrant economy and high quality of life, even though the cost of living is significantly lower than other European countries.
Individuals can seek permanent EU residency through an investment programme offered by the country. This programme is hugely popular with foreign investors who desire to settle in Europe. The main benefit of this programme is that an applicant can invest €250,000 into government bonds and immediately get permanent residency of Hungary.
Benefits of Hungary Business Immigration Programme
- The investment requirement is low, and there is zero risk
- The process of application is easy and fast
- A Hungarian residence permit allows the individual to stay in the territory of Hungary during its validity period
- The residence permit also allows the individual to stay in other Schengen countries for a period of 90 days in every six months
- There are no rigid requirements for language, minimum education, business background, sources of fund, etc.
- Applicant’s entire family can get permanent residency on his/her basis
- There is no requirement for minimum residence before applying for permanent residency
- Resident permit holder has access to free education
The validity of a Hungarian residence permit which is issued in the national economic interest is five years. It can be extended for another five years depending on each case.
The applying candidate must have a valid travel document and it should have a validity of at least three more months than the period of residence that is applied for.
Submission of Form:
One needs to submit the application for residence permit at the consular office in Hungary or at an authorized office functioning from the applicant’s country of permanent or regular residence. Since biometric data needs to be recorded by the authorities, the applicant should submit the application for residence permit personally.
Application for extension of the residence permit must be filed at the Regional Directorate.
Inclusion of Family Members:
A residence permit that is being sought on grounds of national economic interest entitles the applicant to include the following family members in the application:
- Minor children
No additional investment is required for the above family members, however, the applicant needs to submit the following documents:
- Two photographs
- Valid travel documents of the family members
- Proof of relations
- Proof of applicant’s ability to provide for the dependents – their living allowance, health care and housing
Investment Immigration: Croatia Residence Investor Programme
Croatia Residence Investor Programme
Croatia is a small country in southeast Europe, boasting of a beautiful 6,000 km coastline on the Adriatic Sea. The country consists of more than 1,100 islands, 66 of which are inhabited. Croatia’s coastline is considered to be the most beautiful in Europe, with its gorgeous bays, inlets, beaches and coves. The country also has a lot of places of historic interest like Split, Pula, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Hvar, and Trogir. There are four historic sites on the Adriatic coast which are labelled as World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
In Croatia, most of its islands receive more than 2,600 hours of sun in a year. The country is divided into two parts – a Latin-influenced coast and a more Central European interior. The official language is Croatian, but English is widely spoken, especially in larger cities. Croatia’s capital Zagreb has about 800,000 inhabitants.
Croatia used to be the second largest state in former Yugoslavia. It declared independence in 1991, and thereafter a four-year war with Serbia followed. Most of Croatia remained untouched by the war, and this distracted attention from its 1,100 islands, clear seas, romantic fishing villages, breath-taking beaches, beautiful vineyards, Roman remains and medieval towns.
Croatia is a sovereign state. In 1992, it became a full member of the United Nations. The 2000 elections in Croatia established the new free-market-oriented government in power, which is determined to attract foreign investment. The social, political, and economic situation of Croatia is improving consistently.
In 1991, the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia came into effect. It establishes Croatia as a parliamentary democracy and guarantees the right and inviolability of private property. In addition, any rights gained through investment of capital are constitutionally guaranteed. Foreign investors are also guaranteed free transfer and repatriation of profits and capital. Asset forfeiture is permitted only after a final court decision.
Croatia, before separating from Yugoslavia, had a fully-developed tourist industry that attracted about 10 million visitors every year. This industry is now in a phase of recovery, however, Croatia offers several excellent opportunities to investor immigrants.
Advantages of Residing in Croatia:
- It has one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe with unspoilt nature
- Some types of incomes can be received 100% tax-free
- There is a possibility of using offshore structures for tax planning
- There can be good fiscal incentives to make substantial investments
Investment Immigration: Belgium Immigrant Investor Programme
Residence by Investment Programme
With a rich global presence, Belgium is the financial capital of Europe. It is a very investor-friendly nation and has favourable tax laws for businesses. Unlike other countries, Belgium doesn’t have the “citizenship by investment” programme, however, it offers “residence by investment” opportunity for business entrepreneurs and investors. It is the only European country where you can become eligible to apply for citizenship just after three years of continued lawful residence. And after seven years of residence, you qualify for “citizenship by right”. Belgium’s residence programme therefore is very suited for investors and businessmen who want to reside in Europe.
Benefits of Belgium Residency:
- The country has a strong European presence
- There is no minimum stay in a year requirement
- One can apply for Belgian citizenship just after three years of residence
- There are no restrictions on dual citizenship
- One can enjoy visa-free travel to other EU countries
- Shorter processing time
Foreigners and non-EU residents can apply for a Belgian residence permit under their investor or business category – this usually requires forming a new Belgium company with an office, providing opportunities for employment. An owner of a company in Belgium can easily get a Belgian residence permit. Investors who start their own companies can get a residence permit in 3-8 months. The investor will initially be issued a temporary permit with validity of one year; after the end of this period, the investor can renew the residence permit annually for three years. Thereafter, the investor qualifies for a “permanent residence permit”.
The most popular company types in Belgium are BVBA and SPRL. The BVBA company in Belgium works like a Limited Liability Company, and requires share capital of at least €18,600. According to Belgian regulations, taxes are around 30% and returns need to be filed annually. Investors can considerably minimize tax liability with proper tax planning.
Investors should have a minimum of €300,000 at their disposal if they want to apply for the investor residency programme in Belgium. The fee for applications varies with each case. A residence application involves the following minimum fees (which excludes VAT, but may apply depending on the client’s case):
For main applicant:
- €95,000 to obtain a residence permit for the first year
- €25,000 for renewal of residence permit in the second year and subsequent years
- €35,000 for making a citizenship application, which the investor resident will qualify for after third year of residence
For family members (spouses and children under 18 years of age):
- €20,000 per member to obtain a residence permit for the first year
- €10,000 for renewal of residence permit in the second year and subsequent years
- €20,000 for making a citizenship application
Company incorporation costs:
- Approximately €10,000 to €20,000 in the first year for establishing a company and paying directors’ fee, and approximately €5,000 per year thereafter
- Approximately €6,000 per year for office rental space
- Approximately €1,000 per month to cover costs of accounting, tax returns and company maintenance, along with private accommodation