Many individuals with disposable income in India are fond of buying a second home in the hills or at scenic destinations such as Goa either for investment or as a holiday home for annual vacations.
For round-the-year sunshine and pristine natural beauty. Even to see snow fall or ski. Cyprus gives you all this and more!
Imagine the extra benefits for well-heeled investors if they invest in an overseas location offering a globally competitive quality of life, a permanent home in Europe for life for their family & the ease of doing business, with huge tax benefits (as low as 12.5% corporate tax and only 2.5% for IT). The favourable tax rules require some elaboration. For example, permanent residents pay no taxes on global income, which includes dividends and capital gains. Moreover, while there is no inheritance tax, income and property tax rates are low. There is also zero tax on rental income
The Cyprus Permanent Residency Program offers all this and more, plus easy access to Schengen countries once the PR cards are issues.
A popular immigration destination, the Mediterranean island is a member of the European Union and Eurozone. For investors with global interests or globe-trotting individuals, its strategic location at the crossroads of three major continents – Europe, Asia and Africa – is akin to icing on the cake.
The Allure and Criteria
Ranked among the world’s developed economies by the IMF since 2001, this island nation enjoys a high standard of living but with a low lifestyle cost, making it an ideal place for tourism, various sports and outdoor activities. Its world-class infrastructure includes recreational parks, exclusive golf resorts, marinas, Europe’s biggest casino (just opened a month ago) highways, telecom networks, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, etc.
Also now boasts of a cruise terminal in Limassol where you can hop on to a long nice beautiful cruise on the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. There is also now a ferry terminal linking Cyprus to Greece.
The Republic of Cyprus is also one of the best-performing nations in the Human Development Index. Given its rich cultural and historical heritage coupled with a safe environment, it is no wonder this holiday destination attracts around four million tourists annually.
Besides ticking all the right investment boxes, Cyprus’ Permanent Residence by Investment Program ensures applications are approved within two months and you get the cards within 6months. Here, the primary criterion is making specific real estate investments around INR 2.5CR.
The requisite investments range from the following: buying residential realty with a minimum worth of EUR300,000 (INR 2.5CR) making investments in any kind of commercial or residential real estate.
Other conditions include an applicant being of legal age, with no criminal antecedents, having a legal income source and adequate financial resources to make mandatory investments and ensuring immigrating family members also have a clean background.
For Permanent Residency there are no other tests or requirements. unlike some other nations offering similar programs. Since approximately 80% of Cyprus’ population speaks English, Indians can easily interact with locals. Cyprus like India is part of the common wealth nations and people drive on the same side of the road like in India (unlike the rest of Europe)
While successful applicants receive an unlimited permanent residence status, residents of Cyprus are also allowed freedom of movement within the EU. The benefits are also extended to family members such as the spouse and underage children. Nonetheless, unmarried children aged 18 to 25 who may prove that they are students at a University and are financially dependent on the applicant are also covered. The said permit will be valid for life after the age of 25 without any other supportive document.
The island also offers several other benefits such as favourable tax rates, high living standards, a conducive business environment and a ‘Gateway to securing EU citizenship’
Once you become a PR you can also aim to take EU citizenship. For that you need to live in Cyprus for at least 180 days a year for 5 consecutive years. Post that you can apply for the passport. Once you become EU passport holder you can live, work, stay anywhere in Europe.
Additionally, a Cyprus passport allows one to visit more than 170 countries without visas versus approximately 60 visa-free nations via Indian citizenship. However, as India doesn’t recognise dual citizenship, a Cyprus passport will be beneficial for Indians with extensive global business interests that necessitate regular travel. Am Indian then acquires a ‘PIO Card’
Those acquiring permanent residency in Cyprus can also buy shares in local companies, establish their enterprises or transfer operating firms to the jurisdiction of the island.
However, some riders should be borne in mind for obtaining permanent residency status. Applicants cannot take up jobs in Cyprus and only money from overseas sources can be invested.
However, they can open a business and give employment. They can also work remotely receiving a salary overseas.
Furthermore, while it isn’t mandatory to reside in Cyprus permanently, residents should visit the island once in two years at least to retain their permanent residence status. Failing this, the status could be cancelled.
Some Indians have already discovered this ‘hidden jewel called Cyprus’ and have become permanent residents and many are in the process of becoming one. Indians who successfully fulfil the above norms can then enjoy a life filled with peace, prosperity and lovely, moderate climate and weather in this beautiful island paradise.