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September 2016 -  Cyprus Citizenship, revised criteria (September 2016):

 

The Cyprus Government has announced the revised criteria for granting the Cypriot citizenship by investment which are significantly improved compared to the previous ones, therefore, making Cyprus an even more attractive option.

 

The most important changes are as follows:

 

- The minimum investment required is reduced to €2,0 million compared to the previous €2,5 million for collective investment schemes and €5.0 million for individual schemes.

 

- Collective Investment Schemes are abolished and any investor can apply individually.

 

- The investment in government bonds of the Republic of Cyprus is restricted to €500.000.

 

- The applicant must be a holder of a Cyprus Residency Permit to qualify for receiving the Cyprus Citizenship, however, an application for a Residence Permit can be submitted to the authorities together with filing the Citizenship application.

 

- The investor’s parents are now entitled to apply for Cyprus Citizenship provided that they own a permanent residence in Cyprus of at least €500,000 or they jointly own with the investor a residence of at least €1,000,000. 

 

Investment Options

 

There are four investment options:

 

1. Real estate and land developing

 

The investor should purchase properties (residential or commercial) in Cyprus of at least €2,0 million (excluding VAT if applicable) or invest the same amount in the development of real estate projects (residential and commercial projects, investments in the hotel industry and so on).

 

2. Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies

 

The investor should invest at least €2,0 million in the purchase, creation, or participation in local companies which operate in Cyprus. Such companies should have physical presence in Cyprus, substantial activity and turnover and they should employ at least 5 Cypriot or EU citizens who have been legally residing in Cyprus for at least the previous 5 years.

 

3. Investment in alternative investment funds (AIFs) or in financial assets of Cypriot businesses and organizations which are licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission

 

The investor should invest at least €2,0 million for the purchase of units in AIFs or of financial assets (such as bonds and debentures) of Cypriot businesses and organizations. 

 

Qualifying AIFs should be based in Cyprus and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. Furthermore, they should exclusively invest their funds in Cyprus in fields which are allowable under the present citizenship program or in any other field approved by the Minister of Finance. 

 

Qualifying financial assets should be issued by businesses or organizations which are regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and have physical presence and substantial financial activity in Cyprus. Furthermore, the funds raised from qualifying financial assets should be used exclusively for investments in Cyprus.

 

4. Combination of the abovementioned options

 

Under this option, investors may invest at least €2,0 million in any combination of options 1, 2 or 3 above. This option also allows investments in governmental bonds of the Republic of Cyprus of a maximum amount of €500.000.

 

 

Please note that investors should also:

 

- Have a clean criminal record

 

- Own a permanent residence in Cyprus of a minimum value of €500,000

 

- Hold a Cyprus residence permit. For this purpose, an application for a residence permit can be submitted simultaneously with the Citizenship application.

 

 

Regarding the permanent residence:

 

- In the case of investments exclusively in residential property, the permanent residence can be any of the properties purchased under investment option 1 above provided that it is of a minimum value of €500,000.

 

- In all other cases investors should also purchase a permanent residence of a minimum value of €500,000 in addition to the €2,0 million main investment which is the minimum requirement under investment options 1, 2, 3 or 4 above. If the permanent residence is worth more than €500,000, the difference can count towards the €2,0 million main investment requirement.

 

Investments should be held for at least three years with the exception of the permanent residence of at least €500.000 that should be kept indefinitely, unless it is substituted with another property of an equal or greater value. The remaining investments can be realized at any time after three years.

 

For more information, please download our Cyprus Citizenship Brochure or contact us.

 

 


 

 

August 2016Immovable Property Tax payments: 

 

In September the Tax Department will start sending Immovable Property Tax notices to some 237 thousand taxpayers who will find their tax bills reduced to 25 per cent of the amount demanded last year. 
 
The TAX Department will start sending Immovable Property Tax notices to 237,052 taxpayers in September who will find their IPT bills reduced to 25 per cent (a reduction of 75 per cent) of the tax demanded last year, providing they pay by 31st October. 
 
Those choosing to pay from 1st November until 31st December will pay 27.5 per cent of last year’s tax (a reduction of 72.5 per cent), while those who pay after 31st December will face an additional charge of 10 percent on the 27.5 per cent figure. 
 
Once again Immovable Property Tax will be based on 1980 values and rates, which range from 0.6% to 1.9 per cent of their property/properties 1980 values, while taxpayers will be exempt from paying IPT if their tax bill is no more than €10. 
 
The Tax Department has matters in hand and will be making the necessary changes to its IT systems and the procedures for sending IPT notices in the coming days.
In 2015 the Tax Department sent 273,052 IPT notices amounting to €127.5 million to companies and individuals. However, the Department received approximately € 86 million from around 239,000 taxpayers because some took advantage of the discount offered while others failed to pay. 
 
Between 2013 and 2015, the IPT revenue collected by the state amounted to about €284 million: €106 million in 2013, €92 million in 2014 and €86 million in 2016. 
Meanwhile local authorities (Municipalities and Communities) have already begun sending notices for ‘local’ property taxes designed to collect a total of €15 million. According to the Finance Ministry local authorities received approximately €14.7 million in 2013 and €15 million in both 2014 and 2015. 
 
Individuals and companies who own property or who have taken delivery of a property in Cyprus but have yet to receive its Title Deed are reminded that they are required (by law) to register details of the property/properties with the Tax Department if they have not already done so.
 

Source: Cyprus Property News (http://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers.com/2016/07/29/immovable-property-tax-payments/id=00151507)

 

 


 

 

July 2016Work on luxury residential towers at new Ayia Napa marina to begin in September:

 

The construction of luxury residential twin towers which will be part of the new Ayia Napa marina will start in late September, Mayor Yiannis Karousos announced on Tuesday.

“It is expected that Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiri and his partners in Cyprus, namely the Caramondani group, will sign the contracts with the company building the marina in the next few days,” Karousos said. “The twin towers will consist of luxury apartments and suites and are part of the Ayia Napa marina infrastructure.”

After they sign the contract the building site in the Makronissos area will be fenced of and the foundation stone for the project is going be laid on September 23 or 30.

Advertising for the marina and the sale of houses and apartments has already started, the mayor added.

Karousos said the marina would have a capacity of 400 to 450 vessels with space out to sea for about 150 other boats. Regarding investments outside the marina, the twin towers will consist of 26 floors with luxury apartments. There will also be a number of luxury villas and a luxury hotel.

The mayor estimates the main marine facilities will be finished in three years and the rest in five years.

According to the mayor the area around the marina is now a hot investment area for big and serious investors and he expects investments by the government as well.

Tycoon Sawiri, Karousos said, stressed that he “is not interested in creating just a marina in Cyprus, but in creating the best marina in the Mediterranean.”

Source: Cyprus Mail (http://cyprus-mail.com/2016/07/19/work-luxury-residential-towers-new-napa-marina-begin-september/)

 


 

June 2016 - Property sales increase by 24%:

 

According to the Department of Lands and Surveys the total number of property transactions during the first quarter of 2016 rose by 24% compared to the first quarter of 2015. The increase is attributed to the improvement of the economy, the stabilization of the banking sector but also to the immigration programs introduced by the government enabling foreigners to acquire the citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus or permanent residence permits via investments in real estate.

 


 

January 2015 - Property sales increase 20% in 2014:

 

The total number of property transactions rose an annual 20 per cent in 2014 to 4,527, the department of lands and surveys said. In December, property transactions rose 20 percent to 454 compared to a month ago, the department said in statement on its website today.

Property transactions in Limassol district rose 35 per cent in 2014 compared to the year before to 1,417 while in December a total of 127 transactions were reported, as many as a year ago, the department said. The number of transactions reported in Nicosia district rose 6 per cent last year compared to 2013 to 748.

The number of transactions rose in Paphos and Famagusta districts the most in December, 72 per cent and 62 per cent compared to a year ago to 160 and 47 respectively. Transactions rose in Paphos an annual 6 per cent in 2014 to 1,238 while in the Famagusta district they rose 37 per cent to 330.

In Larnaca, a total of 794 property transactions were reported last year, 31 per cent more compared to 2013, after rising an annual 40 per cent in December to 67, the department said.

A real estate agent said that the increase in transactions last year was expected after the 2013 slump caused by the banking crisis.

“In 2013 the number of transactions was very low” compared to an annual average of 13,000 transactions in 2000 to 2012, George Mouskides general manager of FOX Smart Estate Agency, said in a telephone interview.

Mouskides added that he expects banks to offer more financing in 2015 which will further help increase the number of property transactions. “I believe that in 2015 there will be a considerable increase compared to 2014 which will exceed 20 per cent,” he said.

Source: Business Mail (http://cyprusbusinessmail.com/?p=2998)

 

 


 

 

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