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Case Studies

Cyprus citizenship: how our clients got their second passports

Oleg is an entrepreneur who runs his business in Russia. His company does not require his constant presence. Oleg has two children from his first marriage aged 21 and 23.

Second citizenship in a EU country for an investor and his family

Our protagonists

A married couple, Oleg, 46, and Maria, 31. They have a child.

Maria is a housewife with two children from her first marriage aged 8 and 11.


Oleg is not satisfied with the quality of life in Russia. He wants to move his family to the developed European countries and protect his savings by investing them in safe financial instruments. Also, he needs an alternative place of residence which, eventually, could become the family’s primary location.

In addition, Oleg’s children are studying in the UK and Switzerland and have to renew their student visas each year. Oleg hopes that moving to one of the EU countries will open up ample employment prospects for his children. He also wants to give European education to Maria’s children from the first marriage of whom he is fond of.

Prior to contacting Immigrant Invest

Before Oleg turned for help to our company, he could not determine which country to choose to move to on his own.

First, he was thinking of Switzerland (where his eldest son is studying) or Austria. However, he was not sure Maria would like these options. Both countries offered residence permits with the possibility of obtaining citizenship in 6 to 10 years. However, both Switzerland and Austria had strict quotas on issuing residence permits.

Most importantly, applying for residence permits in these countries requires candidates to reside there for at least 183 days a year. However, neither Oleg nor Maria were thoroughly familiar with the way of life in Switzerland and Austria and doubted they would like it. After all, there are not that many compatriots living there.

Our suggestion

Taking these requirements into account, we offered Oleg two options: citizenship of Cyprus or Maltese passport. Both options did not require the family to reside in a country for a certain period of time. Holding passports of one of these states, they could choose to stay in any EU country.

Having thought about these proposals, Oleg excluded Malta. To obtain Maltese citizenship, a relatively small investment was required. For his family, the sum would amount to around EUR 1,5 million. According to Malta investor program, the applicants are required to buy or rent property, invest in securities as well as make a non-refundable contribution to the National Development and Social Fund of Malta.

It was exactly the last point that did not suit Oleg as a minimum payment was EUR 650,000. He did not want to spend that much money. In addition, he would have to wait for his Maltese passport for at least 14 months. Meanwhile, Oleg wanted to have time to complete the application before the new school year started to ensure that children would not need to extend their visas.

Our clients’ choice

Thus, the choice was made in favor of the Cyprus Investment Programme. Cypriot investment programme is much more expensive in terms of investment. To obtain citizenship of Cyprus in this way, candidates should invest at least EUR 2 million. However, in this case, applicants know exactly what they’re investing in. At the same time, your investment remains in your possession as you’re buying real estate. Besides, the time needed to examine the application is about 6 months.

Investment amountEUR 650,000 + EUR 150,000+ EUR 350,000 (property purchase)/ EUR 16 000 per year (property renting)EUR 2,000,000
ApplicationEUR 7,500+EUR 30,000+
TimeframeResidence card in 1 week
Citizenship in 12-16 months
Citizenship in 7-8 months
Residence requirementMaintaining resident status for 1 year6 months

Our cooperation

Our cooperation with Oleg started with his trip to Cyprus to inspect properties. As was already mentioned, the program requires investing EUR 2 million.

It should be noted that our company cooperates with large and reputable construction companies that operate in Cyprus for 30-70 years and guarantee the integrity and transparency of the transactions.

During our meeting, we discussed Oleg’s requirements towards properties and arranged viewings of the homes that fell under his criteria. Between inspections, our specialists introduced lawyers who advised Oleg on how to obtain citizenship of Cyprus.

Our client spent another week on the island to rest and get to know the local lifestyle peculiarities. To save time, we arranged his viewings of the school and pre-school facilities in Limassol and Paphos since he had to find kindergarten and school for his three children.

Making a decision

Two weeks later, our customer visited Cyprus again, this time with his wife. They had to determine the place of residence. Oleg could not decide which house was better, the one nestled in the hillside or by the sea. He also wanted to make sure that Maria liked the country. In fact, that trip defined our further cooperation.

Had Maria refused to live there, Oleg would buy a few houses to subsequently rent them out. It was not necessary to reside in Cyprus to do so. Local construction companies sign the contract with the owner of the facility and are fully responsible for managing the property. Oleg could then receive his 3%-5% rental income per annum to cover maintenance expenses.

It was not an easy decision for a family since each option had its pros and cons. In order to make a decision, Oleg and Maria needed more than two weeks which they spent on the island. As a result, they decided to get citizenship of Cyprus. A few factors affecting their decision were a large number of immigrants from the CIS countries, the friendly attitude from locals, nice atmosphere, warm climate and beautiful landscapes.

Investing in property and obtaining the citizenship

As for the purchase of property in Cyprus, it was a compromise solution: the couple bought a house they would live in by the hillside and two apartments by the sea to rent out. Within 3 years, Oleg will be entitled to sell them and return his investment in citizenship.

During this time, the family will decide how they want to arrange their lives. Stay in Cyprus to sell the apartments and leave a house worth EUR 500,000 for further accommodation. Or move to a European country, sell the house and leave the apartments by the sea in order to keep getting rental income.

Oleg's family received Cypriot citizenship in just 7 months. At the end of summer, the couple with three younger children moved to Cyprus, and the older children had left to the universities. They no longer need their student visas!

The benefits of immigration to Cyprus

The family of our client got a number of opportunities.

  • Spouses can choose which EU country they want to live in
  • Oleg is confident in the safety of their savings as they invested in real estate
  • In the future, he plans to deposit his money to an account in a credible bank
  • The children of the spouses receive the best European education and have broad employment opportunities
  • Oleg is thinking about re-registering his company in Cyprus since it offers a much more loyal tax policy
  • The couple and their children can travel to Europe visa-free and relax in the beautiful resorts of the Mediterranean
  • Oleg became interested in yachts and is seriously thinking about buying a one of his own to travel by sea

We tell the stories of our clients who have successfully moved to Europe in order to debunk the myths that obtaining residence permits or citizenship is extremely difficult or expensive.

With the right approach and cooperation with experts on immigration, you can quickly arrange the necessary status and invest in profitable assets. Read our blog and choose the country to your liking.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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Evgeniya Morozova
Head of the Legal Department
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