2019
Reading Time: 6 min

Cyprus citizenship for moving to Europe and business expansion

My company is mining gold and diamonds in Zimbabwe. Despite the rich sound, this industry is fraught with many problems and restrictions associated with government policy and the work of illegal gold miners.

After the crisis of 2008, I started thinking about business development in Europe. I wanted to open a network of jewellery stores, as I know everything about precious metals and where to buy them.

The demand for such products in Africa is much lower than in Europe. But unfortunately, I need a visa to travel to Europe.

Danal

Danal, 39 years old

Co-owner of a gold mining company in Zimbabwe

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Cyprus citizenship for investor from Zimbabwe

This case was provided by our expert

Alevtina Kalmuk
Alevtina Kalmuk

Author and editor of articles about investment citizenship and residency

Cyprus citizenship for moving to Europe and business expansion

In January 2018, Danal turned to Immigrant Invest lawyers for advice. He asked about ways to obtain a second European passport for doing business. In addition, Danal planned to send his son Adam to study at European college. Adam was 12 years old at the time of his application.

Danal knew about investment programs for obtaining a residence permit, permanent residence and citizenship in Europe, and some even had return options. He had no plans to get out of the gold mining business in Zimbabwe. Therefore, he ensured that Zimbabwean law allowed retaining the first citizenship in case of obtaining a second passport.

Immigrant Invest lawyers studied Danal’s life story and his goals. By the next meeting, they offered the family the two most suitable options for obtaining status in Europe.

What solution did the Immigrant Invest lawyers offer?

Malta citizenship under the Individual Investor Program. Under the program terms, the investor couldn’t choose among several investment options. Each investor followed the same participation rules and fulfilled three mandatory investment conditions:

  1. Contribute to the State Fund of Malta — €650,000.

  2. Buy government bonds — €150,000.

  3. Buy or rent residential real estate —.€350,000 for purchase, or €16,000 per year if renting a property.

Danal found an investment of approximately 1 million euros suitable for him. But it turned out that this program was not ideal for him due to certain other conditions.

First, the 12—14 months of obtaining were too long for him. The second and most important, an investment of €650,000 would be impossible to return for sure. As an experienced businessman, Danal didn’t want to lose money.

Malta updated the country’s citizenship law and closed the investment program in 2020

Since November 20th, 2020, there has been only one path to citizenship for investors —obtaining Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.

Cyprus citizenship by investment programme. The state program involved a minimal investment of €2 million under 4 options.

The process of obtaining passports was 6—8 months. Applicants needed to visit the country two times. First, select a property for purchase and submit biometric data to get a residence permit in Cyprus. And after a while, to apply for a second passport in Cyprus.

Cyprus citizenship Investment options

Investment option

Amount

Non-refundable

Mandatory real estate investment

Real estate purchase

€2 million

€200,000

€2+ million in residential real estate

Commercial estate purchase

€2 million

€200,000

€2+ million in commercial real estate


+ €500,000 in residential real estate

Business investment

€2 million

€200,000

€500,000 in residential real estate

Investment in Alternative Investment Funds

€2 million

€200,000

€500,000 in residential real estate

The applicant may combine investments with a total investment of at least €2 million. For example, they could invest €500,000 in residential real estate, €400,000 in commercial real estate, and €1.6 million in a Cypriot company’s shares.

The investor should own an investment property for 5 years. Then it could be sold, but the residential property with a total value of at least €500,000 should remain in ownership. It could be one or several objects. Investors could sell the property in exchange for others, fulfilling the minimum cost requirement.

Participation required a standard set of documents confirming the identity of the applicant, their material security, the absence of a criminal past and a normal state of health.

Cyprus citizenship by investment program was closed on November 1st, 2020

Cyprus Golden Visa is still available for investors. Under its conditions, non-EU citizens can obtain Cyprus permanent residence by investing at least €300,000 in real estate or securities.

Cyprus passport benefits for Danal’s family

Cyprus is a multicultural country that is considered the sunniest country in Europe. It is also known for its high quality of life and the lowest crime rates within the EU.

Visa-free travelling. The Cypriot passport allows its holder to travel without visas to more than 170 countries, including the Schengen Area states, the UK and Canada, and live, work and study in any EU country freely.

170+

Visa-free destinations for Cyprus citizens

Favourable taxation for business. A Cyprus passport applicant can buy a share in a local business, open their own companies or transfer operating companies to the island’s jurisdiction. There is no tax on global income, inheritance, and property. The corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in Europe — 12,5%.

Education. Cyprus has many globally recognised higher education institutes that offer free tuition to Cypriot citizens. The best are the University of Cyprus, the University of Nicosia and the Cyprus University of technology.

The Cyprus CIP attracted Danal through the opportunity to include in the application for a passport a 12-year-old son and the possibility of a return on investment.

Immigrant Invest lawyers signed the contract with Danal, and we started cooperating.

Cyprus CIP for citizens from Zimbabwe

Cyprus real estate was worth buying if you were looking to get a second passport in 6—8 months. For a €2.2 million investment, one could get a second home to live, work and study in the European Union legally

Choosing a property in Cyprus

We prepared a detailed overview of property from developers in Cyprus for Danal. The price-quality ratio of real estate in Limassol, Paphos, Ayia Napa, Protaras, and Larnaca have been compared.

Since Danal was interested in an investment in commercial real estate, we provided an analysis of the proposals in Cyprus in this area. We paid attention to all the nuances and hidden disadvantages.

After examining all the materials, our client decided to purchase residential real estate as the most profitable, in his opinion. Having identified properties that were interesting to him for viewing, we planned a joint trip to Cyprus.

The selected properties met Danal’s requirements:

  • had high liquidity on the market;

  • had modern equipment;

  • provided the opportunity to make a profit from renting them out;

  • he could easily sell them in the required 5 years of ownership in the future.

Required documents for participation in the Cyprus CIP

First, lawyers have prepared the documents necessary for visiting the immigration office in Cyprus to submit biometric data and applying for a primary residence permit:

  1. A contract for the purchase of a real estate in Cyprus.

  2. A copy of the payment order to confirm the payment transfer.

  3. A Construction Completion Certificate for completed facilities.

Under investment program conditions, the investor applied for a residence permit and citizenship at the same time. Adam could join his father’s application right after Danal obtained the passport.

Documents required to collect by Danal and his son

From the main applicant

From the applicant’s son

1. A copy of the passport.

1. A copy of the Danal naturalisation certificate.

2. A certificate of no criminal record from Zimbabwe.

2. Adam’s birth certificate.

3. A letter on behalf of the investor or his representative which briefly explains the origin of the investment.

3. 2 colour passport photos.

4. The investor’s birth certificate.

5. 2 passport photos.

6. Detailed autobiography.

Cyprus citizenship obtaining process

1. Preliminary Due Diligence. Immigrant Invest specialists conducted Due Diligence, referring to Danal’s company and personal data. They didn’t discover any circumstances that could negatively affect obtaining citizenship.

2. Preparing application for Danal and real estate reservation. Danal came to Cyprus with a Schengen visa to buy investment real estate. Immigrant Invest helped organise Danal’s trip to Cyprus: flights, accommodation and transfers.

Danal provided Immigrant Invest with a minimum set of documents. We took care of translations, apostille and filling out the forms. At the same time, Danal signed an object reservation agreement, which he chose remotely.

3. Signing a real estate contract and payment. After selecting a property, he signed a purchase contract. The payment specified in the contract is transferred to the escrow account, which can only be accessed upon getting your lawyer’s approval.

4. Residence permit application approval. Once the investments were accepted, Immigrant Invest lawyers submitted them to the Ministry of the Interior of Cyprus. The Ministry of the Interior of Cyprus issued a favourable decision in two weeks.

5. Government Due Diligence and passport receiving. After obtaining a residence permit, the state checks the documents for issuing a passport. After 6 months, Danal received a positive response to his application.

6. Preparing and submitting the papers from Adam. The next day Immigrant Invest lawyers submitted documents from Danal’s son. Under the investment program’s conditions, the Due Diligence term for minors children was reduced to 2 months.

8 months and €2,164,270 million took Danal to obtain Cyprus citizenship

1

October 1th, 2018

Conclusion of an agreement with Immigrant Invest

2

+ 1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

3

+5 days

Choosing an investment property

4

+2 weeks

Conclusion of a property reservation agreement

5

+1 week

Collecting documents for residence permit and citizenship

6

+10 days

Signing a real estate contract and payment

7

+5 days

Bank Due Diligence

8

+2 weeks

Accepting investments

9

+2 weeks

Applying for a residence permit and citizenship

10

January 10th, 2019

Receiving residence permit card

11

+6 months

Government Due Diligence

12

July 4th, 2019

Approval and obtaining a passport by Danal

13

+1 day

Joining son and applying for a residence permit and citizenship

14

+2 months

Government Due Diligence

15

September 10th, 2019

Receiving passports by Adam

How second citizenship influenced Danal’s life

Danal received a passport that allowed him to be a full member of the European Community and have the widest range of opportunities and rights in Europe. He can easily choose a country of residence in Europe and open new branches for his business in any EU country.

Thanks to a Cypriot passport, Danal’s son Adam is now a full European Community citizen, too. After graduating from College, he can choose and enter a university and get a prestigious job after graduation.

Before

After

❌ Visa-free travel to 66 countries, not including Europe

✅ 170+ countries to travel without a visa, including the Schengen states and the UK

❌ Business only in Zimbabwe

✅ Business in any EU country

❌ Studying visa-free only in Zimbabwe

✅ Studying at the best universities of Cyprus and other EU countries visa-free

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

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