Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Jonatan managed a publishing house in Phoenix. His wife Emma worked as an editor there, writing articles about modern European arts. Because of isolation, they decided to create internet media to continue publishing articles online. After several months they realised they didn't have to return to the office. Online media turned out to be prosperous.
Finally, they can relocate to Europe. They knew that one of the attractive countries for senior people was Portugal. But immigration lawyers also offered other ways of solving a problem. Let’s see which country and why our heroes have chosen.
for Emma and Jonatan
Emma expected to find the opportunity to get an EU passport. But there was no investment program granted citizenship.
In Malta, foreigners can obtain citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment. But it doesn't mean a direct path to status. Moreover, it takes passing a strict Due Diligence check. Eventually, Maltese citizenship by naturalisation would have cost Jonatan about €1 million.
Immigrant Invest lawyers offered investors to try to obtain permanent residency status in Malta or Cyprus. The countries have investment programs where investors get permanent residency immediately. After several years of living with permanent residence, holders can apply for passports.
Permanent residence permit program in Malta and Cyprus
|Cyprus permanent residence||€300,000+||3 months||Buying a property|
Investment in a Cypriot company
Purchase of securities
|Malta permanent residence||€370,000+|
When purchasing real estate in the south of Malta or on the Gozo island
|4—6 months is the application processing time||Investors fulfil several investment conditions:|
Permanent residence permit doesn't need to be renewed. It's a more convenient residence permit type than a temporary residence permit. In the last case Investors must update their cards bringing documents proving their right to renew the status every few years.
Jonatan always wanted to buy a residential property in Europe. The obtaining process and minimal costs in the Cyprus investment program seemed more affordable for him.
Cyprus permanent residency may be obtained by the investing of €300,000 or more in real estate or business. The required period for getting a permit is 3+ months. The PR status is life-long lasting, allowing one to live in Cyprus and apply for citizenship after five years of residence.
Investment programs expert
Cyprus permanent residency doesn't grant visa-free travelling to the Schengen Area compared to Malta. But for Emma and Jonatan, it's not a big deal because, as US citizens, they can travel to Schengen states visa-free and spend 90 days there in 6 months. Even if they decide to obtain a second passport in future, Americans don't need to refuse the passport of origin.
Benefits of moving to Cyprus
Residential programs for expats. Cyprus is a welcoming country with several immigration ways. The fastest way to obtain residency is to invest in the country’s economy.
Developed medical care. Cyprus is on the IMF list of developed economies, has high‑quality healthcare and offers access to leading medical centres.
Cost of living. Consumer prices, excluding rent, are about 30% lower in Cyprus than in the USA. The average apartment price when buying a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs $4,250 in the US and $2,100 in Cyprus.
Safety. Cyprus is generally safe to live in. Some petty crimes take place in tourist areas during the holidays and summer.
What living in Cyprus means for senior citizens
Cyprus permanent residence obtaining process
1. Preliminary Due Diligence occurs before starting work on the appliance. Anti-Money Laundering experts estimate an investor's chances for successful participation in Cyprus golden visa program.
2. Buying residential property to fulfil investment options. Emma and Jonatan were planning to reside in Cyprus. So they decided to buy real estate to live in. Immigrant Invest has a database with reliable objects.
Jonatan and Emma came to Limassol to select an apartment by themselves. They liked the one in the new building. If the property is housing and the investor plans to live and not rent it out, VAT is reduced from 19% to 5%.
Object has been chosen for participation in the Cyprus PR program
Jonatan opened an account in a Cypriot bank to pay under a sale contract. The bank conducted the Due Diligence, which our client passed successfully. In general, expenses for Due Diligence cost no more than 1% of the object value.
At the same time, Jonatan deposited €35,000 in a Cypriot bank account to confirm an annual income outside the country. After bank approval and fulfilling payment, property transactions were completed. Jonatan spent 1% of the transaction amount on the cost of legal services.
3. Collection of documents for personal identification and papers confirming the sources of the invested funds. Immigrant Invest lawyers helped the couple translate and apostille documents and got medical insurance.
4. Submitting the required documents to the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD). Immigrant Invest lawyers in Cyprus submitted all the documents. The government considered the application for 2—4 months.
5. Receiving a residence card. In two months, the government department issued a letter of approval for the application. Emma and Jonatan visited Cyprus to submit biometrics. The Cyprus permanent residence cards were issued within 40 days after that.
Jonatan spent 5 months and $506,140 to obtain Cyprus PR
Emma’s and Jonatan’s life 3 months later
We spoke to Emma and Jonatan on Zoom. They looked completely happy. Jonatan shared that he reduced the costs. Now they spend two times less on utilities and car maintenance. A large selection of excellent medical clinics is within walking distance. Medical services are three times cheaper than in the US.
The sun and the clear sea are always welcoming – and it's a priceless luxury. Cypriot lifestyle has made them more relaxed and cheerful. Seems they achieve the goals at every point.
|❌ Possibility to spend in Cyprus only 90 days in 6 months||✅ Living in Cyprus without time limits|
|❌ It took no less than 3 hours from Phoenix to the closest beach||✅ Warm sea all year-round with blue flag beaches in short walking|
|❌ Expensive property, food, services||✅ Low cost of living|
|❌ Qualified healthcare costs so much money||✅ Qualified healthcare is much cheaper than in the US|
Emma made new friends. She was surprised at how many people from the US live on the island. They visit neighbours from time to time or explore the region by car.
The couple is planning to get Cyprus citizenship in 5 years. Jonatan continues the online media business in a comfortable regime and is considering relocating the company to Cyprus to reduce taxes.