Many wealthy people traveling around Europe and the world believe that it’s easy enough to get a visa to the EU and that it can be done at any time. Unfortunately, it is not.
On the example of our clients – a couple with a child – we see how the plans for life can be destroyed due to the late issuance of a visa. However, there is a solution, and we will tell you how we helped our clients to solve their problems.
- Alexey, 44, is a former civil servant. Before his civil service and after he run his own business
- Alla, 42 years old, his wife, a top manager. Currently she is not working and running the household
- Marina, 14 years old, their daughter, going to a private school in the US
Alexey owns a large holding that operates in the Russian Federation and the EU. Together with his wife Alla he lives in Great Britain and Germany and also spends a lot of time in the USA, where his daughter Marina is going to school.
Before we met, the family has not yet decided regarding their permanent place of residence. They travel a lot for work and family matters, and have several times faced with the problem of late issuance of visas. And in the light of economic sanctions against the Russian Federation, it is becoming more difficult to get them. Besides, the visa allows to stay in the EU only 90 days in six months.
Several times a couple faced with visa denial. There were cases when they needed a visa urgently for traveling to some event, and it was issued with a delay of 2-3 weeks, when it made no sense any more. Thus, Alexey’s business plans were repeatedly frustrated.
The last straw was the case, connected with Marina entering a British school. The family planned to transfer her daughter to study in London. They completed all the formalities for obtaining a study visa, but it was issued only 2 months after the start of the school year. That’s why they had to urgently look for a school in another country. Marina was forced to study in the United States, which caused the family additional inconvenience and travel expenses. It was also hard for grandparents to fly overseas to see their granddaughter. In addition, they speak very little English.
Searching for solutions
All these problems led Alexey and Alla to the decision to obtain citizenship in Europe, and they turned for help to our company. Preliminary the couple was focused on the Malta citizenship program, since this status revealed not only visa-free Schengen and Great Britain, but also the United States, which was very important for them.
However, we didn’t recommend Alexey’s Malta program, since he couldn’t pass the Due Diligence check, which is very strict in this country. Previously, our client held a high position in state structures and in all European registries he was marked as PEP (politically exposed person). We know that the government of Malta prefers not to work with the PEP. Although the spouses earned all the money before Alexei joined the state post, the risk of refusal was still high.
We recommended clients a reliable option – citizenship of Cyprus. The government of this country use a more democratic approach to the selection of candidates for the issuance of passports, so Alexey and Alla were on a safe side. We told them about all the investment options in Cyprus, and the coulpe chose investments in real estate.
Beginning of cooperation
We signed a contract with clients and began searching for options with the purchase of real estate.
Since the price of property in Cyprus is significantly inflated due to the the existing of the program for obtaining citizenship, the spouses were concerned about the cost of the objects 3 years after the purchase. It is after this period that they will be able to sell all their investment property, leaving one object worth at least 500 thousand euros for their own use.
Alla found an offer on the Internet, where one of the Cypriot companies offers to buy back the real estate or shares in it in 3 years. We contacted this company and received sample contracts from them. It turned out that a guaranteed ransom was not registered in the documents. It was only indicated that the company, in case it wills, can buy back the property owned by the client (or share in it). Having learned about it, Alla and Aleksey decided to make a choice in favor of buying residential real estate directly, without intermediaries.
Choosing and buying property in Cyprus
We agreed with clients about the time of visiting Cyprus and flew there together for 4 days. Previously, we discussed all the criteria that objects must meet.
During 3 days we visited villas and apartments, townhouses and penthouses for viewing in Paphos and Limassol. As a result, several objects were chosen: apartments and a townhouse in closed residential complexes with a private pool, concierge services and a gym. The townhouse, worth 750 thousand euros, the family wanted to reserve for themselves. They will receive a refund of VAT of 14% for this object. They have decided to hand over the remaining objects to the management of the developer and lease them to make a profit.
After 3 years, depending on price fluctuations, the family will be able to sell the property or continue renting it out on a short-term or long-term basis. The profit will be 3-4% per year in this case.
Preparation of documents
It took the family two weeks to draw up and sign the contract of reservation and the contract of sale. After that, Alla and Alexey came to Cyprus one more time for one day to visit the migration service in Nicosia and pass biometric data for passports.
Our lawyer submitted their documents for obtaining a residence permit card of Cyprus. They were ready a week later, and we handed them over to customers. Alla was the main applicant for investing the funds.
After receiving residence permits in Cyprus, the family decided to bring Marina here.
There are representative offices of several American private schools in this country, so Marina will not lose anything. Moreover, the rating of the school was very high. And the fact that the child will study in Cyprus will have a positive psychological effect on her, because she will see her relatives more often.
As a result, Marina and her mother arrived in Cyprus, successfully passed an interview at school, after which our lawyer also applied for a residence permit for Marina. One week later, she received her card and stayed there to study at the American School in Cyprus.
Results of the Cooperation
The approval of obtaining citizenship came 4 months later. Officially, according to the Law it should be 3 months, however, unfortunately, at the moment the terms for issuing passports to investors in Cyprus do not meet the deadlines. In another two months, the whole family received Cyprus citizenship.
- Alexey is no longer bound by the deadlines for obtaining visas and sets up business meetings with European partners for any convenient period.
- The couple have no problems now with the terms of residence in the UK and Germany
Marina successfully continues her studies at the representation of the American School in Cyprus and is already making plans to enter a university in London.
- Grandmother and grandfather without any problems come to Marina and live in Cyprus. They can easily operate with Russian here, since 30% of the population of Limassol are Russian-speaking.
- In their free time, the whole family enjoys relaxing on the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and visits various cultural sites in European countries.
We will be happy to help your family too. Contact us and we will be happy to advise you by phone, e-mail or at the nearest office of our company.