A. Investment required
The applicant must choose what investment he/she would like to make in real estate. The minimum amount for such investments is €2.5Million. It can be a combination of assets and it has to be retained for a period of at least three years since the date of the Naturalization.
Examples of such investments we recommend are: Buying of shares in Golf or Medical Projects, Villas, Apartments, Buildings or Offices at prime locations with relatively safe rental return, small hotels (operational) and prime location land which is expected to have a high capital appreciation.
The applicant must choose a residence. The minimum amount required for a residence is €500,000 + VAT (if VAT applies). Once the applicant is granted Cypriot Nationality, he/she must keep this property for an indefinite period. If he is not satisfied with that residence, he/she may replace it with another property of the same or higher value.
Once the Investment and residence are acquired, an application is made to the Ministry Of Interior Affairs in Cyprus, together with copies all personal documents, such as, certified and notarized passports, birth certificates and marriage certificates. All of them must be officially translated in Greek and English / Russian Language (a language understandable from applicant).
In addition, the applicant must have a clean criminal record from his country of residence and country of origin. Furthermore, his name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is been frozen within the boundaries of the European Union or in the Interpol list.
C. Cost Related to Naturalization applications
Other than investment and residence required, the following cost will be necessary:
1. Legal Fees
Legal fees for contracts preparation and naturalization procedures are approximately €10,000 + VAT per family. This cost may be higher if the investment chosen is a complicated one or if it is consisting of several properties. The lawyers we usually work with quoted this fee.
2. Stamp Duty
In Cyprus at the moment stamp duty is €2 per thousand on the value that the property has been purchased.
3. Property Transfer Fees
Transfer fees of properties that are not subject to VAT is 8% for any amounts over €170,000. For any amount below €170,000 transfer fees are 4%. At the moment there is an incentive to encourage buyers and the Transfer fees are subject to 50% discount.
Transfer fees for properties that are subject to VAT is zero. In Cyprus all newly build properties are subject to 19% VAT. Personal/permanent residences of less than 200m² are subject to 5% VAT. All resale properties are not subject to VAT.
4. Application fees
The amount of fees payable to the Republic of Cyprus for each application is as follows:
· Concerning the investor the amount of €2,000 is paid at the submission of the application and if the application is approved, the amount of €5,000 is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate. Total €7000.
· Concerning the investor’s spouse the amount of €2,000 is also paid at the submission of the application and if the application is approved, the amount of €5,000 is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate. Total €7000.
· Concerning the investor’s adult child the amount of €2,000 is also paid at the submission of the application and if the application is approved, the amount of €5,000 is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate. Total €7000
· Concerning the investor’s minor child the amount of €80 is paid at the submission of the application.
D. Time Frame
An application for naturalization by investment usually takes 3 months to be examined and approved.
The Cyprus Land Registry Department
The Cyprus Land Registry system in Cyprus was based on British standards and was established in 1875. Throughout the years it has become one of the most sophisticated land registry systems in the world. So you do not need to worry since purchasing property in Cyprus is an easy and 100% safe procedure.
Buying Property In Cyprus Requires Permission If You Are non-Cypriot
(exempt are all EU citizens)
Your permission to buy property must be sought from the Council of Ministers by written application, which must be submitted by the non-Cypriot purchaser after the agreement is signed. The application to the Council of Ministers to acquire immovable property in Cyprus can be made within a reasonable amount of time after signing the contract of sale.
EU citizens that are permanent citizens in Cyprus do not require permission to buy any immovable property. Legal entities established in EU countries that hare their headquarters and registered office in Cyprus, do not require permission to buy any immovable property. Legal entities established in Cyprus and controlled by citizens of the EU require permission to buy immovable property in Cyprus as well as any other legal entities. Epiphanis Papantoniou, undertakes to submit the application on client’s request.
Do you want Papantoniou to help with your financing?
Without charging you anything E. Papantoniou can arrange for you different financing schemes through all banking institutions in Cyprus. The base rate of interest charged is specified by the Central Bank of Cyprus and currently is 5,5%. Financing can be arranged from banking institutions abroad. All commercial banks in Cyprus are authorized to offer mortgage facilities to assist in the purchase of property. The loan will be in any currency.
The amount ranges from 60%-80% of the value of the property with a repayment period ranging up to 25 years depending on the policy of the bank and the currency of the loan. Easy terms of payments and long-term in-house finance schemes are also available.
Financing schemes for overseas buyers can be made on their local currency and allow repayment periods of up to 10 years or in Cyprus Pounds with repayment period of up to 25 years.
The Legal Costs Incurred After Your Purchase
If you may request advise from an experienced property solicitor before signing a contract of sale, the fees might range between €500 and €1200, payable on signing the contract, to the solicitor.
The Property Duties And Other Costs that you must consider -
The Stamp Duty and Mortgage Fees:
In case of a sales contract the purchaser is liable for the payment of stamp duty at the rate of 1,5 per thousand of the value from €5,000 up to €170.000. Thereafter the rate becomes 2,0 per thousand. The duties and fees are payable upon signing the contract of sale.The maximum stamp duty charged is €20,000 in total.
The Transfer Fees:
The transfer of title can be effected once the Council of Ministers’ permission is obtained and the Central Bank of Cyprus confirms receipt of the foreign funds.
Upon transfer of the property and registration in the purchaser’s name, the district Land Registry Office will charge transfer fees, which are based on the market value of the property at the time of the purchase and are calculated as follows: 1) Up to euro 85,430.07 it is 3% , 2) From Euro 85,430 to 170,860 it is 5% and 3) Over 170,860 euro it is 8% .
The Transfer fees, are charged accumulatively and are payable at the time of issue of title deeds (usually it is 3 – 5 years after final delivery of property). For properties owned by a couple, transfer fees are charged on the 50% of the property value for each, providing an advantage for any property value exceeding Euro 85,430
For property purchased for Euro 170.000 in one name, the fees payable are Euro 6,791.40
For property purchased for Euro 170.000 in the names of two persons, the fees payable are Euro 5.100
Since Cyprus accession to the E.U., VAT must be paid when buying a new house. In case an application for a town permit was filed before the 1st of May 2004, VAT will not be charged.
For any projects that the town planning application has been filed after the 1st of May 2004, VAT will apply on the sales price. VAT applied will have two rates, 5% for the first purchase of residence by permanent residents of Cyprus and 15% for any other purchase.
Resale properties have no VAT.
Capital Gains Tax
Should the purchaser decide to sell the property at a later date, Cyprus Law allows the full amount paid for it in foreign exchange may be transferred abroad at the time of resale. The equivalent of the full purchase price and any increase in the value of the property may be transferred immediately. Property sales in Cyprus are subject to capital gains tax at the rate of 20% on the gain, however, the first €17.000 of gain are tax-exempt. If a couple jointly owns the property, €34.000 of gain are tax-exempt.
When you sell for the first time your private residence of which you were the owner for at least 5 years, then it is tax-exempt up to € 85.000.
Annual Taxes On Properties -
Immovable Property Tax:
The registered owner of the property is liable to an annual immovable property tax calculated on the market value of the property as at 1st of January 1980. This varies according to values between 0 – 7 per thousand. Average cost is €70 – €200 per annum, per unit.
Other Property Taxes That You Need To Consider:
There are taxes paid to the Municipality and depend on the size and value of the property. It covers refuse collection, sewerage, street lighting, etc. and it varies according to the area, from €80 – €250 per annum per unit property.
The Inheritance Tax
There is no inheritance tax in Cyprus. So no need to worry about it!
Legal Safeguards For Investors
The contract of sale must be in writing and it is advisable to be registered at the District Land Registry within sixty days from the contract date. This protects the buyer’s rights to the property and provides additional safeguards. Also, when the title deed is issued (2 – 5 years after the completion of the project), it will be registered in the name of the Developer and then it will be transferred to the buyer and recorded in the government archives. The government archives are confidential and will not be published or made accessible under any circumstances.
Contrary to some other countries, where the purchase of property is linked with inherent risks, Cyprus has never been involved in the nationalization of any sector of the economy, or in the expropriation of property owned by non-Cypriots, in line with the government’s efforts to create a favorable climate for such investments.
Selling Your Property In Cyprus -
Provided that you have a valid contract and a purchaser. If the buyer wants to sell the property before the title deeds are issued, the contract between him/her and the Developer will be cancelled and a new one will be issued between the Developer and the new purchaser.
In any case Papantoniou can arrange the promotion and sale or renting of your property in Cyprus if you decide to sell or rent it.
Documents Needed For A Foreigner That Inherited Property In Cyprus
1) Death Certificate from the Country of Origin of the Dead.
2) Official statement who are the people that are allowed the inheritance.
3) Certificate stating who are the representatives and responsible for arranging the transfer of the property from the dead to the people who inherit.
4) Passports of the dead.
5) Tax statement for immovable property from the country of origin stating that the property is declared in the country of origin.
6) Any Will or an agreement stating how the property will be shared.
All must be certified from an embassy or consulate of Cyprus in the country of origin.
In case you need our guidance our team can help you all the way to solve all your legal and property matters in Cyprus!