Chennai, 14th October’ 19: Indian nationals are becoming increasingly prominent in Cyprus’ residency schemes. Although India doesn’t allow dual citizenship, many investors are taking advantage of Cyprus’ residency-by-investment scheme, providing them with increased travel freedom, access to first-class education and healthcare and improved quality of life. The bill in parliament to grant Indians dual citizenship and billionaire businessman Surendra Hiranandani publicly renouncing his Indian passport in favour of an EU passport, have triggered a considerable increase in the number of residents applying for Cyprus’ residency-by-investment scheme this year.
India’s wealthy have long coveted foreign passports. Some see it as a ticket to easier tax regimes and more business-friendly climates. For others, it’s the desire for a more western lifestyle or the ability to study, work or travel abroad with ease. Leptos Estates, Cyprus’ leading property developer, has noticed high net worth Indian families spending increasing amounts on Cypriot property in recent months, as the possibility of acquiring dual citizenship moves ever closer. In particular, seafront villas and luxury apartments in coastal high-rise buildings have been popular, allowing them to both accommodate large families and appreciate the beautiful sea views.
For Indian nationals considering an international property, Cyprus is an excellent choice. According to a report released by Professional Wealth Management, Cyprus ranks among the top 10 destinations for residency-by-investment, along with destinations such as St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Antigua, St Lucia, and Austria. Compared to other popular schemes, Cyprus offers a relatively quick and hassle-free way in; with applicants becoming official residents after only 60 days.
Residency can be obtained through a property purchase of €300,000. Although residency does not allow you to take up employment in Cyprus, it does allow you to open a business. This covers the entire family (including parents and children up to 28 years of age) and does allow you to then (under the right circumstances) to apply for a Cypriot passport, perfect for wealthy Indians with large families and family-run businesses. Permanent residency holders are also entitled to apply for a Schengen Visa through any Schengen Embassy. Once obtained, Cypriot residency is valid for life.
For Indian residents willing to renounce their passports for a full EU one, they can do so with a property purchase of €2 million or more. This then gives them the right to live, work, travel and stay anywhere in the EU, and free travel to over 115countries including Canada, Switzerland, and Iceland. Like the residency scheme, this covers the entire family and is valid for life. Citizens then have the right to sell his/her property after 5 years if they retain one at a value of €500,000, and the current rate of rental returns and capital appreciation will mean investors get their initial investment back in 5 years.
The former British colony of Cyprus ticks most expats’ boxes as regards to the sunny climate, use of the English language, established expat communities, an affordable cost of living and plenty of natural beauty and culture. Cyprushas also invested heavily in its infrastructure and efforts to create a cosmopolitan lifestyle destination, including a newDP World cruise terminal in Limassol, the construction of Europe’s largest casino resort, private jet and yachting services, golf courses and new designer retail offerings; facilities and services that many wealthy Indian residents have become accustomed.
With flights to India from 6 hours, Cyprus has cemented itself as a “centre of excellence” for international business. Traditional sectors,such as shipping,tourism, banking, financial and professional services, have been the key driving forces behind the island’s economy for years, while new sectors, such as energy,investment funds, development,education, and wellness tourism, offer a new and existing perspective that will drive the economy forward. For international investors, the residency programme gives them the right to open a new business within the country, opening up vast opportunities for growth.
On top of this, the country’s tax system continues to entice international purchasers. The corporation tax rate for all companies is just 12.5% and estate duty has been abolished since January 2000.The first €19,500 of earned annual income is tax-free, whilst foreign pensions above €3,420 are taxed at 5%, a couple of the many reasons why more foreigners purchased homes than Cypriots in 2018.
Leptos Estates, Cyprus’ leading property developer, has experts on the ground in over 75 countries, including dedicated citizenship and residency teams to guide investors through the process.
PantelisLeptos, Deputy President of Leptos Group of Companies, comments; “We often find buyers coming to us directly, because we offer a totally comprehensive range of services, removing the stress for our clients. From land acquisition, design and build, furnishing, property management, landscaping, to legal,financial and residency advice, we ensure our clients are skillfully guided through the process, whatever their requirements. We also help them rent and re-sell.”
“Cyprus is an EU country and EU residency and citizenship are seen as hallmarks of credibility, so it’s no surprise the residency programme here has been so popular. In particular, interest from Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian applicants has increased in recent months; these newly wealthy communities are attracted to the island’s flourishing luxury lifestyle offerings and growing economy. Also, the widespread news that a number of high-profile Indian billionaires have renounced their Indian passports in favor of an EU one had an impact on application numbers.”
“More and more people are looking to become global citizens and gaining residency in another country is a great way of finding the best in healthcare, education, business and lifestyle, whilst being able to travel freely within the EU. Cyprus has an excellent standard of international schools, private hospitals, and leisure facilities, and the quality of new build property is increasing each year.”
Leptos Estates’unparallel real estate offering includes ultra-modern, new build homes, luxury hillside mansion, beachfront apartments and coastal villas.
About Leptos Estates
Leptos Estates is the Leading Property Developer in Cyprus. Founded in 1960 by Michael G. Leptos, the firm now has an established international network across 75 countries, having completed over 350 projects to date. Leptos Estates also has an extensive land bank in prime locations in Cyprus and Greece for the development of prestigious residential and holiday residences, luxury hotels and resorts.
Extensive in-house expertise enables Leptos Estates to offer clients a totally comprehensive service from land purchasing and architectural design through to construction and interior design. The organisation has one of the largest technical departments in Cyprus, with more than 100civil engineers, architects, interior designers and surveyors. Today Leptos is rightly considered a guarantor of high standards.