The Financial Times‘ Professional Wealth Management, in its recent study of citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes, has ranked Cyprus above other EU countries. A primary objective of the CBI Index is to identify factors which satisfactorily measure the features and desirability of CBI programmes in various jurisdictions.
The factors considered in the rankings which ranked Cyprus 67th, were:
- freedom of movement;
- standard of living;
- minimum investment;
- mandatory residency or travel requirements;
- ease of process; and
- due diligence requirements.
Cyprus scored highly on the following factors:
a. 8 for standard of living as it is one of the best countries to relocate to worldwide, ranking 5th best out of 23 countries worldwide (Knight Frank Global Lifestyle Review)
b. 9 for freedom of movement. The Cypriot passport provides free movement in 160 countries worldwide and this factor is of paramount importance for people seeking to acquire a second citizenship.
c. 7 for residency requirements. There are no physical residency requirements prior, during or after the application for citizenship is filed, save for a visit for biometric data as part of the application process for permanent residency.
d. 7 for ease of processing and clear procedures for the application with no additional language requirements.
e. 6 for due diligence.
The CBI programme was improved greatly in 2016 when the minimum outlay was set to a total of €2 million for the residential real estate investment option or €2.5 million for a combination of investments including real estate (both options include an investment of €500,000 in permanently held residential property).