General Information of Cyprus
Cyprus is an independent sovereign republic with a presidential system of government. Its fully democratic, European style system retains the respect of individual rights and permits an unlimited scope for private initiative. Cyprus is an associated member of the European Union. With Cyprus' entry into the EU (1/5/04), Cyprus can be considered a prime location for property investment. The Cyprus currency system is the Euro, since January 2008.
(1 euro = 0.585274 Cy pounds)
There is a relatively high standard cost of living in Cyprus based on the international indicators which run approximately at the 73% of the average in the European Union. The Cyprus income per capita runs at 855 euro monthly and yearly to 10.300 euro. VAT is applicable, currently at the rate of 15%. The legal system in Cyprus is based on the British legal system. The land Registry in Cyprus is probably the most advanced and reliable system in the world, and is also based on the British equivalent. Purchasing property in Cyprus, therefore, is farmore secure, with regard to title deeds, when compared to other Mediterranean countries.
By law, a non-Cypriot who owns property in Cyprus is entitled to a residence permit, but is not required to hold a permanent residence permit. If you intend to retire in Cyprus you will need to obtain a residence permit, which is easily available after you have bought property, and you can show evidence of your income. This annual income must be at least €6,492 per person plus €3,075 per dependent.
In general, those who buy property in Cyprus, have a reasonably good financial status, do not have a criminal record and are easily granted a Residence Permit. Individual alien residents are now taxed on a flat basis of 5% per annum on pension and investment income brought into Cyprus. In special circumstances, exemptions totaling up to €6,834per person or €13,668 per married couple may apply. Consequently, the total tax burden on alien residents is in practice often only 2-3%.
Furthermore, Cyprus taxes the assets of foreign residents only on a remittance basis. This means that you can keep your assets growing free of tax in an offshore bank and simply bring in to Cyprus what you need.
Under the Aliens and Immigration Law, non-Cypriots wishing to take up employment in Cyprus are required to have a work permit.