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Tier 1 Investor Visa vs Cyprus Citizenship

Why UK Immigration Lawyers are using Cyprus citizenship during Brexit instead of the UK Investor Visa?

It was thought that the most appropriate visa route for High Net Worth Individuals to come to the UK was the Tier 1 Investor Visa program. It makes logical sense, if an individual wants to come to the United Kingdom on the basis of an investment, then they would seek to make a visa application to the United Kingdom authorities.

The reality is however different, many immigration solicitors actually seek to suggest the Cyprus citizenship by investment scheme as an alternative to the UK Investor Visa so the client has a choice.

This Cyprus program is very popular with high-net worth families and as the process involves buying real estate through a property developer in Cyprus, meaning applicants will have peace of mind for both the investment and the application process.

How does the Cyprus Citizenship scheme and the Tier 1UK Investor Visa compare?

1. An applicant under the Cyprus scheme will get a European passport within 3-6 months, unlike the UK Investor visa which takes 6 years to gain British Nationality.

2.There is no residency requirement, unlike the Tier 1 Investor visa which requires you to reside in the United Kingdom and not leave for more than 90 days per year if you want British Nationality and 180 days per year if you want Indefinite Leave to remain.

3. The passport will allow you to live and work anywhere in the EU. A UK visa does not instantly allow you to travel or work in Europe and after Brexit it is unclear whether a UK passport will either.

4. You can include children up to the age of 28 as compared to the UK Investor Visa which only allows children who are under 18 as dependents.

5. You can include parents in the Cypriot programme, but not under the Tier 1 programme.

6. Once you have the Cyprus passport you are able to live in the UK without a Visa and get a British Passport after 6 years. The same length of time as other UK visas.

Can a Cyprus Passport holder live and work in the UK after Brexit?

After Brexit, it was been confirmed EU nationals, including, Cyprus passport holders, who are living in the UK prior to the specified cut off date, (this has been confirmed to be 31 December 2020.) Essentially they get the Cyprus passport and then an specialist immigration lawyer, such as ourselves can register them under the pre-Brexit program in the UK before December 2020. This is December 2020 date is regardless of when the UK formally exits the European Union.

How does the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment scheme work?

The Ministry of Interior of the Cypriot Government has created opportunities for foreign buyers to acquire citizenship rights through investment options. In return for such investments, a non-European investor will gain irrevocable citizenship for himself and his dependents from Cyprus, and by default of Cyprus being EU member state, will also gain a right to reside, work and study in all 28 EU Member states (including the UK) and visa free travel to 125+ Schengen countries.

What are the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program Requirements?

• Investment of €2 million into approved Real Estate held for a period of 5 years

o A further €500,000 can be invested in order to include parents in the application

• After the minimum period a property at the value of €500,000 must be retained for life

• A Donation of €150,000 to Government nominated land development funds.

• The property(s) may be rented out and our developers guarantee a 4-7% rental return

What are the Costs in processing a Cyprus Citizenship by Investment application?

The estimated processing time for a citizenship by investment in Cyprus, is 3-6 months. An applicant is required to make particular settlements in addition to investment choice.


A. Government Submission Fee:

• EUR 2,000 – Main applicant
• EUR 2,000 – Spouse
• EUR 2,000 – adult child dependent 18 -28 years of age (in full time education)
• EUR 80 – minor child dependent below 18 years of age

B. Certificate Issuance Fee:

• EUR 5,000 – Main applicant
• EUR 5,000 – Spouse
• EUR 5,000 – adult child dependent 18-28 years of age

C. Passport and ID Issuance Fee:

• EUR 140 – Main applicant
• EUR 140 – Spouse
• EUR 140 – adult child dependent 18 -28 years of age
• EUR 140 – minor child dependent

D. Legal Fees

• This may vary from case to case, however in most cases are covered by the developer.

This route is an excellent option for high-net worth migrants as it is the quickest way to obtain an EU passport, once the passport is obtained then the migrant is able to live and work anywhere in the EU and be able to travel to several countries without a visa. The investment period is far less than other programs such as the UK Investor visa meaning it can be used for more profitable activities.

If you are interested please contact the office to arrange for a more detailed consultation with our team and our partners from Cyprus.

Westkin Associates


5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
United Kingdom
0207 118 4546

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