Recently voted one of the world’s top five relocation destinations for high net worth individuals, Cyprus continues to offer Europe’s most attractive citizenship by investment schemes. In 2014 a report by the Frank Knight global real estate consultancy found Cyprus to rank on a par with cities of the stature of London, Madrid and Monaco in terms of its combination of lifestyle and economic attractions.

Europe’s sunniest spot not only offers the attractions of a Mediterranean setting; the island’s citizenship by investment scheme is also amongst the most economically appealing anywhere. The Frank Knight report, for example, saw Cyprus topping the list for the lowest cost of living amongst those destinations surveyed.

Golden gateway

In September 2014 the Cypriot government has amended its Citizenship by Investment scheme to make it not only attractive in straight cash terms, it also boasts one of the speediest completion rates anywhere. Visas are routinely granted within three or four months, far more rapidly than in other EU states.

The benefits of the Cypriot scheme are underpinned by the many attractions which European (EU) citizenship affords. These include the right to move and work freely throughout the continent, to trade freely across national borders and to buy property and to reside anywhere within the EU. In these terms Cyprus represents a golden gateway to the EU for high net worth individuals. Economic encouragement

Further adding to government efforts to attract new high net worth citizens, the rapidly improving Cypriot economy provides encouraging conditions for investors and entrepreneurs alike. The stabilization of the Cypriot economy, as reflected by eight upgrades by international ratings agencies and reductions of the interest rate on government bonds from 14% to a record low of around 3%, provide solid evidence of an increasingly investor-friendly environment. Property sales increased by 17% in the first quarter of 2014 (in addition to a 20% increase in 2014), whilst tourist numbers rose 13.7% in the 12 months to April 2015.

Against this backdrop the increasing number of high net worth new citizens is generating its own pull factor as Cyprus continues to develop its reputation as the destination of choice for those seeking a route to citizenship by investment within the EU.