Cyprus offers breathtaking coastal atmosphere, spectacular architecture, exotic cuisine, and phenomenal rich history, it is not too hard to be enticed by the notion of calling this paradise home. Also, the country offers a lifeline beyond its beaches and ancient ruins, hoping to maintain EU citizenship after Brexit.
Cyprus provides UK residents a way for those with the means to maintain the privileges of an EU passport after Brexit. In exchange for buying a republic property worth at least € 2 million, plus a € 150,000 "donation", UK nationals will receive a full Cypriot passport and the EU citizenship it confers after six months. Cypriot citizenship is valid for life and includes the relatives of the applicant. It is a controversial scheme.
The Cypriot government said it would revoke the citizenship of 26 "high-risk" individuals who had used the scheme, including Jho Low, who was accused of misappropriating more than $2.7 billion from the 1MDB State Fund.
To UK buyers in Cyprus, the € 2 million will go much further than at home. The price-comparison site, the republic's residential property costs less than half the UK average, according to Numbeo.
On average, renting is almost a third cheaper than in the UK. This compares with Malta, which also offers an EU citizenship program, where property prices are 40% lower than in the United Kingdom and rents are about 5% higher.
The inheritance tax was removed 19 years ago, ensuring that ex-pats will leave their offspring entirely with the residential properties they bought — whether or not to acquire a Cypriot passport. Another fiscal advantage for higher earners is the 35% income tax rate, which is lower than the 39.4% EU average.
Meanwhile, the entrepreneurs enjoy 12.5% corporate tax rate of Cyprus, compared to EU average of 19.8%.
The island, nestled in the eastern Mediterranean, enjoys a subtropical climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. Cyprus has many world-class beaches surrounded by clear, blue water, including Makronissos Beach, a peaceful crescent of bright sand on the south-east coast. Cyprus also has a ski center in the western interior of the island in the Troodos Mountains.
Cyprus is speckled with traces of its ancient history beyond the new hotels and resorts. A few miles west of the city of Limassol lies the spectacular and extensive ruins of Kourion's once-powerful city-state, which was destroyed by an earthquake in the 4th century AD. Paphos Archeological Park is a treasure trove for history lovers, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the south-west coast. It is popular for its villas and well-preserved mosaic floors, as well as the Kings ' Tombs, a necropolis from the 4th century BC.