Pafilia’s Barry Winter talks to the Yield about Cyprus’ citizenship through investments.
Welcome to The Yield, Barry. Please tell us about Pafilia Property Developers Cyprus….
I have personally been with Pafilia for 15 years as Director of South East Asia which encompasses 10 countries. I am a British expat living in Cyprus and based in Ho Chi Minh City.
Pafilia was formed in 1977 by Mr Elias Eliades and for 43 years we have been the largest privately owned property developer in Cyprus. We are also the most experienced doing immigration and property investment. Pafilia are the market leaders in this field and offer a wide range of services; from management to rental and exit strategy and property resales. We have developments across the south east region, from Limassol to Paphos to Polis and the north coast.
90% of our sales are to foreign investors so we know what our clients from overseas are looking for when investing into Cyprus.
We also have a legal department within the group and are able to do the legal work for the immigration side of our business as we have government approval to work on behalf of our clients.
Who are you targeting as clients in Asia?
Currently we have offices across China as well as in Ho Chi Minh which is our regional office for SEA. Our aim is to expand our business further across Asia.
We find that most of our clients want Cyprus immigration or citizenship services as well as access to investment opportunities on the island. We currently offer two programmes; permanent residency (PR) and citizenship.
What are the requirements for Permanent Residency and Citizenship?
For PR the client will need to invest 300,000 euros into a new build property as well as depositing 30,000 euros into a Cypriot bank account with fixed interest for 3 years. The PR is for all the family and is a 3 generation programme; main investor and spouse, grandparents and children up to 25 years old. Application usually takes 2 months. It can take longer depending on how quickly clients can get the documentation together.
The only requirement is that clients visit one day every two years. The PR is from day one and they don’t need to renew as with other European programmes. There is no medical, no interview, no residency needed as long as the client is investing in property. PR holders also get all benefits of Cyprus such as free education, free medical rights etc.
Citizenship is slightly different and includes an EU passport so you will have the benefits of the EU country that you decide to live in. The investment is into Cypriot property but the minimum investment is 2 million euros. This can be in one property or multiple properties, as long as the total value is 2 million euros. The process takes roughly 6 months, with a 150,000 euro donation to the Cypriot government before passports can be issued. The investment is kept for 5 years but then can be liquidated for 1.5 million euros, after which the client must maintain a minimum of 1 property worth 500,000 euros. This application covers investor and spouse as well as children up to the age of 25. Grandparents are included with a further 500,000 euros of residential property investment. There is no need to reside, interview or even to learn the language. The client would only need to show a source of funds. This is based purely on property investment.
Where do applicants applying for these schemes come from?
Most applications are from Asia, Russia, China, Africa, USA, and Canada…even Australia. Our target market is for Asian clients.
What types of developments do you offer?
We like to have something for everybody. We have over 40 projects in the market right now, and have completed 250 projects in total. These include town houses and apartments, villas, sky residences and golf properties in various locations.
Our Minthis Golf Resort, which is in Pafos, will have approximately 400 properties built including suites, villas and Minthis residences, plus our newly launched Topos Residences.
We currently have projects in Limassol which include the tallest sea front residential tower in Europe. Out of 83 units there are only 8 left so demand has been high. So high that we have launched a second project in Limassol called Neo which is a 4-tower project for high net worth individuals.
We have projects that are completed, under construction and off-plan so we can design anything for our clients’ needs. They often want something with a difference so we take all requirements on board and are able to suggest a suitable property for their needs.
Why invest in Cyprus?
On the investment side, it is safe for the clients. It has a land registry system which creates security for our clients. Another benefit is that there is no restriction for foreigners as everything is freehold. The investment is in their name and they can keep it for as long as they wish.
The country has a stable economy and is the fifth safest country in the world to live in.
There is no pollution with 11 months of clear blue skies. Clients enjoy bringing their families to such a healthy environment. Public school is free, and private schooling is much cheaper compared to the Asian international school systems. Children are taught in English.
Cyprus has always had a thriving real estate market which has especially flourished since the government introduced investment immigration programmes. Even if the programmes did stop, real estate investment would continue to be lucrative for our client.
It also helps that Cyprus boasts one of the cheapest levels of business taxations in Europe, it is also Europe’s number one shipping management centres. Casinos have also recently been legalised, with Europe’s largest casino resort opening in 2022 on the island. Tourism, banking and finance are also very strong industries in Cyprus.
How has Pafilia adapted to COVID-19?
The restrictions have led us to put in place remote purchasing processes. Although the clients cannot come to Cyprus due to restriction regarding travel, we can have meetings and presentations virtually onsite. The client can choose a property from their own home and we can process and get everything completed digitally, the client does not have to set foot in Cyprus. Once the restrictions on travel have been lifted, the client is able to change the property when they arrive in Cyprus without their citizenship or PR process being impacted. This has been very well received in Asia and has enabled us to continue our business.
Please visit https://www.pafilia.com/ for more information on Pafilia and their products or contact:
Mr. Barry Winter – Director South East Asia
Tel: 00357 99381684