Assisting a foreign investor conclude his property acquisition safely and obtain a Cypriot passport

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Mr. J, an Asian businessman was interested in investing in real estate in Cyprus and applying under the Cyprus Investment Program for Cypriot citizenship. He was interested in both diversifying his investments outside Asia and into Europe, as well as securing the freedom to live and work anywhere in Europe, in case anything happened in Asia in the future.

Mr. J had located two investment options, of a different value, but was still considering which one to proceed with. The first option was to buy 3 luxury villas which were under construction for €2.000.000 plus VAT, and the second option was to acquire a sea-front plot in Paphos for €6.500.000 in which to construct 8 custom-made villas, which were to be used for holiday and short-term rentals.

Mr. J contacted us to assist him with the acquisition of his properties in Cyprus, transferring the purchase money to Cyprus, and filing the necessary application under the Cyprus Investment Program for him and his family to obtain a Cypriot passport.

The matter was extremely urgent since Mr. J contacted us only 25 days before the change of the Cyprus Investment Program (CBI) introducing a government grant of €150.000. To save that amount for Mr. J, we had to conclude the due diligence of the properties, complete the banking due diligence, and transfer the money to Cyprus before the deadline.
To allow Mr. J the flexibility to decide without being pushed by the deadline and also conclude the minimum investment required for his citizenship application, we drafted a framework agreement between Mr. J and the seller of both options which allowed Mr. J to buy the 3 villas while maintaining an option to buy the seafront plot in exchange for the 3 houses and the difference in money. Mr. J also received a second option, requiring the seller to rent the sea-front properties for a specific price, the tenancy being capable of termination annually by Mr. J.

We then concluded the due diligence, signed and lodged the relevant purchase agreements for the 3 luxury villas in the Land Registry, and passed banking due diligence allowing us to bring the €2.000.000 plus VAT to Cyprus within 15 days. We filed the citizenship application a few days before the expiry of the deadline and Mr. J successfully avoided the payment of the €150.000 donation.

Soon after, Mr. J decided to exercise his option to purchase the sea-front project together with another associate of his under a company to be owned by both. We incorporated their company, drafted a shareholders’ agreement between them, assisted them in exercising the option, concluded the necessary cancellation and purchase agreements, and are monitoring the licensing and construction of the project.

Mr. J’s and his spouse’s Cyprus passports were issued approximately 11 months later. As they wanted, they invested safely and stress-free in Cyprus and achieved the freedom that Cypriot citizenship comes with, for traveling, living, and working in Europe for all the members of their family.

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Polycarpos Philippou & Associates LLC