Cyprus is becoming increasingly popular with wealthy Indians looking for a European passport, thanks to its ‘golden visa’ programme, where residency or citizenship can be acquired via investment.
According to an extensive article in Forbes by Leeza Mangaldas, perhaps the most high profile Indian to opt for Cypriot citizenship in recent times is real estate tycoon Surenda Hiranandani, cofounder of the Hiranandani Group; a Forbes Billionaire, and one of India’s richest businessmen. His reason: the ease of doing business.
“If I had a chance to speak with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, I would urge him to do something about improving the ease of getting various permissions for the real estate sector. Then, of course, there is the major problem of the rate of interest the builders are charged,” he said in an interview with the Mumbai Mirror, lamenting the state of the construction business in India.
Cyprus seems to appeal not just to high net worth Indians in India, but equally to wealthy Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in cities like London or Dubai, she added.
Another famous Indian to recently take on Cypriot citizenship is Anish Bhatt, better known as Watch Anish. He’s the founder of one of the world’s foremost watch and lifestyle magazines, with close to two million followers on Instagram.
He said the biggest draw was the quality of life the move offered. “I travel so much for work, I barely get to spend 60 days a year with my wife and daughter. Those 60 days at home are now in a place with constant sunshine, swimming pools and easy access to the most beautiful beaches in the world, instead of in an apartment in a dreary, hectic city. London was also getting more and more dangerous and I wanted a better quality of life for my little girl.”
The island’s tax friendly business climate and varied investment opportunities are an added bonus, the Forbes contributor adds. “It really worked well because the tax system in Cyprus is very easy to work with. Plus with all the new infrastructure and development coming up, I’ve also discovered many promising new investment opportunities,” Bhatt said.
Dillon Bhatt, head of international business development at Millwood Kane International which specialises in assisting high net worth individuals with the Cypriot citizenship-via-investment and residency-via-investment processes told ForbesCyprus offered the quickest route to European citizenship through the investment programme.