Opinion

Cyprus Residency Has an Outsized Role to Play in The Israel-Palestine Conflict

Charles Savva
Cyprus


The protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza has driven a notable increase in the number of individuals from both communities exploring alternative residency solutions as a form of “Plan B” or insurance policy. Among the various options, Cyprus’ Permanent Residency by Investment (PRI) program stands out as a natural choice for many.

This is especially true among the many Israelis who, over the years, have made Cyprus their second home by securing permanent residency via the Cyprus Investment Program, specifically Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, which allow non-Cypriot, non-EU nationals to enter and stay as permanent residents in Cyprus with no limitations. It does not expire and, thus, the holder is not required to renew it.

This initiative offers a nearby pathway to stability and security, as well as a plethora of opportunities amidst the ongoing hostilities in their homeland.

The close proximity of Cyprus to Israel and Palestine – a less than one-hour commute by plane – makes Cyprus a logical Plan B destination for regional investors. Israeli and Lebanese families have, over the past five years, specifically targeted the coastal town of Larnaca for property investment as a path to securing EU permanent residency and access to the Cyprus property development space. Many of Larnaca’s most active developers during this timespan have themselves been Israeli and Arab investors.

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The primary drivers of this interest, of course, are the specter of armed conflict at home and the peaceful existence available so close by. Though geographically close, strategically located Cyprus is far removed from the skirmishes of the Middle East, providing a calm and stable respite to those weary of the constant tension back home.

Furthermore, the openness and dynamism of the Cypriot economy presents a stark contrast to the economic hardships exacerbated by the conflict in Palestine. The PRI program is an invitation to partake in a more predictable economic environment with better job prospects and a higher standard of living. The promise of financial stability and growth is a significant attraction, especially for those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the ongoing conflict.

While Cyprus’ political scene is by no means free of tumult, it is downright serene compared to the volatility and violence of its Eastern neighbor states. Whatever grudges Israelis and Palestinians may bear against each other at home, in Cyprus they can co-exist as equals, and access the same high-quality educational, healthcare, and professional opportunities, qualities particularly appreciated by families with young children.

To most residency investors – who don’t seek a full-time move, even in a troubled region like the Levant, but rather look to establish a robust contingency plan – Cyprus offers three primary advantages over other European residence-by-investment peers:

  • Proximity
    Cyprus represents the closest point in both Europe and the European Union to Israel and Palestine. Several daily flights from Larnaca can bring you to Tel-Aviv or Beirut within an hour, at reasonable prices.

  • Minimal physical presence required
    PRI holders need only be physically present in Cyprus for one day every two years.

  • No renewals required
    The PRI permit, as the name suggests, is permanent, and does not require renewals whatsoever: It is valid for life for all family members that acquire it.

The structured pathway provided by the PRI program in Cyprus allows individuals to take control of their future amidst the unpredictable backdrop of the Israeli-Arab conflict. The legal framework for obtaining permanent residency through investment is clear and straightforward and offers a semblance of control in an otherwise uncertain situation.

The psychological relief of having a “Plan B” in place cannot be overemphasized. The Cyprus PRI program not only provides a physical sanctuary but also a mental reprieve from the daily anxieties borne out of the conflict.

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Charles Savva AuthorSubscriberParticipant
Managing Director , Savva & Associates

Charles Savva is the founder and Managing Director of Savva & Associates, and is based in Nicosia, Cyprus. He is Canadian-Cypriot and has lived in Cyprus since 2001.

With over 22 years of experience in the Cyprus professional services space, Charles’ areas of expertise include Cypriot tax, international tax planning, and investment immigration.

Since founding Savva & Associates in 2009, Charles has advised extensively in the areas of tax optimisation (personal and corporate), and assisted HNWIs and their families obtain EU citizenship or permanent residency via investment programs.

Prior to founding Savva & Associates, Charles obtained five years’ experience working with two major banks in Toronto, Canada, and was responsible for the Financial Reporting of publicly listed mutual funds. In Cyprus, he has worked for Big 4 accounting firms, as well as some of the largest professional services providers.

He has made numerous presentations at conferences worldwide regarding the uses of Cyprus in international tax planning, and is a frequent speaker at events dedicated to EU investment immigration solutions offering citizenship or permanent residency via investment programs.

Charles holds an MBA degree in Corporate Finance from the internationally renowned Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Canada, is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant, and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Apart from his native English, he is fluent in Greek.

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