Chinese Exodus to… Cyprus
04 March, 2013
The first thing you see after landing at Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus is probably a huge billboard of a property development company. It is in Chinese. The Cypriot carnival theme this year wasÂ… China. The local developers have a good reason to celebrate: despite the eurozone crisis, the property prices donÂ’t drop anymore since mid 2012.
According to Giorgios Leptos, the president of the Pafos chamber of commerce and industry, Â“the real growth came after August  because that was when the government made clear the terms and conditions for third country nationals to get permanent residence.Â”
To obtain permanent residence in Cyprus that opens the door to Europe, the non-EU nationals have to spend at least EUR 300,000 on a real estate property, prove that they have no criminal record, carry sufficient financial resources and deposit EUR 30,000 in a local bank for a period of 3 years.
Anyone who meets these conditions can expect the permanent residence card in his mailbox after just 45 days.
This is great news not only for young Chinese who love to travel and invest freely but also for Chinese parents who search high quality European education for their children. Recent research shows that 85% of the Chinese dollar millionaires (there are 1.4 million of them) plan to buy for their children a Â“Western educationÂ”.
Moreover, living abroad can mean another huge advantage for a Chinese family: a second child is allowed if it is born outside China. And should the Chinese economy fall back, the family still has a place to go: Europe.
It was for a good reason that CyprusÂ’ property developers expressed their presence on the last yearÂ’s international property expo in Beijing with 32 stands. They clearly smell their chance as figures show that around $225bn a year has been pouring out of China since worries spread about slower economic growth and falls in the value of stock and property.
Cyprus does not belong to the Schengen area but Cyprus is not the only country exploring ways of boosting the dying property market. Countries like Spain, Portugal and Ireland follow at high pace currently adjusting their domestic legislation related to residency. European Commission stands empty handed as the rights and conditions for residency remain entirely within the jurisdiction of each member state.
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