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Why India's Richest Are Seeking Citizenship In Cyprus


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India's wealthy have long coveted foreign passports. Some see it as a ticket to easier tax regimes and more business friendly climates. For others, it’s the desire for a more western lifestyle or the ability to study, work or travel abroad with ease. For rich Indians looking for citizenship or permanent residency in a European nation, the scenic island country of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean is becoming an increasingly popular choice, thanks to its "golden visa" program, where residency or citizenship can be acquired via investment.

Why Cyprus?

Perhaps the most high profile Indian to opt for Cypriot citizenship in recent times is real estate tycoon Surendra 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.

Interestingly, 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.

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.

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