Cyprus revises foreign residency rules – the facts
The Cypriot Government, in an attempt to attract foreign investment to the island and to help economic recovery and further economic growth, introduced Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations which gave non-EU nationals, who invested in Cyprus, the right to permanently reside on the Island, provided certain criteria were met.
In order to address some weaknesses in the system, these criteria have been amended and will take effect on May 2, 2023, the aim being to protect the integrity of the system, thereby safeguarding their continuity and securing the country’s reputation.
Permanent Residency permits shall be issued to non-EU applicants, provided they meet one of the investment criteria mentioned below.
The applicant must make an investment of at least €300,000 in one of the following categories:
- House/apartment:Purchase of a house/apartment sold for the first time (not a resale) by land development company of a minimum value of €300,000 (plus VAT).
- Real estate (excluding houses/apartments):Purchase of another form of real estate such as offices, shops, hotels or similar developments, or a combination of these, with a total value of €300,000. These properties may also be resale properties.
- Share capital of a Cypriot company with activities and personnel in Cyprus:
Investment worth €300,000 in the share capital of a new company or an existing company which is registered, based and operates in Cyprus with a proven physical presence and employs at least five (5) people.
- Shares of a Cyprus Investment Organisation for Collective Investments (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF):
Investment worth €300,000 in shares of a Cyprus Investment Organisation for Collective Investments whose investments need to be carried out in Cyprus.
In the event that the applicant ceases to hold the investment without immediately replacing it with another of the same or greater value, which should meet the conditions set in this procedure, then the Permanent Residence permit will be cancelled.
It must be proved that the money to be used for the investment must have come from abroad from the applicant’s personal bank account or that of his spouse and the value of the investment needs to be transferred to the vendor’s bank account in Cyprus.
In addition, the applicant should prove that he has at his disposal a secure annual income emanating from abroad of at least €50,000. The annual income is increased by €15,000 for a dependant spouse and €10,000 for each dependent minor child.
In cases where the applicant invests in a house or apartment, this income can be from salaries, pensions, stock dividends, fixed deposits, or rents emanating from abroad. Such income, however, can only be proven by tax declarations of the applicant from the country in which the applicant is tax resident. In calculating the total income, the income of the applicant’s spouse may also be taken into account.
In cases where the applicant chooses to invest in real estate excluding houses or apartments, then the total income or part of it may also arise from sources originating from activities within the Republic, provided these are taxed in the Republic.
The Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department has made significant changes to the legislation governing the issuance of immigration permits for third-country investors (Fast track PR procedure 6.2), for Cyprus permanent residence applications.
IMPORTANT: Sale Agreements submitted to the Department of Lands and Surveys between January 01 – April 28, 2023, will be evaluated according to the previous criteria.
1. To apply for permanent residence in Cyprus, you are required to invest in a property valued at a minimum of €300,000 + VAT, by transferring the funds to the developer’s account immediately, regardless of the date of delivery of the property. Relevant receipts should be submitted with the application.
2. The funds must originate from the investor’s personal account or his/her spouse.
Apart from the investor, permanent residency is granted to the investor’s spouse, children under 18, and dependent unmarried children-students under 25 years old.
Note: Parents & mothers-in-law are no longer considered dependent family members.
In case the applicant’s adult children under the age of 25 are studying in Cyprusuniversities, they need to apply for an educational residence permit. Upon graduation from a Cyprus university, they can join the program by paying the relevant fee and submitting evidence of the parent’s additional annual income of €10,000 for each such dependent child.
If the main applicant plans to include a child under 25 who does not meet the above requirements, then the value of the €300,000 investment should be multiplied by the number of such dependent children who will use the same investment to obtain an Immigration Permit. For instance, if the applicant has one adult child, they must make an investment of €600,000.
3. The main applicant must show proof of annual income of at least €50,000 (€30,000 before), validated by a tax return from the country of tax residence.
+ €15,000 per spouse (€5,000 before).
+ €10,000 per child (€5,000 before).
This income can come from various sources, including wages, pensions, dividends, interest on deposits, and rent. The spouse’s income can be included in the total income computation.
4. Adult applicants must provide Clean Criminal Record from their countries of origin and residency if it differs.
5. The investor’s annual income must be supported by a tax return validated in their tax residence country.
6. The main applicant and family members must provide Health Insurance Certificates for medical treatment.
7. Family size and property size, including the number of rooms, should correspond. Thus, according to the new regulations, a family of four is not eligible to apply for permanent residence under a one-room property.
8. The primary applicant and their spouse are required to provide evidence that they have no plans to work in Cyprus other than as directors of the company in which they have invested through this program.
9. The minimum stay requirements remain the same: to maintain the status requires visiting Cyprus once every two years.
AFTER APPROVAL OF THE APPLICATION:
Once your application is approved, you must annually submit to the Civil Registry and Migration Department of Cyprus the following data:
- Continued investment maintenance.
- Confirmation of the applicant’s minimum annual income (€50,000), validated by a tax return from their country of tax residence, as well as the income of their family members (spouse – €15,000, child – €10,000).
- Health Insurance Certificates for the applicant and each family member.
- A certificate of no Criminal Record for the applicant and each adult family member.
Source : www.moi.gov.cy