The Cyprus Ministry of Interior has introduced a new accelerated procedure for granting Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit for applicants that are third-country nationals (Non-EU citizens) by investing and/or purchasing real estate in Cyprus of minimum price €300.000.
The procedure has been implemented under Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, and is considered to be one of the most popular and favorable fast track schemes for permanent residence in Cyprus. From the day of implementation of the permanent residence scheme there have been already approved approximately 2450 applications and the numbers keep increasing.
Since the economic crisis began the prices of the Cyprus Real Estate properties have dropped dramatically and so the applicants under this scheme.
There are several criteria that need to be met in order for the application to be successful.1) What are the Financial Criteria for granting to a Third Country National Permanent Residence/Immigration Permit in Cyprus?
a) The applicant should submit a confirmation letter from a financial institution (Bank) in Cyprus that he has deposited a minimum capital of €30.000 into an account, which will be pledged for a period of at least three years. It must be proved that the said amount has been transferred to Cyprus from abroad.
b) The applicant, together with his spouse, should prove that they have at their disposal a secure annual income of at least €30.000. This annual income should increase by €5.000 for every dependent person. This income should derive from abroad, and may include salaries from employment, pensions, dividends from shares, fixed deposits, rents etc.
c) The applicant should submit, with the application, title deeds or a contract of sale in his name and/or his spouse, which has been officially deposited with the Department of Lands and Surveys, for a dwelling or other building, of a total market value of at least €300.000 (V.A.T. is not included therein) and official receipts for the payment of at least €200.000 (excluding V.A.T.), irrespective of the date for the delivery of the real estate property. It should be stressed that the full payment of the value for the real estate property shall be settled in an account in a financial institution in Cyprus.
Note: All the abovementioned amounts must be proven to have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad. 2) Is the purchase of the Real Estate property accepted under the scheme when is made in the name of a Cyprus Company?
The purchase of real estate property may be accepted even when made in the name of a Company and not in the name of the applicant.
However, the Company must be registered in the name of the applicant and/or in the name of the applicant and his spouse and they must be the sole shareholders. In the event that the shareholder of the company is another legal entity, it must be proven that the sole shareholder or Ultimate Beneficial Owner of the legal entity is the applicant and/or the applicant and his spouse. 3) How many real estate property units the applicant is able to purchase under the scheme?
The applicant may purchase:
- up to two housing units (apartments or houses) which might be independent, or
- one housing unit and a shop of a surface of up to 100 sq.m., or
- a housing unit and an office of a surface of up to 250 sq.m.
Note: In the case of a couple, these restrictions apply for the couple and not for each of the persons involved.4) Is the re-sale of Real Estate property valid under the scheme?
The Real Estate property must be sold for the first time by a development company. In the case of acquiring two real estate property units, both must be sold by the same development company.
Applications in relation to the re-sale of real estate property will not be accepted. It should be stressed that contracts of sale in relation to a re-sale of dwellings that have been officially deposited with the Lands and Surveys Department prior to 07/05/2013, shall be accepted for the purpose of implementing this policy.5) Does the Permanent Residence/Immigration Permit cover the family members of the applicant?
The Permanent Residence Permit issued to an applicant cover his spouse and children under the age of 18. Unmarried children aged between 18 and 25, who may prove that they are students or undergraduates and are financially dependent on the applicant, may submit a separate application to obtain an Immigration Permit.
In accordance with the cases above, the father or mother and/or both parents together must present an additional annual income of €5.000 for every such dependent child.
Note: The permit is still valid even if the holder has exceeded the age of 25 years old.6) Can the Permanent Residence/Immigration Permit be granted to adult children of the applicant over the age of 18 who are not financially dependent on the applicant?
It may also be granted to children of the applicant over the age of 18, who are not financially dependent on the applicant, provided that the market value of the acquired property attributed to each such child is at least €300.000 (excluding VAT).
For example: In the event the applicant has an adult child that is 30 years old and wishes to obtain an immigration permit, the applicant must purchase real estate property valued at €600.000, if the applicant has 2 adult children, financially independent, he must purchase property valued at €900.000.
In such an event a confirmation of payment for the 66% of the market value of the property must be submitted with the application
Note: : in such events each child shall submit the necessary documentation with his application of secured annual income of €30.000, a deposit in a financial institution in Cyprus amounting to €30.000, which is pledged for 3 years.7) What are the Qualitative criteria for the granting of the permanent residence/immigration permit?
8) How often do the applicants and their family need to visit Cyprus?
- A clean criminal record from their country of residence and generally must be submitted by the applicant and his spouse, as they should not be considered as a threat in any way to the public order or public security in Cyprus.
- The applicant and his spouse shall confirm through an official written statement that they do not intend to be employed in Cyprus in any direct or indirect manner.
Note: applicant and/or his spouse may be shareholders in a Company registered in Cyprus and the income from the dividends of such a company in Cyprus are not deemed an impediment for the purpose of obtaining an immigration permit.
- All the necessary documentation, that is attached to the application for an immigration permit, including the translation of the same into the Greek or English language, must be duly certified.
- Applications are submitted directly to the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) with a fee of €500 is payable with the submission of the application.
They must visit Cyprus every two years in order to maintain their status as permanent residents.9) What is the time schedule for issuing an Immigration Permit?
Provided that the criteria of this policy are met and there are no reasons in regard to either the criminal record of the applicant or as to being a threat to public order and security, it is estimated that the examination of the application shall not exceed 2 months from the date of the submission of the application.
The Cyprus Permanent Residence/Immigration Permit is a very attractive scheme whereby third country nationals may circumvent the harsh rules and long term procedures of a normal immigration permit.
The applicants get to enjoy an island that offers the four seasons, excellent awarded beaches, breathtaking hikes in the mountains and an excellent inspiring and relaxing environment.
Initially, Focus Business Services (Cyprus) can provide legal assistance with the preparation of the applications and supporting documents, as well as provide professional advice throughout the application process as well as during the incorporation and operation of the company.
We can also recommend estate agents who may assist with finding the property you require and also with the purchase of the property.