Exploring Residency In Cyprus? Here Is Why It Could Be The Best Option
Many non-EU nationals are interested in exploring relocation to countries that offer the safety and stability they desire for themselves and their families. Relocating to Cyprus from anywhere in the world could be the best choice for you and your family.
Cyprus has been chosen by thousands of third-country nationals as the place they wish to relocate to, as it offers them a high standard of living and quality of life along with highly developed infrastructure and high standards of education marking it as a secure and safe environment for them to enjoy a stress-free lifestyle
Based on the 4th revision of the Criteria for granting an Immigration Permit to third-country nationals that came into effect on the 2nd of May 2023 a third country national is eligible to submit a permanent residency application for himself and his family members (spouse, minor children, adult children up to the age of 25 years old) under the so called Fast-Track Permanent Residence procedure provided he follows the specific economic, quality and legal criteria described below:
Economic Criteria For Cyprus Residency
A) Investment in a house/apartment:
Purchase of a house or apartment from a property developer, which must be a first sale worth at least €300,000 (plus VAT).
B) Investment in Cyprus real estate (excluding houses/apartments):
Purchase of other types of real estate such as offices, shops, hotels, or related estate developments, or a combination thereof, with a total value of €300,000. These purchases may result from a resale.
C) Investment in Cyprus Company’s share capital, with business activities and personnel in the Republic:
An Initial investment worth €300,000 in the share capital of a newly registered company in the Republic of Cyprus or an increase in the share capital worth €300,000 of an existing company registered in the Republic of Cyprus, based and operating in the Republic of Cyprus and having a proven physical presence in Cyprus, and employing at least five (5) people.
D) Investment in units of Cyprus Investment Organization of Collective Investments (forms of AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF):
Investment worth €300,000 in units of Cyprus Investment Organization Collective Investments, whose investments should be held in the Republic of Cyprus.
Quality Criteria For Cyprus Residency
- The main applicant of the application should prove that he has at his disposal a secure annual income of at least €50,000. This annual income should be increased by €15,000 for the dependant spouse and by €10,000 for each dependent child
- The income can be proven only through a tax return declaration from the country the main applicant is a tax resident of and/or through official certificates from an independent Certified Accountant.
- All adults included in the application should present a clean criminal record from their country of origin as well as the country of residence if it differs.
- A medical insurance policy should be submitted for the main applicant and all family members that are included in the application
- The applicant and his/her spouse shall confirm that they do not intend to undertake any form of employment in the Republic, with the exception of their employment as Directors in a Company in which they have chosen to invest under the current regulations.
- In cases where the investment does not concern the company’s share capital, the applicant and/or his/her spouse are permitted to be shareholders in companies registered in Cyprus. The income from the dividends derived from such companies may not be considered an obstacle for the purpose of obtaining the Immigration Permit. In such companies, they may also hold the position of an unpaid Director.
- In cases where the applicant chooses to invest in the economic criteria (B), (C), or (D) he/she should provide evidence of accommodation in the Republic.
- In cases where the applicant chooses to invest as per economic criterion (A) and the number of bedrooms of the investment property cannot satisfy the needs of the dependent members of his/her family, they should indicate another property or properties that will serve as the residence of these individuals.
- Once the children turn 18 years old a separate PR application should be submitted for them provided they can prove that they are students in an academic institution outside of Cyprus and financially dependent on their parents. The application can be submitted for children who are over 18 years old and up to 25 years old. Once approved, the said PR permit will still be valid even if its holder has exceeded the age of 25 years old and even if he does not remain a student and/or financially dependent on his parents
- An Immigration Permit may also be granted to children of the applicant who are over the age of 18, not financially dependent on the applicant, on a higher value investment. In such cases, the market value of the €300,000 investment should be multiplied by the number of adult children invoking the same investment for the purpose of obtaining an Immigration Permit.
- The application can be submitted provided a payment of at least €300,000 plus VAT has been completed
- The funds used for the investment must be proved to have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad, from the applicant’s or/and his/her spouses’ bank account, provided the spouse will be included as a dependent person in the application.
- The investment amount should be paid from the applicant’s bank account abroad to the seller’s account in a Cyprus financial institution
- An Immigration Permit shall cease to be valid if the interested person and his/her dependents fail to acquire residence in Cyprus within one year from the approval of the application, in case they are residing outside Cyprus
- An Immigration Permit shall cease to be valid if the interested person and his/her dependents acquire permanent residence abroad or be absent from Cyprus for a period of two years
Additional Important Information To Be Considered
The revised criteria lay down specific terms, conditions, and control procedures in order to prevent abuse of the program. Consequently, from the date of obtaining the Residence permit the applicant is obliged to provide the Civil Registry and Migration department annually with the following :
- Evidence of maintaining the investment
- Proof of holding a health insurance policy certificate if they no longer benefit from GESY
- Provide a clean criminal record certificate from their country of origin and country of residence ( this applies to the main applicant and his adult family members
Failure of the Cyprus Immigration Permit holder to prove the above will result in the cancellation of his/her and his/her family members’ Immigration Permit, following the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
How Long Does It Take To Get Cyprus Residence Permit
It takes a minimum of two months for a PR application to be processed.
During this period, the applicant and his dependants are not legally allowed to stay in the Republic and therefore would have to proceed with the submission of a temporary residence application as visitors should they wish to legally stay in the Republic until their PR application is processed.
Benefits Of Holding A Cyprus Residency Permit
- Securing a residency permit in the Republic of Cyprus gives its holder the right to register with the National Healthcare System (Gesy)
- The PR holder can enjoy access to the EU markets as they can now be registered as the shareholders and unpaid directors of a company registered in Cyprus. This grants them the ability to have full access to the EU markets, benefiting from the low cost of doing business in Cyprus, and also gives them access to the attractive and transparent tax regime of the Republic
- Multiple competitive investment options
- No language requirements
- The residence Permit obtained is PERMANENT and lasts for a lifetime
- A PR holder can submit Cypriot citizenship via naturalization application after spending five years of legal residence in the Republic
- A PR holder can upgrade his/her PR permit to a long–term residency status which will enable him/her to enjoy similar rights to EU citizens including the ability to legally work in Cyprus. This long-term residency status is permanent and available to all non-EU nationals who have resided in Cyprus for over 5 years. The long-term residency status is granted to applicants who have not been absent from the Republic for more than six consecutive months and more than 10 cumulative months within the 5 year period
Why Choose Us As Your Immigration Lawyers
Making an investment in a foreign country involves a number of difficulties and challenges. This is the reason why it’s important for investors to appoint Cyprus lawyers in order to assist them with the whole procedure.
At Andreas Demetriades & Co LLC we provide keen confidential, high-quality, timely, and cost-effective legal services. Wherever you are and whatever the need, we’ll be there for you, as a resourceful and trusted partner.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. For any further information, please contact Eleni Simillidi, at Andreas Demetriades & Co LLC by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone +357 26 811 668.