Rasheed Alkhanji QICMS
Published 12:56 PM 15 April 2021
Updated 09:35 AM 8 February 2022
The renowned Cyprus Permanent Residency Program (Fast Track) has undergone many positive reforms in March 2021.
In summary, the significant changes are as per below:
1.1 According to the provisions of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, the Minister of Interior, having notified the Council of Ministers, has decided to issue an Immigration Permit to third-country applicants in cases where the following conditions are satisfied.
1.2 The applicant must meet one of the investment criteria mentioned in Section 2.1 and Section 3, quality criteria. All the investors’ funds must provide payment proof that they have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad.2. Investment Criteria
2.1 The applicant must proceed with an investment of at least EUR 300,000 in one of the following investment categories:
(A) Investment in a house/apartment: Purchase of a NEW residential real estate property (house or apartment) from a developer company of at least EUR 300,000 (plus V.A.T.).
(B) Investment in real estate units (excluding houses/apartments):
Purchase of other types of real estate units such as offices, shops, hotels, or similar developments or a combination of the above with a total value of at least EUR 300,000 (plus V.A.T. when applicable). These properties can also be resale.
(C) Investment in the share capital of a Cyprus Company with activities and personnel in the Republic of Cyprus:
Investment of a total value of EUR 300,000 in the Share Capital of a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus. The company should be based and operates in the Republic of Cyprus with a proven physical presence in Cyprus and should employ at least five (5) persons.
(D) Investment in Shares of Cyprus Collective Investment Funds (type A.I.F., AIFLNP, RAIF):
Investment worth EUR 300,000 in shares of Cyprus Collective Investment Funds.
If for any reason there is an alienation between the investment and the Cyprus Permanent Residency, then the cancelation procedure of the Permit will be activated, based on the provisions of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations (Regulation 6).
To avoid the Permit’s cancellation, the investor should have a direct replacement investment of the same or greater value that meets the present procedures’ conditions.
2.2 In addition to the investment under Section 2.1, applicants must be able to prove that they have at their disposal a secure annual income of at least EUR 30,000. Suppose the applicants wish to add additional dependents in their application; then their annual income should increase by EUR 5,000 for each dependent family member and EUR 8,000 for each dependent parent (of the same and/or spouse).
In the case of applicants’ investments under category Section 2.1 (A), the income should derive from abroad from employee salaries, pensions, dividends on shares, fixed deposits, rents, etc.
Note: When calculating the applicant’s total income, the applicant’s spouse’s income can also be considered.
In the cases where the applicants choose to invest as Sections 2.1. (B), 2.1. (C) or 2.1. (D), their total income or part of it may also derive from activity sources within the Republic of Cyprus.3. Quality Criteria
3.1 The applicant and his / her spouse must submit a certificate of no criminal record from their country of residence or the Republic of Cyprus in the case they already reside in Cyprus. Additionally, in general, applicants must not pose in any way a threat to public order or public security or be under investigation for criminal offenses attested by relevant authorities of the residence country.
3.2 The applicants and their spouse should certify that they do not intend to work in the Republic of Cyprus, with the exception of their employment as Directors in a Company in which they have chosen to invest under the provisions of this policy.
3.3 In cases where the investment does not concern the company’s share capital, the applicant and/or his/her spouse may be shareholders in Companies registered in Cyprus. The dividend income in such companies may not be considered an obstacle to obtaining the Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit. They may also hold the position of Director in such companies, with the term of not receiving any payment for their duties.
3.4 In cases where the applicants choose to invest as Sections 2.1. (B), 2.1. (C) or 2.1. (D), they must present information about their residence place in the Republic of Cyprus (e.g., a real estate title deed, purchase agreement, tenancy agreement).4. Legal Documents
4.1 Investing in a house/apartment or other real estate units:
The applicants should submit, with their application, the title deed or a contract of sale stating their names and/or their spouse’s names. The submitted documents should be the ones that have been officially deposited to the Department of Lands and Surveys for a dwelling or other building, having a total market value of at least EUR 300.000 (V.A.T. is not included therein). Also, the applicants should submit the official receipts for the payment of at least EUR 200.000 (excluding V.A.T.), irrespective of the date of the dwelling delivery. It should be stressed that the total amount of the dwelling value should be settled in an account in a financial institution in Cyprus.
It is understood that when submitting the application, the provided proofs must support that the investment funds derived from abroad, are not a product of domestic borrowing (remittances, foreign card payments receipts, bank certificates), and they are linked to the corresponding investment. The rest of the investment value will have to be repaid to the seller’s account at a Cyprus Financial Institution.
Furthermore, the real estate unit’s purchase is accepted even when it is submitted by a legal entity, in which the applicants and/or their spouse are the sole shareholders or the final beneficiaries. Also, the legal entity should be established in the Republic of Cyprus or another Member State of the European Union or European Economic Area.
Concerning the purchase of a house/apartment, reference to paragraph 2, it is specified that: (a) The applicants may purchase up to two (2) housing units (apartments or houses), provided that the total market value meets the provisions of Section 4.1. In the case of a couple, the above condition applies to the couple as a whole.
(b) The said purchase should be related to dwellings sold by a development company for the first time to the buyer unless the dwellings’ purchase took place before April, 7th 2013. Contracts of Sale associated with the resale of houses and submitted to the Land Registry before April, 7th 2013 (the date of submission of the contract of sale should be confirmed by the Department of Land and Surveys) will be accepted for policy purposes.
It is important to note that the properties are not obliged to be purchased from the same developer company.
4.2 Investment in the share capital of a Cyprus Company with business activities and employees in Cyprus: For the purpose of policy implementation, the applicants are required to make a total investment of EUR 300,000; the company should have a physical presence in the Republic of Cyprus and employment of at least five (5) persons. In this case, the following documents should be submitted:
5.1 Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit is issued to the applicant. The Permanent Residency Permit in Cyprus includes the applicant’s dependents, the spouse, and minor children, up to 18 years old.
If the applicant and spouse wish, it is possible to issue two separate Cyprus Permanent Residency Permits in each of the couple’s names without the second’s obligation to meet the above criteria. In that case, the applicant and spouse should submit a separate application and pay the corresponding fees.
It is essential to mention that if the Cyprus Permanent Residency Permit program granted to the investor is canceled for any reason, then a cancellation activation process will apply to the Permanent Residency Permit in Cyprus all parties included, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
5.2 Unmarried children between 18 and 25 years old can submit separate applications for a Permanent Residency Permit in Cyprus by paying the corresponding fee. They are eligible to apply only when they prove that they are students studying abroad in a higher education institution on the date of application and are financially dependent on the applicant. In such a case, the father or mother and/or both parents together must present an additional annual income of EUR 5,000 for each dependent child.
Suppose the children are students of a Higher Education Institution in the Republic of Cyprus, in that case, they must apply for a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus, as students under the relevant legislation (E.U. Directive).
After completing their studies in Cyprus, they can submit their own application for a Permanent Residency Permit in Cyprus, as mentioned above, with the corresponding fee’s payment, regardless of their age, provided that the parents will present an additional annual income of EUR 5,000.
This Cyprus Permanent Residency Permit program will continue to be valid after reaching the age of 25 even if the child is still not single and/or a student and/or financially dependent on his or her parents. Under this provision, they cannot include their spouse and their minor dependents in the existing Permanent Residency Permit. In addition, if the Permanent Residence Permit of the investor/parent is canceled for any reason, the cancellation process will be activated and on the Permanent Residency Permit of the child, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
5.3 A Permanent Residency Permit in Cyprus can also be granted to the applicant’s parents and their spouse by submitting separate applications for each parent and paying the corresponding fee. In that case, the applicant should present an additional annual income of EUR 8,000 for each dependent parent. In this type of Permanent Residency Permit application, parents cannot include their dependents, i.e., spouse and minor children.
In addition, if the Cyprus permanent Residence Permit of the investor/child is canceled for any reason, the cancellation process will be activated and, on the Cyprus, Permanent Residency Permit of the child, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.6. Higher Investment Value for Including Adult Children
A Permanent Residency Permit in Cyprus may also include adult children of the applicant, who are not financially dependent, if the total value of the applicant investment is of a higher value according to the provisions of Paragraph 2, as set out below:
The market value of the EUR 300,000 investment should be multiplied by the number of adult children who will invoke the same investment to obtain the Permanent Residency Permit in Cyprus. For example, if the applicant wishes to include in his Permanent Residency Permit an adult child, he/she should invest EUR 600,000. If he has two adult children, the investment value should amount to EUR 900,000, etc.
If the investment is according to the provisions of Sections 2.1. (A) and 2.1. (B), of purchasing real estate property units, the applicant, together with the application, should provide payment proof of at least 66% of the property market value.
In such a case, each adult child should prove that they have at their disposal a secured annual income of at least EUR 30,000, which increases by EUR 5,000 for each dependent, as provided in Section 2.2. Also, the investment can be made jointly in the name of the applicant and the adult child or exclusively in the applicant’s name.7. Time Frame
If all the criteria of this policy are met, and there are no reasons concerning either the applicant’s criminal record or reasons of public order and public security, the application will be forwarded for consideration and decision by the Minister of Interior.
It is estimated that the application’s examination period from the completed application submission date will be approximately 2-3 months.8. Other Information
Persons who acquired the Permanent Residency Permit must obtain permanent residence in the Republic of Cyprus within one (1) year from the date of the submitted application approval, while the family members and applicants should not remain outside the Republic of Cyprus for a period of two (2) years. Otherwise, the Permanent Residency Permit in Cyprus ceases to be valid under Regulation 6 (3) and/or maybe revoked under Regulation 6 (4).Final Thoughts
By now, the question you should ask yourself is “Why not invest in Cyprus?” Whether you want to relocate to for business or pleasure (or both), there are a multitude of reasons why Cyprus’ Golden Visa Program should be your number one choice. From prime tax amenities and high-quality living conditions to idyllic weather and picturesque landscapes, your investment in Cypriot residence will continue to yield professional and personal rewards for generations to come.
If you are considering permanent residency solutions in Cyprus, contact our office today to discuss your options with one of our immigration professionals.
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