On 24th March 2021, the Cyprus Permanent Residence Scheme according to Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations (the “Regulations”), as amended.
The residence permit granted according to Regulation 6(2) of the Regulations, gives Non-EU nationals the right to permanently reside in Cyprus.
The new amendments to the Regulations are as follows:
1. EXPANSION OF INVESTMENT CATEGORIES
To qualify for a permanent residence according to the Regulations, the Applicant must invest at least EURO 300,000 in one of the following categories of investment:
- Investment in Residential Real Estate – Purchase of a house/apartment, which should be a first sale of the property, of at least EURO 300,000 + VAT.
- Investment in Commercial Real Estate – Purchase of other types of real estates, such as offices, shops, hotels, or similar developments, or a combination thereof with a total value of EURO 300,000. Resales are acceptable for this type of investment.
- Investment in the share capital of a Cyprus Company which operates in the Republic of Cyprus and has employees and offices in the Republic of Cyprus – An investment of at least EURO 300,000 in the share capital of a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus, which is based and operates in the Republic of Cyprus and which can evidence a physical presence in Cyprus and employs at least five (5) employees.
- Investment in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (i.e., in an AIF AIFLNP or RAIF) – An investment of at least EURO 300,000 in units of an AIF, AIFLNP, or RAIF.
2. FIXED DEPOSIT OBLIGATION REMOVED
Further to the new amendments, the Applicant is no longer obligated to deposit EURO 30.000 in a fixed deposit account, blocked for three years.
3. REQUIREMENT OF AN ANNUAL INCOME
The Applicant should be able to evidence that he has at his disposal a secure annual income of at least EURO 30,000.
The annual income requirement is increased by EURO 5,000 for each dependent family member and EURO 8,000 for each dependent parent of the Applicant or his/her spouse.
If the Applicant makes an investment under Category A above, to purchase residential real estate, it is essential that the Applicant can evidence that his income derives from abroad. However, for investments under Categories (b) (c) or (d) above, the new amendments provide that the Applicant’s income may derive from activities within the Republic of Cyprus.
4. DECLARATION OF ‘NO INTENTION TO WORK IN THE REPUBLIC’
The Applicant and his/her spouse must warrant that they do not intend to work in the Republic of Cyprus.
There is, however, an exception to the above – The Applicant and his/her spouse may be employed as Directors in the Cyprus Company in which they chose to invest in.
According to the new amendments, where the investment does not relate to the share capital of a Cyprus Company, the Applicant and/or the Applicant’s spouse may be a shareholder in companies registered in the Republic of Cyprus and the income from dividends in such companies shall not be considered as an impediment to obtaining Permanent Residency. They can also be employed as Directors in such companies without, however, receiving a salary.
5. REQUIREMENT OF PROOF OF RESIDENCE UNDER CATEGORIES (B), (C), OR (D)
The amended regulations provide that where the Applicant chooses to invest under Categories (b), (c), or (d) above, the Applicant should present information about his/her place of residence in the Republic of Cyprus such as a title deed, sales agreement or rental agreement.
6. PROVISIONS RELATING TO INVESTMENT IN REAL ESTATE
When investing under Categories (a) or (b) above, at least EURO 200.000 plus VAT needs to be paid before applying, evidence should be provided that the funds for the investment have emanated from abroad, and these funds need to be deposited in a financial institution in the Republic of Cyprus.
The purchase of real estate can be made by a legal entity in which the Applicant and/or his/her spouse are the sole shareholders or ultimate beneficial owners and such entity is legally established in the Republic of Cyprus or another EU Member State or the EEA.
To purchase residential real estate under Category (a) above, it is specified that:
- The Applicant may purchase up to two (2) units of residential property, (apartments or houses), provided that the total market value meets the minimum requirement of EURO 300,000 plus
- This purchase must relate to properties sold by a land development company for the first time (no resales).
7. DEPENDENTS OF THE MAIN APPLICANT
The permit is issued to the Applicant and it can include his/her spouse and dependent children up to the age of 18.
As before the new amendments, a permanent residence permit can be granted to unmarried children of the Applicant between the ages of 18 and 25, only when it is proven that, at the date of the application, they are attending higher education institutions abroad and provided they are financially dependent on the Applicant. Such dependent children shall submit their own separate applications for an Immigration Permit upon payment of the appropriate fee.
It is noted, however, that, if the children of the Applicant between the ages of 18-25 are enrolled as students in Higher Institutions of the Republic of Cyprus, they will have to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit in the Republic in their capacity as students under the relevant legislation (EU Directive). Following the completion of their studies, they will be entitled to apply for a Permanent Residence Permit irrespective of their age with the only pre-requisite that the main Applicant provides evidence of an additional annual income of EURO 5,000 per annum. The Permit will continue to apply after the age of 25, even if the children marry by then, and they are no longer students or financially dependent on the Applicant.
It continues to be the case that the parents and parents-in-law of the main Applicant can apply based on the Main Applicant’s investment, with the pre-requisite that the Applicant will present an additional annual income of EURO 8,000 for each dependent parent or parent-in-law.
8. HIGHER INVESTMENT REQUIRED TO INCLUDE ADULT CHILDREN
An important addition in the Regulations is that it is now possible for the Applicant to invest a higher value for his adult children to obtain Permanent Residence even though they are not financially dependent on the Applicant.
The market value of the investment of EURO 300,000 needs to be multiplied according to the number of adult children, which will rely on such investment to obtain Permanent Residence.
If the investment relates to real estate and falls under Categories (a) or (b) above, a receipt of payment of at least 66% of the market value of the real estate should be submitted together with the application.
Also, each adult child must be able to prove a secure annual income of at least EURO 30,000, which will be increased by EURO 5,000 for each dependent person.
Such investment can be made jointly in the name of the Applicant and the adult child or exclusively in the name of the Applicant.
9. CLEAN CRIMINAL RECORD
The Applicant must provide a clean criminal record from his country of origin and residence.