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April 2023 - Criteria for granting Immigration Permits for third-country nationals

On 21.04.2023, the Council of Ministers decided for the amendment of the criteria for granting Immigration Permits through the fast–track option to applicants who are nationals of third countries and wish to invest in Cyprus pursuant to the provisions of the Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law Cap. 105.

The decision for the amendment of the existing policy of the Ministry of Interior, which essentially aimed at the empowerment and strengthening of the real-estate market and by extension of the Cypriot economy in general, was taken because evidently, it was necessary for certain provisions to be reassessed.  Although the investment amount remains unchanged, control mechanisms have been introduced to ensure that the applicant retains their investment for life. More precisely, the amended provisions now aim in implementing stricter control and verification mechanisms in regards to proposed investments made by third-country nationals in order to obtain the relevant permit.

Εconomic criteria

The required investment amount under Criterion A and B (i.e. investment in real estate in Cyprus) remains unchanged at €300.000 (excl. VAT). However, as per the revised criteria, official payment receipts for the amount of €300.000 (excl. VAT) should be submitted to the Authorities together with the submission of the permanent residence application, regardless of the delivery date of the immovable property to be acquired (previously official payment receipts of at least €200.000 (excl. VAT) were required at the time of the submission of the application).

In particular, the applicants will be required, among other things, to provide, on an annual basis, evidence proving that they still maintain the initial investment and that they continue to receive the required income determined for them and their family. The required annual income for the applicant and his/her family have been altered. Specifically, for each applicant the amount of income is now €50.000 instead of €30.000, while for each minor child it is €10.000 instead of the previous €5.000 and €15.000 for the spouse.

As proof of the annual secured income, the submitted tax declarations of the investor and/or the spouse of the investor from their country of tax residency, should be submitted to the Authorities.

Changes in the terms and conditions 

Moreover, for the purposes of submitting of the application, all adult applicants shall provide a clean criminal record from both their country of origin and their country of residence (if they differ). Another new criterion is that all and each family members must provide a health insurance certificate for medical treatment, covering both inpatient and outpatient care.

According to the amendments introduced, the property in question must have sufficient bedrooms so as to accommodate the needs of the family and must also be declared as the permanent residence of the family.

It is worth mentioning that as per the revised criteria introduced, the parents and the parents in law of the investor cannot apply for a permanent residence permit under the permit of the investor as dependents. 

Annual update requirement to be submitted to the Authorities

As per the revised criteria, after the granting of the permit, the investor should provide on an annual basis to the Authorities, the following documents:

• Supporting documentation demonstrating that the investor maintains the investment in Cyprus;

• Supporting documentation regarding the investor’s secured annual income requirement, as determined based on the number of the dependents;

• Clean criminal record certificates for the investor and the adult family members, from both, the country of origin and country of residence;

• Confirmation that the investor and its dependents have a valid health insurance in place in Cyprus.

In cases where the holders of the immigration permit (investors) fail to provide the documents required, such permit will be cancelled.

The new criteria shall be put into force from 02.05.2023. The Civil Registry and Migration Department clarified that any applications and sale agreements lodged between 01.01.2023 and 28.04.2023 shall be examined in accordance with the previous criteria. 

Our team of lawyers is fully equipped and ready to support and guide you in all matters related to obtaining immigration permits to Cyprus. For any queries, do not hesitate to contact us at info@pirilides.com.