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New Criteria and Procedure for granting an Immigration Permit to foreigners who intend to invest in Cyprus

On 22 March 2021, the Cyprus government issued new criteria relating to the Fast Track Process of issuing Immigration Permits to applicants-third-country nationals who are willing to invest in Cyprus in an attempt to promote foreign investment to the island and to help economic recovery. 

Such an Immigration Permit gives the right to permanently reside in Cyprus.

Recent Amendments

Additional Investment Criteria Added

Regarding the investment criteria, the applicant must make an investment of at least €300,000 (plus Vat if applicable) in one of the following investment categories:

A. Purchase of a house/apartment from a development company, which should relate to a first sale.

B. Investment in real estate property (excluding houses/apartments). This may include the purchase of other types of real estate such as offices, shops, hotels or similar developments or a combination of these. Resales are acceptable in this case.

C. Investment worth €300,000 in the share capital of a limited liability company registered in the Republic, based and operating and having a proven physical presence in Cyprus (with staff of at least 5 people).

D. An investment worth €300,000 in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF).

Any alienation of the holder of the permit from the investment he has made without its immediate replacement with another of the same or greater value, which must meet the conditions set out, will activate the procedure for the cancellation of such permit.

No obligation for a Fixed Deposit

Another significant amendment is that the applicant is no longer obliged to deposit €30.000 in a fixed deposit account, locked for 3 years, as this requirement has now been removed.

Other Conditions- Requirement of a Secure Annual Income

The applicant must, in addition to the investment stated above, be able to verify that he has at his disposal an insured annual income of at least €30,000. The annual income increases by €5,000 for each dependent family member and €8,000 for each dependent parent. This income may come from his salaries, pensions, dividends on shares, permanent deposits, rents, etc. and must be proven that this income derives from abroad for the cases that the applicant chooses to invest as in category A above. In calculating the total income, the income of the applicant’s spouse can also be taken into account.

When it comes to investing in category B, C, or D above, it is notable that the new amendments provide that the applicant's source of income may be derived from sources from activities within the Republic.

No intention to work in Cyprus

Under Regulation 6(2), it is also a requirement that the applicant and his/her spouse should provide evidence that that they do not intend to work in the Republic (with the exception of their employment as Directors in a Cyprus company in which they have chosen to invest).

The applicant and the spouse must still hold a clean criminal record certificate from their country of residence or from the Republic in case they reside in Cyprus and generally should prove that they do not pose in any way a threat to public order or security.

In the new amendments, it is clarified that in cases where the investment does not concern the company’s share capital, the applicant and/or his spouse may be shareholders in companies registered in the Republic and the dividend income in such companies may not be considered as an obstacle for the purposes of obtaining the Immigration Permit. They may also hold the position of Director without receiving any salary in such companies.

Requirement of Proof of Residence under category B, C, or D

In cases where the applicant chooses to invest under above mentioned categories, he must provide information about his place of residence in Cyprus (i.e. a title deed, the relevant purchase/sale agreement, tenancy agreement etc.).

Examination period

The estimated period for the examination of the application from the date of submission of the completed application is approximately 2 months.

Dependents of the Applicant

The Immigration Permit is issued to the applicant and it can include his/her spouse and dependent children up to the age of 18.

As before, an Immigration Permit may be granted to unmarried children of the applicant between the ages of 18-25, only when it is proven that, at the date of the application, they are attending higher educational 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.

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 prerequisite that the main applicant provides evidence of an additional annual income of €5000. 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. In such case their spouse and their minor children may not be included as dependent persons in such a Permit.

The parents and parents-in-law of the main applicant can still apply on the basis of the main applicant’s investment, with the prerequisite that the applicant will present an additional annual income of €8000 for each dependent parent or parent-in-law.

Higher Value Investment to include Adult Children

A promising addition in the Regulations is that it is now possible for the main applicant to make an investment of a higher value in order for his adult children to obtain an Immigration Permit (Permanent Residence) even though they are not financially dependent on him.

The market value of the investment of €300,000 needs to be multiplied according to the number of adult children, which will rely on such investment for the purpose of obtaining an Immigration Permit.

In the event that the investment relates to real estate property, as described in Criteria A or B, a receipt of payment of at least 66% of the market value of the property(ies) should be submitted with the application.

It must be noted that, in such cases, each adult child must be able to prove a secure annual income of at least €30,000, which will be increased by €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.

Other important information

Persons who are granted an Immigration Permit must obtain permanent residence in the Republic within 1 year from the date of approval of the submitted application, while they must, like their family members, not remain outside the Republic for a period of 2 years. Otherwise, the Immigration Permit ceases to be valid under Regulation 6(3) and/or may be revoked under Regulation 6(4).

Our professional team can advise further on applying and obtaining a Cyprus residency permit on the basis of each person’s specific facts and circumstances. You may contact us by email at info@pirilides.com.