Cyprus has always been considered as one of the best destinations for Permanent Residence by third country nationals.
In the light of the above mentioned the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has recently introduce new amendments to the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, effective as from 24th of March 2021, pursuant to which an Immigration Permit shall be issued to third country applicants, in cases where the following conditions are satisfied:
- Investment Criteria
Although the required amount of the investment remains in the amount of EUR300,000 , the investment criteria have been extended and are no longer solely related to investment in real estate but other options have been added. Thus, additional categories have been introduced, as follows:
A)Investment in a house/apartment:
Purchase of a house or apartment by a Land Development company, which should relate to a first sale of at least EUR 300,000 (plus VAT).
B) Investment in real estate (excluding houses/apartments):
Purchase of other types of real estate, such as offices, shops, hotels or similar developments or a combination thereof with a total value of EUR 300,000. Resales are acceptable.
C) Investment in the share capital of a Cyprus Company with activities and staff in Cyprus:
An investment worth EUR 300,000 in the share capital of a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus, which is based and operated in the Republic of Cyprus and has as proven physical presence in Cyprus and employs at least five (5) people.
D) Investment in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (type AIF, AIFNLP, RAIF):
An investment worth EUR 300,000 in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization.
- Insured Annual Income
2.1. Another significant amendment is the removal of the applicant’s obligation to deposit EUR 30,000 in a fixed deposit account, locked for three years.
2.2.However, in addition to the investment, as required above, the applicant should be able to prove that he has at his disposal an insured annual income of at least EUR 30,000. This annual income is increased by EUR 5,000 for each dependent family member and EUR 8,000 for each dependent parent of the applicant or his/her spouse.
2.3. In case that the applicant makes an investment under criterion A as mentioned above, to purchase a house or apartment, it is essential, , to demonstrate that his income derives from abroad. Additionally, in calculation of total income, the income of applicant’s spouse can also be taken into consideration.
2.4. However, if he makes an investment under criteria B, C, or D above, it is noteworthy that the new amendments provide that the applicant’s source of total income or part of it may be derived from activities within the Republic of Cyprus.
- Clean Criminal Record
The applicant and his/her spouse must submit a certificate of a clean criminal record from their country of residence or from the Republic of Cyprus in case where they reside in Cyprus.
- “No intention to work in the Republic of Cyprus”
4.1. In case that an application is submitted under Regulation category 6(2) the applicant and his/her spouse has to certify that they did not intend to work in the Republic of Cyprus, with the exception of their employment in the position of unpaid directors in a Cyprus Company in which they have chosen to invest under this policy, as per the new amendments introduced.
4.2. Furthermore, the new amendments provide that where the investment does not relate to the Company’s share capital, the applicant and or his / her spouse may be shareholders in companies registered in Cyprus and the income from dividends in such companies shall not be considered as a barrier for the purposes of obtaining the Immigration Permit.
- Requirement of Proof of Residence under criteria B, C or D
The amended regulations provide that in cases where the applicant chooses to invest under criteria b, c or d above, the applicant should submit proof of residence in the Republic of Cyprus which can be a title deed, sales agreement or lease agreement.
- Provisions of criteria A and B
6.1. Along with his application to the Migration Department, the applicant who invests under criteria A or B should submit a title deed or a purchase agreement in his and/or his spouse name filled with the Department of Lands and Surveys in the Republic of Cyprus, for a house or other building worth at least EUR300,000 (plus VAT if applicable) and official receipts for the prepayment of EUR200,000 plus VAT, regardless of the delivery date of the property.
6.2. It is still a requirement that the money invested to the property has been derived from abroad and is not a product of domestic borrowing (remittances, foreign card payment receipts, bank certificate) which should be linked to the corresponding investments.
6.3. It is noteworthy that the purchase of real estate will be accepted even when it is made by a legal entity in which the applicant and/or his spouse are the sole shareholders or the final beneficiaries and which is legally established in the Republic of Cyprus or in another Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area.
6.4. In relation to criterion A mentioned above (purchase of a house/apartment), it is specified as follows:
a) The applicant may purchase up to two (2) housing units (apartments or houses), provided that the total market value meets the minimum amount of EUR300,000.
b) This purchase must relate to dwellings sold by the development company to a first-time buyer, unless the purchase of the houses took place before 07/05/2013. The documents related to the resale of houses and have been filled to the Land Registry and Surveying before 07/05/2013 will be accepted for the purposes of this policy.
- Dependent Persons
7.1. The Immigration Permit issued to an applicant covers his/her spouse and children under the age of 18. Two separate Immigration Permits may be granted to each spouse, if desired, provided that a separate application is submitted, without being required for the other spouse to satisfy the criteria mentioned above. Children under the age of 18 may be included as dependent persons in both Immigration Permits.
7.2. Unmarried children aged between 18 and 25, who prove that they are students in an institution on the date of the application and, furthermore, that they are financially dependent on the applicant, may submit a separate application to obtain an Immigration Permit. In such a case, the father or mother and/or both parents together must present an additional annual income of €5.000 for every such dependent child.
7.3. The said permit is still valid even if the holders have exceeded the age of 25 years old and even if they are still not single and/or students and/or financially dependent on their parents.
7.4. If children wish to study in an institution in the Republic, they must submit through the institution an application for acquisition of a temporary residence permit in the Republic as students, according to the provisions of the relevant legislation (EU Directive). After the completion of their studies in the Republic, regardless of their age, they will be able to submit their own application for obtaining an Immigration Permit, as it is described above, with the condition that their parents shall present an additional annual income of €5.000 for every such child.
7.5. An Immigration Permit may also be granted to the parents and parents-in-law of the applicant/holder of an Immigration Permit with the submission of a separate application and the payment of the relevant fee, with the condition that the applicant/holder of an Immigration Permit presents an additional annual income of €8.000 for each dependent parent.
- Investment of a Higher Value to include Adult Children
8.1. An Immigration Permit may also be granted to children of the applicant over the age of 18, who are not financially dependent on the applicant, provided that a higher value investment will take place, under the criteria A, B, C or D.
8.2. The market value of the investment of €300.000 is required to be multiplied according to the number of adult children which will rely on such investment for obtaining an Immigration Permit.
8.3. In case that the applicant shall invest under criteria A and B, a payment’s confirmation for the 66% of the market value of the real estate must be submitted along with the application
8.4. It is also provided that in such an event each adult child shall be able to submit the necessary documentation with his/her application proving that he has at his disposal an insured annual income of at least €30.000, which will be increased by €5,000 for each dependent. Such investment can be made jointly in the name of the applicant and the adult child or exclusively in the name of the applicant.
8.5. The holder of an Immigration Permit according to the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations is obliged to acquire residence in Cyprus within one (1) year from the date of the issuance of Immigration Permit Certificate. At the same time, the holder of such a permit, as well as his/her dependent persons who are included in his/her permit are obliged not to be absent from the Republic for more than two (2) years. Otherwise, the Immigration Permit is automatically cancelled pursuant to the provisions of Regulation 6(3), or/and may be cancelled pursuant to the provisions of Regulation 6(4).
- Time schedule for issuing an Immigration Permit
It is estimated that the procedure described in this policy statement for the examination of the application by the competent authority shall not exceed two (2) months from the date of the submission of a complete application.
- Advantages of Immigration Permit
10.1. This Immigration Permit lifts traveling restrictions and elaborate visa requirements (i.e. Visitor’s visa) across the EU, facilitate access to the Schengen zone.
10.2. It is granted for an indefinite period of time.
10.3. It is estimated that the procedure for the examination of the application shall not exceed two (2) months from the date of the submission of a complete application.
10.4. It can be granted to the spouse and dependents of the applicant and the parents of the applicant can also obtain permanent residents as dependents (some additional conditions are applicable in this case).
10.5. The applicant and/or his spouse may be a shareholder(s) in a Company registered in Cyprus, and the income from the dividends of such a company in Cyprus are not deemed to be an impediment for the purpose of obtaining an Immigration Permit.
10.6. The application can be processed in the absence of the applicant.
CTA Law Firm may assist on the whole process described above, by providing the following services:
· Consult you on the requirements of the application process;
· Assist in drafting relevant required documentation;
· Assist with legal overview of the sale contract of the property and/or any ancillary documentation and with the whole process with the Department of Lands and Surveys;
· Assist with the real estate due diligence;
· Review the application and the required documentation to ensure require quality standards;
· Submit the application along with the required documentation to the authorities on your behalf;
· Monitor the process and update you accordingly;
· Escort you and your dependents to the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
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