Several changes have been made to the well-known and well-established Cyprus Permanent Residency Program (Fast-track).
The main changes are as follows:
- The term to maintain a deposit in a Cypriot bank in the amount of €30,000 is now abolished.
- Apart from residential properties, commercial properties (both new and resale) also qualify for the programme from now on.
- An applicant can invest not only in real estate, but also in the capital of Cyprus companies and in the shares of investment funds.
General terms are presented below:
The applicant must make an investment of at least €300,000 (plus VAT if applicable) in one of the following investment Categories:
- (A) Investment in a house / apartment. The property should be new and purchased from a developer. The applicant may purchase up to two housing units (apartments or houses). The applicant must submit a title of ownership or contract of purchase for a property. Payment of at least €200.000 (net of VAT) to be made in order to file an application. Evidence must be provided that the investment money has come from abroad.
- (B) Investment in other types of real estate (such as offices, shops, hotels or similar developments or a combination of those). The property can be either new or resale.
- (C) Investment in share capital of a Cyprus company. A company should be based and operate in the Republic of Cyprus and employ at least five (5) people.
- (D) Investment in shares of Cyprus Collective Investment Funds (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF)
In addition to the above-mentioned investments the applicant must provide evidence that his/her annual income amounts to at least €30.000. It can be salary, dividends, rental revenue, interest from bank deposits, pension and etc. Applicant must also demonstrate an additional minimum income of €5.000 a year for any dependent family member (spouse and children). The additional minimum income of €8.000 a year should be shown for any applicant’s and/or applicant spouse’s parents if they are to be included in the application for the PR. In calculating the total income, the income of the applicant’s spouse can also be taken into account.
In case of Investment in Category (A) the income sources should be located outside of Cyprus. For other investment Categories the total income or part of it can also come from sources within Cyprus.
- The applicant must submit a certificate of no criminal record and of being under no investigation for criminal offences attested by relevant authorities of the country of his/her residence
- The applicant and his/her spouse will certify that they do not intend to work in Cyprus with the exception of their employment as Directors in a Company under investment category (C). In cases of investment in Categories (A), (B) and (D) the applicant and/or his/her spouse may be shareholders in companies registered in Cyprus. They may also hold the position of Director with no salary in such companies.
- In cases where the applicant chooses to invest in Categories (B), (C) or (D), he/she must present information about his/her place of residence in Cyprus (eg title deed, real estate purchase document, rental document).
The average period for granting PR permit according to the simplified procedure comprises 2 months.
The status of a permanent resident does not impose any restrictions to the period of stay in Cyprus. The only exception is that an applicant should visit Cyprus at least once every 2 years.
Relatives of Applicant also receiving PR Permits
Permanent residence permits are granted to the following applicant’s relatives.
- Applicant’s spouse. In case they wish, two separate PR permits can be issued for each spouse without the requirement for the dependent spouse to purchase a property.
- Dependent minor children up to the age of 18 years of the applicant and his/her spouse.
- Single children from 18-25 years old and financially dependent, who prove to be students for at least six more months from the date of the application. They may apply to obtain the “for so long” PR permit for themselves, without the need to invest in additional real estate. In this case the parents will need to prove additional income of at least €5,000 a year for each dependent child. The PR Permit will still remain valid even after the Permanent Residency holder turns 25 years and even if he/she is no longer single and/or a student and/or financially dependent on his/her parents. However, it is understood that their future spouse and children will not be entitled to obtain the PR permit.
- The parents of a couple (of both husband or wife) who applied or they are already in possession of the Residence Permit, are also entitled to acquire the PR permit without investing in additional real estate. The applicant must prove additional income of at least €8,000 a year for each dependent parent. A separate application must be submitted for each dependent parent.
PR Permit for Two (Several) Families
Suppose an applicant who has adult financially independent children over 25 years old wishes to obtain permanent residence permit not only for his/her family but also for the families of his/her adult children. In case the applicant has one adult child he/she shall purchase property amounting to at least €600.000 (net of VAT). Property investment rises to €900.000 for two children.
In case the investment will be in Categories (A) and (B), a proof of payment of at least 2/3 of the contract amount for the real estate must be submitted.
Each family shall state annual income of at least €30.000 (plus €5.000/8.000 per each dependent family member) a year.
Investors Application Procedure and Examination
The Civil Registry and Migration Department will process the application, forwarded for examination and decision to the Interior Minister, provided that all the criteria and requirements are met. It is estimated that the examination period will be two months from the date of submission.
This article is intended to provide a general guide; it does not constitute legal advice.