Following the cancellation of the Cyprus Investment Programme, which was a faster procedure for a the acquisition of the Cyprus Citizenship by third-country nationals, the Cypriot Government, in an attempt to encourage further foreign investment and effective economic recovery caused by the Covid-19 crisis, launched the promotion of the newly amended Cyprus Residency Programme.
The enhanced provisions came into force on March 24th of 2021 and seem to be promising, not only financially, but also in terms of rapidity.
The third revision of Regulation 6(2) governing the Immigration Permit, allowing Non-EU citizens to obtain permanent recency in the Republic of Cyprus, widens the parameters of eligibility from merely real estate oriented to a broader zone of options, while highlighting the necessity of control of the source of wealth which must originate from abroad.
For the fulfillment of the eligibility criteria, a minimum investment of € 300 originating from abroad, must be made into one of the following sectors:
(A) Investment into residential real estate;
The residential real estate property must be purchased by a Land Development company, and concern a first sale of a minimum amount of € 300 + VAT.
(B) Investment into commercial real estate;
Commercial real estate refers to offices, hotels, stores or similar objects, or a combination thereof. The total value of such investment must correspond to a minimum amount of € 300.000. Resales are admissible.
(C) Investment into the share capital of a Cypriot Company with activities and staff situated in the Republic of Cyprus:
The investment must be made into a company duly registered, based and operating in the Republic of Cyprus, with a proven physical presence on the national territory and a minimum number of at least five (5) employees.
(D) Investment into units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF).
i) No obligation for a fixed deposit: The new provisions have cancelled the requirement of the deposit of € 30.000;
ii) Requirement of a Secure Annual Income:
a) An annual income of a minimum amount of € 30 must be proved by the applicant; An additional € 5 is required for each dependent family member and the amount of € 8 for each dependent parent of the Applicant or the Applicants’ spouse;
b) For the investment criteria set in point (A), the Applicant must prove that the required income originates from abroad;
c) For the investments criteria set out in points (B), (C) and (D), the new provisions allow the Applicant’s source of income to originate from activities operated in Cyprus.
iii) Declaration of “No intention to work in the Republic of Cyprus”:
a) Under the old provisions of the Regulation Category 6(2), the Applicant and the Applicants’ spouse had to provide a declaration of “no intention to work in the Republic of Cyprus”. The new provisions however, introduce an exception to the aforementioned requirement, only in the event that the employment means for the Applicant to be Director in a Company that the investment was made into, provided that no salary is granted.
b) The newly amended provisions additionally specify that in the event of an investment not concerning a share capital of a Cypriot Company, the Applicant and/or their Spouse, have the right to be shareholders in Cyprus registered Companies, while the income deriving from dividends in such legal entities shall not constitute an obstacle in the acquisition of the Cyprus Permanent Residency.
iv) Proof of Residence under criteria B, C or D.
For investments under criteria B, C or D, information regarding the Applicants’ residence in Cyprus must be presented in terms of a title deed, a sales agreement or even a rental agreement.
v) Clear Criminal Record.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT REQUIREMENTS:
For investments made under criteria A and/or B, the following conditions must be fulfilled:
i) A payment of a minimum of € 200 + VAT prior to the submission of the application;
ii) Evidential support that the source of wealth invested originates from abroad and does not constitute the result of internal borrowing;
iii) The invested amount must be deposited onto the Vendors’ bank account, which must be situated in a Cypriot financial institution;
iv) The purchase of real estate may be undertaken by a legal entity whose sole shareholders or UBOs are the Applicant and/or the Applicants’ spouse. The legal entity may be registered and established in Cyprus or any other EU Member State or in any other country of the European Economic Area.
v) Applications under Criterion A, concerning the purchase of residential real estate, the Law grants the following clarifications:
a) The real estate purchase may be of two (2) residential properties, under the condition that the combined market value equals to the minimum amount of € 300 + VAT.
b) The purchase of such residential real estate must concern dwellings sold by a land development company for the first time and no resales are eligible, unless the aforementioned dwelling purchase was undertaken prior to the 07th of May of 2013. In this case, a Sales Agreement deposited in the Land Registry prior to the 7th of May of 2013 shall be required for evidential support.
c) The real estate units may be purchased from different Land Development companies.
DEPENDENT PERSONS OF THE MAIN APPLICANT:
i) The Permanent Residence Permit concerns the Applicant and the dependent family members, such as the Applicants’ spouse or minor children, under the age of 18.
ii) The Permanent Residence Permit may be granted the Applicants’ unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 25, under the condition that they are attending a higher educational institution abroad and are financially dependent on the Applicant, at the date of the submission of the application. The application for dependent children is separate and is filed upon payment of the relevant fee.
iii) The applicants’ unmarried children, aged between 18 and 25 years, attending higher educational institutions in the Republic of Cyprus, must first apply for a Temporary Residence Permit in their capacity as students and after the completion of their studies, they shall be entitled to file an application for a Permanent Residence Permit in the Republic of Cyprus, regardless of their age, under the sole condition that the main Applicant presents proof of an additional € 5 per annum, in terms of income. In such case, the Residence permit shall be valid after the age of 25 for the dependent child, even if such child shall be married and have completed their studies or are no longer financially dependent on the Applicant. In the event of marriage, such childs’ spouse and minor children are not included as depended persons for the purposes of the Permanent Residence Permit.
iv) The Applicant’s parents and/or parents-in-law may apply for Permanent Residence on the basis of the main Applicant’s investment, under the condition that the main Applicant provides evidential support of an additional € 8 in terms of annual income, for each dependent parent and/or parent-in-law.
HIGHER VALUE INVESTMENT FOR THE INCLUSION OF ADULT CHILDREN.
The newly revised provisions allow the operation of a higher value investment in the main application, for the acquisition of the Permanent Residence Permit by the applicant’s adult financially independent children. In such case, the market value of the investment, which is initially € 300.000, must be multiplied in accordance with the number of adult children, which shall be included in the application for the Permanent Residence Permit.
For investments made under criteria A or B, a payment receipt corresponding to at least 66% of the market value of the properties purchased must be presented along with the application.
In addition, the Law requires each adult child to provide evidence of a secure annual income corresponding to a minimum amount of € 30.000, increased by € 5 for each dependent person.
Such application may be filed either in the name of the main Applicant and the adult child, or solely in the name of the main Applicant.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE AND EXAMINATION:
The application, along with all the relevant documentation, is filed at the Civil Registry and the Migration Department and forwarded to the Minister of Interior for examination and approval, upon fulfillment of all the necessary conditions.
The filing of the documentation may be undertaken through a legal representative, accompanied with a Power of Attorney.
The application shall be processed in a fast-tracked manner and a decision shall be issued within a timeframe of two (2) months, from the date of submission of the application.
The present article is purely for informational purposes and does not, under any circumstances, constitute legal advice. For further information on the subject, please contact Arsen Theofanidis LLC and one of our advocates shall be glad to assist you.
Advocate – Legal Consultant
Arsen Theofanidis LLC