Revision of criteria for the fast-track procedure for obtaining a Cypriot permanent residence permit (via investment)

The new rules concerning the fast-track procedure for obtaining a permanent residence permit in Cyprus on the basis of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations (investment in the Republic of Cyprus) came into force on 02/05/2023.

The new rules aim to ascertain the robustness and financial stability of the applicants and their main provisions are as follows:

1.The applicant must make an investment of at least €300,000 in one of the following investment categories:

1.1. House/apartment: Purchase of a house/apartment from a land development company, which is a first sale (not resale) of at least €300,000 plus VAT.

1.2. Real estate (other than a house/apartment): Purchase of another type of real estate such as offices, shops, hotels or development of similar nature, or a combination of these, with a total value of €300,000. Such immovable property can also be resale property.

1.3. Share capital of a Cypriot company with activities and personnel in Cyprus: An initial investment in the share capital of a new company of at least €300,000, or an increase of share capital of value €300,000 in an existing company registered in the Republic of Cyprus, which is registered and operates in Cyprus, has a proven physical presence in Cyprus and employs at least 5 people.

1.4. Shares in a Cyprus Investment Organisation for Collective Investments (of the type of AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF): Investment of value €300,000 in shares of a Cyprus Investment Organisation for Collective Investments, whose investments take place in Cyprus.

2. It is noted that any alienation of the holder of the immigration permit of the investment he/she has made without its immediate replacement with another of the same or greater value, which should meet the conditions set out in this procedure, will entail the activation of the procedure for cancelling the permit.

3.The money that will be used for the investment must be proven to come from abroad from the bank account of the applicant himself/herself and/or his/her spouse (if the spouse will be included as a dependent person). The amount of the investment value should be paid from the applicant’s bank account to the seller’s account at a financial institution in Cyprus.

4.The applicant mustbe able to prove that he/she has at his/her disposal a personal secured annual income of at least €50,000. The annual income is increased by €15,000 for the applicant’s spouse and €10,000 for each minor child. This income may derive from wages for work, pensions, share dividends, interest on deposits, rents, etc. coming from abroad. In case the investment is in a house/apartment, the investor’s income will be proven only through his/her tax return from the country in which he/she declares tax residence. The income of the applicant’s wife may also be taken into account in calculating the total income. In cases where the applicant chooses to invest in a category other than a house/apartment, his/her total income or part thereof may also derive from sources derived from activities within the Republic of Cyprus provided that it is taxed in the Republic of Cyprus.

5.The applicant and their spouse must submit a clean criminal record certificate from their country of origin and country of residence and not pose any threat to public order or safety.

6.The applicant and his/her dependents must submit a certificate of health insurance for medical care that covers both in-patient and out-patient care.

7.The applicant and their spouse must certify that they do not intend to work in the Republic of Cyprus, with the exception of their employment as directors in a company in which they have chosen to invest within the framework of this immigration policy. If the investment does not concern a company’s share capital, the applicant and/or his/her spouse can be shareholders in companies registered in Cyprus and receive dividends and/or hold the position of director in such companies without remuneration.

8.In cases where the applicant choses to invest as per the investment categories 1.2-1.4 above, he/she must present evidence regarding the place of residence in the Republic of Cyprus.

9.The immigration permit is issued to the applicant and the applicant’s dependents. The dependents can include the applicant’s spouse, minor children under the age of 18 and any unmarried children between 18-25 who are students in higher education abroad on the date of submission of the application and are financially dependent on the applicant. It is noted that adult children must submit their own separate application, and an additional annual income of €10,000 must be presented for each child. Finally, if a higher-value investment is made, an immigration permit may also be granted to adult children who are not financially dependent depending on the value of the investment e.g., if the applicant has one adult non-dependent child who wishes to also receive the immigration permit, the investment must be at least €600,000, if the applicant has two adult non-dependent children, the investment must be at least €900,000 etc.

10.The timeframe for the examination of the application is approximately 2 months from its submission.

11.As a monitoring mechanism, it is required for applicants to provide, on an annual basis, the following evidence:                                                11.1. that they maintain the investment;

11.2. that they maintain the required relevant annual income;

11.3. that they are covered by valid insurance if they are not registered with the national health scheme; and

11.4. a clean criminal record certificate from their country of origin and country of residence.

12.The right of residence in Cyprus provided to the applicant and the applicant’s adult dependent family members is indefinite, but the permit itself will have a validity of 10 years from the date of its issuance and must be replaced after its expiry. The permanent residency permit issued to minor dependent children is valid until they reach the age of 18.