Revisions to the FAST-TRACK Application Criteria for the Cyprus Permanent Residence Programme
Revisions to the FAST-TRACK Application Criteria for Non-EU Citizens for the Cyprus Permanent Residence Programme
Following the positive decisions taken by the Government of Cyprus and announced on 24th March 2021 there have been a number of amendments to the financial investment and eligibility criteria for non-EU citizens wishing to apply for permanent residence in Cyprus.
These amendments present even greater opportunities to obtain permanent residence status in Cyprus. The news that Cyprus has begun the formal process of applying to join the Schengen Zone increases the incentives to apply.
Although the primary investment amount remains the same, residential property is no longer the sole vehicle. Other categories have been included. Therefore, the qualifying criteria can now be made up through one of the following – all funds having been derived from an overseas source.
A) Investment in a house/apartment
The purchase of one of more new houses or apartments with a combined value of at least €300,000 (plus VAT if applicable) from a land development company.
B) Investment in real estate (not including houses or apartments)
The purchase of other types of real estate – offices, shops, hotels or similar developments, or a combination of these – with a total value of €300,000. These can comprise new or resale properties.
C) Investment in the share capital of a Cyprus Company with activities and staff in Cyprus
An investment valued at €300,000 or over in the share capital of a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus, which is based and operates in the Republic of Cyprus, has a proven physical presence in Cyprus, and employs at least five people. For this option an investment plan must be submitted.
D) Investment in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF)
An investment valued at €300,000 or more in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization. A prospectus or investment plan must be submitted.
Initial Fixed Deposit Requirement
This requirement has now been removed.
Source of Funds
Irrespective of the investment option selected, the entire investment amount of at least €300,000 must be proven to have originated for an overseas source.
Secure Annual Income
In addition to the prescribed investment as detailed above, the applicant must also demonstrate that he/she has a guaranteed annual income of at least €30,000. This income level is increased by €5,000 for each dependent family member and €8,000 for each dependent parent or parent-in-law of the applicant.
Regarding investment option A, the total annual income must be derived solely from overseas. However, should an applicant choose one of the other investment options (B, C, or D), the total annual income can now include any income derived from business activities within the Republic.
No Intention to Work in the Republic
This requirement still applies except if the applicant and/or his/her spouse are employed as directors of a company in which investments under the scheme have been made, and provided that no salaries are drawn. The amendments clarify that where the investment does not relate to the share capital of a company, the applicant and/or the applicant’s spouse may hold shares in companies registered in Cyprus and the income from dividends in such companies shall not be considered as an impediment for the purpose of obtaining Permanent Residency.
Proof of Residence Required for Investments B, C, or D
Where the applicant opts to invest under B, C, or D above, the applicant must show proof of his/her current residence in the Republic, which can be a title deed, sales agreement or rental agreement.
Provisions Relating to Investment in Real Estate
When investing in either option A or B above, it remains the case that at least €200,000 plus VAT must be paid prior to submitting the application, and evidence must show that the funds have originated from overseas and are not sourced from internal borrowing. The funds must have been deposited in a property seller’s Cyprus bank account.
Purchase of real estate may be made by a legal entity in which the applicant and/or his spouse are the sole shareholders or UBOs, and which entity is legally established in the Republic of Cyprus or in another Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area.
Terms specifically applicable to investment option A include:
- The applicant may purchase up to two apartments or houses, provided that the total market value meets the required €300,000 plus VAT.
- The purchase must relate to apartments or houses sold by a land development company for the first time, (resale properties do not qualify), unless the purchase took place before 07/05/2013 – Sales Contracts for resale properties which were deposited in the Land Registry before 07/05/2013 will be accepted,.
- The properties do not have to be purchased from the same land development company.
Dependents of the Main Applicant
The Permit is issued to the applicant and can include his/her spouse and dependent children up to the age of 18.
However, financially dependent children between 18 and 25 may be included provided that they are attending higher educational institutions abroad. These dependent children must submit their own separate applications and the appropriate payment is required.
In addition, if the children of the applicant between 18 and 25 are enrolled as students in higher education institutions of the Republic of Cyprus, they must apply for a Temporary Residence Permit as students under the relevant legislation. Upon completion of their studies, they may 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 €5,000 per annum. The Permit will continue to apply after the age of 25, even if the children have married by then, and they are no longer students or financially dependent on the applicant. It is understood that 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 applicant can apply on the basis of the applicant’s investment, with the prerequisite that the applicant will present an additional annual income of €8,000 for each dependent parent or parent-in-law.
Higher Value Investment to Enable Adult Children to be Included
It is now possible for the applicant to make higher value investment in order that any adult children may obtain a Permanent Residence Permit even though they are not financially dependent on the applicant. The prescribed investment of €300,000 needs to be multiplied according to the number of adult children. Each adult child must be able to prove a guaranteed annual income of at least €30,000, which will be increased by €5,000 for any dependent person(s). Investments may be made jointly in the name of the main applicant and the adult child or exclusively in the name of the main applicant.
Clean Criminal Record
It is a basic requirement that the applicant provides a clean criminal record from his country of origin and residence, and does not pose any threat to public policy or public security.
Cancellation of Permit
If the applicant fails to take up residence in Cyprus within 12 months of an application being approved, the permit will be automatically cancelled.
Should a Permit Holder be continuously absent from Cyprus for a period of two years, the permit will be cancelled.