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Cyprus Investor Immigration Permit: revised criteria in force as of 2 May 2023

By June 23, 2023 No Comments
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The Government of the Republic of Cyprus has issued a new revision (fourth one) of the criteria related to the accelerated procedure for granting an Immigration Permit to 3rd country nationals who wish to invest in Cyprus.

Herein below we set out the revised criteria along with explanations as to the requirements.

 

1.    LEGAL FRAMEWORK

 

Based on a decision of the Minister of Interior pursuant to Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, an Immigration Permit may be granted to a 3rd country national who wishes to invest in Cyprus based on criteria for investment which are set out in the issued policy which has been revised as of 2 May 2023.

Hence, an applicant who wishes to obtain an Immigration Permit based on the above-mentioned policy must meet one of the investment criteria (paragraph 2 below) as well as the qualitative criteria (paragraph 3 below).

In addition, it is crucial for an investor applicant to prove that the money to be used for the relevant investment, should originate from his/her bank account and/or a bank account of his/her spouse. The payment should be made to the seller’s bank account at a financial institution in Cyprus. 

 

2.    INVESTMENT CRITERIA

 

The applicant must proceed with an investment of at least €300,000 in one of the following categories:

(A)  Investment in a house/ apartment (€300,000 plus VAT and it should be a first-time sale)

(B)  Investment in commercial real estate (other than house/apartment and it can be a resale)

(C)  Investment in the share capital of a Cyprus Company with activities and personnel in Cyprus (investment in a new company of €300,000 or of a share capital increase of €300,000, a company registered in Cyprus, based and operating in Cyprus and employs at least 5 people)

 

(D)  Investment in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Fund (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF type) (investments of €300,000 units of a CCIF whose investments should be carried out in the Republic of Cyprus)

At this point, it should be noted that any alienation of the holder of the Immigration Permit from the investment (without any immediate replacement), will entail the activation of the cancellation procedure of the Immigration Permit.

Additionally, the applicant must be able to prove that he/she has at his/her disposal a personal insured annual income of at least €50.000. This amount increases by €15.000 for the spouse and by €10.000 for each minor child of the family.

 

3.    QUALITATIVE CRITERIA

 

For the purposes of the application to obtain an Immigration Permit, the investor applicant:

  1. must submit a certificate of clean criminal record from the country of origin and from the country of residence (if it is different),
  2. must present a Health Insurance Certificate for himself/herself and all the dependant family members (covering inpatient and outpatient care),
  3. along with his/her spouse, must certify that they do not intent to be employed in Cyprus (except for the case of being directors in a company they chose to invest),
  4. and his/her spouse, can hold a position of a director in companies registered in Cyprus, without remuneration, or be paid dividends in case they are shareholders in Cyprus companies without being an impediment to the Immigration Permit procedure, for cases where the applicant’s investment is not in the share capital of a Cyprus company,
  5. must present information about his/her place of residence and of the rest of the family members in Cyprus, in case his/her investment concerns an investment under B, C or D above, i.e. a non-residential investment.

4.    INVESTOR APPLICANT’S DEPENDANTS

It should be noted that, the Immigration Permit is issued to the applicant, nevertheless the applicant’s dependents but can be included to it (i.e. his/her spouse and their minor children under the age of 18 years old).

Two separate Immigration Permits can be issued to each spouse, but only one of them must meet the above-mentioned investment criteria. Although, a separate application must be submitted, and the corresponding fee must be paid.

If there are children between the ages of 18 and 25, they can be included in the applicant’s Immigration Permit, if it is proven that they are students of higher education abroad, and financially dependent on the applicant on the date of the application’s submission.

5.    HIGHER VALUE INVESTMENT FOR INCLUSION OF ADULT CHILDREN

An Immigration Permit may also be granted to adult children who are not financially dependent on the family, only if the investment made is of a respectively higher value and if they are able to prove an annual income of €50.000. For instance, the market value of the investment of €300,000 should be multiplied by the number of the adult children who will claim the same investment for the purposes of obtaining an Immigration Permit.

6.    APPLICATION SUBMISSION PROCESS AND EXAMINATION PROCESS

 

The applications, alongside with the required accompanying documents, will be submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department (“CRMD”) personally or via a representative, after arranging an appointment at the CRMD. The fees for an Investor Immigration Permit application are €500, plus a €70 fee for each person included in the application.

7.    TIMEFRAME

 

It is an accelerated procedure in terms of time; therefore, the application will be processed expeditiously by the CRMD.

 

According to the CRMD, it is estimated that the examination period of the application, from the date of the submission of the completed application, will be approximately two (2) months.

8.    COMPLIANCE WITH THE CRITERIA AND MAINTENANCE OF THE INVESTMENT

 

After obtaining the Immigration Permit, the holder of the Immigration Permit is obliged to provide to the CRMD, on an annual basis, evidence that he/she maintains the required investment and that himself/herself as well as any family members hold a health insurance, as indicated above.

Every 3 years, the investor applicant and all adult family members should provide a clean criminal record from their country of origin as well as their country of residence.

In the event the above are not complied with, the cancellation procedure of the Immigration Permit will be activated for all the holders of the Immigration Permit.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)


  • When did this policy come into effect?

This policy came into effect on 02/05/2023.

  • Can I invest by buying shares to a Company established in Cyprus?

Yes, such an investment is eligible for an Immigration Permit if it is a company based, operating and has at least 5 employees in Cyprus.

  • How many investments should I do if I want my spouse to get the same Immigration Permit?

Only one investment is required, and the spouse can be included to the same Immigration Permit, as long as the required criteria on a yearly income of €50.000 plus €15.000 for the spouse are met.

  • Can the children be included in my application?

Of course, they can, as long as they are minors with no further investment being required, but additional €10.000 annual income per child required. If they are adults between ages 18-25, they can be included, as above, but they should still be students in a Higher Education Institution abroad.

If the children are adults but not financially dependent on their parents, the application can still be one, but the amount of the investment should be multiplied by the number of adult children to be added to the application for Investor Immigration Permit and they adult children should be able to prove an annual income of €50.000.

It is noted pointed out that, in cases where the number of bedrooms of the investment property/residential property cannot meet the needs of all dependent family members of the investor, the applicant should indicate another property or other properties that will constitute the place of residence of all persons (e.g. title deed, purchase document, rental document).

  • Can the children studying in Cyprus be included to my Immigration Permit?

No. They must apply for a Temporary Residence Permit in Cyprus, as students.

  • Is there an expiration date on the Immigration Permit?

The Immigration Permit does not expire, it is issued for an unlimited time for adults included in the application, however the investment and qualitative criteria must always be met. The Immigration Permit card must be renewed every 10 years.

  • Is there a minimum duration of personal presence in the country to maintain the residence permit?

There is no minimum duration of personal presence in the country to maintain the residence permit.

 

How can we assist?

Our firm can assist any investor wishing to obtain an Investor Immigration Permit. Specifically, our firm can assist with the following:

  • Performing a due diligence exercise on the investment to be made either being a Cyprus company or investment in real estate to be acquired, before the acquisition to ensure good title of the seller on the investment, whether it has any charges/encumbrances or any other impediment.
  • Drafting and negotiating of agreements for sale and completion of transfer/conveyance of investment, in accordance with the due diligence findings.
  • Ensuring that the investment fulfills the criteria for obtaining an Investor’s Immigration Permit as prescribed in the policy issued by the Ministry of Interior.
  • Advising on financing the acquisition of the investment and obtaining of necessary permits in residential and commercial properties.
  • Preparation and submission of the application for an Immigration Permit based on the investment in residential/commercial real estate or otherwise for the applicant/spouse/children.
  • Preparation of any necessary documentation required in relation to the application for an Immigration Permit.