Cyprus offers one of the leading residency programmes in Europe. It is a simple process requiring an investment of €300.000 plus VAT (can be €310.000 in total) and the creation of a fixed deposit for 3 years of €30.000 and approval is secured in 2-4 months. This guide explains the benefits, requirements and procedure to obtain permanent residency in Cyprus
Benefits of Cyprus Permanent Residence
Cyprus is an excellent place to relocate for people who seek the quality of life, security and good education for their children. It is one of the safest countries worldwide, with a clean environment, crystal clear beaches and great history. Cyprus’ is a small country of fewer than 1 million people that is an international business hub for companies and has more than 3 million tourists in recent years. The Permanent Residency scheme does not have any language requirements, only requires a visit to Cyprus once every 2 years and allows the parents, the parents in law and dependent children up to the age of 25 to obtain Permanent Residency.
Permanent Residency types
Cyprus provides for a fast track and a slow track permanent residency scheme. The fast track scheme (often referred to as PR 6.2) takes about 2-4 months for the permanent residency approval whereas the slow track permanent residency scheme takes approximately 18-24 months.
How to obtain fast-track Permanent Residence in Cyprus
The requirements for a fast-track Cyprus Permanent Residency are the following:
Purchase of a new property from a developer valued at least €300.000 plus VAT in Cyprus.
Create a fixed bank deposit of €30.000 in a Cypriot Bank blocked for at least 3 years. The amount of €30.000 has to come from abroad.
Prove income created abroad in the annual amount of €30.000 plus €5.000 for the spouse and every dependent child and €8.000 for each parent.
The application for a fast track permanent residency in Cyprus can only be filed after the Developer gets paid at least €200.000 (plus VAT). The procedure to obtain a PR in Cyprus is the following:
Choice of a new property worth at least €300.000 plus VAT.
You visit our office and we:
1.Explain the procedure and answer any questions
2. Give you an estimate of the total budget
3. You sign the appropriate documents to file with the authorities
4. We give you a list of the supporting documents we need to file your application.
Securing the property and VAT reduction.
We proceed to:
1. Conduct the legal due diligence on the property to make sure you can obtain a clear title deed without encumbrances.
2. Prepare the contracts of purchase and have them signed. If you are in Cyprus you can sign them yourself. If you going to be abroad we will need you to sign a power of attorney allowing us to sign the contract on your behalf (after your approval) and then to lodge it in the land registry; and 3. Lodge the VAT reduction application
You send us the documents requested
We file the application for the PR at the Civil Registry and Migration Department after the amount of €200.000 plus VAT is paid to the Developer.
Approval is granted in approximately 2-4 months and you visit Cyprus to give biometrics features (photograph and fingerprints) at the District Immigration Office (e.g. in Paphos) for the issuance of the Electronic Card. Approximately one month later the certificates and Electronic Cards are issued.
Who can obtain Permanent Residency in Cyprus?
Any person from a non-EU country can apply and obtain a Permanent Residency in Cyprus provided he/ she complies with the requirements mentioned above. The family of the applicant can obtain PR in Cyprus, including the spouse as well as children up to 18 years old and financially dependent adult children up to 25 years old (studying abroad or having health issues). Further, the parents of the Applicant/s or the parents in law of the Applicants can also obtain a permit. In order for the family of the Applicant to receive Permanent Residence, the Applicant will need to show an additional annual income of €8.000 for every parent or parent in law and for every child an additional amount of €5.000.
1. On the property investment
Second-hand properties are not eligible investments for a fast track permanent residency.
The property being bought may be bought off-plan which means that it may not be built yet. Typically in such a case, the purchase price will be paid in instalments according to the construction stages.
It is possible to buy 2 properties for the amount of €300.000 plus VAT provided they are new and from the same developer. These properties should be either:
– 2 residential units; or
-1 residential unit and 1 shop up to 100m2; 3. 1 residential unit and an office up to 250m2.
2. VAT. VAT is normally 19% however an application for reduced VAT from 19% to 5% is filed for the first residence of the investor in Cyprus. While its acceptance is discretionary, we have never had a rejection in our applications.
3. Holders of Permanent Residency in Cyprus are not allowed to work but are allowed to obtain dividends as shareholders of a Cypriot company.
4. Education and health.
Children under 18 that have Permanent Residency can attend public schools for free. ,Permanent Residency holders in Cyprus can also visit any hospital but they are excluded from the general health plan as they are not contributing to it as people who work in Cyprus.
5. While not allowed to work, a permanent residency holder can obtain dividends from being a shareholder of a company
6. The Applicant needs to open a bank account in a Cypriot Bank and make a transfer of at least €30,000. Then the Applicant must give instruction to the bank to create the fixed deposit. If the Applicant is going to be abroad, then the Applicant will need to authorise the lawyer or someone else by a standard Power of Attorney provided by the bank who will make the said arrangements on the Applicant’s behalf.
7. Holders of permanent residency permits must visit Cyprus at least once every 2 years. If the holder stays out of Cyprus for a period over 2 years, the permit is cancelled
What about the slow track permanent residency Category F?
The slow-track method (often referred to as Category F Permanent Residency) takes 18-24 for its approval examination. Its requirements are:
To have a residency in Cyprus either purchased or rented. ,To have an annual income of at least €10.000 plus approximately €5.000 for the spouse of the applicant and every dependent child.
While the above requirements appear simple, the family of the applicant of a slow track permanent residency (Category F) do not get permanent residency with the exception of the applicant’s spouse and underage children. When the children become 18 their residency application expires. While we haven’t had any rejections for any of our fast or slow-track applications, slow-track applications are at a risk of being rejected by the authorities. As a rule of thumb, the closer one is to the requirements of the fast-track PR 6.2 then the more chances one’s application has for approval.