Permanent Residency

Why Cyprus is an Immigration Destination

Cyprus offers many merits for foreigners who wish to make the island their home; despite the considerably smaller population, Cyprus has been well known to be very welcoming to foreign nationals who choose the island as their new home.

Public Services

Cyprus residents can enjoy a myriad of public services at little to no cost. Very few of which are:

  1. Public Schools.
  2. Public health system.
  3. Retirement benefits.
  4. Right to purchase assets and incorporate businesses.
  5. Access to government aid (conditions apply).

Investment

  1. Residents of the republic of Cyprus are allowed to incorporate businesses and manage them (shareholders). They are allowed to carryout business activities and employ people.
  2. Foreign nationals with a residence permit in Cyprus have the right to enjoy tax exemptions and benefits just as any Cypriot citizen does.

Immigration Status Merits

  1. As a general rule, foreign nationals who live in Cyprus for a period of 7 years and meet minor conditions may be eligible to acquire Cypriot citizenship. Once naturalized as a citizen of Cyprus, a foreign national will be a citizen of a European country whereby all European laws are applicable to him/her and where, at the same time, they enjoy the merits of being citizens of a European Union country.
  2. EU Long Term Residence - Eligibility after 5 years of residing in Cyprus (full Europe and Schengen access).
  3. Permanent Residence Permits of Cyprus are normally valid for life, unless certain breaches are committed by the resident. There is no residency requirement, with the exception for a requirement to visit the country once every two years.
  4. Through the fast-track, and category if option, eligible family members, such as spouses, children under the age of 18 and children older than 18 but under the age of 25 and who are full time students may be included on the father’s application.
  5. Parents and grand parents may also be included if annual income of the applicant is adequate.
  6. Cyprus is actively seeking to join the Schengen agreement and become a member of the trade and mobility group. 

New Criteria as of May 2, 2023
Amended by M.O.I on May 22, 2023

  1. Applicants must submit with their applications, a title deed or deed of sale in their name and/or under the name of their spouse’s. The deed must be filed formally with the Department of Land and Surveying for a Residence or other type of building with a market value of at least €300,000 (plus VAT, if applicable) and official receipts for the payment of at least €300,000 (excluding VAT), regardless of the date of delivery of the property.
     
  2. The funds to be used for the investment must be proven to have come from outside Cyprus, and from the main applicant’s account or his spouse’s account. If the funds are coming from the spouse’s account, the spouse must be included as a dependent person on the application. The funds used for the investment should also come from abroad from a bank account of a company that the applicant and/or his/her spouse are the sole shareholders of. Spouse shareholder must be included in the application. Same rule applies to the funds to be received in a banking institution here in Cyprus on the part of the Seller.
     
  3. Income should come from salaries for work, pensions, shareholder dividends, permanent deposits, rents, etc., coming from abroad, which will must proven. The annual income of the applicant can be proven either through his tax return from the country in which he declares himself tax resident or through official certificates from an independent chartered accountant. The income of the applicant's spouse may also be taken into account in calculating the total income.
     
  4. For the submission of the application, all family members must provide Health Insurance Certificate for medical treatment covering inpatient and outpatient care.
     
  5. The applicant will now be required to provide, on an annual basis, evidence that they maintain the investment in Cyprus, and that, in case they do not continue to be beneficiaries of the GeSY/NHS,  they hold a valid health insurance certificate for the entire family.
     
  6. The applicant and the adult members of his family are required to provide on a three-year basis a certificate of clear criminal record from their country of origin and country of residence.
     
  7. The residential property that will be used as the investment, for the submission of the application, will be declared as the permanent residence of the family. This property must have sufficient bedrooms to satisfy the needs of the main applicant and his/her dependent family.
     
  8. As dependent family members, the main applicant can include only his/her spouse, minor children and adult children up to the age of 25 who are university students financially dependent to the main applicant. No parents nor parents-in-law are accepted as dependent family members.

Processing Times

The Cypriot Ministry of Interior strives to finalize complete applications within a 60-90 day time frame. Although some delays are currently being observed, the processing times are expected to normalize around September of 2023. The current processing times stand at 4-5 months. 
 

Old Criteria For Permanent Residence in Cyprus (Amended on May 2, 2023)

Cyprus offers Permanent Residence to non-EU nationals who invest in real estate or other assets

  1. 1. The fast-track route to Permanent Residence in pursuance of the provisions of  Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, of Cyprus, where a purchase of a brand new residential property at Euro 300,000- is one of the main requirements along with steady annual income that is adequate to sustain the applicant and all his dependents. As of April 7, 2021, the fast track option no longer requires the fixed deposit of Euro30,000 in a Cypriot bank account. Moreover, additional investment options where created.
  2. Category F, under Regulation 5 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulation is a slower route that ends up with Permanent Residence where the investment in residential properties can be less than Euro 300,000- and where steady income is demonstrated by the applicant.
  3. Investment in Commercial Properties (New or re-sale); Investors may now purchase commercial properties for the value of Euro300,000 or more in order to qualify for the expedited Permanent Residence option. 
  4. Investment in share capital of a Cypriot Company with activities and staff in Cyprus of at least EUR 300,000.
  5. Investment in shares of a Cypriot Undertaking for Collective Investments (such as AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF) of at least EUR 300,000.

For the fast-track procedure, the Real estate purchased should be for the value of Euro 300,000 plus VAT. As for the F Category, the law has not set a minimum for the purchase, but any investment above the Euro 150,000 would enhance the chances of approval on this discretionary influenced type of applications.

Each real estate transaction bears a V.A.T of 19% for new properties.

The difference between the two routes is the speed at which the residency in Cyprus is attained. The Euro 300,000 purchase is fairly expected to cause a residence permit within 60-90 days, whilst the Euro 150,000 purchase, is expected to take up-to14 months.

Transfer Taxes and VAT

  • New Properties bear 19% VAT (right to apply for 5% on the first residential property in Cyprus) and no transfer fees are payable.
  •  Resale Properties bear no VAT but bear transfer fees.

Transfer Fee is calculated as follows: 

  1. Up to €85,000 of the property value= 3%
  2. From €85,001 to €170,000 of the property value = 5%
  3. From €170,001 of the property value = 8%

An example: 

The purchaser bought a unit for €300,000. The total amount for title deed will be the following:

€85,000 x 3% + €85,000 x 5% + €130,000 x 8% =

€17,200

Transfer fee: €17,200

Read More