Cyprus Residency through investment in 2023
Updated: June 12, 2023
The Cyprus Residency by Investment program enables successful applicants and their families to obtain an unrestricted Cyprus immigration permit within two months. After residing in the country for five years with this permit, investors can apply for Cyprus citizenship.
In 2023, applicants can acquire permanent residence in Cyprus by investing a minimum of €300,000 in real estate or securities and demonstrating an annual income of €50,000. If the investment is in residential property, the entire income must come from abroad. However, for other investment options, a portion or all of the income can also be sourced within Cyprus.
The program underwent recent updates on May 2, 2023. These updates include an increase in the required annual income, exclusion of the applicant’s parents and parents-in-law from acquiring residence together, and other changes. The new and updated requirements are detailed below.
Characteristics and advantages
The Cyprus investment visa offers the following benefits:
- Unrestricted entry and residence in Cyprus
- Eligibility for the applicant’s spouse and dependent children
- Access to healthcare through the General Healthcare System
- Limited work rights, primarily for investing in company shares as directors
- Appointment of the applicant and/or spouse as unsalaried directors of companies
Requirements for obtaining Cyprus residency through investment
In 2023, the following criteria apply to investors seeking Cyprus residency:
1. Minimum investment of €300,000 in one of the following categories:
- Purchase of a new residential property: This can be a house or apartment worth at least €300,000 plus VAT. The investment can also comprise two properties, purchased from different development companies, totaling the required amount. Off-plan properties are also included, regardless of the delivery date. If the applicant and spouse purchase jointly, the minimum amount applies to both individuals.
- Acquisition of commercial properties: This includes offices, shops, hotels, or related developments, which can also be a combination of these. Resale or used properties are also eligible.
- Investment in a Cyprus company’s share capital: This involves purchasing shares or establishing a Cyprus-based company and investing in its share capital. The company must have a physical presence and a minimum of five employees in the Republic of Cyprus.
- Investment in units of a Cyprus Investment Organization of Collective Investments (e.g., AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF): This entails purchasing units in any of the mentioned investment forms.
2. Income criteria:
- The applicant must demonstrate an annual income of at least €50,000.
- An additional €15,000 is required for the spouse, and €10,000 for each dependent child.
- The spouse’s income can be included in the calculation.
- When choosing the residential property option, the applicant’s income must be entirely from abroad.
- For other investment options (commercial real estate, company shares, or investment units), income can come from sources within Cyprus, provided it is taxed in the Republic.
- The applicant can include the following dependents in their application:
- Spouse and children up to 18 years old.
- Unmarried children between 18 and 25 years old who are university students. If they intend to study in Cyprus, they must initially apply for a student visa. Upon completing their studies, they can apply for an Immigration Permit, which remains valid beyond the age of 25. The parents must demonstrate an additional annual income of €10,000 for each such child.
- After residing in Cyprus for five years within a seven-year period with the Cyprus residency obtained through investment, the applicant can apply for citizenship.
- The applicant must spend a total of 1825 days (5×365) in Cyprus, with the requirement of continuous presence in the country during the final year before applying.
Schengen Area or Europe Visa-Free Travel
- Cyprus residency does not grant visa-free travel to any EU country or the Schengen zone, as Cyprus is not yet a member of the Schengen zone. However, Cyprus has applied for membership, and the application is currently under consideration.
- The permanent residency holder must personally visit Cyprus at least once every two years.
- Employment in Cyprus is not permitted, except as directors in a company invested in under this policy.
- Shareholders of registered companies in Cyprus can receive dividends and serve as directors without receiving a salary.
- The investment funds must be transferred from abroad to Cyprus.
- The application process takes approximately two months.
- The application fee is EUR 500, with an additional EUR 70 for each accompanying person.
- The final decision is made by the Minister of the Interior.
New annual obligations for verifying criteria
- Each year, applicants must provide confirmation to the Civil Registry and Migration Department that they meet the following criteria:
- Maintaining the initial investment
- Meeting the required annual income
- Holding a clean criminal record in their country of residence and origin
- Possessing health insurance if not covered by the General Health System (Gesy)
- Failure to submit or verify these documents may result in the withdrawal of the residence permit.
To apply for a Cyprus investment visa, the applicant must provide the following documents:
- Copy of the applicants’ passports
- CVs of the applicants
- Official and certified translation of the marriage certificate
- Official and certified translation of children’s birth certificates
- Criminal record certificate from the applicant’s country of residence, with official and certified translation
- A statement declaring that the applicant and spouse will not engage in paid work in Cyprus
- Tax statements from the applicant’s tax residence country to prove income, accompanied by a sworn statement (affidavit)
- Health insurance certificates for the applicant, spouse, and underage children if not covered by the General Health System (Gesy)
- Signed and certified authorization from a representative, if applicable
- For children aged 18-25, a university confirmation and additional documents listed on the moi.gov.cy Immigration Permits for Investors website
- For investment in a house/apartment or commercial properties: Contract of sale and proof of payment of at least €300,000
- For investment in a Cyprus company’s share capital: Share Purchase Agreement, Certificate of Shareholders and Incorporation, Business profile, and Social Insurance documents demonstrating the company’s employment of personnel
- For investment in units of a Cyprus Investment Organization (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF): Titles or other proof of purchased units, confirmation from CySec concerning the Fund, and the Memorandum for the Fund or Investment Plan
- Documents marked with (*) must be translated into English and carry the “APOSTILLE” stamp or be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and the Cyprus Embassy of that country.
Process for Cyprus Permanent Residency
- Gather the essential documents for the property purchase.
- Visit Cyprus to evaluate and select suitable real estate.
- Ensure a thorough security check of the property’s condition before finalizing the purchase.
- Submit an application for permanent residency to the Cyprus Immigration Department.
- Upon approval, visit Cyprus to provide biometric fingerprints and obtain a residency permit.
- Attain permanent residency.
Please note that immigration and residency programs can undergo changes in eligibility criteria, fees, and requirements. For the most up-to-date and accurate information on the Cyprus Permanent Residency Program, it is advisable to consult with professionals or refer to official government sources.
Costs for Cyprus Permanent Residency
To obtain permanent residency through an investment in Cyprus, the following costs are involved:
- 500 euros for the primary applicant, their spouse, and dependent children under 18 years old.
- 500 euros for each independent individual above 18 years old.
- Medical insurance fees of 170 euros per applicant and 255 euros per guardian over 65 years old.
- Property transfer fees, which vary based on whether the property is new or previously owned. Other fees may also apply.
Benefits of Cyprus Permanent Residency
- The Cyprus Permanent Residency Program provides several advantages for potential investors, including:
- Granting permanent European residency to all eligible family members.
- Facilitating the acquisition of a Schengen visa after securing Cypriot permanent residence.
- Offering tax exemptions and privileges.
- Offering a potential pathway to obtaining citizenship for residents, subject to specific conditions.
- Providing opportunities for a real estate investment with a favorable Return on Investment (ROI).
Do I have to live in Cyprus in order to maintain permanent residency status?
To maintain your permanent residency status in Cyprus, you are required to visit Cyprus at least once every 2 years. There is no specific minimum stay duration mandated for these visits. So, you don’t have to live in Cyprus permanently, but you must visit the country at least once every two years to retain your permanent residency status.
Can my spouse and children obtain a Cyprus permanent residency as well?
The applicant’s spouse and children under 18 years old can obtain permanent residency. Adult children up to the age of 26 can also apply if they are financially dependent on the applicant. (Other conditions apply if investing an amount less than 300,000 euros).
Your spouse and dependent children under 18 years old can qualify for permanent residency along with the primary applicant in the Cyprus Permanent Residency Program. Additionally, if you have adult children up to the age of 26 who are financially dependent on you, they may also be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
However, it’s important to note that if you are opting for the option with an investment amount less than 300,000 euros, there may be specific additional conditions or requirements that apply. It’s advisable to thoroughly review the program guidelines and consult with professionals or relevant authorities to ensure compliance with all eligibility criteria.
How long will it take to get permanent residency?
You can expect to receive permanent residency within a period of 4 months from the time you submit your application and the required documents to the immigration authorities.
Can I work in Cyprus during the permanent residency period?
You have the option to establish your own company, but you are not allowed to work as an employee for other companies.
When can I sell the real estate?
To maintain permanent residency, it’s necessary to retain ownership of the real estate throughout your lifetime.
For further information please contact Chris Michael.