Criteria for granting an Immigration Permit within the scope of the expedited procedure to applicants who are third country nationals and invest in Cyprus
4th Revision, May 2023
1.1 In accordance with the stipulations outlined in Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, the Minister of Interior, following notification to the Council of Ministers, has opted to grant Immigration Permits to third-country applicants when their investments align with the prerequisites delineated in this policy.
1.2 To qualify, applicants must satisfy one of the investment criteria and meet the quality standards specified below.
It is imperative to establish that the funds earmarked for the investment have been demonstrably transferred to Cyprus from overseas, originating either from the applicant’s or their spouse’s bank account, particularly when the spouse is included as a dependent in the application. The investment sum should be remitted from the applicant’s bank account to the seller’s account held at a Cyprus financial institution.
2 Investment Criteria
2.1 The applicant is required to commit a minimum of €300,000 to one of the following investment categories:
2.2 Property Investment:
The acquisition of a house or apartment from a development company, with a stipulated minimum value of €300,000 (plus VAT), and it must constitute the initial sale.
2.3 Real Estate Investment (Excluding Residential Property):
The procurement of various forms of real estate such as office spaces, commercial establishments, hotels, or related property developments, either individually or in combination, with a combined value of €300,000. These acquisitions may include resale properties.
2.4 Investment in Cyprus Company Share Capital, Conducting Business Activities in Cyprus:
An initial capital investment of €300,000 in the share capital of a newly registered company in the Republic of Cyprus or an augmentation of the share capital by €300,000 for an existing company registered in the Republic of Cyprus. These companies should be based and operational within the Republic of Cyprus, with a substantiated physical presence and a workforce of no less than five (5) employees.
2.5 Investment in Units of Cyprus Investment Organization for Collective Investments (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF Forms):
A financial investment totalling €300,000 in units offered by the Cyprus Investment Organization for Collective Investments, with the requirement that these investments be held within the territory of the Republic of Cyprus.
It is imperative to emphasize that any disposition or divestment of the investment made by the holder of the Immigration Permit, without its immediate substitution with another investment of equivalent or superior value that complies with the conditions delineated in this procedure, will lead to the revocation of the Immigration Permit in accordance with the provisions set forth in Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
Above, must be capable of substantiating a stable annual personal income of at least €50,000. This annual income threshold escalates by €15,000 when considering the spouse and by €10,000 for each dependent minor child of either the applicant or the applicant’s spouse. This income should originate from overseas and may encompass earnings such as salaries, pensions, stock dividends, bank interest, rental income, among others. Verification of this income can solely be established through a tax return declaration from the applicant’s declared country of tax residence. This requirement applies when the applicant opts for investment as outlined in Section 2.1 (A). In the computation of the total income, the spouse’s income may also be taken into consideration.
In scenarios where the applicant selects investments in Sections 2.1 (B), 2 (C), or 2.1 (D), part or all of the total income may also be derived from activities conducted within the Republic of Cyprus.
3 Quality Criteria
3.1 Both the applicant and their spouse are required to furnish a clean criminal record certificate issued by their country of origin and, if applicable, from their country of residence if it differs from their origin. Additionally, they should not pose any threat to public order or public security in Cyprus in any manner.
3.2 The applicant and their dependent family members must submit a health insurance policy certificate that covers both inpatient and outpatient medical care.
3.3. The applicant and their spouse must confirm that they do not intend to engage in any form of employment within the Republic of Cyprus, except for positions as Directors in a company in which they have chosen to invest under the framework of this policy.
3.4. In cases where the investment does not involve the share capital of a company, the applicant and/or their spouse are permitted to be shareholders in companies registered in Cyprus. Income derived from dividends from such companies will not be considered an impediment to obtaining the Immigration Permit. Furthermore, they may also hold the position of an unpaid Director in these companies.
3.5. For applicants opting to invest as outlined in Paragraphs 2.1.(B), 2.1.(C), or 2.1.(D), they must provide evidence of accommodation within the Republic. This evidence can include documentation such as property title deeds, sales contracts with proof of payment, or rental agreements.
In instances where the applicant selects investment as specified in Paragraph 2.1.(A), but the number of bedrooms in the investment property cannot adequately accommodate the needs of their dependent family members, they should identify an alternative property or properties that will serve as the residence for these individuals. This alternative accommodation can be substantiated with documents such as property title deeds, sales contracts with proof of payment, or rental agreements.
4 Legal Elements
- Investing in a House/Apartment or Other Real Estate:
To apply, the applicant must submit the title deed or a sales contract in their name and/or their spouse’s name, officially registered at the Department of Lands and Surveys, for a house or any other real estate.
The total market value must be at least €300,000 (plus VAT if applicable), and official payment receipts should confirm payments of at least €300,000 (excluding VAT), regardless of the property’s delivery date.
Proof of the investment funds originating from abroad, not as a result of domestic borrowing (e.g., remittances, foreign card payment receipts, bank certificates), must be provided upon application. The remaining investment balance must be repaid to the seller’s account at a Cyprus financial institution.
Real estate purchases can also be accepted in the name of a legal entity, provided that the applicant and/or the spouse are the sole shareholders or ultimate beneficial owners of this legal entity. The legal entity must be legally established in the Republic or in another European Union or European Economic Area member state.
Specifically regarding the purchase of houses/apartments, it is specified that:
(a) The applicant or couple may purchase up to two housing units (apartments or houses), as long as the total market value meets the requirements stated in Paragraph 4 above.
(b) The purchase must involve dwellings sold for the first time by a development company unless the purchase occurred before 07/05/2013. Sale contracts related to the resale of dwellings submitted to the Department of Lands and Surveys before 07/05/2013 will be accepted for this policy, confirmed by the department’s records.
Properties do not need to be purchased from the same development company.
If the sale contract or property title is issued more than one year after the application submission date, the applicant must include a recent Search Certificate of Immovable Property from the Department of Lands and Surveys.
If the sales document or property title is issued more than one year from the application submission date, the applicant must provide a recent Real Estate Survey Certificate from the Land Registry Department.
4.1. Investment in Cyprus Company’s Share Capital with Business Activities in the Republic:
For this policy, the applicant must invest a minimum value of €300,000, ensure the company is physically present in the Republic, and employ at least five (5) people. Required documents include:
Shareholders Certificate and Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver.
A business profile of the company, including its business objectives.
Proof of payment (e.g., remittances).
Evidence of the personnel employed by the company issued by the Social Insurance Services.
4.2. Investment in Units of a Cyprus Investment Organization of Collective Investments (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF):
For this policy, the applicant must invest a minimum value of €300,000 in investment units and submit the following documents:
- Titles or other proof of purchased units.
- Proof of payment (e.g., remittances).
- Confirmation by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) regarding the establishment of the Fund.
- The Memorandum of the Fund or Investment Fund.
5 Dependent Persons
- The Immigration Permit is issued to the applicant and covers the applicant’s spouse and their children under the age of 18 as dependent persons.
Two separate Immigration Permits may be granted to each spouse, if desired, provided that a separate application is submitted, and the relevant fee is paid. The other spouse is not required to meet the criteria of this policy separately.
It’s important to note that if, for any reason, the Immigration Permit granted to the investor is cancelled, this will also result in the cancellation of the spouse’s Permit, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
5.1. Unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 25, who can demonstrate that they are students pursuing tertiary education abroad at the time of application and are financially dependent on the applicant, have the option to submit their own separate application for a temporary residence permit in Cyprus. For an Immigration Permit, along with the payment of the relevant fee. In such cases, either the father, mother, or both parents jointly must demonstrate an additional annual income of €10,000 for each such dependent child.
If these children intend to study at an Institution of Tertiary Education in the Republic of Cyprus, they must apply through the institution for a temporary residence permit in the Republic as students, following the provisions of the relevant legislation (EU Directive). After completing their studies in the Republic, they can apply for their own Immigration Permit separately, regardless of their age, provided that their parents present an additional annual income of €10,000 for each such child.
The mentioned Permit remains valid even if the holders have surpassed the age of 25 and no longer remain unmarried, students, or financially dependent on their parents. However, future spouses or underage children cannot be included as dependent persons on this Permit. It’s crucial to mention that if, for any reason, the Immigration Permit granted to the investor or parent is cancelled, this will also result in the cancellation of the child’s Permit, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
6 Higher Value Investment for Including Adult Children
An Immigration Permit can also be extended to the adult children of the applicant who are over the age of 18 and are not financially dependent on the applicant. However, this extension is subject to the provisions outlined in Paragraph 2 as described below:
The market value of the €300,000 investment should be multiplied by the number of adult children seeking to leverage the same investment for the purpose of obtaining an Immigration Permit. For example, if the applicant has one adult child, they should make an investment worth €600,000; if they have two adult children, the investment value should amount to €900,000, and so on.
In cases where the investment involves the purchase of real estate, as defined in Paragraphs 2.1.(A) and 2.1.(B), proof of payment of at least 66% of the market value of the real estate must be submitted with the application.
In such instances, each adult child must demonstrate that they have an annual income of at least €50,000 at their disposal. This income requirement increases by €15,000 for the spouse of the adult child and by €10,000 for each dependent underage child, as specified in Paragraph 2.2. Additionally, the investment can be made either jointly in the name of the applicant and the adult child or solely in the name of the applicant.
It’s important to note that if the investment property does not have a sufficient number of bedrooms to accommodate the dependent members of the investor’s family, the investor must identify another property or properties that will serve as the residence for these individuals. Evidence of ownership or a sales contract and proof of payment for the property or rental agreement must be provided in such cases.
7 Application and examination procedure
To initiate the application process for an Immigration Permit, applicants are required to follow the procedure outlined below:
Applications, along with all the necessary supporting documents, must be submitted either in person at the Civil Registry and Migration Department or through an authorized representative. Appointments for submission can be arranged through the specified channels. A fee of €500 is applicable upon submission of the application, and an additional fee of €70 is charged for each person included in the application to cover the issuance of the Alien Registration Certificate (ARC), if it is not already in possession.
In cases where applications are submitted through authorized representatives, it is mandatory to provide a certified authorization letter. This letter should be signed by the applicant and must contain detailed information, including the representative’s particulars, full address, and contact number.
The CRMD will expedite the handling of the application, and it will subsequently be forwarded to the Minister of Interior through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior for further review and decision.
8 Time Schedules
The processing time for the application, starting from the date of submission of a complete application, is expected to be approximately two (2) months. This estimation assumes that all the policy criteria are met and that there are no issues related to the applicant’s criminal record, public order, or public security that require further examination.
During this period, the application will be thoroughly reviewed, and a decision regarding the issuance of the Immigration Permit will be made by the Minister of Interior. It’s important to note that meeting all the stipulated criteria and providing the required documentation in a timely and accurate manner can contribute to a smoother and more efficient processing of the application.
9 Application forms
To apply for an Immigration Permit within the scope of this policy, you can find the necessary on the Civil Registry and Migration Department’s website. These forms include:
This form is the main application document that you need to complete and submit to initiate the Immigration Permit application process.
Checklist of documents submitted with the application: This checklist helps ensure that you include all the required documents along with your application, helping to streamline the processing of your request.
Checklist of documents submitted together with the application for children who are students abroad: If you are applying for dependent children who are students abroad, this checklist will help you provide the necessary documents for their application.
Affidavit or Official Statement for the annual income of the applicant: This document is used to declare and provide evidence of the applicant’s annual income, which is a crucial criterion for obtaining the permit.
However, the legal department team, led by Chris Michael Property Group would be happy to assist you.
10 Monitoring mechanism for the adherence to the criteria and maintaining the investment.
Once you obtain the Immigration Permit, you are required to adhere to certain ongoing obligations and provide annual updates to the Civil Registry and Migration Department. Here are the key monitoring mechanisms and requirements:
Maintenance of Investment: You must annually provide evidence that you are maintaining the investment that was the basis for obtaining the Immigration Permit. This ensures that you continue to meet the investment criteria outlined in the policy.
Income Requirements: Annually, you are obligated to prove that you and your family maintain the required annual income as specified in the policy. This income should be from legitimate sources abroad and must be at or above the minimum thresholds.
Health Insurance: If you are no longer benefiting from the General Healthcare System of Cyprus (GESY), you must provide proof of holding a health insurance policy certificate. This ensures that you have access to medical care in Cyprus.
Clean Criminal Record Certificate: You and your family members (including adult family members) must annually provide a clean criminal record certificate from your country of origin and your country of residence. This requirement helps ensure that you do not pose a threat to public order or security in Cyprus.
Failure to provide the required annual updates and evidence as mentioned above can result in the cancellation of your Immigration Permit, as per the provisions outlined in Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations. It’s essential to stay compliant with these ongoing obligations to maintain your Immigration Permit status.
Additional information and clarifications
This document provides important clarifications and additional information regarding the 4th revision of the criteria for granting an Immigration Permit within the expedited procedure to third-country nationals investing in Cyprus, which came into effect on 02/05/2023. Here are the key points clarified:
- Funds used for the investment can also be transferred to Cyprus from a company’s bank account, provided that the applicant and/or their spouse are the sole shareholders of the company. In this case, the shareholder should be included in the application.
- The investment amount should still be paid into the seller’s account at a Cypriot financial institution.
- The annual income of the applicant can be proven either through their tax return declaration from the country where they declare tax residency or through official certificates from an independent Certified Accountant.
- The requirement for annual submission of proof that the applicant maintains the specified income for themselves and their family members is abolished.
- The applicant and adult family members are now obliged to submit a clean criminal record certificate from their country of origin and residence every three years, instead of annually.
- The requirement for the applicant and their family members to hold a health insurance certificate in case they are no longer beneficiaries of GESY remains valid.
Duration of Immigration Permit:
The residence right granted by these permits is of unlimited validity for the holder and their adult dependents.
However, the residence permit card issued with an expiry date is valid for ten years from the date of issuance and must be replaced upon expiry.
Residence permits issued to underage dependents are valid until they reach the age of 18.
Loss of Permanent Residence Right:
An Immigration Permit will cease to be valid if the applicant and their dependents acquire permanent residence in another country or are absent from Cyprus for a continuous period of two years.
These clarifications provide a more detailed understanding of the requirements and conditions associated with the Immigration Permit within the scope of the expedited procedure in Cyprus. It’s crucial for applicants to adhere to these guidelines to maintain their immigration status in the country.