On 21 April 2023, pursuant to Regulation 6(2) of the Alien and Immigration Regulations the Cyprus’ Council of Ministers revised the investment scheme for residents of third countries i.e. to non-EU nationals who wish to obtain a permanent residency permit in Cyprus, provided they meet certain financial and other criteria.

Even though the Cyprus Government, by revising the criteria for the permanent residency permit of third country nationals, has made the said criteria stricter in order to rectify some of the observed weaknesses of the scheme, the aim of the scheme remains to boost Cyprus’ economy and growth through attracting reliable third country investors who wish to permanently reside in the island.

Thus, for those foreign investors who are looking for an appealing tax regime for their businesses, a high quality and safe life for their families and a warm and sunny environment, Cyprus remains an attractive destination.

The revised criteria for the granting of permanent residence permit to third country nationals came into force on 2 May 20231.

We set out below the criteria for obtaining a permanent residence permit by investment as of 2 May 2023.

Financial criteria

    1. Regarding the funds which shall be used for the investment, it is provided that they must originate from abroad, from a bank account of the same applicant/investor or/and his/her spouse if he/she will be included as a dependent in his application. The amount of the investment shall be paid from the bank account of the applicant to the account of the seller in a financial institution in Cyprus.
    2. The applicant must make an investment of at least EURO 300,000 in one of the following:
      1. Investment in a house/apartment sold by a land development company of a minimum value of EURO 300,000 (plus V.A.T.). Such investment must be a house/apartment which is sold for the first time and not resale, unless the purchase occurred prior to 7 May 2013.
      2. Investment in immovable property (excluding house/apartment) such as offices, shops, hotels or any similar nature developments or combination of such, of a total amount of EURO 300,000. In these cases, it is permitted for the investment to be in a resale
      3. Investment in the share capital of a Cyprus company with activities and personnel in Cyprus. For the said category, the investment may be an initial investment in the share capital of a new company incorporated in Cyprus for EURO 300,000 or an increase of the share capital, worth of EURO 300,000, in an already established Cyprus company which is registered and operates in Cyprus, has proven physical presence in Cyprus and employs at least five (5) people.
      4. Investment in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (such as AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF) of EURO 300,000, noting that the units invested in must related to investments within Cyprus.
    1. In addition to one of the above investments, the applicant must be able to prove that he/she has in his/her capacity secure personal annual income of an amount of at least EURO 50,000. The level of the annual income required is increased by EURO 15,000 for the spouse and EURO 10,000 for any dependent child (i.e. under the age of 18) of the applicant and his/her spouse.The said income may originate from salaries, pensions, dividends, interest on deposits, rents etc.It is noted that when the applicant invests in option (A) above, then his/her income should solely derive from abroad and proof of income is necessary in the form of tax declarations from the country where the applicant is a tax resident. In calculating the total income amount, the income of the applicant’s spouse may also be considered.In case where the applicant invests in options (B), (C) or (D) above, then the total income or part of it may originate from sources either abroad or within the Republic of Cyprus as well, provided he is being taxed in Cyprus.
    1. In relation to the investment in a house/apartment or other properties it is noted that the purchase of a property shall be acceptable for the purposes of the said scheme, even if it is made from a legal entity where the applicant or/and his/her spouse are the sole shareholders or ultimate beneficial owners and such legal entity is situated legally in the Republic of Cyprus or in any other member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area.
    1. It is noted that in case where the investor may, following the obtainment of a permanent residence permit, alienate his investment without substituting it with another of the same or higher value, which also fulfils the said criteria, then the permit shall be cancelled by the relevant authorities as provided in the Alien and Immigration Regulations.

Quality criteria

  1. The applicant and his/her spouse must submit to the authorities a clean criminal record from the country of origin and from the country of residence, in case it differs, and in general the applicant should not constitute in any way threat to the public order or to the public safety.
  2. The applicant and the dependent members of his family must present a Certificate of Health Insurance for medical care covering inpatient and outpatient care.
  3. The applicant and his/her spouse shall confirm that they do not indent to be employed in the Republic of Cyprus except their occupation as Directors in the company in which they have chosen to invest in relation to the said scheme.
  4. In case the investment does not relate with the investment in the share capital of a company, the applicant and his/her spouse may be shareholders in companies registered in Cyprus and the income from the dividends from such companies shall not be considered as an obstacle for the purposes of attaining their permit. Further, they may hold the position of the Director without payment, in such companies.
  5. In case where the applicant decides to make an investment as prescribed in (B), (C) or (D) above, he/she must submit evidence in relation to his/her place of residence and of the members of his/her family within Cyprus (e.g., title deed, sale and purchase agreement, rental agreement).

Further, in case where the applicant decides to invest in a house/apartment, but the number of the bedrooms do not satisfy the needs of his dependent family members, the applicant should indicate another property or properties which shall constitute the place of residence of these and submit the relevant evidence.

Dependent members of the applicant’s family

Upon successful examination of the applicant’s application, the permit is provided to the applicant. Such permit includes dependent children.

For children of age 18-25, only when these are proven students of higher education abroad at the date of submitting the application and that are financially dependent on the applicant, they may submit their own, a separate application by paying the corresponding fee. In such case, the father, or the mother or both parents together shall show evidence of an additional annual income of EURO 10,000 for each such dependent person.

If the children are students in educational institutions of the Republic of Cyprus, they should apply for a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus in their capacity as students based on the relevant legislation. After completing their studies in Cyprus, they will be able to submit their own application for a permit, as mentioned above, by paying the corresponding fee, regardless of their age, with the only condition that the parents will show evidence of an additional annual income of EURO 10,000.

The said permit will continue to be valid even after reaching the age of 25. It is understood that the spouse and their minor children cannot be included as dependents in the said permit. It is also understood that in the event that in the event the permit granted to the investor / parent is canceled for any reason, it will entail activation of the permit cancellation process for that child, based on the provisions of the relevant regulations.

Higher investment for adult children

It is possible to acquire a permit for adult children of the applicant who are not financially dependent on the applicant, provided that an investment of higher value is made. In such case, the amount of the investment is multiplied by analogy to the number of the adult children which may recall the same investment for the purposes of attaining such permit.

For example, in case where the applicant has one adult child, the investment must be EURO 600,000, for two children EURO 900,000 etc.

Continued obligations following the granting of the permanent residency permit

Following the granting of the permit, the applicant is required to submit to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, on an annual basis from the date of obtaining the permit, evidence that:

      • he maintains the investment,
      • he maintains the required income determined for him and his family and
      • he and his family members are holders of a Health Insurance Certificate, in case they do not continue to be beneficiaries of the GHS.

In addition to the above, the applicant and his adult family members are required to provide on an annual basis, a certificate of a clean criminal record from their country of origin, as well as from their country of residence.

In case the applicant fails to provide the above, then he/she and his/her dependents’ residence permits shall be cancelled.

Other General Information

The application is submitted to the relevant Civil Registry and Migration Department personally or through an agent upon setting a meeting.

The application fee is EURO 500 plus EURO 70 for any person included in the application.

The relevant authority advises that, provided that all the relevant criteria are met and there is no other reason to delay the procedure, the examination of the application may take approximately up to two (2) months.

The right of residence which is granted, upon successful application, to the investor and his adult dependent children is of unlimited duration. However, the residence permit has an expiration date in 10 years from its issuance and must be replaced upon expiry. The residence permit issued to the minor dependent members of his family is valid until they reach the age of 18 years old.

For further information or advice contact our team at info@papakyriacoulaw.com

[1] Those who have deposited a sale and purchase agreement to the Department of Lands and Surveys between 02/01/2023 to 28/04/2023, they may proceed with their application based on the criteria that applied as of 24/03/2021.