The permanent residency program in Cyprus

The permanent residency program offers to non-EU nationals the right of residency in Cyprus with a single real estate investment (up to two properties) worth of at least € 300.000 (excluding VAT).

This residency right applies to the investor, his spouse and dependents children up to age of 25.

The process is very straightforward and has a 100% approval rate. The requirements are very simple (no language proficiency, education certificates and medical examination) and the residency permit is guaranteed to be issued within 2 months.

The permit is valid for life, with no renewal requirements. However, a single day visit, once every two years, is mandatory.

To obtain the residency permit the applicant must submit an application form accompanied with a contract of sale and proof of payment of at least € 200.000 (excluding VAT).

The property can also be registered under a company name (provided that the company is incorporated in the name of the applicant and/or the applicant and spouse, and that he/they are the sole shareholders). Additionally, the contract of sale must have been submitted to the Cyprus Department of Land and Surveys. As said the applicant may purchase up to 2 residential properties (apartments or houses), or one residential unit and one shop (with a maximum area of 100 sqm), or one housing unit and one office (with a maximum area of 250 sqm), provided that the combined value exceeds € 300,000.

From May 2013, the Government has stipulated that only new properties purchased directly from a developer who qualifies for this scheme. Additionally, the units should be purchased from the same developer.

The applicant must provide a declaration with supporting documentation of a minimum annual income of € 30.000 from a legitimate source, deriving from outside Cyprus, and an additional € 5.000 per dependent, and € 8.000 per dependent parent/parent in-law. The annual income of the spouse can be counted for the purposes of reaching this threshold. A statement of deposit must be also provided showing a € 30.000 minimum deposit in a Cypriot bank account opened under the name of the applicant, which will be blocked for a period of 3 years. These funds will be released without any restriction upon the expiration of such period.

The applicant must also provide an official statement, confirming that he does not intend to work in Cyprus. However, the applicant is entitled to be a shareholder and receive income from the dividends of a company registered in Cyprus without affecting their application or permit.

A criminal record certificate (issued from the country of origin), health insurance policy, marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates (if applicable), curriculum vitae and copy of passport (valid for at least 2 years) are also required.

Permanent residency status allows the investor and his family to freely live in Cyprus or to remain in his home country and use the residency permit whenever need it. As said, permit holders also have the right to setup a Cyprus company, thus benefitting from the Cyprus’ excellent business environment and tax advantages. The island offers excellent education opportunities, which enable your children to access the best universities, and first-class healthcare too.

Cyprus is also a perfect base for travelling throughout Europe with its excellent flight connections and visas are very easy and quick to obtain. A permit holder can obtain a Schengen visa within just one week, and travel will become even easier when Cyprus will join the Schengen area.

Moreover, upgrading the residency permit to a long-term residency status is an attractive option for all non-EU nationals that have resided in Cyprus for over five years. Current requirement is that the applicant must not have been absent for more than six consecutive months within the five-year period.

Permanent residents can also gain access to Cypriot citizenship after seven years, in accordance with current legal provisions, and become an EU citizen. An EU citizen is free to live, work, travel, receive healthcare or pursue education anywhere within the EU, with Cypriot passport holders being able to travel visa free to an extensive list of countries.

Obtaining permanent residency and eventually long-term residency or EU citizenship offers a great opportunity to yourself and your family.

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