Cyprus Citizenship, residence and working permits
Fidescorp’s dedicated team, in cooperation with our global partners, provides a complete guide and a full range of immigration services for the Cyprus Permanent Residency and citizenship by investment programs, as well as for a number of other jurisdictions including Greece, Portugal, Spain, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Hungary, Austria, Malta, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Canada, UK and the US.
We navigate you through the complex procedures and we gained the expertise to eliminate the hassle of paperwork, with all immigration authorities, so you can stay concentrated on you core business. We process your applications smoothly, avoiding any unpleasant surprises.
Key Immigration Services:
- Cyprus Permanent Residency
- Cypriot citizenship applications - Citizenship by investment programs
- Immigration services for other jurisdictions
a. Cyprus Permanent Residency
Cyprus provides a very simplified scheme for 3rd country nationals that wish to obtain a Permanent Residence Permit in Cyprus. The Aliens and Immigration Regulations of 1972 outline the Categories under which the third country national may apply for an Immigration Permit. There are two ways to obtain a Cyprus permanent residence:
- Fast Track Procedure (Regulation 6(2)): within 2 months
- Category F (Regulation 5(f)): within 5- 12 months
The Cyprus Permanent Residence permit is granted to the applicant and his spouse and to their minor children up until the age of 18 years old (in some exceptions till the age of 25 years old) for life. The holders of this permit are not allowed to work in Cyprus, but they can own a business in Cyprus from which they will be receiving dividends.
The permit is revoked when the holder is granted permanent residence in another country and/or when he/she did not visit Cyprus for a period longer than 2 years continuously.
Under this procedure, the applicant must:
- Purchase one or more new residential (or combination) property(ies) of at a value of at least €300,000 (not including VAT)
- At least €200,000 (not including VAT) should be paid to the Vendor
- Proofs of transfer of €200,000 (not including VAT) from abroad must be provided
- The contract of sale must be deposited at the relevant District Land Registry
- Maintain a bank deposit of €30,000 in a Cypriot Bank, blocked at least for 3 years. It must be proven that €30,000 was transferred to Cyprus from abroad.
- The applicant should be able to prove at least €30,000 of annual income for himself and an additional €5,000 for each dependent family member (such income must be sourced from abroad)
- The applicant, his spouse and children from 16 years old should have and provide clean criminal record from the country of their origin. The period of validity of this document is three months.
Under the decision of the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Cyprus, dated on 07/05/2009, when a non EU Member buys a residence in Cyprus for himself and his family worth €300.000 or more, his application for Permanent Residence, Category F will be examined favourably.
This type of permit is granted to those 3rd country nationals, who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income of a minimum of €9,568.17 for a single applicant and €4,613.22 for every dependent person. The Civil Registry and Migration Department reserves the right to demand additional amounts.
Moreover, the Immigration Authorities will examine the stability and reliability of annual income during a long period of time.
Key Benefits of Cyprus Permanent Residence
- Excellent prospects for the future as Cyprus will soon enter the Schengen Zone of Europe allowing all Cyprus Permanent Residence holders to travel freely through Europe. At the moment it is very easy to receive a Schengen Visa once you have Cyprus Permanent Residence, the whole process takes approximately 30 minutes and the visa is valid for up to 2 years.
- Cyprus Permanent Residence holders have a right to much lower tuition costs in European countries because they are considered Permanent Residents of a European country.
- Children of Cyprus Permanent Residence holders are considered Chinese of Diaspora and are accepted into Chinese universities with lower credits.
- Cyprus Permanent Residence applies to the wife and husband as well as all children under the age of 18. However if the children are over 18 they are also allowed to reside in Cyprus under the Family Reunification Act.
- Freehold Property
- No inheritance tax
- One of the lowest property taxes in the world
b. Cypriot Citizenship by investment: Updated criteria
On the 13th of September 2016 the Cypriot government amended the criteria which must be met by investors who wish to apply for Cypriot citizenship.
All third country (i.e. non-EU) nationals are eligible to obtain full Cypriot citizenship, provided they meet the criteria of the citizenship program. A Cypriot passport is an EU passport and its holder may benefit from the internal market, the opportunities and the stability of the European Union.
The applicant, if successful, will be able to transfer capital from any EU Member State to another, purchase property or invest in any activities of his/her choice. Furthermore, by holding a Cypriot passport, the applicant and his family may enter, reside, study and work in the European Economic Area (European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) & Switzerland without a visa. They also enjoy free access to the EU healthcare systems as well as European schools and universities.
The program’s benefits are particularly appealing for foreign investors as they entitle them to the following:
- Cyprus passport is an EU passport. The investor and his family can freely reside, work, study, have business in any of the EU-member states as well as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
- Holder of Cyprus passport can travel visa-free in 157 countries.
- Dual-citizenship is permitted. The investor may retain the citizenship of his/her country of origin.
- There is no requirement of physical residence in the country during or after the application procedure is initiated.
- Minimum investment required is €2 million (excluding VAT where VAT is applicable).
- No donation to the Cyprus government required.
- No language proficiency test is required.
- Right to own property in an EU member state.
- Fully transparent, fairly simple and fast procedure.
The application for Cyprus Citizenship by Investment and Cyprus Residence Permit is submitted to the Ministry of Interior with original supporting documentation and by paying part (1/3rd) of the relevant fees. All the documents issued by a foreign authority should be translated either in Greek or in English and be duly authenticated.
If the Investor meets the criteria and conditions set out above, the application is submitted by the Ministry of Interior to the Council of Ministers for approval.
Once the application is approved, the Civil Registry and Migration Department issues the Certificate of Naturalisation, following payment of the remaining fees.
The average time for the completion of the process is approximately 3 months from the date of submission. It should be noted that the application submission date is the date on which the submission fees were paid.
The Council of Ministers has complete discretion to approve or reject a Citizenship Application.
It is also noteworthy that the Cypriot citizenship scheme does not require any mandatory donation to the State.
The following documents are required to prove compliance with the specified criteria of the citizenship program:
- Certificate of Clean Criminal Record from the country of origin and the country of residence (if it differs).
- For the permanent residence property and any other real estate, land development or infrastructure projects investments in the Republic of Cyprus: (a) Contract of Sale, (b) Title Deeds/ Receipt for lodging the contract with the Lands and Surveys Department,(c) Receipts for paying the agreed purchase price and (d) Copy of the wire transfer in the Cypriot commercial banking institution in the name of the seller or the seller’s company.
To maintain the citizenship, the investor must always keep in his possession a real estate property with a minimum value of €500,000 which will be declared as his ‘permanent residence’ whereas the remaining investment may be sold after the lapse of a three-year period.
The investor may still generate income from the ‘permanent residence’ investment by leasing the property if he/she does not wish to physically reside there. The residential property must always be kept as ‘permanent residence’ or, if sold, it must be replaced with an another residential property of equal or greater value.
- Fidescorp provides Immigration services for other jurisdictions, including:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Kitts & Nevis
- Hong Kong
Contact Mr. Savvas Poyiadjis click here