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 LEGAL FRAMEWORK
1.1. In line with the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, the Minister of Interior, having notified the Council of Ministers, has decided to issue an Immigration Permit to third country applicants in cases of investments that meet the requirements of this policy.
The applicant must meet one of the investment criteria in Paragraph 2.1, as well as the quality criteria in Paragraph 3 below.
It is noted that the funds used for the investment must be proved to have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad, from the applicant’s or/and his/her spouses bank account, provided the spouse will be included as a dependent person in the application. The investment amount should be paid from the applicant's bank account to the seller's account in a Cyprus financial institution.
2 INVESTMENT CRITERIA
The applicant must invest at least
€300,000 in one of the following investment categories:
(A) Investment in a house/apartment:
Purchase of a house or apartment from a development company, which must be a first sale worth at least €300,000 (plus VAT).
(B) Investment in real estate (excluding houses/apartments):
Purchase of other types of real estate such as offices, shops, hotels or related estate developments, or a combination thereof, with a total value of €300,000. These purchases may result from a resale.
(C) Investment in Cyprus Company’s share capital, with business activities and personnel in the Republic:
An Initial investment worth €300,000 in the share capital of a newly registered company in the Republic of Cyprus or an increase in the share capital worth €300,000 of an existing company registered in the Republic of Cyprus, based and operating in the Republic of Cyprus and having a proven physical presence in Cyprus, and employing at least five (5) people.
(D) Investment in units of Cyprus Investment Organization of Collective Investments (forms of AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF):
Investment worth €300,000 in units of Cyprus Investment Organization Collective Investments, whose investments should be held in the Republic of Cyprus.
It is noted that any alienation of the holder of the Immigration Permit from the investment he/she has made without its immediate replacement with another of the same or greater value which must meet the conditions set out in the present procedure, will result in the cancellation of the Immigration Permit based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
The applicant should, in addition to the investment under Paragraph 2.1 above, be able to prove that he has at his disposal a personal secure annual income of at least €50,000. This annual income increases by €15,000 for his/her spouse and by €10,000 for each of his/her or his/her spouse’s dependent minor child. This income should derive from abroad and may include salaries or wages, pensions, dividends from shares, bank deposits interest, rents, etc., which can only be proved through a tax return declaration from the country he declares tax resident, in cases where the applicant chooses to invest as Section 2.1 (A). In calculating the total amount of income, the spouse’s income may also be taken into account.
In cases where the applicant chooses to invest as Sections 2.1.(B), 2.1.(C) or 2.1.(D), his total income or part of it may also come from sources coming from activities within the Republic.
3 QUALITY CRITERIA
The applicant and his/her spouse must provide a clean criminal record certificate from their country of origin and their country of residence, if different, and generally, they should not be pose a threat in any way to public order or public security in Cyprus.
The applicant and his/her dependent family members must submit a health insurance policy certificate for medical care covering inpatient and outpatient care.
The applicant and his/her spouse shall confirm that they do not intend to undertake any form of employment in the Republic, with the exception of their employment as Directors in a Company in which they have chosen to invest under this policy.
In cases where the investment does not concern the company's share capital, the applicant and/or his/her spouse are permitted to be shareholders in companies registered in Cyprus. The income from the dividends derived from such companies may not be considered as an obstacle for the purpose of obtaining the Immigration Permit. In such companies, they may also hold the position of an unpaid Director.
In cases where the applicant chooses to invest as per Paragraphs 2.1.(B), 2.1.(C) or 2.1.(D), he/she should provide evidence of accommodation in the Republic (e.g. title of ownership or contract of sale and proof of payment for the property or rental agreement).
In cases where the applicant chooses to invest as per Paragraph 2.1.(A), but the number of bedrooms of the investment property cannot satisfy the needs of the dependent members of his/her family, they should indicate another property or properties which will serve as the residence of these individuals (e.g. title of ownership or contract of sale and proof of payment for the property or rental agreement).
4 LEGAL ELEMENTS
4.1 Investing in a house/apartment or other real estate:
The applicant should submit, along with his/her application, the title deed or a sale contract in his/her name and/or the name of the spouse, which has been officially filed at the Department of Lands and Surveys for a house or any other real estate. The total market value of at least €300,000 (plus VAT, if applicable) and the official payment receipts should be at least €300,000 (excluding VAT), regardless of the property’s delivery date.
It is noted that upon submission of the application, evidence must be provided that the investment money has derived from abroad and is not the result of domestic borrowing (remittances, foreign card payment receipts, bank certificate) and should be linked to the corresponding investments. The remaining value of the investment should be repaid to the seller's account at a Cyprus financial institution.
It should be stressed that the real estate purchase will be accepted even when it is made in the name of a legal person, provided that the applicant and/or the spouse are the sole shareholders or the ultimate beneficial owners, and that this legal person is legally established in the Republic or in any other member state of the European Union or of the European Economic Area.
For the purpose of implementing the provisions of Paragraph 2 regarding the purchase of a house/apartment, it is specified that:
(a) The applicant may purchase up to two (2) housing units (apartments or houses), provided that the total market value meets the provisions of Paragraph 4.1 above. The above condition also applies to couples.
(b) The mentioned purchase must relate to dwellings sold for the first time by a development company, unless the purchase occurred before 07/05/2013. Sale contracts related to resale of dwellings and have been submitted to the Department of Lands and Surveys before 07/05/2013 (the date of filing of the sale contract will be confirmed by the said Department), will be accepted for the purposes of this policy.
It is noted that the properties do not need to be purchased from the same development company.
In cases where the sale contract has been signed or the title of ownership has been issued more than a year after the application’s submission, the applicant must include a recent Search Certificate of Immovable Property from the Department of Lands and Surveys in their application.
In cases where the sales document has been signed or the property title has been issued in a period that exceeds one year from the date of submission of the application, the applicant is required to submit with the application a recent Real Estate Survey Certificate from the Land Registry Department
4.2 Investment in Cyprus Company’s share capital, with business activities and personnel in the Republic:
For the purposes of this policy, the applicant is required to make a total investment of a minimum value of €300,000, the physical presence of the company in the Republic and the employment of at least five (5) employees. In this case the following documents are required:
4.3 Investment in units of a Cyprus Investment Organization of Collective Investments (forms of AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF):
- Shareholders Certificate and Certificate of Incorporation by the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver
- Business profile of the company including business objectives etc.
- Proof of payment (e.g. remittances)
- Evidence regarding the personnel employed by the company issued by the Social Insurance Services.
For the purposes of this policy, the applicant is required to make a total investment of a minimum value of €300,000 in investment units and to submit the following documents:
5 DEPENDENT PERSONS
- Titles or other proof of the purchased units
- Proof of payment (e.g. remittances)
- Confirmation by the CySEC on the setup of the Fund
- Memorandum of the Fund or Investment Fund
The Immigration Permit is issued to the applicant and it covers his/her 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, without being required for the other spouse to satisfy the criteria of this policy.
It is noted that, if for any reason the Immigration Permit granted to the investor is cancelled, this will result in the cancellation of the spouse’s Permit based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
Unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 25, who have proved that they are students of tertiary education abroad at the application’s submission date and are financially dependent on the applicant, can submit their own, separate application for an Immigration Permit with the payment of the relevant fee. In such a case, the father or mother and/or both parents together must present an additional annual income of €10,000 for each such dependent child.
If the children wish to study in any Institution of Tertiary Education in the Republic, they have to submit through the Institution an application for acquisition of a temporary residence permit in the Republic as students
, according to the provisions of the relevant legislation (EU Directive). After completing their studies in the Republic, they will be able to submit their own application for an Immigration Permit, as mentioned above with the payment of the relevant fee, regardless of their age and with the condition that the parents will present an additional annual income of €10,000 for every such child.
The mentioned Permit remains valid even if the holders have exceeded the age of 25 years and even if they do not remain unmarried and/or students and/or financially dependent on their parents. It is noted that their future spouses or underage children cannot be included as dependent persons on this Permit. It is important to mention that, if for any reason the Immigration Permit granted to the investor/parent is cancelled, this will 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 may also be granted to children of the applicant who are over the age of 18, not financially dependent on the applicant, on a higher value investment. This is subject to the provisions of Paragraph 2, as set out below:
The market value of the €300,000 investment should be multiplied by the number of adult children invoking the same investment for the purpose of obtaining an Immigration Permit. For instance, in case the applicant has one adult child he/she should make an investment worth €600,000, if he has/she two adult children the value of the investment should amount to €900,000 and so on.
In case the investment concern 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 upon application.
In such instances, each adult child will be able to prove that they have at their disposal a secured annual income of at least €50,000, This amount increases by €15,000 for his/her spouse and by €10,000 for each dependent underage child, as indicated in Paragraph 2.2. Furthermore, the investment may be made jointly in the applicant and the adult child's name, or solely in the applicant's name.
It should be noted that if the investment property's number of bedrooms cannot accommodate the investor's dependent members, the investor must specify another property or properties as the residence of these individuals (e.g., proof of ownership or sale contract and proof of payment for the property, or rental agreement).
7 APPLICATION AND EXAMINATION PROCEDURE
Applications, accompanied by the required documents, must be submitted in person to the Civil Registry and Migration Department
(CRMD) or via an authorised representative, after arranging an appointment or any other way decided. A fee of €500 is charged upon application submission, as well as a fee of €70 for each person included in the application for issuing the Alien Registration Certificate (ARC), where it does not already exist.
Applications submitted through authorised representatives must be accompanied by a certified authorisation letter signed by the applicant and stating the particulars, full address and contact number of the representative.
The application will be handled under an expedited procedure by the CRMD and will be submitted to the Minister of Interior, through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior.
8 TIME SCHEDULES
If all the policy criteria are met and there are no concerns regarding the applicant's criminal record, public order, or public security issues, the application will be presented for examination and decision to the Minister of Interior.
The estimated examination period for the application, starting from the submission date of the completed application, is approximately two (2) months.
9 APPLICATION FORMS
are available electronically the Civil Registry and Migration Department’s website and include:
Application Form (MIP1)
- Checklist of documents submitted with the application
- Checklist of documents submitted together with the application for children who are students abroad
- Affidavit or Official Statement for the annual income of the applicant,
- Official Statement as to the confirmation of non-employment of the applicant, with the exception of their employment as Directors in a Company in which they have chosen to invest according to the provisions of this policy.
All supporting documents submitted in the context of applications must be officially translated and duly certified
10 MONITORING MECHANISM FOR THE ADHERENCE TO THE CRITERIA AND MAINTAINING THE INVESTMENT
From the date of obtaining the Immigration Permit, the applicant is obligated to provide the Civil Registry and Migration Department, annually, evidence of maintaining the investment, the required income for him/her and his/her family, and proof of holding a health insurance policy certificate if they no longer benefit from GESY. In addition, the applicant and his/her adult family members must annually provide a clean criminal record certificate from their country of origin and country of residence.
Failure of the Immigration Permit holder to prove the above will result in the cancellation of his/her and his/her family members' Immigration Permit, following the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE REVISED POLICY
This policy enters into force on 02/05/2023
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND CLARIFICATIONS
Important clarification regarding the 4th revision of the criteria for granting an immigration permit within the scope of the expedited procedure to applicants who are third-country nationals and invest in Cyprus
Regarding the 4th revision of the criteria for granting an Immigration Permit within the scope of the expedited procedure to applicants who are third country nationals and invest in Cyprus, which was entered in to force on 02/05/2023, the following points are clarified:
The money from abroad that will be used for the investment can also be transferred to Cyprus from a company’s bank account, in which the applicant and/or his/her spouse are the sole shareholders, provided that the shareholder is included in the application. The same applies to the amount of the investment's value to be paid into the seller's account at a Cypriot financial institution.
The annual income of the applicant can be proven either through his/her tax return declaration from the country where he/she declares tax resident or through official certificates from an independent Certified Accountant.
Regarding the monitoring mechanism for the adherence to the criteria and maintaining the investment, the requirement for annual submission of proof that the applicant maintains the income determined for him/herself and his/her family members is abolished.
The applicant and the adult members of his/her family are obliged to submit a clean criminal record certificate from their country of origin and their country of residence every three years, instead of annually. The requirement for the applicant to provide evidence of maintaining his/her investment on an annual basis, as well as the fact that the applicant and his/her family members are holders of a health insurance certificate in case they no longer continue to be beneficiaries of GESY, remains valid.
Duration of immigration permit
Required action after approval
- The residence right of such permits is of unlimited validity, for the holder and his/her adult dependents. The residence permit (card), however, has an expiry date of ten years from the date of its issuance and must be replaced with its expiration.
- The residence permit which is issued to the underage dependents is valid until the age of 18.
An Immigration Permit shall cease to be valid if the interested person and his/her dependents fail to acquire residence in Cyprus within one year from the approval of the application, in case that they are residing outside Cyprus.
Loss of the permanent residence right
An Immigration Permit shall cease to be valid if the interested person and his/her dependents acquire permanent residence abroad or be absent from Cyprus for a period of two years.