Cyprus: Note On Short/Long Residency And Naturalisation Of Investors

    I.                    TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT- Uniform Biometric Card

On 29 September 2014 the Law has been amended and the Article 18ΦΖ(7) of the Aliens and Immigration Law (Cap.105) as well as article 4 of the Aliens and Immigration (Amending) (No.2) Law [Ν129(Ι)/2014, O.G. Annex.Ι(Ι) No. 4456] are set into force, for the following categories of third country nationals:

a. who reside or who will enter the Republic for employment purposes, and

b. who reside or who will enter the Republic for visiting purposes.

The new procedure will apply to remunerated employees, domestic employees, self –employed and seasonal employees, family members of a Cypriot (employees and visitors) and visitors.

          RECEIVING BIOMETRIC FEATURES

          a.                  According to article 18ΦΖ(7) of the Aliens and Immigration Law (Cap.105), the temporary residence and employment permits that will be issued to third country nationals of the above category will be of a uniform format (card) and must include the biometric features of their holder (fingerprints and photograph) as well as his/her signature.

          b.                  In view of this, when submitting an application, the physical presence of the third country national is required, in order to receive his/her biometric features (fingerprints and photograph) and his/her signature. If the application is submitted for an entry permit, after the granting of the entry permit and the arrival of the third country national in the Republic, he/she must register at the CRMD or at the Aliens' and Immigration Units of the Police of the District he/she resides within seven (7) days of his/her arrival and provide his/her biometric features (photo and fingerprint) and signature.

          c.                   The captured fingerprints cannot be used for any purpose other than the issuance of the residence permit and its review for person identification purposes by the Cypriot or other foreign authorities, authorised by the Director.  The captured fingerprints are deleted from the Aliens' Register 48 hours after the issuance of the residence permit.

Below we are setting out amongst others, the documents, which will be required for the purposes of obtaining a Temporary Residence Permit:

          a.                  Original Passports of all applicants, including minors;

          b.                  Original Marriage Certificate;

          c.                   Original Birth Certificates of all minor applicants;

          d.                  Declaration of the father of the minors which confirms that he allows all minors to live in Cyprus with their mother;

          e.                  Rental Agreement for the residence of the family in Cyprus, duly signed and stamped;

          f.                    Medical Insurance for all applicants including minors, which shall include the In-Patient , Out-Patient and Repatriation ( we can propose such plan which will cost around Euro 170 for each person;

          g.                  Bank statements proving the source and size of wealth (need to prove that there is enough income and there will be no need for employment);

          h.                  Bank Statement proving that the money in the possession of the family comes from abroad;

          i.                    Bank guarantee for all the applicants, including minors, which will be Euro 515 per person/applicant;

          j.                    Confirmation from the Employer of the father of the family, specifying his exact position and his salary.

         II.                  CYPRUS PERMANENT RESIDENCY

          In relation to Cyprus Permanent Residency (long term residency), please note the below criteria:

          (i)          there must be a clean criminal record, therefore a certificate of clean criminal record form the country of the resident must be submitted by the applicant (spouse) ;

         (ii)          at least EURO 30,000 must be deposited by the applicant in the Cypriot Bank;

        (iii)          the said deposit must be made and remain blocked for a period of at least 3 years;

        (iv)          it must be shown that this amount has been transferred from abroad;

         (v)         the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has at his/her disposal a secured annual income of at least EURO30,000;

        (vi)         for each dependant –including the spouse – the amount is increased by EURO 5,000;

       (vii)         that income must be shown that it comes from abroad. That income may come from wages, work, pensions, share dividends, fixed deposits, rents etc.,

      (viii)         the applicant must purchase property in Cyprus of a market value at least EURO 300,000 (excluding VAT);

       (ix)         an official proof of payment of at least EURO 200,000 (Exc VAT) regardless of the delivery date of the house;

        (x)         the remaining value of the house must be paid from foreign funds into an account at a financial institution in Cyprus;

       (xi)          The above amounts should be shown to originate from abroad;

       (xii)         The house purchase will be accepted even when made in the name of the Company and not in the name of the applicant provided that the Company:

  •                    is registered in the name of the applicant; and/or
  •                    is registered in the name of the applicant and his spouse and
  •                    he/they are the sole shareholders

       (xiii)      The applicant may buy up to two housing units (apartment or houses), or a housing unit and a store with an areas of 100 sq.m., or a housing unit and an office with an areas of 250 sq.m., given that the total market value is at least EURO 300,000 (excluding VAT);

       (xiv)      Immigration permits are issued to the applicant with dependants, i,e., the spouse and the children under the age of 18;

        (xv)     Unmarried dependent children aged 18-25, may submit their own separate application for acquisition of the immigration permit only if they are proven students and the father and/or mother present additional annual income of EURO 5,000 for each dependent child. It is accepted that the child below the age of 25 is a 'dependent child';

       (xvi)     The applicant will need to attest that they will not be employed in any direct or indirect way in Cyprus.

      (xvii)     The applicant and the members of its family included in the immigration permit must be visiting Cyprus at least once every two years;

     (xviii)      All the documents that are attached to the application must be duly certified;

      (xix)      The applicant and/or spouse may be shareholders in an company registered in Cyprus and the income from the dividends of such company is not considered as an obstacle to obtain the immigration permit.

          III.                NATURALISATION OF INVESTORS

          A non-Cypriot citizen may by exception apply for the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship, if he/ she meets one of the following criteria:

          A.1 Mixed investments and a donation to a state fund:

          The applicant must have made the following investments and donation:

          (a) an amount of at least €2,0 million for the purchase of shares and/or bonds of the Investment company of the state under formation and

Provided that the applicant may deposit the said amount with the Treasury of the state until the shares and/or bonds of the said company are issued.

          (b) an amount of at least €0,5 million as a donation to the Research and Technology Fund

Or

          A.2 Direct Investments:

The applicant must have direct investments in Cyprus of at least €5,0 million. Direct Investments may alternatively involve the following:

          (a) the purchase of properties (houses, offices, shops, hotels etc or a development of a similar nature, excluding underdeveloped land),

          (b) the purchase of businesses or companies that are based and are active in the Republic of Cyprus

          (c) the purchase of companies registered in the Republic of Cyprus

          (d) the purchase of financial assets (e.g. bonds / securities / debentures registered and issued in the Republic of Cyprus, including those to be issued by the Solidarity Fund on the basis of the Establishment of a National Solidarity Fund Law of 2013)

          (e) participation in a company/ consortium of companies that has undertaken to carry out a public project 

Provided that with regard to conditions (a) – (d), the applicant shall retain the said assets in his possession for a period of at least three years. In the case of a share or bond portfolio, it is to be ensured that the amount of the value of the portfolio for the said period will not fall below the amount specified. 

Or

          A.3 Deposits in banks:

The applicant must have personal fixed term deposits for three years in Cypriot banks or deposits of privately owned companies or trusts (in which he/she is the beneficiary owner) in the Republic of Cyprus of at least €5,0 million

Or

          A.4 A Combination of Mixed Investments and a Donation to a State Fund (A.1), Direct Investments (A.2) and Deposits in Cypriot Banks (A.3):

The applicant is required to have a combination of the above amounting to at least €5,0 million

Or

          A.5 Business Activities: 

The applicant must be a shareholder or beneficiary owner of a company (or companies) the management of which is in the Republic of Cyprus and that over the last 3 years prior to submitting the application has paid to State Funds (corporate tax, V.A.T. or other fees and charges etc) and remuneration for the purchase of business services (legal, accounting, auditing) as amount of at least €500.000 per annum.

          Alternatively in the case where the applicant is a shareholder or beneficiary owner of a company (or companies) that is active in Cyprus, has established its central offices in Cyprus and employs at least five (5) Cypriot citizens, then the minimum amount that must be paid for the above (direct revenue – corporate tax, V.A.T. or other fees and charges etc and remuneration for the purchase of business services – legal, accounting, auditing) is reduced to at least €350.000 for the last three years preceding the submission of the application.

In the case where the applicant is a shareholder or beneficiary owner of a company (or companies) that is active in Cyprus, has established its central offices in Cyprus and employs at least ten (10) Cypriot citizens, then the minimum amount that must be paid for the above (direct revenue – corporate tax, V.A.T. or other fees and charges etc and remuneration for the purchase of business services – legal, accounting, auditing) is reduced to at least €200.000 for the last three years preceding the submission of the application.

For every such company (or companies) applications for naturalisation may be submitted by a maximum of two (2) shareholders, who preferably hold the majority of the share capital.

In the case where the applicant has paid the Cyprus economy direct revenue or fees (as described hereinabove) an amount less than the abovementioned amounts, a combination may be made with criteria A.1 (Mixed Investments and Donations to State Funds) or A.2 (Direct Investments ) or A.3 (Deposits in Banks). The total of payments to State Funds and remuneration for services in the last three years shall be deducted from the required investment to satisfy criteria A.1 or A.2 or A.3.

Or

          A.6 Persons whose deposits with the Bank of Cyprus or Popular Bank have been impaired due to the measures implemented in both Banks after the 15th March 2013

The applicant has incurred an impairment in deposits on one or both of the abovementioned Banks amounting to a total of at least €3,0 million. 

In the case where the applicant has incurred an impairment in his deposits in one or both of the abovementioned Banks under €3,0 million he may apply having made an Additional Direct Investment (A.2) or Mixed Investments or a Donation to a State Fund (A.1) for the balance of the required amount of the said criterion.

          B. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1.Clean Criminal Record:  the applicant must have a clean criminal record. Furthermore, his name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the boundaries of the European Union. 

 2. Residence in the Republic of Cyprus:  In all cases listed in Part A, the applicant must hold a permanent privately-owned residence in the Republic of Cyprus, the market value of which must be at least €500.000, plus V.A.T. 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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