Cyprus: Permanent Residence Permit

Last Updated: 20 June 2017
Article by Maria Kannava and Tereza Pendondgis

Purchasing immovable property in the Republic of Cyprus is a gateway in applying and obtaining a permanent residence permit. According to the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations a new fast-track procedure has been introduced as of the 22nd of February 2016 which allows for any third country national to apply for a permanent residence permit as long as he/she meets the requirements which are outlined herein below. The estimated time frame for approval of the application is two months. It should be noted that the new fast-track procedure introduced a number of benefits for the applicant that will have a positive impact on his/her immediate family. After all the permanent residence permit is not only granted to the applicant but also to his/her spouse, minor children, children over the age of 18 and up to the age of 25 who are considered dependent and are not married and the parents of both the applicant and the applicant's spouse.

It should also not be forgotten that the Republic of Cyprus is expected to join the Schengen zone in 2016 which will allow all holders of a permanent residence permit to travel freely in all the countries that are part of the Schengen zone. Furthermore, holders of a permanent residence permit do not need to also obtain a visa in order to enter the Republic of Cyprus and live in the Republic whereas after 7 years (2555 days) of residence in the Republic of Cyprus the holder of a permanent residence permit may apply for citizenship by naturalization within 10 years. Most importantly the holders of a permanent residence permit are not obliged to immigrate in the Republic of Cyprus but rather they may visit once every two years simply to maintain the permanent residence permit.

Economic/Investment Criteria:

  1. A title deed or a sale and purchase agreement which has been deposited with the Lands Registry must be submitted as evidence of ownership of immovable property in the Republic of Cyprus of a purchase price of at least €300.000,00 (Three Hundred Thousand Euro) exclusive of VAT. The said title deed or sale and purchase agreement should be in the name of the applicant or his/her spouse and evidence should be provided of payment of at least €200.000,00 (Two Hundred Thousand Euro) exclusive of VAT, of the purchase price irrespective of the date of delivery of the immovable property. The sale and purchase agreement or title deed can also be in the name of a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus or in any other European Member State or Member State of the European Economic Area, as long as the shareholder is the applicant and/or the spouse. It should be noted that the remaining balance of the purchase price should still be repaid through any bank of the Republic of Cyprus whereas the applicant should be able to prove that the purchase amount was transfer from abroad.
  2. The applicant may purchase up to two residences (apartment or house) or a residence and an office with an area of up to 100 m2, or a residence and an office of an area of up to 250 m2, as long as the total purchase price falls under the requirements of paragraph a herein above. It should be noted that the residence should be new and not used. Resales will not be acceptable.
  3. The applicant should submit a statement from a bank in Cyprus that he/she has deposited at least €30.000,00 (Thirty Thousand Euro) which will be locked for at least 3 years. The said amount should come from abroad.
  4. The applicant must prove that he/she has a secure annual income of at least €30.000,00 (Thirty Thousand Euro). The annual income increases by €5.000,00 (Five Thousand Euro) for every dependent member of the family and by €8.000,00 (Eight Thousand Euro) for every dependent parent (of the applicant or his/her spouse). This income might come from salaries, retirement schemes, dividends, permanent deposits, rents etc. always from abroad. The income of the spouse of the applicant might be considered as part of secure annual income.

Applicant:

Every applicant of a permanent residence permit will have to submit the following supporting documents:

  1. Copy of valid passport of the applicant and his/her dependents;
  2. Curriculum Vitae;
  3. Original Letter from a financial institution in Cyprus (Bank, Coop) of a deposit of €30.000, pledged for three years;
  4. Declaration of a secured annual income from abroad of €30.000 at least, (original documents and affidavit or declaration);
  5. Title of ownership or contract of sale of a built property in Cyprus of a minimum market value of €300.000 (original or true copy). If the title of ownership has not been obtained yet, the applicant must submit the contract of sale duly stamped by the Stamps Commissioner and the Department of Lands & Surveys and proof of payment for at least €200.000,00 ;
  6. The amounts paid for the property must be proven to have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad;
  7. Official Statements by the applicant and his/her spouse that they do not intent to undertake any sort of employment in Cyprus;
  8. Health Insurance Policy for the applicant and his/her dependants;
  9. Original Criminal Record Certificate duly certified for the applicant and his/her spouse (if the applicant resides abroad, the certificate must be issued from his/her country of residence, and submitted with an official and certified translation);
  10. Marriage Certificate duly certified (official and certified translation);
  11. Children's Birth Certificates dully certified (official and certified translation).

Dependents:

  1. A permanent residence permit will be issued for the applicant including his/her spouse and any children under the age of 18. It is possible to even issue a separate permanent residence permit for the spouse as long as the relevant fee is paid without the need to meet any of the above-mentioned economic/investment criteria. Children under the age of 18 may be included on both permits.

    In case of death of the holder of the permanent residence permit both his/her spouse and children under the age of 18 will be granted the permanent residence permit.
  2. Children between the age of 18 to 25 who are not married and there is evidence that they are university or college students abroad with at least 6 months from the date of submission of the application for the permit, of remaining studies and who are economically dependent by the applicant may apply for their own permanent residence permit by paying the relevant fee. In such a case an extra income of €5.000,00 (Five Thousand Euro) will need to be shown by either parent or both for every child. The permanent residence permit will be valid even after the child passes the age of 25 and gets married and is no longer a student and a dependent. However, his/her spouse as well as his/her children will not automatically be granted the permanent residence permit.

    Every child who will apply for the permanent residence permit will have to submit the following supporting documents:

    1. Copy of valid passport;
    2. Curriculum Vitae;
    3. Copy of the permanent residence permit of the parent under Reg.6(2) or proof of submission of the relevant application of the parent for permanent residence permit under Reg.6(2);
    4. Declaration of a secured annual income of the parent from abroad of at least €30.000,00 (original documents and affidavit or declaration). The necessary annual income is increased by €5.000,00 for each person dependent to the parent;
    5. Official Statement by the applicant that he/she does not intent to undertake any sort of employment in Cyprus.
    6. Health Insurance Policy for the applicant;
    7. Original Criminal Record Certificate duly certified for the applicant (if the applicant resides abroad, the certificate must be issued from his/her country of residence, and submitted with an official and certified translation;
    8. Birth Certificate of the applicant dully certified (official and certified translation);
    9. Letter from an institution of tertiary education abroad that the applicant is a registered student with at least 6 months remaining study period; In case the dependent child studies in the Republic of Cyprus he/she will have to first apply for a temporary residence permit as student of the Republic of Cyprus. After the completion of his/her studies in the Republic of Cyprus he/she will be able to apply for a permanent residence permit as mentioned herein above with the only requirement that the parents will be able to present an additional €5.000,00 of their annual income.
  3. The parents of the applicant or of his/her spouse may apply for a permanent residence permit with the only requirement that the applicant will be able to present an additional €8.000,00 of his/her annual income for every dependent parent. Every dependent parent will have to submit the following documents:

    1. Copy of valid passport of the applicant;
    2. Curriculum Vitae;
    3. Copy of the immigration permit of the child or his/her spouse under Reg.6(2) or proof of submission of the relevant application for immigration permit under Reg.6(2);
    4. Declaration of a secured annual income of the child or his/her spouse from abroad of at least €30.000,00 (original documents and affidavit or declaration). The necessary annual income is increased by €8.000,00 for each parent;
    5. Official Statement by the applicant that he/she does not intent to undertake any sort of employment in Cyprus;
    6. Health Insurance Policy for the applicant;
    7. Original Criminal Record Certificate duly certified for the applicant (if the applicant resides abroad, the certificate must be issued from his/her country of residence, and submitted with an official and certified translation;
    8. Birth Certificate of the applicant's child or any other official document that proves the relationship between the applicant and the holder of the permanent residence permit under Reg.6(2), dully certified (official and certified translation).

Non-Dependent Child:

  1. It is also possible for children who are not dependent on their parent applicant and who are over the age of 18 to apply for a permanent residence permit as long as the they have a percentage of the purchase price of the immovable property which was purchased initially by the applicant for the purpose of obtaining a permanent residence permit. In other words if the applicant purchased a residence worth €600.000,00 (Six Hundred Thousand Euro) instead of the required €300.000,00 (Three Hundred Thousand Euro) then the remaining €300.000,00 (Three Hundred Thousand Euro) may be considered as an investment of his/her child. In the same logic if the applicant has two dependent children he can purchase a residence of €900.000,00 (Nine Hundred Thousand Euro) in order for his dependent children to use the same residence for their personal applications for a permanent residence permit. The dependent children will of course have to meet the rest of the requirements described under the economic/investment criteria herein above.

Quality criteria:

  1. The applicant and his/her spouse must present clean criminal records from their country of residence or from the Republic of Cyprus in the case that they reside in Cyprus and in general they should not pose a threat to the general public or national security.
  2. The applicant and/or his/her spouse must declare that they will not work in the Republic of Cyprus. However they can be shareholders in a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus and receive dividends.
  3. The holder of a permanent residence permit should obtain a permanent residence in Cyprus within 1 year from the approval of his/her application. Furthermore, the holder of a permanent residence permit and his/her family who will be considered his/her dependents for the purpose of the permit should visit the Republic of Cyprus at least once every two years.
  4. All the required supporting documents including the translations in Greek or English should be certified.

Procedure:

  1. The applications along with all supporting documents are submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department personally or through a representative with the relevant fee of €500,00 (Five Hundred Euro);
  2. In case of the submission of the application through a representative a relevant written authorization should be provided including full details of the representative as well as his/her address and telephone number;
  3. An interview with the applicant will only be requested if it is considered necessary by the General Director of the Ministry of Interior;
  4. Within two months from the submission of the application the Ministry of the Interior will inform the applicant or his/her representative of the outcome.

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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