The Council of Ministers approved a proposal by the Ministry of Interior to revise the criteria for granting Permanent residency under the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulation.

As per the Minister of Interior, Mr. Constantinos Ioannou, the Ministry of Interior is aware of the risks involved in the implementation of these Schemes and the main aim of these amendments is to establish stricter criteria to grant the Permanent residency, to correct any distortions and to establish a mechanism which will monitor that the applicant will be in compliance with these criteria.

The new amendments to the Cyprus Permanent Residence Scheme according to Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations apply as of today, the 2nd of May 2023 and onwards.

As per the announcement of the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) on 27/04/2023, applicants whose Sale Agreements have been lodged at the Department of Lands and Surveys Offices between 02/01/2023 and until 28/04/2023, will be able to submit their applications to the CRMD and the criteria of the Cyprus Permanent Residence Scheme according to Regulation 6(2) as of 24/03/2021 will apply.

Investment in a house/apartment

The minimum amount of at least €300.000 (excluding V.A.T.) shall be paid in advance to the land development company(ies), regardless of the delivery date of the property, and the relevant documentation evidencing the settlement of this amount shall be submitted to the CRMD, in order for the applicant to be able to submit his/her application to the CRMD. The investment amount shall be transferred from the Bank Account of the main applicant or his/her spouse provided that the spouse is included as a dependant to the main applicant's application.

Annual Income

Another significant amendment is the increase of the required annual secure income of the main applicant of at least €50,000. The annual income is increased by €15,000 for the spouse and €10,000 for each minor child of the applicant and/or his/her spouse. It is noted that the secured annual income of the main applicant can only be proved through salary from employment, pensions, stock dividends, interest on deposits, rents, etc. coming from abroad, and the annual income shall only be proved through the main applicant's tax return from the country in which he/she declares to be a tax resident. The tax declaration shall only be provided in cases where the applicant has made an investment in the purchase of a house or apartment by a Land Development company, and in the calculation of the total annual income, the spouse's income can be taken into consideration.

In the cases where the applicant has invested either in 1) real estate (excluding houses/apartments), or 2) in the share capital of a Cyprus Company with activities and staff in Cyprus, or 3) in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF), the total annual income or part of this can also arise from sources originating from activities in the Republic of Cyprus, provided that the applicant is taxable in Cyprus.

Additional significant amendments

All adult applicants shall provide a Clean Criminal Record from their country of origin and from their country of residence if it differs. Additionally, all family members shall provide Medical Insurance Certificate for medical treatment covering inpatient and outpatient care.

In case that the applicant will proceed with the investment in a house/apartment, if the number of bedrooms of the property cannot satisfy the needs of the dependent members of the applicant's family members, the applicant shall indicate another property or properties which will constitute the place of residence of these persons, along with documentation evidencing this (e.g. the property title deed, sales agreement, rental agreement).

Family members

Another important amendment is that the main applicant can include only his/her spouse, minor children and adult children up to the age of 25 years who are unmarried and who are university students financially dependent to the main applicant. The main applicant will no longer be able to include the parents, the parent-in-law to be granted Permanent Residence as their dependents.

Compliance with the criteria and preservation of the investment

Lastly, once the Permanent Residence application is approved by the CRMD, the applicant is required to submit to the CRMD, on an annual basis from the date of obtaining the Immigration Permit, evidence that he/she maintains the initial investment, that he maintains the required income determined for him and his/her family members and that he/she and his/her family members are holders of a Medical Insurance Certificate, in case they do not continue to be beneficiaries of the General Healthcare System (GESY). In addition, the applicant and his/her adult family members are required to provide an updated Clean Criminal Record from country of origin, as well as from country of residence. Ιn case the holder of the Immigration Permit fails to prove the above, it will entail activation of the process of cancellation of the Permit of himself/herself and his/her family members based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.

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.