Q. How Many Permanent Residency Applications are there in Cyprus and what are their basic differences:
A. In particular, there are two ways of obtaining the Permanent Residency in Cyprus. The main difference between the 2 procedures is that with the Fast Track there is a minimum Investment criteria whereas with the Slow Track there is no minimum Investment criteria.
The Slow Track procedure is regulated under Regulation 5(f) which takes approximately 12 months to complete and although it does not have a minimum Real Estate Investment requirement the investor is still required to purchase a residence in Cyprus within one year from the approval of the application.
The Applicant must have at their disposal a secured and legal annual income high enough to allow them to live decently in Cyprus without having to engage in any business, trade or profession. This income must come from legal sources from abroad such as pensions, permanent deposits, rent, ownership of companies, shares etc.
The Fast Track procedure on the other hand is regulated under Regulation 6(2) which is a lot faster as it takes approximately 2 months to complete. The difference between the 2 procedures is that under the Fast Track there is a minimum Real Estate Investment requirement of €300.000,00 plus VAT. As with the Slow Track, the Fast Track Procedure requires that the Applicant shows that they have a secured and legal annual income high enough to allow them to live decently in Cyprus without the need to work.
Q. Does the Law specify minimum annual financial criteria for each process, and if so, what are they?
A. With the Slow Track process the Law provides that the annual income required should be at least €9.568,17 for a single applicant and moreover at least €4.613,22 for every dependent person.
Under the Fast Track procedure the applicant should submit a confirmation letter from a financial institution in Cyprus that they have deposited a minimum capital of €30.000 into an account, which will be pledged for a period of at least three years.
Additionally, the applicant should prove that they have at their disposal a secure annual income of at least €30.000. This annual income should increase by €5.000 for every dependent person and by €8.000 for every dependent parent or parent-in law.
In both cases the amounts must have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad.
Q. Who is defined as a Dependant under the Regulations?
A. The Immigration Permit issued to an applicant covers their spouse and children under the age of 18. For unmarried children of the Applicant from the ages of 18 to 25, the Law considers then as financial dependant if they are enrolled in tertiary education with at least six months of remaining study period from the date of the submission of the application.
Parents and parents-in-law of the Applicant may also be considered dependants with the condition that the applicant presents an additional annual income of €8.000 for every such dependent parent.
Q. As a holder of a Residence Permit can I work in Cyprus?
A. Although there is a condition in the Regulations that the Investor must show they have sufficient financial means to support themselves and their dependants without the need to engage in any trade or profession in Cyprus, however, this condition does not restrict the Applicant from owning a Cyprus company that can provide them with a return in dividends.
Q. Under the Regulations what types of assets are eligible for the Fast Track Procedure?
A. Under the Regulations the Applicant must have made an investment in Real Estate. The property purchased must be new with a minimum value of at least €300.000,00 (not including VAT).
The Investment can either be in just residential properties or residential and commercial. It cannot just be commercial.
The Investor can invest in a residence (house or apartment) or in 2 residences, or 1 residence and 1 commercial property (ie shop) of up to 100 square meters or one residence and an office of up to 250 square meters.
In the event that the Investor decides to invest in multiple properties then it is a requirement that the properties are purchased from the same developer.
Q. Does the Investor need to pay the full amount of €300.000,00 plus VAT before being eligible for the Residence Permit?
A. No, even if at the date of submission the Applicant has not fully paid up the investment amount the application can still be accepted if at the date of submission the Applicant has paid at least €200.000 (not including the VAT).
Q. Do the children lose their Residency Permit after their maturity at the age of 18 or later?
A. Under the Regulations the Residence Permit does not expire even after their maturity at the age of 18, however, their future spouses and/or children will not be eligible as dependants for a Residency Permit.
Q. Does the Residency Permit expire?
A. No, the Residency Permit will not expire provided the Investor maintains their residential property. It is however possible for the investor to sell the residential property and still maintain their Residence Permit provided that the Residential property is immediately replaced by another property of the same or higher value.
Q. Will the Investor need to renew the Residence Permit?
A. Under the Slow Track procedure the Permit must be renewed every 5 years whereas for the Permits issued under the Fast Track Procedure the Permit is issued for life without the need to renew.
Q. Is there a minimum visit requirement?
A. It is a requirement of the Scheme that the investor must visit the island at least once every 2 years for the Permanent Residence to remain in effect.
Q. Can the Investor apply for Citizenship after they obtain the permanent residency, and if yes, what are the applicable rules?
A. In essence there are 2 ways in which the Permanent Residence Investor can acquire the EU Citizenship.
The first way in which a Permanent Residence investor can acquire the EU citizenship is after 7 years of residence on the Island with the year, preceding the Application for Citizenship, the Investor was resident on the island for a complete 365 days.
The second way for the Investor to acquire the EU Citizenship is by applying under the Cyprus Investment Scheme for Naturalization of Investors by Exception. Under the Cyprus Investment Scheme the Investor will be eligible to acquire the EU Citizenship through investments of at least €2.000.000,00 in Real Estate and other Assets.
The assets acquired under the Permanent Residence Scheme can be used to form part of the Investor’s portfolio of investments for the Cyprus Investment Scheme for Naturalization of Investors by Exception.
Q. Can Y. Habari & Co. LLC provide assistance to an investor and their family with their Relocation process, and if yes, what Services can Y. Habari & Co. LLC provide?
A. Y. Habari & Co. LLC is a boutique Corporate and Immigration Law Firm established in Cyprus with locations in the USA, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Our approach is to accompany the investor and their family, by qualified staff, throughout the relocation process from providing legal advice on investment, the Application process, down to the smallest detail, such as selecting the school which the children of the Investor will attend.
With offices worldwide we guarantee that our Client’s needs are catered for benefiting from our local knowledge of the market and understanding of political and cultural sensitivities. For their visit to Cyprus we shall have a specialised team with qualified staff and native speakers to collect them from the Airport and welcome them to Cyprus, accompanying them throughout their Application process.
Our Specialised Services include:-
- Advice on the various immigration options available to Non-EU Investors including Permanent Residency Permits, Work Permits, and Citizenship Applications.
- Advice on the investment options open to Non-EU Investors depending on the Application which they wish to pursue.
- Legal Due Diligence on the Investment options which our Clients have selected to form their Investment portfolio for their Application.
- Depending on the type of immigration Application our Clients decide to pursue we advise them on which documents they will need to produce and assist them in collecting the documents from the relevant authorities until the final completion of the Application process.
- Complete Personal and Corporate Relocation assistance including the opening of Personal and Corporate Bank accounts, Vehicle acquisition and registration, enrolment in schools for the children, Employee relocation, even the pets will be taken care of.
- Wealth Management and Family Office Services whereby the take care for the needs of the family beyond the relocation stage.