Europe

Cyprus Proposes €250,000 Residency Program for Financially Independent People

Charles Savva
Cyprus


The Cypriot government has rolled out a new legislative proposal targeting foreign nationals seeking to obtain a Cypriot residency permit. Parliament is reviewing the “Aliens and Immigration (Amendment) Regulations of 2022,” aiming to introduce an alternative immigration route for individuals from third countries. 

This initiative focuses on those who can financially support themselves without working locally in Cyprus.

Overview of the Proposed Immigration Permit

The latest amendment, under scrutiny by the parliamentary Home Affairs Committee, outlines that foreign nationals from outside the EU who have an income of at least €40,000 and are ready to invest a minimum of €250,000 in residential property might qualify for an immigration permit.

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This permit would enable them and their families to live in Cyprus, providing a direct path to Cypriot permanent residency. Moreover, because of the financial requirements, those who qualify for this new investment-based residency would also, by extension, qualify for Cyprus’ new fast-track to naturalization, which may result in citizenship following as little as 3.5 years of residency on the island.

Key Requirements and Financial Criteria

The criteria are straightforward. Under the proposed legislation, applicants must:

  • Have a confirmed income of €40,000 annually, with an additional €10,000 required for each family member. 
  • Invest in private housing valued at at least €250,000. Such housing, whether a house or an apartment, should fulfill the applicant’s and their family’s living requirements.

Debate over Investment Thresholds

Discussion within the Home Affairs Committee has raised issues regarding the required property’s investment threshold. Some members suggest lowering the minimum investment from €250,000 to €150,000, making the program more accessible and allowing for a broader range of property choices, including new and existing homes. 

However, this suggestion faces resistance, as critics argue it might inflate property demand and prices, making it tougher for locals to buy homes. This is similar to what we saw transpire in Portugal in recent years. On the other hand, Cyprus already has a residence-by-property-investment scheme, the minimum investment of which is €300,000 and which has not, as far as has been reported, led to a local housing crisis.

Another question about the minimum threshold is how the proposed new program would differ from or compete with the existing €300,000 golden visa, which does not have a minimum income requirement.

The regulations stress that potential immigrants must prove their financial solidity, ensuring they will not depend financially on state support. The ongoing debates may significantly affect Cyprus’s real estate market and broader economic landscape, ultimately influencing its appeal as a destination for foreign investment and residency.

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Charles Savva AuthorSubscriberParticipant
Managing Director , Savva & Associates

Charles Savva is the founder and Managing Director of Savva & Associates, and is based in Nicosia, Cyprus. He is Canadian-Cypriot and has lived in Cyprus since 2001.

With over 22 years of experience in the Cyprus professional services space, Charles’ areas of expertise include Cypriot tax, international tax planning, and investment immigration.

Since founding Savva & Associates in 2009, Charles has advised extensively in the areas of tax optimisation (personal and corporate), and assisted HNWIs and their families obtain EU citizenship or permanent residency via investment programs.

Prior to founding Savva & Associates, Charles obtained five years’ experience working with two major banks in Toronto, Canada, and was responsible for the Financial Reporting of publicly listed mutual funds. In Cyprus, he has worked for Big 4 accounting firms, as well as some of the largest professional services providers.

He has made numerous presentations at conferences worldwide regarding the uses of Cyprus in international tax planning, and is a frequent speaker at events dedicated to EU investment immigration solutions offering citizenship or permanent residency via investment programs.

Charles holds an MBA degree in Corporate Finance from the internationally renowned Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Canada, is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant, and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Apart from his native English, he is fluent in Greek.

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