The government of Cyprus this week published amendments to the country’s Permanent Residence Permit (CPRP), which is granted to non-EU nationals investing in the Republic of Cyprus. This is the first time the government has amended the program since February 2016, and the third revision overall.
The amended CPRP continues to apply to the main applicant, the spouse, the applicant’s unmarried and financially dependent children up to the age of 25 (provided they are engaged in bachelor’s or master’s degree studies), as well as to the applicant’s parents and parents-in-law.
No change to minimum amounts, but new investment options introduced
While the minimum investment amount of EUR 300,000 (plus VAT if applicable) remains unchanged, further investment options are now provided to applicants.
Besides the option to invest in new residential properties, investors now have the option to invest in commercial properties, including offices, shops, and hotels. The properties of this category could be either new or resale. Moreover, the applicant may choose to invest in the share capital of a Cyprus company having a physical presence and activities in Cyprus and employing at least five persons.
Lastly, applicants may choose to invest in compartments of Cypriots UCITS (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF). The investment funds should have emanated from abroad, and the investment should be maintained or replaced by another investment of the same or greater value, in order to maintain the permit.
The applicant should prove a secure annual income (including salaries from employment, pensions, dividends, fixed deposits, rentals) of at least EUR 30,000, increased by EUR 5,000 for every dependent person (spouse and children) and by EUR 8.000 for every dependent parent or parent-in-law.
This income should derive from abroad in cases where the applicant invests in new residential units, while the income can be generated from sources within Cyprus in all other cases. Both the income of the applicant and the spouse can be taken into consideration.
The applicant and the spouse should provide a clean criminal record from the country of residence or from Cyprus in case they are residents of the Republic. The applicants should not be considered as a threat in any way to the public order or public security in Cyprus.
Pledging a deposit no longer required
It is no longer required to have a pledged deposit in a Cyprus bank account. Moreover, the applicants should confirm that they do not intend to undertake any sort of employment in Cyprus, besides holding the position of Director in the company in which they have chosen to invest as per the current policy.
Applicants, furthermore, can be shareholders in a company registered in Cyprus and receive the dividends of such company, or hold the position of Director in such company without receiving a salary.
In cases where the applicant has chosen to invest in any other category besides the category of new residential properties, the applicant should provide relevant documentation as to the place of residence in Cyprus (e.g. sales agreement, rental agreement, or title deed).
The investment should be concluded before the submission of the application. The relevant documentation as to the settlement of the funds must be provided upon the submission of the application. In the case of investment in residential properties, the applicant needs to show that the
minimum amount of EUR 200,000 (plus VAT if applicable) is paid to the developer, while in all other investment options the total minimum amount of EUR 300,000 (plus VAT if applicable) needs to be settled prior to the submission of the Residence Permit application.
The Cyprus Residence Permit (Fast Track) has always been a popular program. Over the years, it has been improved so as to include three generations of the family. Yesterday, we welcomed another remarkable improvement: Applicants now have more options in terms of their investment, enabling non-EU investors to explore more business opportunities and combine these with their immigration options.
Eleni Drakou is a Senior Associate and Director of Business Development of the Cyprus Law Firm Michael Kyprianou and Co. LLC, where she specializes in immovable property law and assists international and local clients with their real estate matters in Cyprus. Eleni has been named Investment Solicitor of the Year for Cyprus by the Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2018 and the most Influential Woman in Immovable Property Law of the Year 2019 for Cyprus, by Acquisition International 2019 Global Excellence Awards.
Eleni is a member of the Board of Directors of STEP Cyprus and a member of the Investment Migration Council (IMC).