Cyprus May Change Permanent Residence Requirements

Кипр может изменить условия предоставления ПМЖ иностранцам
11 February 2021 Liza Medvetskaya

As part of a jointly coordinated effort to attract new investment to the country, the Association of Large Investment Projects, in cooperation with the Pancyprian Association of Entrepreneurs for Land Development and Construction, sent on Thursday, February 11, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicos Christodoulides and the Minister of Internal Affairs Nicos Nurisou proposals for improving the existing program Permanent residence in Cyprus.

By the way, the innovations are based on the efficiency, convenience and attractiveness of the provisions of the Program, which can make it more functional and accessible, taking into account the conditions that were formed after the cancellation of the investment citizenship scheme.

In order to facilitate and speed up the procedures, they propose to study the reasons for the delays and strictly adhere to the schedule for issuing permanent residence, which should ensure the smooth operation of the program and increase its attractiveness for foreign investors.

In addition, they call for the creation of centers for the collection of biometric data at the embassies and consulates of the Republic of Cyprus abroad. For example, in countries such as China, Vietnam, UAE, UK, Russia, Jordan and South Africa. In their opinion, this should give applicants the opportunity to submit electronic applications from their home countries.

Another item concerns the applicant's annual income, which is assessed against the program's criteria. The associations proposed to take into account the annual income of all members of the dependent family (spouse, dependent parents) when considering an application for permanent residence. The declared annual income of the family can be verified by providing the relevant documents.

As for the mandatory requirement to freeze the amount of 30 thousand euros in the name of the applicant in one of the Cypriot banks, the Associations recommend to cancel it.

As an alternative, it is proposed to give the applicant the opportunity to open an account in one of the EU banks, or pay money to the state treasury and then get this money back in three years.

In addition, in order to make the Cyprus permanent residence program more attractive in comparison with similar offers from other countries, it is necessary to accelerate the process of Cyprus' joining the Schengen area. The fact that Cyprus is currently outside the Schengen area is a big disadvantage.

Associations offer to provide an opportunity for investors to participate in the permanent residence program if they jointly invest in real estate, but are not relatives. Moreover, the amount of investment from each investor must be at least 300 thousand euros + VAT, according to the criteria of the program.

Кипр может изменить условия предоставления ПМЖ иностранцам

They also propose to grant approved applicants the right to work in Cyprus as well as conduct business on the island.

Because, otherwise, the Cyprus Permanent Residence Program will continue to be at a disadvantage compared to competing programs in other European countries as some countries grant the beneficiaries the above rights.

An important innovation that is proposed to be implemented is the granting of permanent residence holders in Cyprus the right to travel for a certain period of time to the EU member states and the United Kingdom without the need to obtain a visa. It is also recommended to cancel the rules that holders of permanent residence in Cyprus are required to visit the island every two years. Or, at least, only one person of a whole family should visit the country so often.

Even more attractive to the program, according to the members of the Associations, will be given by raising the age limit for dependents from 25 to 28 years.

Finally, the ability to apply for e-Visa from countries such as China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and South Africa also help permanent residency applicants to move more freely to Cyprus.

It is worth noting that the main reason that forced the interested Cypriot organizations to develop new conditions for attracting foreign investors was the cancellation of the Citizenship by Investment program. However, the coronavirus pandemic also played an important role in this matter.
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