The Cyprus Ministry of the Interior has published a new program to attract investors.
A new Plan for Foreign Investors is coming into force to replace Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program which was cancelled in October.
The new investment program allows foreign investors to obtain a residence permit in Cyprus if the applicants fit all criteria. The Minister of Internal Affairs has already presented the new plan to the Cabinet.
1. LEGAL FRAMEWORK
1.1 In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 6 (2) of the Immigration Law, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Cyprus informed the Council of Ministers and decided to issue an immigration permit to applicants from third (non-EU) countries in cases where the investment meets the criteria.
1.2 The applicant must meet one of the investment criteria specified in section 2.1, as well as the quality criteria in section 3 (see below). It must be proven that the money to be used for investment comes from abroad.
2. INVESTMENT CRITERIA
2.1 The applicant must invest at least 300 thousand euros in one of the following investment categories:
- (A) To buy a house / apartment: the purchase of a house or apartment from a developer. It must be a new building worth at least €300,000 (plus VAT).
- (B) To buy real estate (excluding houses / apartments): the purchase of other types of real estate, such as offices, shops, hotels or similar facilities, or their combination for at least of €300 thousand. These properties can also be resold.
- (C) To invest in a Cypriot company operating and staffing in Cyprus: an investment of € 300 thousand in the share capital of a company incorporated in the Republic of Cyprus, based and operating in the Republic of Cyprus and having a proven physical presence in Cyprus and five (5) or more employees.
- (D) To invest in shares of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF): an investment of € 300,000 in shares of the Cyprus Mutual Investment Association.
Any withdrawal of investments without immediate replacement with the same or greater value by the residence permit holder must comply with the conditions set forth in this document and will entail the activation of the license cancellation procedure in accordance with the provisions of Article 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Rules.
2.2 The applicant must, in addition to the investment in accordance with section 2.1, also prove that they have at their disposal a guaranteed annual income of at least EUR 30 thousand.
The annual income increases by 5 thousand euros for each member of the dependent family and by 8 thousand euros for each dependent parent (of the applicant and / or of the spouse). This income may come from salaries, pensions, stock dividends, permanent deposits, rents, etc., coming from abroad in cases where the applicant decides to invest in accordance with regulation 2.1 (A). When calculating the total income, the income of the applicant's spouse may also be taken into account.
In cases where the applicant chooses to invest in accordance with sections 2.1. (B), 2.1. (C) or 2.1. (D) the total income or part of it may also come from sources located in Cyprus.
3. OTHER CRITERIA
3.1 The applicant and their spouse must provide a criminal record from their country of residence stating that they do not pose a threat to public order or safety.
3.2 The applicant and their spouse will confirm that they do not intend to work in the Republic, except that they are working as directors in the company in which they have chosen to invest in accordance with these provisions.
3.3 In cases where the investment does not relate to the share capital of the Company, the applicant and / or his spouse may be shareholders of companies registered in Cyprus and dividend income in such companies cannot be considered as an obstacle for obtaining this residence permit. They can also work as directors in such companies.
3.4 In cases where the applicant chooses to invest in accordance with sections 2.1. (B), 2.1. (C) or 2.1. (D), they must provide information about their place of residence in Cyprus (for example, a title deed), or documents proving the purchase or lease of real estate.
4. LEGAL ISSUES
4.1 Investing in a house / apartment or other real estate:
The applicant submits (besides the application) a document of property ownership or a purchase document with the participant name or their spouse, submitted to the Department of Land Resources for a house or other real estate worth at least EUR 300 thousand (plus VAT if applicable), and official receipts of at least EUR 200 thousand (excluding VAT), regardless of the date of delivery of the property.
When submitting an application, it is necessary to provide evidence that the investment money came from abroad and is not a product of internal borrowing (money transfers, receipts for payment of foreign cards, bank certificate). The rest of the investment value must be returned to the seller's bank account at a Cypriot bank.
It should be noted that the purchase of real estate will be accepted even if it is made by a legal entity in which the applicant and / or their spouse are the sole shareholders or ultimate beneficiaries and which is legally registered in the Republic of Cyprus or in another EU or EEA country.
Regarding clause 2 (the purchase of a house / apartment), it is said that:
- (a) Applicant may purchase two (2) properties (apartments or houses) provided the total market value complies with the provisions of section 4.1 above. In the case of a married couple, the above condition applies to the couple as a whole.
- (b) The purchase must be a housing sold by the development company to the first purchaser, unless the purchase was made prior to 07/05/2013. Sale and purchase documents related to the resale of houses and submitted to the Land Registry before 07/05/2013 (the date of submission of the sale and purchase documents will be confirmed by the Department of Land Registry and Administration) will be accepted.
It should be noted that the property does not have to be purchased from the same developer company.
4.2 Investments in the authorized capital of a Cypriot company with commercial activities and personnel in Cyprus:
To implement this provision, the applicant must make a total investment of EUR 300,000. It also requires the physical presence of the company in Cyprus and employment of at least five (5) employees. In this case, the applicant must provide the following documents:
- Share purchase and sale agreement.
- Certificate of shareholder and certificate of incorporation of the company from the registrar of the company and the official recipient.
- Business profile of the company, including business goals, etc.
- Proof of payment (e.g. bank transfer).
- Certificate of employment for employees of the Social Insurance Board.
4.3 Investments in shares of the Cyprus Investment Fund Collective Investments (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF):
In this case, the applicant must make a total investment of EUR 300,000 in investment units and submit the following documents:
- Securities or other confirmation of purchased shares
- Proof of payment (e.g. bank transfer)
- Confirmation from the Securities and Exchange Commission for the establishment of the fund
- Fund memorandum or investment plan.
5. DEPENDENT PERSONS OF THE APPLICANTS
5.1 Residence permit is issued in the name of the applicant. It also includes dependents: the spouse and their children under the age of 18.
If desired, two separate residence permits can be issued to each of the married couples without any obligations, if they submit a special application and pay the additional fee.
In the event that the residence permit provided to the investor is canceled for any reason, this results in the cancellation of the spouse's license in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Law. Aliens and Immigration Rules.
5.2 Unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 25 who, on the date of submission of the application, are studying in higher education institutions abroad and who are financially dependent on the applicant, can submit their own separate application for a residence permit. In this case, the father or mother and / or both parents together must submit documents confirming an additional annual income of EUR 5 thousand for each dependent child.
If children study in higher education institutions in the Republic of Cyprus, they must apply for a temporary residence permit in the republic as students in accordance with the relevant legislation (EU directive). After completing their studies in Cyprus, they will be able to submit their own application for an immigration permit, as mentioned above, with the payment of the appropriate fee, regardless of their age, provided that the parents provide proof of additional annual income of € 5,000.
This permit will remain in effect beyond the age of 25, even if the child is no longer financially dependent on his parents. The spouse of the applicant's children and their minor children cannot be included in this type of residence permit as dependents. In case of cancellation of the residence permit issued to the applicant for any reason, it will result in the activation of the process of cancellation of the residence permit for the applicant's children in accordance with the provisions of rule 6 of the Law.
5.3 A residence permit can also be granted to the applicant's parents and their spouses, if they submit separate applications for each family member and pay the additional fee, provided that the applicant provides proof of additional annual income in the amount of EUR 8 thousand for each dependent parent. In case of cancellation of the residence permit issued to the applicant for any reason, this will entail the cancellation of the residence permit of their parents in accordance with the provisions of rule 6 of the Law.
6. MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF INVESTMENT IF THE APPLICANT WANTS TO INCLUDE ADULT KIDS IN RESIDENCE PERMIT
A residence permit can also be issued to an adult applicant who is not financially dependent on more expensive investments, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 2, as defined below:
The market value of an investment of EUR 300 thousand should be multiplied by the number of adult children who apply for the same investment in order to obtain a residence permit. For example, if the applicant has an adult child, he must invest EUR 600 thousand, if the have two adult children, then the investment amount must be EUR 900 thousand.
In the event that the investment will relate to real estate and the applicant decides to invest in accordance with Sections 2.1. (A) and 2.1. (B), along with the application, it is necessary to provide proof of payment of at least 66% of the market value.
It is understood that in this case, each adult child will be able to prove that they have an annual income of at least EUR 30 thousand, which will increase by 5 thousand euros for each dependent, as provided in section 2.2. In addition, it should be noted that investments can be made jointly in the name of the applicant and an adult child, or exclusively in the name of the applicant.
7. PROCEDURE FOR SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION AND ITS CONSIDERATION
Applications, along with the necessary supporting documents, will be submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department in person or via an intermediary (the department phone numbers are 22 308676 and 22 308633). A fee of EUR 500 is payable upon application.
In the case of filing an application through a representative, this must be accompanied by the written permission of the applicant, which must indicate the full details of the representative, as well as his address and contact numbers.
The application will be promptly processed and submitted for final approval to the Minister of the Interior through the Director General of the Ministry of the Interior.
8. TIME FRAMEWORK
If all the criteria have been met and there are no obstacles in the form of the applicant's past conviction, or considerations of a threat to public order and security, the application is forwarded to the Minister of the Interior for consideration and decision. It is assumed that the period for consideration of the application is approximately two months from the date of submission of the completed application.
9. OTHER INFORMATION
Persons who have been granted permission to obtain a Cyprus residence permit through the purchase of real estate must acquire a permanent residence in Cyprus within one year from the date of approval of the submitted application, while they, like their family members, must visit the Republic at least once every two years. Otherwise, the residence permit will expire in accordance with Rule 6 (3) and / or may be revoked in accordance with Rule 6 (4).
10. APPLICATION FORMS
The forms are available electronically on the Department of Population and Immigration website and look like this:
- Application Form (MIP1)
- List of documents submitted with the application (download)
- List of documents submitted with the application for children studying abroad (download)
- List of documents submitted with the application for the applicant's parents (download)
- Responsible statement of the applicant's annual income (download)
- A statement of responsibility to certify that the applicant and his / her spouse do not work in Cyprus, except for their work as managers in a company in which they have decided to invest under this policy (download)