Criteria for the expedited process of issuing an Immigration Permit to applicants who are third country nationals and Invest in Cyprus – 3rd Criteria Review March 24, 2021

The Civil Registry and Migration Department (from now referred as CRMD) and issued the following announcement (here in Greek)  on March 24th which we have unofficially translated for information purposes as follows:

1 LEGAL FRAMEWORK

    1. Pursuant to the provisions of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, the Minister of Interior decided, after informing the Council of Ministers, to issue Immigration Permits to third-country national applicants, in cases of investments that meet the conditions of the present policy.
    2. The applicant must meet one of the investment criteria in Section 2.1, as well as the quality criteria in Section 3 below. It is understood that the money that will be used for the investment must be proven to come from abroad.

2 INVESTMENT CRITERIA

2.1 The applicant must make an investment of at least € 300,000 in one of the following investment categories:

(A) Investment in a house / apartment: Purchase of a house or apartment from a land development company, which should involve a first sale of at least € 300,000 (plus VAT).

(B) Investment in real estate (excluding houses / apartments): Purchase of other types of real estate such as offices, shops, hotels or similar developments or a combination of these with a total value of € 300,000. These properties can also be resold.

(C) Investment in the share capital of a Cyprus Company with activities and personnel in Cyprus: Investment worth € 300,000 in the share capital of a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus, based and operating in the Republic of Cyprus and having a proven physical presence in Cyprus and employing at least five (5 ) people.

(D) Investment in shares of Cyprus Investment Organization Collective Investments (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF): Investment worth € 300,000 in shares of Cyprus Investment Organization Collective Investments.

It is understood that any alienation of the holder of the Immigration Permit from the investment he has made without its immediate replacement with another of the same or greater value, which must meet the conditions set out in the present procedure, will entail the activation of the procedure of cancellation of the Permit based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.

2.2 The applicant must, in addition to the investment under Section 2.1 above, be able to prove that he has at his disposal an insured annual income of at least € 30,000. The annual income increases by € 5,000 for each dependent family member and € 8,000 for each dependent parent (of the same and / or spouse). This income may come from salaries for wages, pensions, dividends on shares, permanent deposits, rents, etc. coming from abroad in cases where the applicant chooses to invest as Section 2.1 (A). In calculating the total income, the income of the applicant’s spouse can also be taken into account.

In cases where the applicant chooses to invest as in Sections 2.1. (B), 2.1. (C) or 2.1. (D), his total income or part of it may also come from sources coming from activities within the Republic.

3 QUALITY CRITERIA

3.1 The applicant and his / her spouse must submit a clean criminal record certificate from their country of residence or from the Republic in case they reside in Cyprus, and generally do not pose in any way a threat to public order or public security.

3.2 The applicant and his / her spouse will certify that they do not intend to work in the Republic with the exception of their employment as Directors in a Company in which they have chosen to invest under this policy.

3.3 In cases where the investment does not concern the Company’s share capital, the applicant and / or his spouse may be shareholders in Companies registered in Cyprus and the dividend income in such companies may not be considered as an obstacle for the purposes of obtaining the Immigration Permit. They may also hold the position of unpaid Director in such companies.

3.4 In cases where the applicant chooses to invest as Sections 2.1. (B), 2.1. (C) or 2.1. (D), he / she must present information about his / her place of residence in the Republic (eg title deed, purchase document, rental document).

4 LEGAL ELEMENTS 

4.1 Investing in a house / apartment or other real estate: 

The applicant submits with his application a title deed or purchase document in the name of his and / or his wife submitted to the Department of Lands and Surveys for a house or other building worth at least € 300,000 (plus VAT if applicable) and official receipts for the repayment of at least € 200,000 (excluding VAT), regardless of the delivery date of the property.

It is understood that when submitting the application, evidence must be provided that the investment money has come from abroad and is not a product of domestic borrowing (remittances, foreign card payment receipts, bank certificate) which should be linked to the corresponding investments. The rest of the value of the investment will have to be paid to the seller’s account at a Cyprus financial institution.

It is noted that the purchase of real estate will be accepted even when it is made by a legal entity in which the applicant and / or his spouse are the sole shareholders or the final beneficiaries and which is legally established in the Republic or in another Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area.

For the purposes of paragraph 2 in relation to the purchase of a house / apartment, it is specified that:

(a) The applicant may purchase up to two (2) housing units (apartments or houses), provided that the total market value meets the provisions of Section 4.1 above. In the case of a couple, the above condition applies to the couple as a whole.

(b) This purchase must relate to homes sold by the development company to a buyer for the first time, unless the home purchase took place before 07/05/2013. Purchase and sale documents related to resale of houses and which have been submitted to the Land Registry before 07/05/2013 (the date of filing of the purchase and sale documents will be confirmed by the Department of Land Registry and Surveying), will be accepted for purposes of this policy.

It is noted that the properties do not have to be purchased from the same land development company.

4.2 Investment in share capital of a Cyprus Company with business activities and staff in Cyprus:

For the purposes of implementing this policy, the applicant is required to make a total investment of € 300,000, there has to be physical presence of the company in the Republic and employment of at least five (5) employees. In this case the following documents must be submitted:

  • Share purchase agreement
  • Shareholder Certificate and Company Establishment Certificate from the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver.
  • Business profile of the company that includes business goals etc.
  • Proof of payment (eg bank transfer)
  • Evidence for the employment of employees from the Department of Social Insurance.

4.3 Investment in shares of Cyprus Investment Organization Collective Investments (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF):

For the purposes of this policy, the applicant is required to submit a total investment of € 300,000 in investment shares and the submission of the following documents:

  • Securities or other confirmation for the units purchased
  • Proof of payment (eg bank transfer)
  • Confirmation from the Cyprus Securities Commission for the establishment of the Fund
  • Memorandum of the Fund or Investment Plan.

5 DEPENDENT APPLICANTS

5.1 The Immigration Permit is issued to the applicant. This includes the applicant’s dependents who are the spouse and their minor children up to the age of 18 years.

If they wish, it is possible to issue two separate Immigration Permits to each of the parties of the couple without the obligation that the second meet the above criteria, provided that a separate application is submitted and the corresponding fee is paid.

It is understood that in the event that the Immigration Permit granted to the investor is canceled for any reason, it will involve the activation of the process of cancellation of the Permit for the other part of the couple, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.

5.2 Unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 25, only those who are proven to be higher education students abroad on the date of application and who are financially dependent on the applicant, can submit their own, separate application for an Immigration Permit with payment of the corresponding fee. In such a case the father or mother and / or both parents together must present an additional annual income of € 5,000 for each such dependent child.

If the children are students in Higher and Higher Education Institutions of the Republic, they must apply for a temporary residence permit in the Republic as students under 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 corresponding fee, regardless of their age, provided that the parents will present an additional annual income of € 5,000.

This Permit will continue to be valid after reaching the age of 25 even if the child is still not single and / or a student and / or financially dependent on his or her parents. It is understood that the spouse and their minor children will not be able to be included as dependents in this Permit. It is also understood that in the event that the Immigration Permit granted to the investor / parent is canceled for any reason, it will involve the activation of the process of cancellation of the Permit for this child, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.

5.3 An Immigration Permit can also be granted to the applicant’s parents and their spouse, by submitting separate applications for each person and paying the corresponding fee, provided that the applicant will present an additional annual income of € 8,000 for each dependent parent. It is understood that their spouse and minor children will not be able to be included as dependents in this License. It is also understood that in the event that the Immigration Permit granted to the investor / child is canceled for any reason, it will involve the activation of the process of cancellation of the Permit for these parents, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.

6 HIGHER VALUE INVESTMENT FOR INCLUDING ADULT CHILDREN

An Immigration Permit may also be granted to an adult child applicant who is not financially dependent on a higher value investment, subject to the provisions of Paragraph 2, as set out below:

  • The market value of the € 300,000 investment should be multiplied by the number of adult children, who will invoke the same investment for the purpose of obtaining an Immigration Permit. For example, in case the applicant has an adult child he should make an investment worth € 600,000, if he has two adult children the value of the investment should amount to € 900,000.
  • In case the investment will concern the real estate market, ie where the applicant chooses to invest as Sections 2.1. (A) and 2.1. (B), together with the application a proof of payment of at least 66% of the real estate market value must be submitted.
  • It is understood that, in such a case, each adult child should be able to prove that they have at their disposal an insured annual income of at least € 30,000, which will increase by € 5,000 for each dependent, as provided in Section 2.2. In addition, it is noted that the investment can be made jointly in the name of the applicant and the adult child or exclusively in the name of the applicant.

7 APPLICATION AND EXAMINATION PROCEDURE

  • The applications, together with the required accompanying documents, will be submitted to the Department of Population and Immigration Record (CRMD) in person or through a representative (relevant telephone numbers 22308676 and 22308633). Upon submission of the application, a fee of € 500 is paid.
  • In the case of submitting an application through a representative, this should be accompanied by a written authorization of the applicant which should indicate the full details of the representative as well as his address and contact telephone numbers.
  • The application will be promptly processed by the CRMD and will be submitted to the Minister of Interior, through the General Director of the Ministry of Interior.

8 TIMEFRAME

  • If all the criteria of this policy are met and if there are no reasons concerning either the applicant’s criminal record or reasons of public order and public security, the application will be forwarded for consideration and decision by the Minister of Interior.
  • It is estimated that the examination period of the application from the date of submission of the completed application will be approximately two (2) months.

9 OTHER INFORMATION

Persons who are granted an Immigration Permit must obtain permanent residence in the Republic within one (1) year from the date of approval of the submitted application, while they must, like their family members, not remain outside the Republic for a period of two (2) years. Otherwise the Immigration Permit ceases to be valid under Regulation 6 (3) and / or may be revoked under Regulation 6 (4).

10 APPLICATION FORMS

The forms are available electronically on the website of the Department of Population and Immigration Records at the bottom of the webpage.

11 CONTACT

Responsible Officer: Ms. Panagiota Nathanael – Administrative Officer

Email: pnathanael@crmd.moi.gov.cy

Telephone: 22308623

Fax: 22308751

12 ENTRY INTO FORCE OF A REVISED POLICY

This policy enters into force on 24/03/2021.

Again, we emphasize that this article has been translated for information purpose only. For information we STRONGLY ADVISE contacting the relevant contact persons at the Civil registry and Migration Department as above and accessing the original article (here in Greek).

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