Cyprus Property - Obtaining residency in Cyprus through property purchase
Advantages of obtaining residency status in Cyprus
Cyprus is a full European Union and European Monetary Union member state. It offers the lowest personal and corporate tax rates in the EU together with double tax treaties with over 41 countries. It enjoys an efficient legal, accounting and banking services system and is located strategically to serve as an economic bridge between Europe, Africa and Asia. Cyprus offers an advanced telecommunications network and easy accessibility with daily flights to most locations over the world via its two main airports of Larnaca and Pafos
The Cyprus Government, in an effort to promote the economy further, has taken some unique steps in order to facilitate the receipt of a residency permit for non-EU applicants purchasing a property in Cyprus.
Common requirements for both temporary and permanent residence permits:
Obtaining a residency permit from the immigration authorities in Cyprus is simple provided the following criteria are met by the applicant:
- The purpose of your application for residency is made in order to enjoy living in Cyprus without the need to work in Cyprus
- The applicant must be of ‘good character’ and have clean criminal record
- The applicant must demonstrate his/her ability to financially support himself/herself and his/her dependants by proving an annual sufficient income arising from sources outside of Cyprus
There are two distinct possible scenarios:
1. Purchasing a property with less than €300,000 personal contribution
In such cases, it is best to apply for a temporary residence permit (Pink Slip)
- Faster and easier to obtain
- There is no requirement to actually stay in Cyprus permanently, only to visit minimum once every 3 months
- After 5 years under temporary residence status, obtaining a permanent residence permit is easier
- Valid usually for one year and renewable periodically
- Satisfying the common requirements outlined above
Note: If a permanent residency status is preferred immediately, the applicant will also need to demonstrate that he/she has sufficient amount of funds arising from sources outside of Cyprus and deposited in a Cyprus bank account, to the satisfaction of the Migration authorities.
2. Purchasing a property with more than €300,000 personal contribution
In such cases it is easy to immediately apply for a permanent residence permit (Category F)
- There is no requirement to actually stay in Cyprus permanently, only to visit minimum once every 2 years
- Normally, unlimited validity
- Satisfying the common requirements outlined in section 1
Applicants for permanent residency must possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income arising from abroad (not from Cyprus), high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession.
Although there are no clear guidelines on actual amounts required, from experience at the time of writing this, proofs of an annual income of €30,000 for a couple is usually acceptable, plus another €5,000 for each dependent person but the Immigration Control Board may demand additional amounts as necessary therefore any extra funds deposited in the applicants’ bank account(s) will of course be considered as an extra advantage.
Temporary residence permits are typically valid for up to 1 year or more. An applicant must apply to renew the permit at least 1 month prior to its expiration at the District Immigration Office. This permit will be cancelled if the applicant leaves Cyprus for 3 consecutive months or more.
Usually, there is no limit period for the validity of the permanent residency permit. The said permit remains valid provided the applicant will not be absent from Cyprus for a period exceeding 2 consecutive years. It is understood that the applicant cannot acquire permanent residency outside the Republic of Cyprus.
Once the application is then deposited with the Authorities, the applicant will be called for an interview by the Migration Officer in the district they have chosen to reside. The applicant can deposit the application whilst abroad through their solicitor in Cyprus, taking into consideration that the permit will be under the special term that the applicant is obliged to move to Cyprus within 1 year from the date of the permit for residency.
If clients are within the above provisions and plan to move to Cyprus to apply, since the procedure for the permanent residency takes time, in the meantime interested parties can obtain a temporary residency for convenience and ease of the applicant and their family.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is the personal presence in Cyprus of the person and its family members required? And if yes for how long?
Applicants who are abroad may submit an application directly to Cyprus, as stated above through the local Consular Authorities of the Republic of Cyprus. The applications are examined by the Immigration Control Board, which submits a relevant suggestion to the Minister of the Interior for a decision to be taken.
Since the Immigration will call the applicants for an interview at any time after making the application, it is advisable fort the applicant and his family (i.e. the dependents such as spouse and children under 18 yrs) to be in Cyprus when this arises.
What is the required age for the children to get the residence?
Any child under the age of 18 years or a child considered as a dependent must apply as a family with the head of the household.
What is the effect of getting residency on the European tax and on income?
Interest income from deposits with local banks for resident individuals is subject to the special contribution tax for the defence at the rate of 10%
Funds are transferable to Cyprus without any tax but you need evidence to prove that the money is legally derived.
Who can apply for a temporary residence permit?
Every non EU citizen can apply. After 5 years you can also apply for a permanent residence permit.
Who can apply for a permanent residence permit?
Every non EU citizen can apply after 5 years on a temporary residence permit. As an exception, when purchasing a home with over €300,000 personal contribution with funds from outside of Cyprus, you may apply directly for a permanent residence permit without having to wait 5 years under a temporary residence permit.
Is it easier to get a permanent residence permit if I purchase a home with €300,000 personal contribution with funds from outside of Cyprus?
The Cyprus government has offered in such cases to prioritise such applications. Acquiring a property for such a value and over is a positive step in order to obtain a residence permit.
Can I acquire a permanent residence permit in Cyprus so to be able to live in another EU country?
No. Once the permanent residence permit is obtained, you will be enjoying freedom of movement within the EU with easier procedures. In the case you do not live in Cyprus for more than 2 years, your permanent residence permit will be revoked.
Temporary or permanent residence permit? Which to choose?
The decision to apply for temporary or permanent is at your discretion and depends on your personal situation. I.e. if you wish to reside in Cyprus for just a few years or you intend to reside permanently? Since the procedure for the permanent residency permit takes a longer time, in the meantime it is advisable to apply and obtain a temporary residency.
How long does it take to receive a permanent residence permit?
If you apply from abroad, 6 to 8 months. If you are already holding a temporary residence permit in Cyprus, 8 to 10 months.
One of my children is 20 years old; can he get a residence permit together with me?
Children over the age of 18 must show independent proof of income, unless they are supported by the applicant due to special needs they may have or they are students.
Courtesy: Pafilia Property Developers
For further information
Contact: Yianni Pavlou
Tel: ++27 31 563 9566 or ++27 82 494 4555
Email: [email protected]