Criteria for Granting an Immigration PermitAndreas Ioannou
CRITERIA FOR GRANTING AN IMMIGRATION PERMIT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE EXPEDITED PROCEDURE TO APPLICANTS THAT ARE THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS AND INVEST IN CYPRUS
1.1 Pursuant to the provisions of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, the Minister of Interior, having notified the Council of Ministers, has decided to issue Immigration Permits to third-country nationals in cases where the following conditions are satisfied:
1.2 The applicant must meet one of the investment criteria seen in Section 2.1, as well as all the qualitative criteria seen in Section 3 below.
It is understood that the funds that will be used for the investment must be proven to have been transferred in Cyprus 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:
- Investment in a housing unit / apartment: Purchase of a first sale housing unit or apartment from a development company for a purchase price of at least € 300,000 (plus VAT).
- Investment in real estate (excluding housing / 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. Such type of properties can also be resale properties.
- Investment in the share capital of a Company registered in the Republic of Cyprus with activities and employees in Cyprus: Investment worth of € 300,000 in a company registered and operating in the Republic of Cyprus that has a proven physical presence in Cyprus and employs at least five (5 ) people.
- Investment in units of Cyprus Investment Funds AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF): Investment worth € 300,000 in units of Cyprus Investment Funds
It is understood that alienation of the holder of the Immigration Permit from the investment he has made initially without its immediate replacement with another investment of the same or greater value, which must meet the conditions set out in the present regulations, will activate the procedure of cancellation of the said Permit based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
2.2 The applicant must, in addition to the aforementioned investment under Section 2.1 above, be able to prove that he has at his disposal a secured annual income of at least € 30,000. The annual income should increase by € 5,000 for each dependent family member and by € 8,000 for each dependent parent and/or parent in law. This income should derive from abroad for those applicants that will chose to invest as per the terms of Section 2.1 (A) and may come from salaries for wages, pensions, dividends on shares, permanent deposits, rents, etc. . When 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 per the terms of 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. QUALITATIVE 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 of Cyprus in case they reside in Cyprus and generally they should not be considered as a threat in any way to the public order or public security in Cyprus.
3.2 The applicant and his / her spouse shall confirm that they do not intend to be employed in Cyprus with the exception of their employment as Directors in a Company registered in Cyprus by virtue of which they have chosen to invest under the current regulations.
3.3 In cases where the investment does not consist of share capital in a company, the applicant and / or his spouse may be shareholders in Companies registered in Cyprus and the income they receive from the dividends from the said companies will not be deemed to be an impediment in obtaining an Immigration permit. In addition, they can also hold directorship positions in companies that are registered in Cyprus provided they are not getting paid from the said 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 submit information about his / her place of residence in the Republic (for example title deed, Contract of Sale, tenancy agreement).
4. LEGAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
4.1 Investing in a housing unit / apartment or other real estate:
The applicant should submit along with his application a title deed or contact of sale in his and/or his spouse’s name that was deposited with the Department of Lands and Surveys for a housing unit or for any other building worth at least € 300,000 (plus VAT if applicable) as well as official receipts confirming payment of at least € 200,000 (excluding VAT), regardless of the delivery date of the property.
It is understood that with the submission of the application, documentary proof should be submitted proving that the funds invested emanate from abroad and have not been borrowed from a Cypriot Banking institution (inward transfer slips, receipts of payment with a card from abroad, bank confirmation) which should be linked to the investment. The remaining balance of the value of the investment should be paid into the seller’s bank account in a Cypriot Financial Institution.
It is understood, that the purchase of real estate will be deemed sufficient even when such purchase is made by a legal entity in which the applicant and / or his spouse are the sole shareholders of or the final beneficiaries of and which is legally registered in the Republic or in any other 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 housing / apartment, it is specified that:
- The applicant may purchase up to two (2) housing units (apartments or houses), provided that the total market value complies with the provisions of Section 4.1 above. In the case of a couple, the above condition applies to the couple.
- The purchase of the said properties should concern properties sold for the first time by the development company unless the property purchase took place before 07/05/2013. Contracts of Sales that concern resale properties that have been deposited with the Land Registry before the 07/05/2013 (the actual date of depositing the Contract of Sale will be confirmed with the Land Registry), will be accepted for the purposes of this policy.
It is understood that the properties do not have to be purchased from the same development company.
4.2 Investment in share capital of a Cyprus Company with business activities and employees in Cyprus: For the purposes of implementing this policy, the applicant is required to make a total investment of €300,000. Physical presence of the company in the Republic and employment of at least five (5) employees is necessary. In this case the following documents must be submitted:
- Share purchase agreement.
- Shareholders Certificate and Company Incorporation Certificate from the Registrar of Companies and
- Official Business profile of the company that includes business goals and purpose of the company etc. Proof of payment (e.g bank transfer)
- Proof of the employment of the employees from the Department of Social Insurances.
4.3 Investment in shares of Cyprus Investment Funds (type AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF):
For the purposes of implementing this policy, the applicant is required to proceed with a total investment of €300,000 in investment units and submission of the following documents:
- Title Deeds or other documents proving the purchase of the units
- Proof of payment (i.e inward transfer slip)
- Confirmation of the establishment of a Fund from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
- Memorandum of the Fund or of the Investment Plan.
5. DEPENDENT APPLICANTS
5.1 The Immigration Permit is issued in favor of the main applicant. This includes the applicant’s dependents namely the spouse and their minor children up to the age of 18 years.
Two separate Immigration Permits may be granted to each spouse, if desired, provided that a separate application is submitted and the relevant fee is paid, without being required for the other spouse to satisfy the above-mentioned criteria.
It is understood that in the event that the Immigration Permit granted to the investor is canceled for any reason, it will activate the procedure for cancelling the Permit of the other spouse, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
5.2 Unmarried children aged between 18 and 25, who prove that they are students in an institution of tertiary education abroad at the time of submitting the application, and are financially dependent on the main applicant, may submit a separate application to obtain an Immigration Permit with the payment of the relevant fee. In such a case, the father or mother and/or both parents together must present an additional annual income of €5.000 for every such dependent child.
If children wish to study in an institution of tertiary education in the Republic, they have to submit through the institution an application for acquisition of a temporary residence permit in the Republic as students, according to the provisions of the relevant legislation (EU Directive). After the completion of their studies in the Republic, these children regardless of their age, will be able to submit their own application to obtain an Immigration Permit, as it is described above, with the condition that their parents present only an additional annual income of €5.000 for every such child.
The said permit will continue to be valid, even if the children have exceeded the age of 25 years old and even if they do not remain unmarried and/or students and/or financially dependent on their parents. It is noted that their future spouses or underage children cannot be included as dependent persons on 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 activate the procedure for cancelling the Permit of the adult child, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
5.3 An Immigration Permit may also be granted to the parents of the applicant and /or to the parents of his/her spouse with the submission of a separate application for each person and the payment of the relevant fee, with the condition that the applicant/holder of an Immigration Permit presents an additional annual income of €8.000 for every such dependent parent. It is understood that their spouse and minor children will not be able to be included as dependents in this Immigration Permit. It is also understood that in the event that the Immigration Permit granted to the investor/child is canceled for any reason, it will activate the procedure for cancelling the Permit of the parents, based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
6. Investment of a Higher Value for the Inclusion of Children who are not financially dependent:
An Immigration Permit may also be granted to an adult child of the main applicant who is not financially dependent on the main applicant, provided that a higher value investment is made, 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 rely on the same investment for the purpose of obtaining an Immigration Permit. For example, in case the applicant has one 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 etc.
In case the investment will concern the purchase of real estate property, i.e where the applicant chooses to invest in accordance with Section 2.1. (A) and 2.1. (B), the application must be accompanied by a proof of payment of at least 66% of the purchase price of the property.
It is understood that, in such a case, each adult child will be able to prove that they have at their disposal a secure 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. Procedure for the Submission and Examination of an Application:
The applications, along with the necessary supportive documents, will be submitted at the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD). 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/her 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 (MOI).
8. Time schedule for issuing an Immigration Permit:
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 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 cancelled under Regulation 6 (4).