On the 16th of October 2020 the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has announced that the current Cyprus Investment Program shall cease to exist as of the 1st of November 2020.
The Ministry of Interior has informed the public that currently there are 586 pending applications undergoing examination and review. In addition, the Ministry has informed the public that any new applications for naturalization through the Cypriot Investment Program will be acceptable until 12:00 noon of Friday, October 30th 2020, provided that these duly completed and accompanied by all necesary documents and certificates. any incomplete applications, will not be accepted for submission.
It has been speculated that a new investment program and new investment incentives shall be introduced under a strict and transparent environment to foreign investors, including incentives for investment in sectors like real estate.
On another note, given the fact that it is now expected that the market value of the real estate properties, residential as well as commercial, shall decrease, we foresee that new investment opportunities shall arise. Investors may benefit not only from the excellent opportunities to acquire premium real estate (residential and commercial) but also from the permanent residency program and if eligible, to apply and acquire a permanent residency in Cyprus.
- The Permanent Residency Program at glance:
The Ministry of Interior may issue an Immigration Permit to third country applicants, in cases where the following conditions are satisfied:
- Applicants should submit a confirmation letter from a financial institution in Cyprus that he has deposited a minimum capital of €30.000 into an account, which will be pledged for a period of at least three years.The applicant should prove that he has at his disposal a secure annual income of at least €30.000. The said income should derive from abroad, and may include salaries from employment, pensions, dividends from shares, fixed deposits, rents etc. For the calculation of the total amount of the annual income, the spouse’s income may be also taken into consideration.
- The applicant should submit, title deeds or a sale contract in his name and/or his/her spouse, which has been officially filed at the Department of Lands and Surveys, of a real estate, of total market value of at least €300.000 (V.A.T. is not included therein) and official payment receipts of at least €200.000 (excluding V.A.T.), irrespective of the delivery date of the real estate. It should be stressed that the full payment of the real estate value shall be settled in an account in a financial institution in Cyprus.
- The funds should be proven to have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad. The real estate purchase may be accepted even when made in the name of a legal person, provided that the applicant and/or his/her spouse are the sole shareholders or the ultimate beneficial owners of it, and that this legal person is legally established in the Republic or other member state of the European Union or European Economic Area.
Another advantage of the Permanent Residency program is that the permanent residency issued to an applicant covers his/her spouse and children under the age of 18. Unmarried children aged between 18 and 25, who prove that they are students in an institution of tertiary education abroad with at least six months of remaining study period from the date of the submission of the application and, furthermore, that they are financially dependent on the 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.
An Immigration Permit may also be granted to the parents and parents-in-law of the applicant/holder of the permanent residency with the submission of an application and the payment of the relevant fee, with the condition that the applicant/holder of the permit presents only an additional annual income of €8.000 for every such dependent parent.
For children that are not financially dependent, other arrangements may take place.
- Clean criminal record from country of residence or from Cyprus, in case they are residents of the Republic.
- The applicant and his/her spouse shall confirm that they do not intend to undertake any sort of employment in Cyprus.
It is noted that the applicant and/or his/her spouse may be a shareholder(s) in a Company registered in Cyprus, and the income from the dividends of such a company in Cyprus are not deemed to be an impediment for the purpose of obtaining an Immigration Permit.
- To acquire residence in Cyprus within one (1) year from the date of the issuance of Immigration Permit Certificate. At the same time, the holder of such a permit, as well as his/her dependent persons who are included in his/her permit are obliged not to be absent from the Republic for more than two (2) years.
Procedure & Timeframe:
- The application shall be processed by the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRDM) and be submitted to the Minister of Interior, through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior. An interview with the applicant shall take place only when deemed necessary by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior
- A fee of €500 is payable with the submission of the application.
- The Ministry of Interior shall notify the applicant or his/her authorized representative and the CRMD as to the decision of the Minister of Interior.
Time schedule for issuing an Immigration Permit:
It is estimated that the procedure abovementioned for the examination of the application shall not exceed two (2) months from the date of the submission of a complete application.
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