The Cyprus Permanent Residency Programme for non-EU nationals grants the holder the right to reside, settle and stay in Cyprus indefinitely, and to travel within the EU with less elaborate visa requirements. It is also considered to be the first step towards gaining Cyprus Citizenship.
Cyprus has been a member of the European Union since 2004, and a member of the Eurozone since 2008. The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is a safe and comfortable country to relocate to, with a high but low cost standard of living. It enjoys a stable political climate and high quality healthcare and education. Its attractive tax regime makes the country one of the top relocation destinations in the world.
FACT BOX: ELIGIBILITY
- be 18 years of age
- be a third country, non-EU national
- have an annual income of €30,000, increased for each dependent
- have a clean criminal record
- pass due-diligence tests
- visit once in the first year to register
- fulfill the monetary obligations established by the Programme
What are the benefits of Cyprus Residency by Investment?
One of the main attractions of the Cyprus Permanent Residency by Investment Programme is its fast track to residency, with certificates issued after only 2 months via an efficient application process.
The programme offers European mobility with easier travel across the Schengen zone. Permit holders can apply for a Schengen Visa via a Schengen embassy. Cyprus is expected to join Schengen soon.
Another perk is the country’s favourable tax regime due to several international double taxation agreements. The country offers foreign investors an attractive business environment, with a low corporate tax rate of 12.5%
A Cyprus residency certificate is valid for life.
Holders of the Cyprus Permanent Resident certificate have the right (under certain conditions) to apply for a Cypriot passport following their physical presence for a total of 5 years within a 7 year period.
Who is eligible for the Cyprus Residency by Investment Programme?
For a main applicant to be eligible under the Cyprus Permanent Residency by Investment Programme, s/he must be a non-EU national, of good standing and at least 18 years of age. Eligible dependents include the spouse, their parents and children up to the age of 24.
The main applicant and dependents must declare the intention to not be employed in Cyprus.
Applicants must have a clean criminal record and must pass a ‘fit and proper’ test, to comply with due diligence requirements.
Holders of Cypriot Residency must visit the country every two years.
What are the costs to become a resident under the Cyprus Residency by Investment Programme?
Applicants for the Cyprus Permanent Residency by Investment Programme are required to purchase a residential properties of a combined value of €300,000 (excl. VAT if applicable). The purchases must be ‘first-time’ sales meaning that they are to be bought for the first time from a property development company. Options indicated for the purchase of real estate are 2 individual housing units, or 1 housing unit and a shop, or 1 housing unit and an office.
Moreover, applicants are required to maintain a three year fixed deposit with a Cyprus bank of at least €30,000, and such funds must emanate from outside Cyprus.
In addition, the main applicant must provide evidence of a secured annual income of at least €30,000. The funds must originate from abroad, and are to be increased by €5,000 for each dependent, and €8,000 for each parent included in the application.
Taxation of new residents under the Cyprus Residency by Investment Programme
Tax in Cyprus is based on residency and domicile. Residents enjoy a number of tax benefits. There is no tax on dividend and interest income if one is non-domiciled in Cyprus. There is also no tax on any profits earned from the disposal of securities including shares and bonds.
Moreover there is no tax on any lump sum received as a retirement gratuity, and no estate duty, wealth, gift or inheritance tax. Pensions received from abroad exceeding €3,420 are taxed at 5%.
How to apply to become a Cyprus Resident under the Cyprus Residency Programme?
The Cyprus Permanent Residency by Investment Programme employs a fast-track process to permanent residency rights for holders.
STEP 1: Compliance with programme’s obligations
The main applicant has a two weeks’ time to comply with the monetary obligations set out by the programme, ie invest in real estate, declare a minimum of €30,000 secured income and give evidence of a 3 year fixed deposit of €30,000 in a Cypriot bank.
STEP 2: Submit application
The application for permanent residency is submitted, complete with supporting documents, to the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
STEP 3: Application is processed
The application is evaluated by the Cyprus Civil Registry, the Migration Department and the Ministry of the Interior. This usually takes around 2 months.
STEP 4: Certificate is issued
The residency certificate is issued