If you buy property only for holidays in Cyprus, you do not need to be a resident of this country. Visas are issued on the basis of ownership of real estate.
If you plan to live in Cyprus permanently, you should apply for a residence permit. Cyprus provides the best conditions for this by the standards of the European Union.
The procedures for obtaining a permanent and temporary residence permit are as follows:
1. Accelerated procedure for obtaining a permanent residence permit
Changes in the accelerated process of permanent residence were published in official publication in Cyprus on February 22, 2016.
- Previously, the applicant's children lost their permanent place of residence after the age of 25 years. From now on, children of applicants over 25 will also receive a permanent residence permit.
- In the past, parents could not get a residence permit. Now the applicant's parents and their spouses have the right to permanent residence without the need to purchase additional real estate.
- Cyprus also accelerated the process of obtaining permanent residence for foreign buyers of real estate in Cyprus. Thus, there are at least 2 programs for obtaining a residence permit, accelerated and standard.
The advantages of the accelerated program:
Only 2 months to obtain a residence permit.
When entering the Schengen area, a person with a permanent residence permit in Cyprus will be granted the right to move freely in the area.
The applicant’s spouse (s), minor children, economically dependent adult children under the age of 25 years (if they are unmarried), as well as the applicant’s parents and the applicant’s spouse may also receive a residence permit.
A person with a permanent residence permit can freely enter and reside in Cyprus without a visa.
Having a permanent residence does not in itself affect tax liabilities in Cyprus.
Cypriot citizenship is available after 2 years of residence, or 2,555 days of the calendar year)
Conditions for obtaining a residence permit in Cyprus (it is not necessary to comply with all of them):
- Buying a property of at least € 300,000 (excluding VAT). Property must be new and purchased from the developer. Accelerated procedure for obtaining a permanent residence does not apply to the purchase of used real estate.
- The minimum initial deposit of 200 000 euros.
- Purchase confirmation must be issued for funds received from sources other than Cyprus.
- Documents confirming that the applicant's annual income (outside of Cyprus) is at least 30,000 euros. Sources of income can be: salary, dividends, rental income, interest on bank deposits, pensions, etc. Applicants must also provide proof of additional income in the amount of not less than 5,000 euros for each spouse and each child, as well as income confirmation in the amount of 8,000 euros per parent and spouse of each applicant.
- Invest at least 30,000 euros in a bank in Cyprus for a period of 3 years.
- Lack of convictions.
The maximum term for issuing permanent resident status under the accelerated procedure is 2 months.
Permanent resident status does not impose any restrictions on your stay in Cyprus. The only exception is that residents must visit Cyprus at least once every two years.
The procedure for obtaining a residence permit for relatives:
1. Spouse of the applicant:
If necessary, spouses may be issued two separate residence permits, and there is no economic need to rely on the applicant's spouse to purchase real estate or pay 30,000 euros to the account. To grant a residence permit to a spouse who is financially dependent on the applicant, you must submit an additional application.
Minors may be included in the application for permanent residence of both spouses.
Unmarried and economically dependent children between the ages of 18 and 25 can provide a student certificate valid for at least six months from the date of application. They also receive a residence permit without the need to invest in real estate. In this case, parents must provide additional proof of income in the amount of 5,000 euros for each child who is financially dependent. The obtained permanent residence is valid even after the owner has reached the age of 25, even if he / she is married, is no longer a student and is not financially dependent on his parents. However, this does not mean that future spouses and children of such people will automatically receive a residence permit.
2. Applicant’s parents:
You can get a residence permit without real estate investments. The couple must provide proof of income of at least 8,000 euros for each of the parents who are financially dependent. This certificate must be applied separately for each dependent parent.
If the main applicant dies, the spouse and the economically dependent child can apply for permanent residence instead of the main applicant without investing in additional real estate.
A person who receives a permanent residence permit without investing personal property or depositing funds in a bank account in Cyprus (30,000 euros) is not entitled to include his or her spouse, child or parent in his application for permanent residence.
How does the accelerated residence permit program in Cyprus work? Consider an example:
Situation 1. Acquisition of 2 properties:
1. Two residential objects
2. Residential real estate plus shops (warehouses) up to 100 square meters.
3. Residential real estate plus office space up to 250 square meters.
The total value of the two objects must be at least 300,000 euros.
Objects must be purchased on the same person. They may be located in different parts of the country.
Situation 2. Permanent residence of two (several) families
Applicants with children over 25 years old expect to get a permanent place of residence not only for their families, but also for their children’s families. Then you need to buy a property at a price of 600,000 euros. If there are two children, the value of the property increases to € 900.000. Each family must contribute 30,000 euros and have an annual income of at least 30,000 euros (plus 5,000 euros / 8,000 euros for each dependent).
Standard program for obtaining a Cyprus residence permit:
Suppose you cannot apply for an accelerated residence permit.
1. You have purchased a property worth less than 300,000 euros.
2. You have acquired resale property.
3. Two families (you and a child over 25 years old) have acquired new properties worth more than 300,000 euros, but less than 600,000 euros. Therefore, only one family can use the expedited procedure, but not both.
In these cases, you can use the standard procedure for obtaining a residence permit. In addition to documents for real estate, you also need to prove the source of income outside of Cyprus and the availability of funds in the Bank of Cyprus.
The law does not specify the exact amount of income and cash. As a rule, funds should be sufficient for the usual residence of the applicant in Cyprus. A Cyprus lawyer will help you prepare a document and tell you the approximate amount of money in a particular situation.
Usually obtaining a residence permit under the standard program takes 1 year.
Documents required for applying for citizenship (All documents must be original, officially translated and notarized.)
1. Application in the prescribed form
2. Copy of a valid passport valid for at least 2 years.
3. A copy of the current temporary residence permit (if the applicant has already lived in Cyprus).
4. Marriage certificate (if this statement is a spouse).
5. Child's birth certificate (if this is a family statement).
6. Two photos for each family member.
8. The status of deposits on bank accounts in Cyprus.
9. Any bank account and its recent balance.
10. Bank reference letter (confirming that the applicant is a respected client and always meets the requirements of the bank).
11. Certificate of income from work.
12. Title or contract of sale in Cyprus, a house, apartment or other building with a minimum market value of 300,000 euros and proof of payment of at least 200,000 euros. If you purchase a property in a newly built facility, you will need a receipt of payment at the first stage. If the contract is already executed, it must be provided.
13. Medical insurance.
14. Proof of the absence of a criminal record (if the applicant lives abroad, an official translation is made by the applicant's country or notarized).
15. Official confirmation that the applicant does not intend to work in Cyprus or engage in any form of business.
Temporary residence permit (Pink Slip).
Suppose you do not want or can not claim the status of permanent resident of Cyprus, but you need to stay in Cyprus most of the time.
In this case, you can get temporary resident status for one year. This immigration status allows a 365-day stay in Cyprus.
Pink Slip can be extended without restrictions. To do this, you must apply for a renewal one month before the expiry date of the current residence permit. Your application may be considered with a delay of 1-3 months, during which your stay in the country is still legal. If for any reason you need to leave the country after the expiry date of your current residence permit, you must obtain a single or multiple entry visa (if you have one) to return to Cyprus before you receive a new residence permit.
A temporary residence permit has two disadvantages compared with a permanent residence permit:
First, it needs to be updated once a year (by the way, if you go to a Cyprus lawyer, the procedure will be much easier).
Secondly, you cannot leave Cyprus for more than three months. If you leave the country and do not return within three months, your temporary residence permit will be canceled, and you will have to revisit and apply for a new residence permit.
Application for a temporary residence permit:
To obtain Pink Slip, you must submit the following documents to the Immigration Department:
- Documents for real estate (sales contract, certificate of title or lease agreement)
- Account statement in the Bank of Cyprus, where you can see the transaction and the current balance. The transaction must state that your source of income is abroad and is used in Cyprus. As for the account balance, it’s best to have around 15,000 euros per adult family member and 10,000 euros per minor. In the future, you can handle the money on your own.
- Profits and Losses Report
- Bank guarantee for 1 year or more.
- For children of school age - proof that the child is learning.
- Medical insurance.
What is the difference between a residence permit and citizenship in Cyprus?
A residence permit provides the owner with all the opportunities to live, work and study in Cyprus. A permanent residence permit has several disadvantages compared to citizenship: suppose that you are a resident, not a citizen of Cyprus:
- First of all, you can not participate in the elections of the Cypriot authorities.
- Secondly, you need a visa to travel to other European countries. It is expected the inclusion of Cyprus in the Schengen zone, when this happens, you can travel to the Schengen countries without any restrictions.
- Finally, the status of permanent resident acquired for the purchase of real estate does not give you the right to work in Cyprus.
It is best not to register for immigration status in Cyprus, but to hire a professional lawyer who specializes in such matters.