As previously covered, the Permanent Residence Permit Programme (the ‘Programme’), is a special class of permit offered by the Republic of Cyprus, which relieves its holders from time consuming procedures associated with other types of permits, such as consular inspections, renewal, etc.
To address some shortfalls of the Programme, important amendments were introduced with effect on 2 May 2023. These amendments are presented below.
Both the required amount of the investment and the investment criteria have remained the same. In summary, an amount of €300,000 (excluding VAT and transfer fees where applicable) needs to be invested in one of the following options:
1. Investment in a house/apartment
2. Investment in real estate (excluding houses/apartments)
3. Investment in the share capital of a Cyprus company, which has operations and staff based in Cyprus
4. Investment in units of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF)
Insured Annual Income
As was the case so far, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has at his/her disposal a secure annual income. The level of that income has increased from a minimum of €30,000 to €50,000 per annum.
So far, such annual income was increased by €5,000 for each dependent family member (spouse and/or child/ren) and €8,000 for each dependent parent of the applicant and/or his/her spouse. As per the new provisions, the increase for a spouse has been set at €15,000 and for a child at €10,000 per annum. It is no longer possible to add parents, either of the applicant and/or his/her spouse, in the permit application. The same also holds for adult children of the applicant.
Investment in Real Estate
So far, at least 66% of the purchase price (with a minimum of €200,000 plus VAT – if applicable) needed to be paid prior to submitting the application. Following the amendments, the threshold of €300,000 plus VAT – if applicable must be paid in full (evidenced by official receipts) before applying, regardless of the delivery status of the property.
The funds must be directly deposited to the seller’s account in a financial institution in Cyprus from the main applicant’s bank account or from the one of his/her spouse if he/she is included in the application as dependent.
As was the case so far, the permit can also be granted to unmarried children of the applicant between the ages of 18 and 25, only when it is proven that, at the date of the application, they are attending higher educational institutions abroad and provided they are financially dependent on the applicant. Such dependent children must submit their own separate applications upon payment of the appropriate fee. As for minors, the applicant and/or his/her spouse must prove that they have an additional annual income of €10,000 for each such dependent child.
As was also the case so far, the permit may be granted to the applicant’s children even if they are over 18 years old and are not financially dependent on the applicant, provided that the investment of €300,000 is multiplied according to the number of adult children, which will rely on such investment. What has changed, in line with the above, is the level of minimum annual income that such children must be able to prove. The level of that income has increased from a minimum of €30,000 to €50,000 per annum for the main applicant, from €5,000 to €15,000 for a dependent spouse and from €5,000 to €10,000 for each dependent child.
Applicants are now required to produce evidence, on an annual basis, proving that they continue to maintain their investments and that their income remains above the threshold. Specifically, the applicants will need to provide evidence about the following:
Failure to provide such evidence will result in the termination of the residency permits for the applicants and their dependents.
Although the permit has a validity of 10 years from the date of issuance, the right of the applicants, their spouses and their adult dependent children to reside in Cyprus is indefinite. The permit can be replaced upon its expiry date. The permit issued for minor children of the applicants will end once they reach the age of 18. They can reapply if they fulfil the relevant criteria.