Immigration and Residency
Cyprus has upgraded and relaxed the conditions and procedures of its immigration and naturalisation programmes, thereby allowing non-Europeans to obtain a permanent residence permit or instant naturalisation in Cyprus more easily and at a much faster pace. In addition to its favourable tax regime and status as an international financial and business centre, Cyprus offers a Mediterranean climate and an excellent quality of life. The advanced infrastructure, high quality of real estate and the availability of private multi-lingual international schools constitute Cyprus as a prime EU target location.
There are two main programs whereby non-Europeans can travel or reside in Cyprus without the need of having a visa – the Permanent Residency Permit (PRP) and the Cyprus Citizenship by Naturalisation scheme.
The PRP is granted provided that the applicant does not have the intention of taking up employment in Cyprus. It is permanent and also applies for the applicant’s spouse and dependent children. The main conditions of eligibility are that the applicant acquires a property in Cyprus of a value equal or over €300,000 (excl. VAT) for ownership occupancy and demonstrates that they can support themselves and their family through own funds. At least €200,000 of the value of the property must have been paid to the developer or owner of the property prior to the PRP application. Further, the applicant must prove that he has at his disposal a secured minimum annual income of €30,000, from sources outside Cyprus. The necessary minimum annual income is increased by €5.000 for each dependent person. The applicant must also submit a confirmation letter from a Cypriot Bank stating that he has a fixed three-year deposit of a minimum of €30,000.
Recent changes have relaxed certain conditions and accelerated the procedure for granting the permit. A PRP can now be secured within one to two months from application date and PRP holders are no longer required to demonstrate an intention of permanent residency in Cyprus. In order to maintain the PRP, a holder must visit Cyprus at least once every two years.
The Cyprus Citizenship by Naturalisation enables third country investors and their families to gain citizenship in Cyprus by meeting the following criteria either personally or through a company:
- Investment in government bonds to the value of €5 million; or
- Investment of at least €5 million in one of the following: financial assets of Cypriot companies or organisations; real estate, land development and infrastructure projects; companies that are based and operating Cyprus; or
- Personal fixed term deposits of at least €5 million in Cypriot banks or privately owned company, held for at least three years; or
- Any combination of the above investments amounting to at least €5 million.
- Major collective investments may qualify if so designated by the Council of Ministers.
In addition an applicant must hold at least €500,000 worth of residential property as a primary residence in Cyprus. The applicant should have made the qualifying investments during the three years preceding the date of the application for citizenship and must retain the investments for a period of at least three years from the date of the naturalisation.
Second Nationalities / Permanent Residencies
An individual’s passport dictates where they are entitled to live, work or travel. Some passports open doors for you and family worldwide, others seriously limit your freedom of movement and may even compromise your wealth or security. Whether you are seeking to improve your ability to travel, protect your assets or retire to an exotic location, you should consider securing alternative citizenship or residency. Immigrant Investor Programmes (IIPs) allows foreign citizens to invest in return for a formal immigration status. Sovereign and its specialist external partners can guide you through the best IIPs worldwide to suit your particular circumstances and requirements.
Our list of available IIPs includes, but is not limited to:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Canada (Quebec)
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- United States