Attracting foreign direct investment is at the heart of Cyprus’ development strategy. In line with this policy, the Cyprus government has introduced a scheme to enable foreign nationals to invest in the Cyprus economy and obtain Permanent Resident Permits (PRP) through the purchase of Cyprus property.
Cyprus has been a full member of the European Union since 2004 and adopted the euro as its currency in 2008. This small but dynamic country has a modern, free-market, service-based economy with an effective and transparent regulatory and legal framework, a highly competitive tax system bolstered by an extensive network of over 60 double tax treaties in force worldwide.
A business friendly environment and advanced infrastructure, combined with a high quality of life, allows investors and their families to enjoy the best of both worlds. Ease of doing business, safety, stability, year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and mountain scenery, as well as an array of historical and cultural attractions, all combine to make Cyprus one of the most attractive destinations in the EU for both living and doing business.
This section provides information for nationals of countries that are not members of the EU. If you have purchased a holiday property in Cyprus there is no need to apply for a residence permit. The visa granted on the basis of property ownership will allow you to stay in Cyprus for 180 days a year, 90 days every six months. If you plan to live and invest in Cyprus on more or less permanent basis you should apply for a Permanent Residency Permit (PRP).
PRP Qualification Requirements
In line with the Cyprus government’s objective to increase foreign investment, the Ministry of Interior recently simplified the procedure for obtaining PRP status to non-EU nationals. The ‘fast-track’ procedure requires an applicant to:
- Submit a title of ownership or contract of purchase for a property for which the value is at least €300,000 (+ VAT). The property must be new and purchased from a developer. It is not mandatory for an applicant to purchase just one property. He/she can purchase two properties provided that the total value of the properties is at least €300,000 (+ VAT) and the properties are purchased from the same developer
- Provide evidence that the purchase is made from funds received from sources outside Cyprus
- Provide evidence of annual income of at least €30,000 from sources outside Cyprus. This can be from salary, dividends, rental revenue, interest from bank deposits, pension income, etc
- Provide evidence of additional annual income of €5,000 a year for each dependent and €8,000 for each parent of the main applicant or spouse, if they are included in the application
- Deposit at least €30,000 into a Cypriot bank for a minimum three-year period
- Submit a clean criminal record certificate issued by the police authority of their country of residence
- Declare their intention not to be employed in Cyprus – PRP holders are however permitted to own Cyprus companies and receive dividends
- Visit Cyprus within one year of the grant of the PRP to take receipt of the PRP
Benefits of a PRP
The maximum period for granting PRP under the simplified procedure is two months. PRP status does not impose any restrictions to the period of stay in Cyprus. The only exception is that a holder must visit Cyprus at least once every two years to maintain PRP status. PRP holders are free to enter and live in Cyprus without the need to obtain a visa.
Actual residence in Cyprus may lead to eligibility for Cyprus citizenship by naturalisation, currently after seven years of staying in Cyprus within 10 calendar years.
PRP can be granted not just to the main applicant but also to the following relatives of the applicant without the requirement for them to purchase a property or deposit €30,000 into a bank account in Cyprus:
- Applicant’s spouse – Applicant must provide evidence of an additional €5,000 in secure annual income. A separate PRP application should be submitted for the dependent spouse
- Dependent minor children (up to 18 years old) of the main applicant and his/her spouse can be added as dependents in both parents’ PRP applications upon payment of the relevant fee. Applicant must provide evidence of an additional €5,000 in secure annual income for each dependent minor child
- Financially dependent children from 18 to 25 years old who are unmarried students can be added as dependents in both parents’ PRP applications upon payment of the relevant fee. Applicant must provide evidence of an additional €5,000 in secure annual income for each financially dependent child
- The parents of the main applicant and his/her spouse. The applicant must prove additional income of at least €8,000 for each dependent parent or parent-in-law. A separate PRP application should be submitted for each dependent parent or parent-in-law
Additional PRPs may also be granted to non-financially dependent children of the applicant over the age of 18, but this will require the applicant to invest in additional real estate with a market value of at least €300,000 (+VAT) per child.
If the main applicant of the PRP dies, his/her spouse and dependent children can apply to acquire the main applicant’s PRP without investing in additional real estate.
Any individuals who acquired the PRP without having to invest personally in real estate or deposit €30,000 in a bank account in Cyprus are not then entitled to include their own spouses, children or parents.
Sovereign PRP services
Sovereign Trust (Cyprus) can assist with all aspects of making a PRP application, including:
- Consulting on the requirements of the application process
- Advising on any questions/issues that need to be clarified
- Assisting with drafting relevant required documents
- Assisting with the legal overview of purchase agreement and/or of relevant documents
- Assisting with the real estate due diligence
- Assisting with examining tax implications from the investment
- Reviewing the application documentation to ensure required quality standards
- Submitting the completed application to the Cypriot authorities on the client’s behalf
- Monitoring the status of the review by the authorities and informing the client
- Acting as a liaison with authorities during the examination of the application
- Accompanying the client and his/her dependents to the Civil Registry and Migration Department