Anew and accelerated procedure for granting a specific type of residence permit to applicants who are third-country nationals and intend to invest in the Republic of Cyprus is now available.
The Category F residence permit is primarily designed to cater for persons who possess, and have fully and freely at their disposal, a certain and secured annual income, sufficient enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus without having to engage in any business, trade or profession in the republic.
The permit primarily pitches to the residential needs of persons of a certain financial stature, who are capable of sustaining themselves from their overseas investments, or retired persons.
One of the main advantages of the Category F residence permit is that the application for it will be examined as a priority by the Minister of Interior, that is to say within one to two months, and the criteria applied on the merits of such an application are considerably relaxed compared to the other available categories of residence permits.
The Category F residence permit is equivalent to a permanent residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus.
As Cyprus is an EU member state, the holders of the residence permit may also be eligible to travel to a number of European countries and destinations without having to obtain visas.
Pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations and governmental policy-specific guidelines, the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Cyprus may issue such a residence permit as aforesaid to applicants who are third-country nationals, provided they satisfy certain legal and investment criteria.
An interested applicant for a Category F residence permit must prove that he or she has at his or her disposal a secured annual income of at least €30,000 (US$40,000) earned from sources abroad.
This income may comprise employment salaries, pensions, share dividends, rents or any other form of receivables, provided in all instances that it is generated from sources abroad and not from activities in the Republic of Cyprus. It should be noted that the minimum annual income mentioned is increased by €5,000 for each dependent person of the applicant.
The application form must be accompanied by a title deed of a residential property purchased by the applicant in the Republic of Cyprus, the minimum value of which should be €300,000. The applicant should be in a position to prove payment of at least €200,000 of the minimum property purchase price.
In the absence of title deeds concerning the property, the application may proceed on the basis of the contract of sale of the property, provided that the same has been submitted and endorsed by the Department of Lands and Surveys.
In addition, a bank confirmation statement would need to be included in the application evidencing that the applicant has deposited at least €30,000 in a bank account in the Republic of Cyprus.
The account will be pledged for at least a three-year period. Both the funds for the acquisition of the residential property and of the bank account must be remitted and/or otherwise transferred to the applicant’s Cyprus bank account from abroad.
The applicant will be further obliged to provide an official translation of his or her clean criminal record certificate, issued by the appropriate authority of the applicant’s country of origin.
The former is required to prove to the satisfaction of the appropriate authorities of the Republic of Cyprus that the applicant, and accordingly the granting of the Category F residence permit applied for, do not constitute a threat to the public order and security of the Republic of Cyprus.
Furthermore, the applicant shall sign and submit a declaration that he or she does not intend to work, or otherwise be engaged in any form of business activity, in the Republic of Cyprus.
The application is submitted on Form M67 to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, or to the District Offices, either by the applicant personally, or via post, or through a representative. Applications submitted to District Offices shall be transferred to the Civil Registry and Migration Department directly without any processing.
The application, bundled together with supporting documentation, the applicant’s identification and medical insurance documents (and marital status certificates, if applicable), together form the applicant’s residence permit application folder, which is at first instance submitted for the consideration and examination of the Civil Registry and Migration Department. The application folder is further required to contain a uniform document checklist of all documents in the folder. It is for this purpose that each document in support of the application needs to be clearly numbered, as indicated by the checklist.
Following the examination of the complete application folder by the Civil Registry and Migration Department, it is then submitted, through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, to the Minister of Interior for his review and decision. For the purposes of the Category F residence permit, no personal interviews are necessary, unless the Permanent Secretary exceptionally decides otherwise. The Ministry of Interior shall inform the applicant (or the applicant’s representative) and the Civil Registry and Migration Department about the outcome of the review.
If granted, the Category F residence permit shall remain in full force and effect, provided that the applicant visits Cyprus at least once every two years. Failure to do so, or the acquisition of residence abroad by the applicant, may lead to its cancellation.
Prudent, interested applicants for the Category F residence permit, or any other category of residence permit available in the Republic of Cyprus, should seek the advice of a duly licensed legal professional in the Republic of Cyprus in order to obtain full and rounded legal advice and assistance prior to pursuing their application.