FAQ (Frequently asked Questions)

Permanent Residency (PR)

  • How can WCR help investors in acquiring Permanent Residency or acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by exception?

WCR is specialised in helping investors in the Real Estate sector, to purchase  property in Cyprus for getting Permanent Residency or Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by exception.

Those who permanently reside in Cyprus for approximately 7 years and accumulate 5 years preceding their application may apply for Citizenship. (Please see the last question below).

An alternative way to obtain Citizenship for investors is to invest Euros 2.5 m under the Collective Investment Scheme (plus VAT and Fees ) in various investments including the Real Estate sector and purchase a property worth at least Euros 500,000 (plus VAT) (conditions apply- see FAQ on the Citizenship section).

  • If an Investor purchases a house in Cyprus does he/she get the Permanent Residency (PR) for the whole family?

Under Regulation 6(2) which is the ‘Fast Track’ procedure, the Investor, the spouse and the minor children will also obtain permanent residency. 

Children between 18-25 years who are university students/financially dependent on the applicant may also get residency until the age of 25. If one of the children is over the age of 25, he/she must apply under the existing criteria as an independent person/applicant.

  • What is Regulation 6(2)?

It is a Fast Track procedure, where the Investor purchases a new property or properties whose value is no less than Euro 300,000 plus VAT. The time taken to receive an answer from the appropriate authorities is 3 months. The investor’s annual income (from overseas) which must derive from legal sources should be at least Euro 30,000 plus Euro 5,000 for each dependent. An amount of Euro 30,000 must be deposited in a bank in Cyprus for a three year period. A clean criminal record is also required to qualify under Regulation 6(2) and the applicant must also have medical insurance which covers in and out of hospital treatment (both for himself and for the dependents accompanying him/her on the application). Furthermore, the applicant must sign a statement that he/she does not intend to work in Cyprus.

  • What happens if an investor buys a property with the value of less than Euro 300,000?

The investor can apply for the PR under Category F provided they have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income of at least €9,568 and additionally for every dependant person a further annual income of at least €4,613. This route may take up to 12 months (or in some cases even longer).

  • If the investor already has dependent children, can they get Permanent Residency in Cyprus?

Regulation 6(2) is intended for those who are aged 30 or above. If the applicant has a financially independent child and wishes to obtain an immigration permit, he/she should purchase a property whose total market value is €600,000, if he has two dependent children must buy home value of €900,000 etc.. Each child will submit with his/her application all required documents (i.e. secured annual income of €30,000, deposit in a financial institution in Cyprus of an amount of €30,000 which will remain blocked for three years, clean criminal record, statement that he/she does not intend to work in Cyprus).

  • If there is a difference between the real estate purchase value and the market value, which one is taken into consideration?

The purchase value of the real estate will be considered.

  • Can an investor, who is granted PR under Category F or Regulation 6(2) work in Cyprus?

No, neither he/she nor any of the family members can work in Cyprus as an employee. However, he/she may establish a business and receive dividends (profits from the shares of the company) but not salary.

  • Can an investor purchase more than one property?

Yes, provided both properties are purchased from the same Vendor.

  • What do I have to do to keep the PR?

You have to keep the property and visit Cyprus at least once every two years.

  • Does the PR allow me to visit Schengen country freely?

No. Cyprus is not a Schengen country yet. However, it is much easier for a Cypriot PR holder to obtain a visa for a Schengen country if he/she applies from an Embassy in Cyprus, showing them the Cypriot PR.

  • What happens with my residency status when Cyprus becomes a Schengen member?

You can travel freely in any Schengen country.

  • What fees/costs are associated with the purchase of the property in addition to the purchase price?

See section regarding costs and fees

  • What documents are needed under Reg. 6(2) category
  1. Copy of valid passport of the applicant his/her spouse and his/her dependents.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
  3. Original Letter from a financial institution in Cyprus of depositing €30.000 for three years.
  4. Declaration of a secured annual income from abroad of €30.000 at least, (original documents and affidavit or declaration). The annual income must be increased by €5.000 for each dependent.
  5. Title of ownership or contract of sale of a built property in Cyprus of a minimum value of €300.000 (original or true copy).  If the title of ownership has not been obtained yet, the applicant must submit the contract of sale duly stamped by the Stamps Commissioner and the Department of Lands & Surveys and proof of payment for at least €200,000.
  6. Official Statement by the applicant and his/her spouse that he/she does not intent to work or be engaged in any form of business in Cyprus.
  7. Health Insurance Policy for the applicant and the other family members.
  8. Original Criminal Record Certificate duly certified for the applicant and his spouse (if the applicant resides abroad, the certificate must be issued from his country of residence, and submitted with an official and certified translation).
  9. Marriage Certificate duly certified (official and certified translation).

10. Children’s Birth Certificates dully certified (official and certified translation

Copy of valid temporary residence permit (if the applicant already resides in Cyprus).

Other documents may be required to be submitted with the application or when the application is being considered.

  • When can the investor who has residency to Cyprus apply for Citizenship (Cypriot/EU Passport)?

Those who legally reside in Cyprus for approximately 7 years may apply for Citizenship, provided that they have accumulated 5 years in total during that period. Please note that citizenship is at the discretion of the authorities. Applying for Citizenship does not necessarily mean that the applicant is guaranteed citizenship.


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FAQ for Nationalisation

General Matters

 1. What is the time frame for the examination of an application?

Approximately three months.

2. What is the amount of the fees payable for each application?

Concerning the investor the amount of €2.000 is paid at the submission of the application and, if the application is approved, the amount of €5.000 is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate.

Concerning the investor’s spouse the amount of €2.000 is also paid at the submission of the application and, if the application is approved, the amount of €5.000 is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate.

Concerning the investor’s adult child the amount of €2.000 is also paid at the submission of the application and, if the application is approved, the amount of €5.000 is paid as a fee for the issuance of the Naturalization Certificate.

Concerning the investor’s minor child the amount of €80 is paid at the submission of the application.

In summary the fees are as follows:

APPLICANT

APPLICATION SUBMISSION FEE

 

 

CERTIFICATE ISSUANCE FEE

 

 

TOTAL

INVESTOR

€2.000

 

€5.000

 

€7.000

INVESTOR’S SPOUSE

€2.000

 

€5.000

 

€7.000

INVESTOR’S ADULT

CHILD

€2.000

 

€5.000

 

€7.000

INVESTOR’S MINOR

CHILD

€80

 

-

 

€80

 

3. Investments must necessarily be made by the investor personally or can they be made through company/companies of the investor or an investment fund or an investment foundation?

An investment through a company or fund or foundation is eligible, provided that there is a proven correlation between the investor and the company or fund or foundation.

4. What conditions must be met, so that a high – ranking senior manager of a company/ companies may apply for Naturalization on the basis of this Scheme?

The first condition that needs to be fulfilled is that the company/companies that employs the manager must have concluded in Cyprus such an investment that meets one of the economic criteria stipulated in the Decision of the Council of Ministers. If and when the investment is completed the executive may apply for Naturalization provided that he/she has paid or prepaid an income tax amounting to €100.000 for a three-year period and has acquired a permanent residence of purchase value at least €500.000.

5. What does it mean: “The applicant should have concluded the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least three years since the date of the Naturalization?”

It means that for the purpose of filing a Naturalization application in accordance with the provisions of this Scheme, the investor must have concluded the investment during the three years preceding the submission date of the said application. That is to say, if the applicant will submit an application in 2014, the investment must have been concluded during the period 2011 – 2014.

Furthermore, the investor is obliged to retain the investment for at least three years following the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship. The three-year period begins on the date of the approval of the application by the Council of Ministers.

CRITERION A.1 (Investment in Government bonds)

1. Existing government bonds which can be purchased from the secondary market from existing owners are included or only bonds purchased from the primary market, i.e. directly from the Cypriot Government are eligible?

For purposes of the citizenship application are eligible bonds purchased both from the primary market as well as from the secondary market.

CRITERION A.3 (INVESTMENT IN REAL ESTATE, LAND DEVELOPMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS)

1. The purchase of land is included in the criterion?

This criterion includes investments for the purchase or construction of buildings, or the creation of other land developments (residential or commercial developments, in the tourism sector or other infrastructure projects). Therefore, the term cannot be interpreted broadly and the restriction concerning the purchase of land has not been lifted.

2. Is the VAT included in the amount of the €5,0 million investment or in the amount of the €500.000 purchase value of the privately-owned residence?

The VAT is neither included in the amount of €5,0 million for the "Direct Investments", nor in the amount of €500.000 required as a minimum purchase value of the privately-owned residence.

3. In the case of purchase of real estate are transfer duties included in the amount of the €5,0 million investment?

The transfer duties are not included in the amount of the investment, as no other charges or taxes are.

4. If there is a difference between the market value and the purchase value of a real estate, which amount is taken into consideration?

The purchase value.

5. Can real estate sold for a second time be considered as an investment for the purposes of applying for citizenship?

According to the contents of the Council of Ministers’ Decision, the eligible investment is not limited to properties purchased for the first time.

CRITERION Α.4 (PURCHASE OR CREATION OR PARTICIPATION IN CYPRIOT BUSINESSES OR COMPANIES)

1. What do we mean by the clause that the companies or businesses need to have a tangible presence in Cyprus?

We mean that the companies or businesses in which the applicant shall invest must maintain offices in Cyprus.

2. How is the creation or participation in the companies/ businesses proven?

The creation or participation is proven by the purchase of the company’s or business’ shares, either existing shares, or through capital increase.

CRITERION A.6 (DEPOSITS IN CYPRIOT BANKS)

1. What do we mean by «Cypriot banks»?

We mean Local Banks and the Subsidiaries of Foreign Banks. The list is being prepared by the Central Bank of Cyprus and is posted on its website. You may see the List following the link below:

http://www.centralbank.gov.cy/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=8154&lang=en

2. The total amount of the deposit has to be deposited in a single bank or can it be deposited partially in various banks?

The total amount can be deposited in various banks, provided that all the banking institutions lie within the two categories referred in the previous Question.

3. Must the deposit necessarily be in euro or can it be made in another currency?

Is not necessary to make the deposit/ deposits in euro. They can be made in a different currency.

CRITERION Α.7 (PERSONS WHOSE DEPOSITS WITH THE POPULAR BANK HAVE BEEN IMPAIRED DUE TO THE MEASURES IMPLEMENTED IN BOTH BANKS AFTER THE 15TH MARCH 2013)

1. Is the investor eligible to apply if deposits are not personal, but rather deposits of a company (or companies) of whom he/ she is the major shareholder or the ultimate beneficiary owner?

The investor is eligible to apply, provided that there is a proven correlation between the investor and the company (or companies).

2. This Criterion does not include investors, who suffered an impairment in their deposits with the Bank of Cyprus?

According to the Decision of the Council of Ministers investors, who suffered a deposits impairment with the Bank of Cyprus, are not included in this criterion, but rather in the Criterion A.5 (Purchase or creation or participation in Cypriot companies and businesses), since their deposits were mandatory converted into shares.

3. If the amount of the impairment is the lower than €3,0 million, the investor can make a further investment to accumulate the amount of €3,0 million or the amount of €5,0 million, which is the minimum required investment amount of the other criteria?

According to the content of the Decision, if the impairment amount is less than € 3,0 million, the investor can make an additional investment through the criteria A.1 - A.5, to supplement the amount of €5,0 million.

CRITERION Α.8 (MAJOR COLLECTIVE INVESTMENTS)

1. In paragraph II it is stated that the provision will be valid until the 1.6.2014. Does this mean that the investment should be concluded by the 1.6.2014 or that the application must be submitted until the 1.6.2014?

It means that the application must be submitted until the 1.6.2014.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Residence in Cyprus

1. The purchase values of the privately – owned residence is includes in the investment or is it additional?

The purchase value of the privately-owned residence of the applicant investor in Cyprus is not included in the minimum investment which is required provides for the submission of the application, but rather it is additional.

However, if an applicant decides to invest in the purchase of a privately – owned residence solely, of a purchase price either €5,0 million (criterion A.3), or of €2,5 million (criterion A8(I)), or of €2,0 million (criterion A8 (II)), he/ she is not oblige to buy a further privately – owned residence of purchase value €500.000.

2. Can the investor rent to someone else his/ her privately-owned residence?

Yes, he/ she may.

3. Can the investor sell his/ her privately-owned residence and purchase a different one of the same or higher purchase value?

Yes, he/ she may, provided that he/she will buy a different residence of equal or higher purchase value.

4. To what degree of relation can applicants – relatives, who are members of the same family, purchase the same privately-owned residence?

To the second degree.