Cyprus is a trailblazer when it comes to residency schemes for non-EU nationals like Britons. The fastest and most comprehensive route to permanent residency there is through its Permanent Residency by Investment Programme. Your other option is via the Category F route, which takes longer but is more affordable. In both cases, applicants cannot be employed in Cyprus and must prove a certain level of income. For each, we outline the key considerations.
Permanent Residency by Investment
Successful applicants should obtain a Permanent Residency Permit (PRP), granting them the right to live permanently in Cyprus with no renewals required, within a couple of months of filing their application. A PRP covers the main applicant and their family, including their spouse and any dependents (under 25 years old). It can be obtained from abroad, but the applicant must travel to Cyprus within a year of it being granted to complete compliance. After that, holders of a PRP need only visit Cyprus once every two years and can apply for Cypriot citizenship after five years.
The first step towards being able to qualify for a fast-track PRP is the purchase of a new property (often called ‘first-time sale’) worth at least €300,000 (plus VAT, which drops to just five per cent from 19 per cent if the property will be your primary residence). The application process can begin once a deposit of at least €200,000 (plus VAT) has been made and the sale agreement registered at Land Registry.
Other key requirements include maintaining a fixed deposit of at least €30,000 in a Cypriot bank account for the first three years of residency, after which the money can be used freely. Applicants must also provide proof of annual income (from abroad) of at least €30,000. For a spouse and/or each dependent child included in the application, an additional €5,000 must be shown (€8,000 for each parent). We advise hiring a Cypriot law firm to help you make your PRP by Investment application – it could save you a lot of time and stress!
Also referred to as the ‘normal-track’ Permanent Residency option, Category F will suit people with smaller budgets and lower incomes and is especially attractive to early retirees and pensioners. Compared to the faster investment option, applicants should expect to wait between one and two years to have their PRP granted. In the meantime, they will need to apply for a temporary residence permit, the so-called annually renewable ‘pink slip’, which enables them to be in Cyprus longer than the standard 90 days applicable to non-resident nationals from outside the EU.
Proof of a residence in Cyprus is the first step in the application process and the applicant’s property can be either owned or rented. On paper there is no minimum requirement, but properties purchased for higher values are looked upon more favourably in the application – some sources suggest nothing less than €150,000.
A category F applicant must also be able to prove an annual overseas income, such as pension, salary or rental income, of at least €10,000. Each dependent (including spouses and children up to the age of 18 years old) requires an additional €5,000. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and further evidence of sufficient financial resources to support the applicant and their family, such as savings in a Cypriot account, could be requested.