The Withdrawal Agreement has been great for British Nationals who already resided in Cyprus or exercised their right of free movement into the country prior to the 31/12/2020. They can continue living in the country and enjoy their right of free movement and employment like any other EU National. But what about those who want to buy their place in the sun and spend there more than the 90 days Visa free period?
Those of independent financial means who do not have to work in Cyprus to support themselves, can apply for Permanent Residence in either under Category F or Category 6(2).
Permanent Residency Under Category F
Having a secure annual income, coupled with some savings and a place to stay, are the main considerations for being eligible to a Category F Residence Permit. Although their place of residence can be a rental, owning their own residence is a considerable advantage in processing their application favourably.
The applicant may purchase any type of residential property, either resale or newbuilt and of any value. A resale property is not subject to VAT (5% or 19% rate) however, Land Registry Fees will be payable at the time of transfer of the Title Deed.
The law does not specify the amount of annual income the Applicant should earn, although typically it should be such that would afford a decent standard of living for the whole family. Likewise, the Regulation does not set out a specific amount of savings to be deposited in the local bank. Ordinarily, €30.000 transferred from abroad into a personal bank account in Cyprus would suffice.
The main applicant can add the spouse and children up to the age of 18 as dependents. Nevertheless, children who are PR holders under category F will not be able to renew their PR once they become 18 years old, unless they can satisfy the requirements independently.
Hence, Category F is more suitable for those who are pensioners wishing to retire in Cyprus or families with secure income from abroad who wish to set up home in Cyprus.
Examination of the Application can take 12 to 18 months and Category F Permit Holders are not allowed to work in Cyprus or to be shareholders in a company which carries out business activities in Cyprus.
Permanent Residence Under Category 6(2)
Applicants under Category 6(2) should purchase a new residential property (or two if they wish so) of at least €300.000 plus VAT and can only submit their application once they have paid at least €200,000 plus VAT.
A significant advantage to this Category is that the parents, parents in law as well as children over 18 and up to 25 years old who are single, students and financially dependent, can also secure a Residence Permit under the same Application. This type of Residency Permit remains valid throughout their lifetime provided they visit Cyprus at least once every two years.
Criteria as to income and savings is clearly defined and the Applicant should prove that he earns a secure annual income of at least €30.000. Such annual income should increase by €5.000 for every dependent person of his family (spouse and children) and by €8,000 for every parent/ parent-in-law.
Likewise, the applicant should transfer the amount of €30.000 from abroadinto a bank account in Cyprus which must then be blocked as a three-year fixed deposit.
The examination period of a 6(2) application currently takes three to five months hence often referred to as “fast-track”.
The holder of a Category 6.2 Residence Permit cannot work in Cyprus; however, he can be the 100% shareholder of a Company doing business in Cyprus without being an employee or the Director.
In both cases, a Temporary Residence Permit can be secured while their Application for Permanent Residency is processed.
Clearly Brexit has made residency rights of British Nationals in Cyprus less straightforward than before. Nevertheless, there are still clearly defined and straightforward immigration routes into the country that have already been utilised by thousands of non-EU Nationals and their families making Cyprus their home.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. For any further information, please contact Demetris Demetriades, Barrister at Law, at Andreas Demetriades & Co LLC by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +357 26811668.