Category F Immigration Permit; New and accelerated procedure

Posted on 20 Nov 2012, by Khamis Abulhawa

Category F

Applicants under Category F should be of independent means of support and documentary proof of income should be submitted with all relevant application forms. This category is for persons who have a secured annual income, high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus without having to engage in any business, trade or profession. Furthermore, such persons must have the financial capacity to purchase a property in Cyprus, a house, apartment or other building, of minimum market value of EUR €300,000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Euro).

An immigration permit that is granted in relation to Category F is equivalent to an approval for permanent residence in Cyprus. Holders of such permit are excused from any time-consuming migratory formalities that the other Categories may place on third-country nationals. Thus, there is no requirement for a permanent residence permit to be renewed. However, immigrants will be compelled if abroad, to come to Cyprus at least once every two years otherwise, the Permit will be cancelled.

According to Regulation 8 dependants of the Immigration Permit Applicant are also considered as having permanent residence permits for Cyprus. Dependants include minor children (according to the law, a minor is a person that has not yet reached the age of 18) and/or the applicant’s wife/husband.

New and accelerated procedure

The Minister of Interior has recently announced a new and accelerated procedure for granting the Category F Immigration Permit. This procedure is for persons who are able to prove a secured minimum annual income of EUR €30,000.00 (Thirty Thousand Euro) from sources other than employment in Cyprus, deriving either from salaries of employment abroad, pensions, shares or rent. The minimum annual income requirement increases by EUR €5,000.00 (Five Thousand Euro) for each dependent person. The applicant applying for this procedure must also submit proof of payment for at least EUR €200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Euro) for the property purchased in Cyprus. In addition the applicant must submit a confirmation letter from a Cypriot Bank stating that a minimum capital of EUR €30,000.00 (Thirty Thousand Euro) has been deposited in an account, which will be pledged for a period of at least three years.

All applications are examined by the Civil Registry and Migration Department and are then submitted to the Ministry of Interior for the final decision. No personal interviews are required unless the Ministry of Interior requests otherwise. It is estimated that the examination period shall not exceed 3 months when applying for the new procedure.

Comment

This measure is part of the effort of the Government to cope with the international economic crisis and increase the acquisitions of immovable property in Cyprus. This is done by means of increasing the incentives of third country nationals to purchase a house in Cyprus. With the provision of the incentive of favourable treatment of the Category F application, it is expected that there will be an increase in demand for immovable property, which will have a positive repercussion on the Cypriot economy. This will eventually boost property sales on the Island and help the property market, which in the last year due to the massive outflow of foreign buyers, has been experiencing a steep downturn.