No doubt the law amendments on the registration and acquisition of a temporary residency permit in the Republic, published on the government website, will affect British Nationals relocating to Cyprus post-Brexit.
Those of us working in the field of immigration law have been taken aback by reforms to the current regime and regulations governing the granting of temporary residence permits to third-country nationals (which de facto now includes British Nationals post-Brexit).
We have been anticipating reforms to the law on permanent residency but were not aware that regulations on temporary residency permits would undergo revision.
According to the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, third-country nationals can extend their stay in Cyprus for more than 90 days for the purpose of:
(a) entering the Republic for short or long-term holidays,
(c) investigating the possibility of settlement in the Republic,
And they can apply for a temporary residence permit - the so-called “pink slip” - which allows non-EU passport holders to extend their stay in Cyprus for more than 90 days.
Under this permit, a person can live in Cyprus for 12 months as a visitor but cannot normally carry out any economic activity in the Republic.
Spouses and children under 18 can also get a temporary residence permit as dependents.
To be eligible for this type of permit, the Applicant mainly needs to show the following:
This permit is valid for one year and can be renewed annually, provided that the relevant criteria are met.
It is important that a holder of this temporary residence permit cannot stay out of the country for more than three months at a time, as this will result in the permit being cancelled.
Until now, there was no requirement for a clean criminal record to be provided from the country of origin or residence nor for medical tests to be taken.
Furthermore, there was no specific amount of the deposits required in a Cypriot bank, and the amount of annual income that had to be received from abroad was not quantified.
The indication was that the income had to be sufficient to cover living expenses whilst in Cyprus.
From January 1, 2023, however, this will change.
In addition to the documents required to date, such as proof of a residence in Cyprus (rented or owned) and private health insurance, new requirements have been added, and applicants are required to produce the following:
Income includes salary, pension, deposits in a bank account abroad, rents, dividends, interest on deposits or by exception from dividends from a company in the Republic (with certification by the Company's Accountant, they do not receive any salary from his position) or rents in the Republic, or from income in the bank account in the Republic from a salary from previous work in a company of foreign interests.
When applying for the renewal of the visitor's permit, the balance in the account must, in any case, not be less than €6,000, which corresponds to three months' income, regardless of the size of the family.
For purposes of calculating sufficient funds, the bank statement will be accompanied by the following:
(a) a declaration of the number of family members that the sponsor will support in the Republic.
(b) a summarised statement of income.
There is some vagueness in the new requirements, and no doubt there will be more guidance given once the regulations come into force.
Obviously, the government’s policy is to raise the bar on who will be allowed to reside in Cyprus on a temporary residence permit. There are no doubt additional hurdles imposed on prospective Applicants in the new year, making compliance slightly harder.
We anticipate that these amendments will particularly affect British Pensioners who wish to retire in Cyprus.
This article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. For further information or advice, please contact Esme Palas, Partner at Paphos Office, by email email@example.com or telephone ++357 26930800.