Immigration Sector

When a third country national is invited in Cyprus for tourist reasons, the assumption for responsibility of hosting form is completed (it can be found in the field application forms) and submitted along with a bank guarantee (€855 for Asian Countries, €515 for Eastern Europe Countries and €340 for Middle East Countries) and a copy of the alien’s passport.

The applications for residence permits for the categories: (1) General Employment, Domestic Employment, Visitors, Holders of an International Protection Status, Family Members of a Cypriot and EU citizens and Family Members are submitted at the central offices of the Civil Registry and Migration Department for residents of the Nicosia District and at the District Immigration Units for residents of the other Districts. (2) Long Term Residents, Employment at Companies of Foreign Interests, Immigration Permits, Students and Family Reunification, are only submitted at the central offices of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

If you wish to find out the progress of your application for a residence permit, you can send a free SMS to 8999. Send the message with the word STATUS leave a space and add the number of your application. The application number can be found on the receipt Γ.Λ 301 which you received at the time of submission. e.g STATUS 1234/2014

If the application is approved you will receive a notification for receiving your residence permit. If the application is rejected you will receive a relevant letter.

You will receive your residence permit from the place where you had submitted the application. You have to have with you the notification of receiving the permit, the Letter of Terms and an identification document.

Issued documents can only be received by the applicant or by a duly certified representative.

The examination of an application for a residence permit depends on the category of residence and the complexity of the application. According to the legislation in force applications are examined: (1) employment – within four months, (2) family reunification of a third country national – within nine months, (3) long-term residents – within twelve months, (4) students – within three months.

You shall submit an application for renewing your residence permit at least one (1) month before the expiry of the residence permit you are holding.

The bank guarantee is returned only if the employee departs for his/her country or in case he/she is employed by another eligible employer, in which case the new employer is obliged to deposit a bank guarantee. It is noted that the bank guarantee is not returned in the following cases: (a) the third country national has become illegal after the his/her permit was cancelled, or (b) the third country national submitted an application for asylum, or (c) the third country national was sentenced for a criminal offence and subsequently, he/she is considered a prohibited immigrant, or (d) the alien abandoned his/her place of residence and work and he/she is missing and wanted for deportation purposes. For the return of the bank guarantee, a written request should be submitted by the employer to the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

You must report the loss of your residence permit to the Police and refer to the Civil Registry and Migration Department or the Police Aliens and Immigration Unit of your District, depending on the case and submit a copy pf the report to the Police, for replacement of your permit. For the replacement of a permit a fee of €50 must be paid. It is noted that for receiving the residence permit the same procedure applies as for receiving any residence permit.

For the submission of an application for a residence permit (card) the third country national must be present for capturing his/her biometric features (fingerprints and photo) and his/her signature. It is noted that the presence of the third country national is necessary even if the application is for a renewal of a residence permit, for the same reasons.

Applications are examined within approximately 3 months. Once the application is approved, the applicant will be able to take all actions for the acquisition of the Citizenship and the issue of a Cypriot passport. The procedure for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship will be completed, provided that the applicant holds a residence permit for a period of at least 6 (six) months. If the applicant does not hold a residence permit for the aforementioned time period, he/ she will need to wait until the six-month period is completed.

All fees can be seen in the table below:

APPLICANT

APPLICATION SUBMISSION FEE

CERTIFICATE ISSUANCE FEE

TOTAL

Investor

€2,000

€5,000

€7,000

Spouse/ Partner

€2,000

€5,000

€7,000

Adult Child

€2,000

€5,000

€7,000

Minor Child

€80

€80

Investments can be made either personally by the investor, either by his/ her spouse, or jointly with the spouse or even through a company in which they are participating as shareholders or as ultimate beneficial owners. Please bear in mind that, if the applicant invests through a company in which he/ she participates as a shareholder only a percentage of the investment will be taken into consideration in proportion to his holding percentage.

Firstly, the company that employs the manager must have concluded in Cyprus an investment that meets one of the financial criteria of the scheme. Secondly, the manager may apply for Naturalisation, provided that he/ she receives a remuneration that generates paid tax revenues of at least €100,000 in total over three years and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid. Finally the high-ranking senior manager needs to hold in Cyprus a permanent privately-owned residence of at least €500,000 purchase value.

Criterion 1: Investment in real estate, land development and infrastructure projects of at least €2m. Investment in land under development is included in this criterion,

provided that an investment plan for the development of the purchased land will be included in the application.

Criterion 2: Investment in financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations of at least €2m. These companies or organizations should have proven physical presence in Cyprus, with significant activity and turnover and employ at least 5 Cypriot or citizens of European Union member-states. The invested funds shall be channeled towards the financing of the investment objectives of these companies exclusively in Cyprus, based on a specific investment plan. The employees of the companies need to have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the 5 years preceding the application submission date.

Criterion 3: Investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) or financial assets of Cypriot companies/ organizations of at least €2m. AIFs, whose investments should be made exclusively in the Republic of Cyprus, should be established in the Republic of Cyprus and licensed and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec). Investments should be kept for at least 3 years. It is noted that the purchase by an AIF of units of other AIFs is not considered eligible. The purchase of financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations (bonds, bills and securities) should be issued with the approval of the CySec, by companies that have proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus.

Criterion 4: Combination of the above criteria. This combination may also include investment in government bonds of up to €500,000, issued by the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance. These bonds must be retained for a 3- year period. Investments in government bonds through the secondary market are not considered eligible.

In all criteria, the applicant must possess a permanent privately-owned residence in Cyprus, of at least €500,000 (+VAT). Members of the same family, who apply separately as investors, can collectively acquire a residence, provided that the total value of this home-property covers €500,000 for each applicant. In case that the value of the permanent privately owned residence in Cyprus exceeds the amount of €500,000, part of the additional amount can be used for supplementing the total amount of the investment made on the basis of the financial criteria above. If the applicant has invested in housing unit/ units as per Criterion 1, the purchase of another permanent residence in Cyprus will not be required, if at least one of these housing units is worth at least €500,000 (+VAT). In this case, the applicant must retain possession of this residence for life.

Yes, investors must hold a residence permit in Cyprus. If not, application for a residence permit can be submitted simultaneously with the application for the naturalization, while the procedure for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship will be completed when the six-month period is completed. This provision also applies to the adult members of the investor’s family.

No, there is no requirement of residing in Cyprus after acquiring citizenship.

The applicant should have made the necessary investments during the 3 years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least 3 years as from the date of the naturalization. Please note that the three- year holding period does not apply for the permanent privately-owned residence, as it should be kept for life.

The program applies to the immediate family of the applicant (spouse or partner, minor and adult financially dependent children up to the age of 28, provided they are university students). The investor’s parents may also apply for citizenship after the investor has acquired his/ her citizenship, provided that they are owners of a private residence of at least €500,000 (+VAT). The investor and his/ her parents may collectively acquire one residential property of a total value of at least €1m (+VAT).

Yes, it is possible for the main applicant and his/her parents to collectively acquire one permanent residence home in Cyprus provided that the total purchase price of such home is at least Euro 1.000.000 plus VAT (ie Euro 500.000 plus VAT + Euro 500.000 plus VAT).

Yes, land can be purchased under option 1 of the Citizenship by Investment Scheme provided an investment plan for its development is included in the citizenship application.

An applicant who is already the owner of a residence with a value of Euro 300.000 plus VAT is not required to purchase a new permanent residence home with a value of Euro 500.00 plus VAT but is required to purchase an additional residence (apartment/house/villa) with a value of at least Euro 200.000 plus VAT so that the Euro 500.000 plus VAT Permanent Residence Home Requirement is satisfied.

A permanent residence permit is cancelled immediately once Cyprus citizenship is obtained

Successful applicants/family members are notified by an official letter issued by the Ministry of Interior.

Yes, if the applicant/ family member is required to submit a permanent residence permit application simultaneously with the citizenship application because he/she is not a holder of a permanent residence permit then such individual(s) must visit Cyprus on the day the permanent residency permit application is submitted so that their biometric data (fingerprints and photograph) and signatures are collected. They are also required to visit Cyprus for the issuance of their Cyprus passport/ID.

Yes, once an individual becomes a Cyprus citizen he/she is permitted to work in Cyprus. This is a benefit a Cyprus citizen has compared to a permanent resident permit holder under Category (f) or under Regulation 6(2) who is not permitted to work in Cyprus.

Yes, the Cyprus citizenship can be revoked by the individual provided he/she is at least 18 years old, of sound mind and is a citizen of another country. This can be achieved by submitting the necessary forms/documents to the Ministry of Interior.

The Council of Ministers may also proceed to revoke the Cyprus citizenship if this was obtained by fraud, fraudulent statements, due to important information being withheld or if a term or condition of the Citizenship by Investment Scheme has been breached.

Tax Sector

Individual and companies resident in Cyprus are liable to income tax in accordance with the Income Tax Law ( Law No. 118(I) of 2002 , as amended) in respect of their worldwide income. An individual is resident in Cyprus, if he/she resides therein for a period or more which in aggregate exceed 183 days. A company is resident in Cyprus, if its management and control are exercised in Cyprus. Non- tax residents are liable to tax in respect of Cyprus source income only. However, non-tax residents having a permanent establishment in Cyprus may elect, if it is to their benefit, to be taxed in accordance with the provisions applicable to tax residents. The income liable to income tax includes, inter alia, trade income, income from salaried services, pensions, interest, dividends, royalties, any amounts of trade goodwill, etc. The Law stipulates for various exemptions, provided certain conditions are satisfied.

Special contribution for the defense is imposed in accordance with the Special Contribution for the Defense of the Republic Law (Law No. 117(I) of 2002, as amended) on income, as stipulated below, which is derived by individuals and companies resident in Cyprus. An individual is resident in Cyprus, if he/she resides therein for a period or more which in aggregate exceed 183 days. A company is resident in Cyprus, if its management and control are exercised in Cyprus. The income upon which it is imposed, is restricted to dividends, interest, rents and the taxable income of public corporate bodies. The Law stipulates for various exemptions, provided certain conditions are satisfied.

Subject to certain exemptions, capital gains tax is imposed in accordance with the Capital Gains Tax Laws 1980-2002, on capital gains arising after 1/1/1980, from the disposal of immovable property in Cyprus or shares of companies in Cyprus which own immovable property.

Immovable property tax is imposed in accordance with the Immovable Property Tax Law 1980 Νο 24/1980, as amended, on the value of immovable property in Cyprus, on the 1/1/1980. This value relates to the value of immovable property which belongs to an individual or a company, on the 1st January each year.

For an employee, the due date is the 30th April, following the tax year to which the Income Tax Return relates. For a self-employed individual who does not submit accounts, the due date is the 30th June, following the tax year to which the Income

Tax Return relates. An extension of 3 months is given when the return is submitted electronically via the TAXISnet system.

It is obligatory to submit the Income Tax Return of individuals that submit accounts and legal persons electronically via the TAXISnet system, on the 31st March of the second year after the end of the year (15 months).

Reorganization is the transfer of assets and liabilities, including provisions and reserves, between companies, without generating profits subject to taxation. The main objective and purpose of the reorganization is to increase profitability and business productivity, better organization, reduce costs and expand business through synergies. The term reorganization includes Mergers, Divisions, Partial Divisions, Transfer of Assets, Exchange of Shares and Transfer of Registered Office. The reorganizations are covered by the Income Tax Law 118(I)/2002, as amended, Articles 26 to 30 (Adopting the European Directive 90/434/EEC in 1990, and later revised amending Directive 2005/19/EC) and the TDCircular 2008/12. To activate procedures for considering the I.R. 88 (2008) form “Application for Certificate Release Waiver Payment of Tax Due to Reorganization” which is available on the website of the TD must be filled and submitted.

The taxpayer must contact the District Tax Collection Office for the issuance of the I.R. 104A certificate. The Tax Department (TD) in order to be able to issue such a certificate, the taxpayer has to submit tax returns as the provisions of Article 5 of the Assessment and Collection of Taxes Law No. 4/1978, as amended and pay the tax amounts raised for all years for all taxes administered by the TD. If the taxpayer fails to pay the full amount of taxes due, he/she must agree on settlement of these debts, which should include the sum of the amounts received from the Government of such offer, provided that undertaken. If the taxpayer fails to pay taxes due to self assessment, the Department should adopt the relevant taxes. The completion of the procedures followed, including issuing of the certificate occurs on average within five working days. There is a stamp duty cost that amounts to €2 and which adheres to the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act Ar.19/1963, as amended.

If there is an objection with the tax that has been imposed, the taxpayer may submit a written complaint (objection) to the end of the month following the month in which tax there is a disagreement. In case the taxation issued in December, the objection may be submitted by the end of February of the following year. If the Commissioner is satisfied that the absence from the Republic, sickness or other reasonable cause, or other inability for not submitting in due time the objection, may grant a reasonable

extension in the circumstances of that period . Article 20 of the Assessment and Collection of Taxes Act 1978 (as amended) refers to objections against taxation. The Objection Form (Form I.R.15) 2007 is available on the website of the Inland Revenue Department. Together with the submission of the objection, it is requested to submit the income tax return if not already submitted, and pay the undisputable amount of tax. Otherwise, the objection will not be accepted. The objection must state specifically and in detail the various grounds upon which your contention that the assessments are incorrect, and include all necessary supporting documents and evidence in support of the objection. Otherwise, the complaint will not be accepted. Below are listed all the cases in which the response is sent a written letter of response: (a) If all supporting documents and attached evidence are considered satisfactory and do not need any other additional information, then the objection will be resolved within a maximum period of three years from the date of your objection, and a new tax assessment will be raised. If the three-year period ended without taking any decision, the tax on which objects should be amended in accordance with the Tax Returns that have been submitted. (b) Within a period of twelve months from the date of the objection, the taxpayer may be asked to submit additional data and information likely to be necessary when examining your objection. The final decision with new taxes will be sent within three years from the date of submission of all data and information may be requested. If the three-year period ended without taking any decision, the tax on which objects should be amended in accordance with the Tax Returns that have been submitted.

Property Sector

The Property must be purchased from the legal and registered owner, the registered owner needs to appear before the land registry.

The parties may have in writing their intentions to sell and purchase the property in question, this is always advisable to be done through a registered attorney.
In order for the contract to be valid and accepted by the land registry must be duly stamped within 1 month from the day of signing.

A resale property is always subject to transfer fees.
A property that is for sale for the first time is subject to VAT.
In order for the transfer to be effected, the vendor must first obtain all the necessary tax releases.

If the purchaser is an alien, then he/she must obtain a purchase permit from the district office where the property is located.

The transfer fees are 3% for the first 85.000 Euro, then the next 85.000 are subject to 5% and anything above is subject to 8%

The VAT which stands for Value added Tax is 19% however for individuals purchasing their first property in Cyprus applicable VAT is 5%.

Corporate Sector

Any interested person may apply to the Registrar of Companies for certified copies including the following information provided that he has paid the applicable fees. The timeframe can be from 2 days depending on the urgency of the request

An application has to be made to the Registrar of Companies for the approval of the name. Specify the purpose of the company. Completion of due diligence documents. After the approval of the name, a lawyer from our team will file with the Registrar the necessary documents and fees.

A company registration can take from 4 working days depending on the urgency of the request and the availability of the proposed names.

The annual general meeting of a company is convened within eighteen months of the date of its registration. Forty-two days later the company should file its first annual return with the Registrar of Companies. Once a year the annual return, must be submitted. This should be done within fifteen months from the previous annual return, without disregarding the calendar year (sections 118, 120 and 125 cap. 113).

You will need to pay the incorporation fees (Once) and the annual fees based on the services you will receive.

The incorporation fees are related to the setup of the company and he annual fees are related to:

  • accounting
  • the nominee fees (if applicable)
  • the secretary & registered office

The structure of a Cyprus company is as follows:

  • at least one director (Physical or Legal person)
  • at least one shareholder (Physical or Legal person)
  • a secretary (Physical or Legal person)
  • registered office.

No, you don’t have to.  All communication and documents exchange can be done via e-mail, fax or courier in case of originals.

Every service provider is required by law to have basic information on their client.
These documents include:

  • Personal details – full name and contact info
  • Copy of a RECENT utility bill
  • Copy of passport
  • Where is required a reference letter

Due diligence documents are required for all the people involved in the structure of the company and any person assigned to instruct our office on behalf of the company in question.

  • Directors – minimum 1
  • Shareholders – minimum 1, maximum 50
  • For Cyprus companies there is no minimum required share capital.Standard companies that WE register have €1000 (one thousand euro) share capital divided into 1000 shares €1,00 each.
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Certificate of Directors and Secretary
  • Certificate of Shareholders

The 4 typical obligations of a Cyprus company are:

o Annual returns
Filed every year with the Registrar of Companies.  It outlines any changes that took place on the shareholding, directors, secretary of the company
VAT reports

o Filed quarterly with the VAT department.
As of recently, every Cyprus company is required to be registered with the VAT department and, if applicable, file the VAT reports

o Audited accounts
They must be prepared and filed with the Registrar of Companies and the Inland Revenue Department every year

o Tax Returns
Every Company, deriving income from sources both within and outside Cyprus, has to maintain books and records on basis of which financial statements are prepared for each year of assessment.