21 December 2022
The Civil Registry and Migration Department (“CRMD”) has recently announced a number of changes in the policy for issuance or renewal of visitor’s permits for third-country nationals. The recent changes introduced, affect mainly the financial criteria that should be satisfied by the interested individuals for the submission of the relevant application.
According to Aliens and Immigration Regulations, a residence permit can be issued to third- country nationals who would like to reside in Cyprus beyond the maximum allowable number of days available under a Cyprus tourist visa (i.e. 90 days for every 180 days period). In essence, this specific type of permit is suitable for individuals who would like to reside in Cyprus for extended holidays, as well as for pensioners who would like to settle in Cyprus.
It should be noted that based on the terms of issuance of the temporary residence permit for visitors (“Visitor’s permit”), the holder is not allowed to carry out any economic activity in Cyprus. Also, as the relevant permit is of a temporary nature, the individual should not reside outside Cyprus for more than three consecutive months, otherwise the permit shall be cancelled.
The validity period of the Visitor’s permit is one (1) year and it can be renewed on an annual basis, provided that the relevant conditions and criteria are being satisfied.
Introduced changes affecting first-time applications
Revised financial criteria
The applicant should have sufficient financial resources, derived from stable or satisfactory sources of income. Specifically, as per the amended policy, such “income” may include income sources from abroad, such as salary, pension, foreign bank deposits, rental income, dividends, interest, etc.
It is further clarified that the relevant criterion can also be satisfied in cases where the applicant derives income from sources within Cyprus, such as dividends from a Cyprus company, rental income from Cyprus situated immovable property or even from Cyprus bank deposits emanated from salaries in connection with the previous employment of the applicant in Cyprus in a company of foreign interests.
As per the amended policy, the relevant income threshold should not be less than €2.000 per month or €24.000 per year. The minimum requirement increases by 20% for the spouse and by 15% for each child of the applicant.
Individuals applying for the first time for a visitor’s permit should satisfy the CRMD application requirements of presenting a cash transfer (carrying the relevant proof from Customs) or an initial bank transfer from overseas of a minimum €10.000.
As per the previous policy, no specific monetary income threshold existed, albeit the applicant still should have presented evidence of stable or adequate income.
Additional criteria/ requirements as per the amended policy
As per the amended policy, the following newly introduced requirements apply to individuals submitting an application for a Visitor’s permit for the first time:
- Recent clean criminal record certificate from the country of origin (or the country of residence), duly certified and translated;
- Medical results certificate for specific exams undertaken in Cyprus, after the arrival of the individual in Cyprus.
Introduced changes affecting applications’ renewals
Revised financial criteria
As per the amended policy, for any applications which relate to renewals of Visitor’s permits, the applicant should submit to the CRMD a detailed bank statement (of a Cypriot Bank) for the most recent 12-month period, showing foreign remittances in the name of the applicant based on the applicable thresholds mentioned above (i.e. not less than €2.000 per month or €24.000 per year).
Further, as part of the application for the renewal of the Visitor's permit, the applicant should provide a bank statement (of a Cypriot Bank) showing a balance of not less than €6.000.
As per the previous policy for Visitor’s permits, the applicant should have provided supporting documentation to the CRMD evidencing stable and sufficient income from overseas, having been transferred to the applicant’s Cypriot bank account.
Entry into force
The amended policy in relation to first-time Visitor’s permit applications enters into force on 1 January 2023.
The amended policy in relation to applications for renewals of Visitor’s permits enters into force on 1 May 2023. In this respect, any renewal applications which will be submitted prior to 1 May 2023, will be examined based on the financial criteria that applied prior to the policy amendment.
How can KPMG assist
KPMG Cyprus has a specialised immigration team that can provide custom tailored assistance to individuals, by preparing and filing the Visitor’s permit application.
If any assistance or further clarifications are needed with regards to the amendment in the Visitor’s policy, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
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