Acquisition of property in Cyprus by foreigners
By: N. Pirilides & Associates LLC
EU citizens are entitled to acquire immovable property in Cyprus without any restrictions. Non-EU citizens can purchase immovable property, nevertheless, permission must be sought from the Council of Ministers by written application, which must be submitted by the non-EU citizen purchaser after the contract of sale is signed.
Permission is given more or less as a matter of course to all bona fide purchasers.
The acquisition of immovable property in Cyprus by non-Cypriots is regulated by the Immovable Property Acquisition (Aliens) Law and the Directives of the Central Bank of Cyprus.
According to the above law, an “alien” is defined as any person who is not a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus including:
i. a company controlled by aliens
ii. a foreign company and
iii. a trust, the beneficiary of which is an alien.
On 12/12/2012, the Ministry of Interior announced that third-country nationals (aliens) may acquire more than one unit of immovable property in Cyprus, with the aim to invite investment into Cyprus (from third countries) and to strengthen the licensing policies regarding migration to Cyprus. According to the Law, third country nationals are imposed with certain restrictions while purchasing immovable property in Cyprus. These are as follows:
a) A building plot or a piece of land not exceeding 4014 sq.m. for the construction of a house thereon to be used as private residence OR
b) Two residential units in the same building development on condition that such units are in proximity (horizontally or vertically) where such units relate to a house or flat where unification into one unit is possible OR
c) One residence unit and one shop, the latter not exceeding 100 sq.m. OR
d) One residence unit and one office, the latter not exceeding 250 sq.m..
In the event of a married couple, the above restrictions will apply to the couple as if the couple is a single applicant (one entity). It should be noted here that in case of a married couple, only one permit will be granted.
Third country nationals acquiring immovable property in Cyprus may under certain circumstances be eligible to apply for an immigration permit. Further, non-Cypriot investors may receive citizenship through naturalization if they meet some criteria. Applicants for immigration permit (Category E) are treated more favourably if they have purchased a house in Cyprus at a price of at least €300,000 to be used as their private residence. This category of immigration permit is equivalent to a permanent residence permit.
Cyprus Permanent residence programs
- Category 6(2) (Fast Track Permanent Residency) can be obtained by investing at least €300.000 (plus VAT) in a brand-new house or apartment in Cyprus.
- Permanent Residency Category F requires an investment in real estate of at least €100.000 (plus VAT) and annual income from abroad which covers living expenses while residing in Cyprus, without working or doing business. The required yearly income starts from €9568 for one applicant plus €4613 for each dependent person.
Things to consider
As a general rule, when one purchases a piece of land or a house, the seller must have a title deed in his name, which can be transferred to the purchaser. However, there are times when there is no such title deed in existence for the land/property in question. These are matters which the purchaser’s lawyer must consider and embody in the contract, as well as take all necessary steps so as to safeguard client’s interests.
Our Firm’s standard services are the following:
- Negotiating, drafting and reviewing contracts of sale for residential/commercial properties
- Providing advice on the acquisition of property in Cyprus by aliens
- Providing advice on financing matters
- Conducting due diligence on the property
- Providing advice on town planning and zoning rules
- Applying for the approval from the District Officer to purchase property in Cyprus by aliens
- Land Registry Office transfers
- Estate planning
- Wills & Probate
- Providing Tax advice