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Non-European citizens are allowed to apply for fast track process to acquire permanent residency permit on the basis of Paragraph 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations. Under this regulation, purchasers of real estate with value of minimum 300,000 plus VAT are entitled to apply for Permanent Residence Permit of the Republic of Cyprus. This permit is usually issued within 2-3 months from the date of the application.

In case of joint ownership of the real estate by both spouses, then the amount of the investment remains the same at €300,000 and the residence permits are issued to both spouses.

Applicant can buy more than one property provided at least one is residential and that the total value 300,000 (excluding VAT) or more.

A combination of apartments, shops and offices as long as at least one is residential and it is kept as the permanent residence and not rented. All other properties purchased for purposes of obtaining the PR permit can be rented.

You are allowed to sell any properties you have bought as long as at all times you have in your name at least one residential real estate which is kept for your own use and the total value of your properties have value of at least 300,000 at 2020 market prices.

There are no formal restrictions for real estate that can be bought by overseas citizens, as long as the points mentioned in questions 2, 3, 4 and 5 are taken into account. Please note the Ministry of Interior and the Immigration Service have authority to investigate all transactions to ensure that the relevant regulations have been respected.

Yes. Children of permanent resident permit holders have the right to attend public (government owned) schools and universities and pay the same fees as Cypriot citizens (zero or low).

Cyprus has very high quality of private health services and high number of doctors per 1000 population. There is also a national health service (similar to the NHS in the UK) which is available to all Cyprus and EU citizens. Non-EU citizens are recommended to have private medical insurance.

You can buy or rent a car in Cyprus. You have to pass local driving test to have Cyprus driving license or you can use an International Driving License which is issued by your home country where you have obtained your driving license. Please note all the cars are right-hand drive (similar to the UK).

You are free to take a mortgage out on the real estate from an overseas financial institution but not from a Cyprus based institution. As far as the Cyprus government is concerned, the full amount of 300,000 + VAT has to be transferred from overseas sources to a Cyprus bank account. Any default in repaying the loan will impact ownership rights and therefore the application process will be cancelled.

Apart from purchasing real estate, the applicant has to maintain 30,000 in a fixed deposit account in a Cyprus bank for minimum 3 years. This amount can be withdrawn after 3 years together with any interest earned. Also the applicant must provide evidence of annual income of at least 30,000 (plus 5,000 for each dependent and 8,000 for each parent or parent in law). This income has to be from sources such as salary, rent, pension, interest or dividends.

The Cyprus government has the right to revoke the residence permit but it will be done only after prior notice to the applicant.

As a full member of the EU, Cyprus has the obligation to join the Schengen area but it has delayed applying for technical reasons. The government made formal application in January 2020 and it is expected to join by December 2020. In the meantime, holders of permanent residency permits have to apply for a Schengen visa and it is issued with 99% success rate. Our advisors can help clients with the application process.

If any properties are sold or transferred without buying new properties of equal or more value, then the status of permanent resident is cancelled.

If the applicant buys more than one property, then he has to keep one as his permanent residence and all other properties can be rented short term or long term. VAT must be paid at a higher rate of 19% if the applicant intends to rent out the property.

There is no requirement to hire a lawyer for the purchase of the real estate or for the submission of the applications. We will provide full support to assist the applicants. However, if the client prefers to have a lawyer, we can recommend reliable law offices who can offer services at special rates for our clients

According to the regulations, the following are considered dependents of the applicant:

 The spouse

 Their unmarried children up to the age of 24

 Parents of applicants

  Parents-in-law of the applicant.

 Note that for the children, the applicant or his/her spouse must have legal right of custody. The above dependents will be granted permanent resident permits for family reunification reasons, which does not allow for access to paid employment in Cyprus.

In both these cases, the children have to purchase real estate in their name for a minimum value of 300,000 + VAT and they have to make their own separate application for permanent residency.

Under the current regulations, the spouse has to be legally married and relevant documents must be presented. The Government is reviewing the regulations in order to facilitate the admission of unmarried partners under certain conditions and we expect amendments by end of 2020.

The Cyprus PR permit is one of the few PR permits which is valid forever and so there is no need to pay renewal fees every few years. The status remains valid as long as the applicant maintains ownership in his name of real estate with value of minimum 300,000 + VAT.

Once you have applied and received the Schengen visa (as explained in question 13), you can travel to the Schengen area from any country.

The permanent residence permit does not allow for access to salaried employment for the applicant or any of his/her dependents. However, according to the regulations, the receipt of dividends by shareholder of a Cyprus registered company is not considered as paid employment. Our local service provider can offer advice about setting up companies and starting a local business.

After 7 years of legal residence in Cyprus, a permanent resident has the right to apply for citizenship by naturalisation. Our local legal advisors are ready to assist clients to acquire citizenship in the most efficient manner.

The successful applicant will acquire the status of Cyprus permanent resident but he will not automatically become a Cyprus tax resident. If he chooses to live in Cyprus for over 183 days in a calendar year, then he will become a Cyprus tax resident which may have attractive tax benefits. We recommend that clients seek expert tax advice to learn about the pros and cons.

There are no requirements to live in Cyprus. The only requirement is to visit one time to provide biometrics (photograph and fingerprints) when the permit will be issued and then subsequently once every years for a minimum one week stay.

Unlike other countries, the Cyprus permanent residence programme does not have any requirements to present medical records or to pass language tests.

The Greece Golden Visa Program is designed for non-EU/ EEA citizens to acquire Permanent Residency in Greece. The legal basis of the program concerned (entry and residence for investment activity) is found in Article 16 of Law 4251/2014, as amended and completed by Article 8 (par. 21) of Law 4332/2015 and Article 84 (par. 1 to 6) of Law 4399/2016. The Program offers Permanent Residency to non-EU/ EEA citizens who purchase new property worth at least €250,000 (+ taxes).

The amount of €250.000 refers to the price indicated on the contract excluding Value Added Tax. In cases of joint ownership of the real estate property by spouses, the residence right is granted to both spouses.

You are entitled to residency rights irrespective of whether you own one or more properties, provided that their combined value is equal to or greater than €250.000 excluding taxes.

The law states that €250.000 must be the stated price on the contract excluding taxes. It does not distinguish between commercial and residential properties.

There are restrictions on properties located in border regions. It should be noted that as border regions are defined the prefectures of the Dodecanese, Evros, Thesprotia, Kastoria, Kilkis, Lesvos, Xanthi, Preveza, Rodopi, Samos, Florina, Chios, and the islands of Thera and Skyros, as well as the former regions of Nevrokipi in the former prefecture of Drama; Pagoniou and Konitsas in the prefecture of Ioannina; Almopia and Edessa in the prefecture of Pella; and Sintiki in the prefecture of Serres. Individual or legal entities, which are affected by the restrictions above, can request the lifting of the ban for the border regions, along with their application, which should clearly state the intended use for the property. The decision to lift the ban is made by the Minister of Defence, following the submission of an application.

The holders of the residence permit have access to public education, analogously to that of Greeks.

Regarding access to health services, non-EU/EEA citizens and their family members who fall under the regulations of the current immigration law must have national or private (if provided by their national legislation) insurance that covers their healthcare and medical care expenses while they are in Greece.

Yes, under the specific regulations of the Ministry of Transport, which apply to non-EU/EEA citizens.

You can take a mortgage out on the property, in the same way as Greeks, subject to requirements of the Greek Banking regulations.

The income of the applicant must be proven by documentation which proves their capacity (e.g. Certificate by class-A recognised bank or an official financial institution or other recognised institutions to store bonds) and certify the existence of bank accounts or other transferable securities, especially shares or bonds (the above are checked for the issuance of a type D visa). In all cases, before the contract, the price of the real estate is paid via a crossed bank cheque or through another banking transaction.

This leads to the revocation of the residence permit.

A Schengen visa by a different country gives the applicant the ability to enter Greece and settle issues regarding the purchase of the property.

In cases when the real estate (property) is transferred, the non-EU/EEA citizen loses the right to residence. In case of resale of the property during the period of validity of the residence permit to another non-EU/EEA citizen, the right to a residence permit is granted to the new buyer along with a simultaneous revocation of the seller’s residence permit.

Non-EU/EEA citizens who own real estate have the right to rent their property.

There is no legal requirement to collect and process the documents through a lawyer. In cases where the applicant does not speak Greek and / or is located outside of Greece, it may be preferable to ask for the support of a legal representative or proxy who is in Greece, to facilitate the process.

According to the law, family members of the non-EU/EEA citizens entering the country are:

 The spouse

 Their unmarried children up to the age of 21

 The first-degree ascendants

 The first-degree ascendants of the spouses

 The unmarried children of the dependant or his / her spouse up to the age of 21, provided that the right of custody has been legally granted to the sponsor for his/her children and to the other spouse for the children thereof. These family members are granted residence permits for family reunification which does not include access to paid employment in Greece.

Ascendants are included in the provision above but not children over the age of 21. Children of non-EU/EEA nationals, who have been admitted to Greece under the terms and requirements of residence permit for property owners, are granted a residence permit for family reunification until the age of 21. After that, it is possible to acquire a renewal as a 3-year independent residence permit until they reach the age of 24 and then it is possible to renew it further according to pertinent immigration legislation.

Currently, family members do not include unmarried partners. Ministry of Migration Policy is examining the possibility of reviewing the current legal framework in order to facilitate the admission of unmarried partners under certain conditions (civic partnership, durable relationship).

Yes. The residence permit and long-term visas are valid as far as the free movement of the person in the Schengen area is concerned. Any citizen who holds a long-term visa (such as the residence permits for real estate owners) which has been issued by a member state and are valid for one year, are able to travel to other member states for up to 3 months within a six month period, under the same conditions which apply to the holder of a residence permit, while they are also granted a right for multiple entries.

You can arrive to any Schengen country you wish to

In no case does the residence permit provide access to any type of paid employment. Employment, according to paragraph 6, article 20, of Law 4251/2014, does not include the exercise of economic activity in the capacity of a shareholder or a Chief Executive Officer for an already existing company. The family members that have been issued a residence permit for the same duration as the sponsor are similarly not granted access to the employment market.

According to the decision of the Minister of Interior no. 130181/6353/27.3.2018, published in the Government Gazette 1208/Β/2.4.2018, the residence permits of Real Estate Owners and permanent residence permit for Investors have been added to the categories of residence permits that are eligible for the submission of an application for the acquisition of Greek citizenship. In this case, the applicants must fulfil all the preconditions of the Greek Citizenship Code applied for the acquisition of Greek citizenship by naturalization. The above ministerial decision applies only to the real estate owners and investors themselves, and not their family members, who must first obtain the long-term residence status, which is a prerequisite for naturalization.

Yes, you can take loans from financial institutions outside Greece who are willing to grant you a loan based on your financial merit. Non-payment of this loan may impact your ownership rights and thus your residence permit.
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Representative of an Overseas Business is a Visa Category in the United Kingdom that provides residency for an initial period of 3 years. This category is useful for “Key Persons” of a business outside the United Kingdom. An Overseas Business is defined as company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK.

An applicant to this category must fulfill the following requirements :

 The Applicant must be a Key Person recruited outside the UK, who will be entrusted to setup the first UK Branch or Subsidiary of the Overseas Business.

 The Applicant must have extensive related industry experience and knowledge but not be a majority shareholder in the Overseas Business.

 The Applicant must have full authority to make decisions on behalf of the UK Branch.

 The Applicant must meet English language requirements by either of the following options: o passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening o having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

An Overseas Business must fulfill the following requirements :

 The Overseas Business must be headquartered and have its principal place of business outside the UK looking to setup its first UK Branch or Subsidiary .

 The Overseas Business must display enough financial capabilities to: o Incur expenses for running of the UK Branch o Pay a sustainable wage to the Representative as per applicable laws.

An Overseas Business can engage with a similar or related business activity such as a Marketing Office, expansion of existing business, etc.

The Overseas Business must display enough financial capabilities to :

 Incur expenses for running of the UK Branch.

 Pay a sustainable wage to the Representative as per applicable laws – the recommended living wage is at least £30,000 per annum There is no stipulation of a minimum investment. Except for the wage to the Representative, investment can range widely depending upon the activities being carried out in the UK. For e.g. if the Overseas Business is a Manufacturing Company in Asia looking to setup a Sales Office in the UK, the investment would be minimal. However, if the same company was looking to setup a manufacturing facility in the UK, the investments would be significant.

The initial stay granted is for 3 years, and will have to be further renewed for 2 years.

The Applicant can choose between extending the visa multiple number of times or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after completing 5 years of stay.

The Applicant must have an ongoing job with the Branch and must have lived in the UK for at least 180 days in every 12 month rolling period during the previous 5 years. In case the applicant does not fulfill the 180-day rule, the Visa will have to be renewed until such time the rule is sufficed for application of ILR.

The Applicant can apply for citizenship by Naturalisation after at least 1 year of Indefinite Leave, provided the Applicant has lived in the UK for at least 270 days in every 12 month rolling period during the previous 5 years.

No. The Applicant cannot take up any supplementary work (employed or self-employed) in the UK and must only work for the Branch full time.

Yes. Family members (spouse/partner, children under the age of 18) can join the main applicant by making an entry clearance application. This can be done simultaneously with the Applicant’s application.

No. The UK branch or subsidiary does not need to create any additional jobs for settled workers.

No. The sole representative is not personally financially responsible for the company and does need to place any investment in the company. The sole representative does not need to show any certain level of personal savings, but they must show that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and their dependants adequately without recourse to public fund.

Yes. You must continue to remain employed by the overseas parent company. If youcease employment or are made redundant, you must leave the United Kingdom.

No. A sole representative cannot switch into any other immigration category from inside the UK. The sole representative would have to leave the UK and make an application for entry clearance.

No. The sole representative cannot be self-employed or Director of any other UK business whilst in the United Kingdom.

Yes. The partner/spouse of a Sole Representative has full rights to take up employment or self-employed in the UK.

Yes. The children of a Sole Representative have full rights to education in the UK. They can choose between fee-paying independent schools or state-funded public schools.

Yes. The Applicant and family can register with the local GP once they have found a place to live.

The company must show that the branch or a subsidiary has been fully established and is now operational. The branch or subsidiary must be generating business. Evidence that the company has generated business must be provided in order for leave to remain to be granted. The Overseas Business and the Branch must both be operating at the time of such renewal application.
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