2023
Reading Time: 7 min

Cyprus permanent residence for a Brazilian to ease moving to Europe

I decided to get Cyprus permanent residence to move to Europe and expand my business to the European market. I also wanted to have a chance to travel around the Schengen Area fast and easy. While living in Brazil, doing that is impossible: you pay a lot of money for flight tickets and spend at least 10 hours on a plane.

Felipe

Felipe,

Owner of the online advertising agency

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Cyprus permanent residence by investment in real estate

This case was provided by our expert

Alevtina Kalmuk
Alevtina Kalmuk

Author and editor of articles about investment citizenship and residency

Cyprus permanent residence for a Brazilian to ease moving to Europe

Felipe is an entrepreneur. He wanted a document allowing him to move to Europe, preferably to an EU country. Felipe also wanted to transfer savings to European banks and frequently travel around the Schengen Area.

As a Brazilian citizen, he didn’t need a visa to enter the Schengen states and spend up to 90 days out of 180. However, the cheapest tickets from São Paulo to Europe cost around 700 € for a round-trip without baggage. Direct flights took more than 10 hours. Therefore, Felipe couldn’t explore Europe as much as he would want.

Why Felipe chose the Cyprus permanent residence program

On the friends' advice, Felipe turned to Immigrant Invest. We offered to obtain permanent residency by investment: the advantage of permanent residency was its life-long validity, while a Golden Visa was to be renewed every 1 or 2 years, which attracted Felipe.

Two European countries granted permanent residency by investment: Cyprus and Malta. It took work to make a choice.

The Cyprus permanent residence program offers three investment options: real estate, fund shares and business.

Felipe wanted to invest in real estate. He was planning to move, so he wanted to buy a new apartment by the sea for personal use. If he changed his mind, he could rent it out. Both Malta and Cyprus programs allowed the purchasing of residential real estate.

Property price. Under the Malta Permanent Residence Programme, the minimum investment amount depends on the location of the property:

  • if real estate is on the Gozo island or in the south of Malta, its minimum cost must be €300,000;

  • properties located in better and more-developed places in the north or centre of Malta must cost at least €350,000.

The Cyprus PR program does not have a gradation of the property cost depending on the location. Under the program terms, investors buy only new real estate for at least €300,000.

Additional terms and expenses. Under the Maltese PR program, the investor must also pay an administrative fee of €40,000, a contribution fee of €28,000 when buying housing, and a charitable donation of €2,000. Hence, the minimum expenses for a single applicant are €370,000, excluding the costs for preparing documents and health insurance.

The applicant must also confirm they have assets of €500,000, where €150,000 are liquid financial assets. Felipe might’ve had enough assets if he counted his business. However, he didn’t have enough liquid financial assets to be confirmed every year within the first five years of permanent residency.

Under the Cyprus PR program, the investor must have a guaranteed income outside Cyprus of at least €50,000 per year. Felipe could confirm his income from owning a business.

In the end, the investor chose the Cyprus permanent residence program. While both countries offered a long-life status, Cyprus required fewer expenses and fewer conditions regarding the investor’s assets.

Comparison of Cyprus and Malta PR investment programs

Program conditions

Investments in new real estate by the sea

€300,000+

€300,000+

Additional expenses

€15,000+ of VAT

≈ €850 of state fees and health insurance

€70,000 of fees and a charitable donation

≈ €4,500 for documents and health insurance

Assets and income

€50,000+ of a yearly income outside Cyprus

€500,000 of assets, including €150,000+ of liquid financial assets

PR obtainment period

3+ months

4—6 months

Validity period of a residence permit

For life, PR card renewal every 5 years

For life, PR card renewal every 5 years

Preliminary Due Diligence

The main stage of any residency or citizenship investment program is Due Diligence. The country’s government must ensure the applicant’s reliability and the legality of their income.

If the government considers an investor unreliable, it does not approve his residence permit or citizenship application.

Immigrant Invest conducts its own preliminary Due Diligence to minimise the rejection risk.

Vladlena Baranova

Vladlena Baranova,

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

We cannot guarantee the approval of the investor’s application; only scammers give 100% guarantees. But we can check for “red flags” in the investor’s biography or probable reasons for refusal. We conclude an agreement with an investor only if he does not have "red flags".

An Anti Money Laundering Officer conducted a preliminary check for Felipe in one day.

Felipe received an official income, paid taxes, had no criminal records, wasn’t listed in the international databases of violators and criminals, and had no visa denials. The conclusion was that the Cyprus government would grant him permanent residence with high probability.

Felipe signed a Service Agreement with Immigrant Invest on March 1st, 2023. The company’s lawyers began preparing a package of documents for participation in the Cyprus permanent residence program. At the same time, Felipe was choosing a property.

Buying a property in Cyprus

Felipe wanted to buy a one-bedroom apartment near the city’s infrastructure and beaches. The Real Estate Department offered the investor several suitable options.

The Immigrant Invest lawyer has checked all properties offered to Felipe. We checked both the properties themselves and the developers who sold them.

Felipe chose to buy an apartment in Limassol with a sea view. The price for a 107 m² was €350,000, enough to obtain permanent residency under the investment program.

Buying real estate before applying for permanent residence was necessary because the documents included a certificate of ownership or a contract for the property purchase. Also, the investor must present proof of payment of €200,000.

When Felipe chose the property, Immigrant Invest lawyers checked the contract terms. Felipe flew to Cyprus and personally examined the apartment and the adjacent part of the city. After that, accompanied by a lawyer, he signed a sale and purchase contract with the developer.

Under the terms of the contract, the first payment for the apartment was €200,000. Felipe transferred the required amount from the Brazilian bank account to a Cyprus bank account in advance.

Obtaining Cyprus permanent residence by purchasing real estate

The whole process required Felipe to spend about 6 months and €364,727.

1

March 1st, 2023

Preliminary Due Diligence

Felipe contacted Immigrant Invest, and the in-house Compliance Department checked whether there were any refusal risks if the investor applied for Cyprus permanent residency.

The investor passed the preliminary Due Diligence check and signed a Service Agreement with Immigrant Invest to proceed with obtaining Cyprus PR.

2

2,5 weeks

Preparation of documents

Immigrant Invest lawyers prepared documents for Felipe’s application for Cyprus permanent residency. All documents were translated into Greek and certified with an apostille.

Felipe’s package of documents included the following:

  • an application for permanent residency;

  • the investor’s national and international passport;

  • a birth certificate;

  • a certificate of good conduct;

  • a contract for the purchase of an apartment, in which Felipe was indicated as a buyer;

  • confirmation of a bank transfer from a Brazilian bank to a Cypriot bank to the developer’s account;

  • a receipt for payment of €200,000;

  • Felipe’s bank account statement, which confirms the regular receipt of income in the amount of at least €50,000 per year;

  • a certificate of registration of Felipe’s company in Brazil;

  • an agreement on the establishment of a company, which states that Felipe is the owner of the business;

  • investor’s tax returns.

Felipe also visited the Consulate of Cyprus in São Paulo and issued a power of attorney for Immigrant Invest’s lawyer. A power of attorney was needed if the investor wanted to avoid spending time submitting documents for permanent residency.

3

1 week, at the same time as preparing documents

Purchase of an apartment in Cyprus, €204,157

While the lawyers prepared documents for the PR application, Felipe chose a property for purchase — an apartment in Limassol. He transferred the first payment for real estate to the developer — €200,000. Besides, he paid:

  • €3,500 for legal support of the property deal;

  • €607 of stamp duty;

  • €50 to register the sale and purchase agreement with the Land Department of Cyprus.

4

March 20th, 2023

Application for Cyprus permanent residency, €500

Immigrant Invest’s lawyer submitted Felipe’s documents to the Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department, CRMD. Felipe’s presence was not required as the lawyer acted under the power of attorney.

5

4 months, July 24th, 2023

Approval and final payment for the property and VAT, €160,000

The application was processed within four months. At the end of July, the Department sent a letter to Immigrant Invest approving the application.

After approval, Felipe paid the remaining amount under the real estate purchase and sale agreement — €150,000. He also paid VAT.

The basic VAT rate is 19%. But if only one property in Cyprus is purchased and it’s the sole property for the owner to use for permanent residence, the rate is reduced to 5%. Besides, the total property area must be under 190 m², and the price must not exceed €475,000 for the reduced rate to apply.

The 5% rate applies to the first 130 m² worth under €350 000.

Felipe’s apartment met all the criteria, so he paid €10,000 of VAT.

6

August 17th, 2023

Submission of biometrics, €70

Once approved, the investor has a year to visit Cyprus and submit biometrics. Biometrics are required to print permanent residence cards.

Felipe flew to Cyprus and submitted his fingerprints in mid-August. He also paid a €70 fee for issuing a residence permit card.

7

September 26th, 2023

Obtaining permanent residence cards

Permanent residence cards were issued in 40 days. Felipe received his card at the end of September; we sent it by courier.

Felipe’s life in Cyprus as a permanent resident

Felipe has moved to Cyprus right after obtaining his permanent residency. He likes to go on short trips to other European countries on weekends. He has already visited France, Spain and Belgium.

As a Cyprus permanent resident, Felipe registered in the general health care system, GHS. Thus, he can receive medical services in public medical clinics in Cyprus.

After living in Cyprus for 183+ days in a year, Felipe will be able to change his tax residency and start paying taxes in Cyprus. Besides, if he moves his business to the island, he will benefit from a 12,5% corporate tax rate, one of the lowest in Europe. In Brazil, his company pays up to 34% corporate tax.

After five years of living in Cyprus, Felipe can apply for citizenship if he has been in the country without a break for the last 12 months and has spent a total of 1,825 days in Cyprus over the past 8 years. If Felipe leaves the country often, he can apply for citizenship after 8 years.

The investor will obtain citizenship by naturalisation if he passes an exam on knowledge of the Greek language and culture of the country and an interview at the migration service.

Schedule a meeting

Let's discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Prefer messengers?