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 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
Investments in new real estate by the sea
€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
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.
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.
Properties for purchase in Limassol, similar to the one bought by Felipe
Obtaining Cyprus permanent residence by purchasing real estate
The whole process required Felipe to spend about 6 months and €364,727.
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.
This case was provided by our expert
Author and editor of articles about investment citizenship and residency
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