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FAQ’S ON APPLYING FOR A CYPRUS PERMANENT RESIDENCY PERMIT BY INVESTMENT (PRP)

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FAQ’S ON APPLYING FOR A CYPRUS PERMANENT RESIDENCY PERMIT BY INVESTMENT (PRP)

The recent simplified amendments to the Cyprus Permanent Residency by Investment (PRP), have proven widely successful in attracting investment into Cyprus from foreign nationals.

The main reasons for this is Cyprus’ geographical location, stable economy, favourable tax regime and robust legal system based on English common law, good education and proficiency of English language as the preferred business language. As well as high standard of living, low crime rate and reasonable property prices and 320 days of sunshine, making Cyprus a preferred PRP jurisdiction.

Here below are frequently asked questions (FAQ’s), pertaining to the Cyprus Permanent Residency Permit, intended to give clarity to those considering the Cyprus PRP.

(1) Is the applicant of a PRP required to be present in Cyprus prior to the filing of a PRP application?

No, the PRP application can be processed in the applicant’s absence and filed on his behalf by virtue of a power of attorney issued by the applicant in the name of a local lawyer for this purpose.

In the event that the client has provided an agent with a Power of Attorney (including the right to sub-delegate his powers under such document), then S&A may receive a Power of Attorney from such Attorney.

(2) Once issued, is the PRP renewable?

No, the PRP is granted for the lifetime of the applicant, provided the conditions for its issue are satisfied.

(3) How can a PRP be revoked? Are there any conditions for maintaining a PRP?

The PRP may be revoked if any one of the following conditions is not met:

  • The PRP holder and/or his dependents and/or his parents fail to visit Cyprus once every two years;
  • The PRP holder and/or his dependents and/or his parents acquire permanent residency in another country;
  • The residential property purchased for the purposes of the PRP application is sold and not replaced with another “first time” sale residential property with a minimum acquisition cost of €300,000.

(4) What type of immovable property qualifies for the purposes of a PRP application?

The properties eligible for a PRP application are required to have a purchase value of at least €300,000 (non-inclusive of VAT) and be a “first time” sale. The applicant may purchase the property through a company of which he and/or his spouse are the ultimate beneficial owners. Any one of the following property combinations is eligible:

  1. one apartment or house;
  2. two apartments or two houses or combination of each;
  3. one apartment/house and one commercial shop/warehouse of up to 100 square meters;
  4. one apartment/house and one office of up to 250 square meters.

Where the PRP applicant purchases two properties, for the purposes of the PRP application the said properties must be purchased from the same developer.

For the purposes of filing the PRP application, the PRP applicant is required to evidence purchase of the immovable property(ies) (irrespective of the date of delivery), and payment of at least €200,000 at the time the application is filed, with the remaining €100,000 to be paid afterwards. Payment of the full amount is required to be transmitted to a bank account held in Cyprus at a financial institution of the seller.

Property purchased previously by the investor may be used for the purpose of PRP application, if all criteria relating to such investment have been complied with.

Property may have been purchased through the CY/EU based company of the investor. In the event that the property has been purchased previously by an offshore company of the investor, which is solely owned by the investor and such property is transferred to the CY/EU Company of the investor then this may be accepted, if all other criteria have been complied with.

(5) Can the Ministry of Interior discover whether the immovable property(ies) purchased under the PRP application have been sold?

Yes, the Department of Migration conducts periodic checks through the local Land Registries to establish whether the PRP holders continue to own the relevant properties or whether the properties have been sold.

(6) Can a PRP holder travel freely within the EU without any additional visas from the country to be visited?

No, a visa from the EU country to be visited will still be required for a Cyprus PRP holder. The PRP however does allow the holder to avoid Visitor Visa requirements within the EU. EU member states apply their own regulations for allowing the entry of PRP holders.  However, by virtue of acquis communautaire, EU and EEA states are legally bound to respect the PRP issued by an EU member state and to enable the holder to enter the visiting EU or EEA country, legally.

(7) Who collects the interest earned on the 3-year fixed deposit of minimum €30,000, which is pledged for the purposes of acquiring a PRP?

Any interest earned is income of the deposit holder i.e. the PRP holder.

(8) Can a PRP holder work in Cyprus?

No, The PRP holder’s annual income, which must be at least €30,000 plus an additional €5,000 for each dependent and €8,000 for each parent, must emanate from sources outside of Cyprus. At the application stage, the PRP applicant signs a statement confirming his intention to not be employed in Cyprus. The PRP holder’s annual income may comprise of dividends of a foreign and/or Cyprus company or salaries from employment outside of Cyprus, or pensions, or rents from abroad or interest on fixed deposits, wherever they are situated.

(9) What are the certification requirements for documents filed in support of a PRP application?

All documents (including birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.) are required to be filed in original or as true translations of the original, duly translated into Greek or English. Documents filed as true translations of the original are required to be legalised in one of the following ways:

  • With the Apostille stamp under the Hague Convention;
  • At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country andthe diplomatic mission of the Republic of Cyprus in the issuing country or the diplomatic mission of the issuing country in the Republic of Cyprus.

(10) What are the supporting documents required to be submitted as proof of the PRP applicant’s source of annual income?

The PRP applicant is required to provide any of the following documents/information as proof of their annual income (indicative list):

  • Confirmation of the applicant’s annual income by the Inland Revenue Department of the applicant’s country of origin;
  • Accountant’s report;
  • Copies of rental agreements, in support of PRP applicant’s rental income;
  • Salary statements from the PRP applicant’s employer;
  • Dividend vouchers in support of PRP applicant’s dividend income;
  • Any other appropriate supporting documentation;
  • Statements from foreign banks confirming receipt of interest income on deposits held in the PRP applicant’s name;
  • Confirmation from the bank on interest received from funds deposited on the bank account.

As a general rule bank statements showing the source of any income are mandatory.

(11) How long must the amount of €30,000 deposited in a Cyprus Bank remain in place? Can it be deposited in any other currency?

The Regulations provide that the amount of €30,000is fixed for three years. It is also possible for the amount to be in a currency other than Euro; provided the total value of the deposit is the equivalent of €30,000 at all times during the three year lock-in period. The interest rate applied to the fixed deposit depends on the terms of offer of each eligible bank. The beneficiary of the interest accrued is the depositor/applicant.

(12)Can the PRP holder release the pledge on the €30,000 deposit, at the expiration of the three-year lock in period?

Yes, at the expiration of the three-year lock-in period, the PRP holder can freely transfer the €30,000. The PRP holder is required to maintain a bank account in Cyprus for the duration of the PRP, as proof of his ability to financially support himself and his dependents without being employed in Cyprus.

(13) What is the age limit for adult children of a PRP applicant to join in a PRP application as adult dependents?

The PRP issued covers the holder’s spouse and children up to 18 years old, as well as the main applicants’ parents. Adult children of the PRP applicant between 18 and 25 years old can join a PRP application provided they are students or undergraduates. (adult children between 18 and 25 years old who are not students or undergraduates cannot join their parents PRP application). Married children of PRP applicants between 18 and 25 years old, that fulfil the criteria can join their parents’ application, however their families cannot.

The said permit is still valid even if the holders have exceeded the age of 25 and even if they do not remain unmarried and/or students and/or financially dependent on their parents.  It is noted that their future spouses or underage children cannot be included as dependent persons on this permit.

Adult children of the PRP applicant who are not financially dependent on their PRP applicant parents can also join in a PRP application, provided the value of the residential property invested in is increased by €300,000for each adult child added to the application.

For example, for an adult child of 30 years old who is financially independent to be added in a PRP application, the PRP applicant is required to purchase a residential property of €600,000 etc. In such an event a confirmation of payment for the 66% of the acquisition cost of the residential property must be submitted with the application (e.g. €400,000 for a property with an acquisition cost of €600.000). Additionally, the adult child, financially independent of the PRP applicant is required to demonstrate a secured income of at least €30,000 derived from sources outside of Cyprus and to maintain a three-year fixed deposit of €30,000.

(14) How soon can a PRP be issued from the day an application is submitted?

A PRP is issued within two months from the date the application is submitted.

(15) How can the PRP holder receive the permit once it is granted?

The PRP holder should visit Cyprus at any stage within one year from the date of issuance of the PRP to receive such a permit, (in order for the authorities to obtain his biometrics) and subsequently every two years thereafter.

(16) How can S&A assist in obtaining a PRP?

S&A can assist with all aspects of the PRP application, including preparation and filing of the relevant application and supporting documentation, the opening of a bank account, and with an introduction to suitable real estate agents in Cyprus. The affiliate law firm of S&A, Dionysiou & Partners, can assist with the drafting of the agreement for acquiring immovable property and advise you on all legal matters relevant to the PRP application process.

(17) Can dependent adults between the ages of 18-25, who have finalized their studies or are not studying, join their parents’ application?

No. The law strictly refers to students or undergraduates. An adult who is not a student cannot join his parents application, irrespective of whether he is or isn’t dependant on them.

(18) How does a dependent (already) studying in Cyprus (or planning to study in Cyprus) join the PRP of his parents?

In the event that the child is a student in a higher educational institution of the Republic, he must submit an applicationfor obtaining a temporary residence permit in the Republic as students under the relevant legislation (EU Directive).

After completing his studies in Cyprus he will be able to submit his application for obtaining a PRP, regardless of his age at that moment, with the sole requirement being hat the parents present an additional annual income of € 5,000.

In the event that the child plans to attend a higher educational institution of the Republic, after having obtained a PRP on his parents’ application, said PRP shall be revoked and a temporary residence permit in the Republic shall be granted.

After completing his studies in Cyprus the PRP shall be re-issued to him, regardless of his age at that moment and with no further requirements to be fulfilled.

(19) What options does the applicant have in the event it is difficult/not possible to obtain a “recent” original birth and marriage certificate in his jurisdiction, or if only 1 original of these documents has been issued?

In this event the applicant can have a copy of the original document translated and duly legalized. This copy along with the original document shall be presented to the authorities who shall make a note that the original was presented to them. The original shall be returned to the client instantly.

We are a market leader in the Residency and Citizenship practice area in both Cyprus, Malta, and Canada. With over 15 years of experience in the sector and 100% success rate in processing citizenship and residency applications. As a leading immigration services specialist, we assist High Net Worth families from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with their immigration needs.

For further information, or to discuss your personal circumstances in the strictest of confidence, contact Mr Charles Savva, Managing Partner, at [email protected]

Investing

Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb

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Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb 1

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equity markets snapped a 3-day losing streak to edge higher on Friday, as the recent selling pressure on high-flying big technology-related stocks eased even as investors showed a preference for economically sensitive cyclical sectors.

Oil prices fell from recent highs as Texas energy companies began preparations to restart oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather, while the U.S. Treasury yields extended their recent rise.

The MSCI’s global stock index was up 0.47% at 681.88, after losing ground for three consecutive sessions.

On Wall Street, stocks steadied as cyclical sectors edged higher while tech names made modest advances after concerns about elevated valuations led to some selling in recent sessions.

“What we saw (this week) represents a market that is tired and may not do very much. So we are headed for some sort of a pullback, but I don’t think we’re there just yet,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

“Investors are not really pulling out of the market, but they are becoming more cautious. It already has factored in another good positive earnings season.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 119.97 points, or 0.38%, to 31,613.31, the S&P 500 gained 12.93 points, or 0.33%, to 3,926.9 and the Nasdaq Composite added 92.58 points, or 0.67%, to 13,957.93.

The S&P 500 technology and communication services sectors, housing high-value growth stocks, were among the smallest gainers in early trading, while financials, industrials, energy and materials rose more than 1%.

European shares edged higher on Friday as an upbeat earnings report from Hermes boosted confidence in a broader economic recovery. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was 0.64% higher.

U.S. Treasury yields on the longer end of the curve rose to new one-year highs on Friday as improved risk appetite boosted Wall Street, while the yield on 30-year inflation-protected securities (TIPS) turned positive for the first time since June.

Core bond yields have pushed higher globally, led by the so-called reflation trade, where investors wager on a pick-up in growth and inflation. Growing momentum for coronavirus vaccine programs and hopes of massive fiscal spending under U.S. President Joe Biden have spurred reflation trades.

The benchmark 10-year yield was last up 5.1 basis points at 1.338%, its highest level since Feb. 26, 2020.

Oil prices retreated from recent highs for a second day on Friday as Texas energy companies began preparations to restart oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather.

Unusually cold weather in Texas and the Plains states curtailed up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production and 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas, analysts estimated.

Brent crude futures were down 28 cents, or 0.44%, at $63.65 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 66 cents, or 1.09%, to $59.86.

Copper jumped to its highest in more than nine years on Friday and towards a third straight weekly gain as tight supplies and bullish sentiment towards base metals continued after the Chinese New Year.

Spot gold XAU= was down 0.58% at $1,785.71 an ounce.

The dollar lost ground on Friday, extending Thursday’s decline as improved risk appetite sapped demand for the safe-haven currency and drew buyers to riskier, higher-yielding currencies. The dollar index was off 0.295%.

Bitcoin hit yet another record high on Friday, hitting a market capitalization of $1 trillion, blithely shrugging off analyst warnings that it is an “economic side show” and a poor hedge against a fall in stock prices.

(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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Oil falls after surging past $65 on Texas freeze

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Oil falls after surging past $65 on Texas freeze 2

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Thursday despite a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories, as market participants took profits following days of buying spurred by a cold snap in the largest U.S. energy-producing state.

Brent crude fell 41 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $63.93 a barrel. During the session it rose as high as $65.52, its highest since January 2020.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 62 cents, or 1%, to settle at $60.52 a barrel, after earlier reaching $62.26, the highest since January 2020.

Brent had gained for four straight sessions before Thursday, while WTI had risen for three.

“The market probably got a little bit ahead of itself,” said Phil Flynn, a senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “But make no mistake, this selloff in oil doesn’t solve the problems. The problems are going to persist.”

Though some Texas households had power restored on Thursday, the state entered its sixth day of a cold freeze. It has grappled with refining outages and oil and gas shut-ins that rippled beyond its border into Mexico.

The weather has shut in about one-fifth of the nation’s refining capacity and closed oil and natural gas production across the state.

“The temporary outage will help to accelerate U.S. oil inventories down towards the five-year average quicker than expected,” SEB chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop said.

Prices dropped despite a decrease in U.S. oil inventories. Crude stockpiles fell by 7.3 million barrels in the week to Feb. 12, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday, compared with analysts’ expectations for an decrease of 2.4 million barrels.

Crude exports rose to 3.9 million barrels per day, the highest since March, EIA said.

“The big nugget was the big jump in exports of crude oil,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York. “We’ll have to see what happens with that next week weather in Texas, but I have been looking for a pickup there for a while.”

Oil’s rally in recent months has also been supported by a tightening of global supplies, due largely to production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers in the OPEC+ grouping, which includes Russia.

OPEC+ sources told Reuters the group’s producers are likely to ease curbs on supply after April given the recovery in prices.

(Additional reporting by Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Steve Orlofsky, David Gregorio and Jonathan Oatis)

 

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GameStop frenzy sparks fresh investment in stock-trading apps

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GameStop frenzy sparks fresh investment in stock-trading apps 3

By Jane Lanhee Lee

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – The recent trading frenzy centered on GameStop Corp and other “meme” stocks is sparking a wave of investor interest in start-ups aiming to mimic the success of Robinhood Markets Inc, whose no-fee brokerage app has helped drive a trading boom.

Public.com, a direct competitor to Robinhood that boasts a host of blue-chip backers, said on Wednesday it had raised $220 million, valuing it at $1.2 billion on the private market. Another well-heeled rival, Stash, said earlier this month it had raised $125 million, while Webull Financial LLC, backed by Chinese investors, is also raising fresh funds after enjoying an influx of new users.

Robinhood, meanwhile, raised some $3.4 billion in the midst of the GameStop furor to assure its stability amid rapid growth and demands by its trading partners that it post more collateral.

The fresh investments are coming even as government regulators ramp up scrutiny of Robinhood and others involved in the GameStop trading. A U.S. congressional committee on Thursday grilled the chief executive of Robinhood and a YouTube streamer known as “Roaring Kitty,” among others, as it probes possible improprieties, including market manipulation.

Robinhood came under stiff criticism from some quarters for restricting trading in GameStop and other shares at the height of the frenzy, a move the company says it was forced to make due to requirements of partners that settle trades. It has also drawn scrutiny for a business model that relies on payments for sending trading business to partner brokerages, a practice Public.com and some other rivals are pledging to avoid.

Investors see rich opportunity in bringing easy stock trading to smartphone users globally, though the companies say they are also cognizant of the risks.

Stash, which doubled its active accounts to over 5 million by the end of last year, operates with only four trading windows a day to discourage rapid speculative trading, it said.

U.K.-based Freetrade.io told Reuters by email that its user numbers last year grew six-fold to 300,000 and by mid-February had reached 560,000. It said it had raised a total $35 million, including from crowd-funding rounds from over 10,000 customers.

But it does not offer margin trading or riskier offerings. “These products encourage investors to behave as if they are gambling or speculating rather than investing,” a Freetrade.io spokesman said.

Interest in trading apps is soaring globally. In Mexico, trading app Flink launched seven months ago and already has a million users, according to co-founder and chief executive Sergio Jimenez. He said Mexicans can buy fractions of U.S. stock through the platform, but not Mexican stocks – yet.

“Ninety percent of them are investing for the first time,” said Jimenez.

Flink raised $12 million in a funding round in February led by Accel, an early investor in Facebook. Accel is also an investor in Public.com and Berlin-based Trade Republic Bank Gmbh, which allows European retail investors to buy fractions of U.S. stocks, according to Accel partner Andrew Braccia.

“The bigger story here is there’s just this global trend of… accessibility,” he said.

Start-up investors also see opportunity in the infrastructure behind the trading apps. DriveWealth, which serves Mexico’s Flink and 70-plus other online trading apps around the world, has hundreds more partnerships in the pipeline, according to founder and chief executive Bob Cortright. DriveWealth provides the technology to power digital wallets and trading apps, and also provides clearing and brokerage service to its business partners.

“This is this is only beginning,” said Cortright. “The fact that you could have a smartphone in your hand in India, for instance, and buy $10 worth of Coca-Cola stock at an instant, that’s pretty game-changing.”

Venture capital investments in U.S. fintech companies hit a record last year with $20.6 billion invested, according to data firm PitchBook. Globally, around $41.4 billion was invested in fintech companies in 2020.

(Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee in Oakland; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Dan Grebler)

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