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Greek Golden Visa Leaflet
Greek Golden Visa FAQ

Greece’s Permanent Residence Programme (“Golden Visa”)

Greece’s Permanent Residence Programme (“Golden Visa”) enables an entire non-EU family, including dependent children up to the age of 21 and the parents of both spouses, to obtain permanent residency status in Greece within just 2 to 3 months, with a real estate investment of only €250,000. It is now the most competitive permanent residency scheme in Europe, attracting the highest number of applicants each year.


Why Choose Greece?

Compared to its relatively modest surface area of 131,957 km², Greece boasts a staggering 13,676 km coastline — one of the world’s longest and second only to Norway in all of Europe. The country’s natural beauty is unparalleled and presents endless opportunities for tourism, leisure, and exploration.

As of 2019, Greece has a population of 10,450,180 and its capital, Athens, just over 3,153,350. The country is still rather sparsely populated and can offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the big metropolises of the 21st century.

Greece is also a member of some of the world’s most exclusive geopolitical clubs. The country became a member of the EU on January 1, 1981, and has had the Euro (€) as its currency since joining the Eurozone on January 1, 2001. As of January 1, 2000, Greece is also a member of the border control-free Schengen Area.

It should also be noted the recent economic crisis has driven Greek property prices down, resulting in prime real estate assets being offered at especially attractive terms. The landscape is now ideal for investors seeking a broader investment plan via property ownership.


Legal Framework - What Is the Greek Permanent Residence Programme?

By virtue of the Immigration and Social Integration Code (Law 4136/2013 as amended by 4251/2014, Government Gazette 1, no 80) in 2014, the Greek government introduced provisions to obtain permanent residency in Greece for non-EU nationals and members of their families. Non-EU nationals who purchase real estate property in Greece worth €250,000 or more (excluding VAT, if applicable) are eligible for Permanent Residency in Greece, which is often referred to as the Greek “Golden Visa”.


What Are the Benefits of the Greek Permanent Residence Programme?

The Greek Permanent Residence Programme is now the EU’s most popular permanent residency programme. Some of the reasons for its appeal include:

  • The low investment threshold;
  • No minimum stay requirements;
  • Unlimited Renewal - the applicant may renew the residency permit indefinitely every five years, without additional cost;
  • Visa-free travel through all Schengen countries for a total of 90 days every 6 months;
  • Extended Family Inclusion - The main applicant can include their entire family, including their spouse/partner, both sets of parents, and children up to the ages of 21.

What’s more, Greek Permanent Residence Permit holders can:

  • Obtain permanent residency in Greece within one to three months of applying for a residence permit;
  • Apply for a permanent EU residence permit after five years of residing in Greece, granting them the right to live and work in any EU country (with the exception of Denmark and Ireland);
  • Apply for Greek citizenship after seven years of residence in Greece. After obtaining citizenship, the applicant may liquidate their real estate investment.

As of December 27, 2019, a total of 18,616 permanent residence permits have been issued to investors and members of their families. The top ten countries of origin are China (13,075), Turkey (1,342), Russia (1,004), Lebanon (466), Iraq (369), Iran (337), Egypt (336), Syria (212), Jordan (206), and Ukraine (183).

The scheme is clearly becoming increasingly popular with each passing year. While only 723 residence permits were granted in 2014, the year when the Greek Permanent Residence Permit program was launched, the numbers have been rising steadily ever since. A total of 1,805 permits were granted in 2015; 3,151 in 2016; and 5,687 in 2017. That was followed by a drastic increase to 11,279 in 2018 and an all-time high of 18,616 in 2019.

Greek citizenship

The Greek Permanent Residence programme, is a residence only investment scheme, unlike the many “citizenship by investment” programs which have raised much controversy in other EU member states.

The option for citizenship is however available to applicants who live in Greece for the minimum of seven consecutive years. This subject to conditions introduced in the domestic immigration law and EU immigration legislation.

What Types of Real Estate Transactions Qualify for the Greek Permanent Residence Programme?

There are several ways in which non-EU nationals can obtain a Greek Permanent Residence Permit. These include:

a) Purchasing real estate satisfying the below requirements:

  • Minimum value of €250,000;
  • Either residential or commercial;
  • Owned personally or through a legal entity based in Greece or anywhere else in the EU. In the latter case, the applicant must own 100% of the company shares (In cases of joint ownership of the property, owners should be spouses or partners with a cohabitation agreement registered in Greece, having undivided ownership of the property).

It should be noted the vast majority of applicants chose the above investment route.


b) Signing a 10-year Lease Agreement satisfying the below requirements:

  • Minimum value of €250,000;
  • For hotel accommodation or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts;
  • The applicant must make a single upfront payment equivalent to a ten-year lease.

c) Being the owner of real estate in Greece, acquired prior to the entry into force of Law 4146/2013 regarding the Greek Permanent Residence Permit scheme, satisfying the below requirements:

  • The property was acquired for a minimum of €250,000; or
  • The current objective value of the property is at least €250,000.

d) Purchasing Land or Acreage satisfying the below requirements:

  • The applicant must have proceeded to the construction of a building on that plot of land;
  • The cumulative value of the land purchase and the construction agreement is at least €250,000.

e) Signing a timeshare agreement satisfying the below requirements:

  • The minimum cost of the agreement is €250,000;
  • The applicant must make a single upfront payment.

f) Being the owner of real estate in Greece, acquired through intestate succession, will or parental concession, with a minimum value of €250,000.


In all aforementioned cases, the real estate value amounts to the value of the lease or property, as stated in the contract of purchase.


How is the investor taxed for a Greek Permanent Residence investment?

Greek Permanent Residence programme investors may continue to be non-Greek tax residents and pay tax only on their income derived in Greece. Greek tax for property rental starts at 15% (for income up to EUR 12,000) and goes up to 45% (for over EUR 35,000).

There are certain deductible operating expenses while in case of real estate held through a legal entity, all expenses for the use of the property are tax deductible*.

There is no Capital gains tax on real estate sales. Such transactions are only subject to a transfer tax of 3.09%, burdening the purchaser and imposed on the higher between the purchase price and the objective tax value of the real estate. VAT at the rate of 24% is applicable on the purchase of new buildings.


Who Is Eligible for Greek Permanent Residence Programme?

Provided that the investment criteria have been met, the following persons are eligible for a Greek Permanent Residence Permit:

  • The main applicant;
  • The applicant’s spouse or partner with a cohabitation agreement registered in Greece;
  • The main applicant’s unmarried children under the age of 21;
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21 of the applicant’s spouse or partner, provided that the applicant has legal custody over them;
  • The parents of both spouses or partners.


How to Apply for Greek Permanent Residence Programme: A Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Obtaining an Entry Visa

Depending on nationality, the main applicant(s) and any eligible family members may first have to apply for entry visas. They may do so at the Greek consular authorities in their country of origin or the country where they currently reside.

Any visa category is suitable, as all that is required is to ensure legal entry into the country. After the applicants apply for residence permits, they no longer need a valid visa.


Step 2: Gathering the required documentation for the Greek Permanent Residence Programme Application

After obtaining entry visas, the applicants must provide the following:

  • Four recent, colour passport photos, both printed and digital, of each applicant and eligible family member;
  • Two copies of the application form;
  • Certified copies of their valid passports or travel documents (these must be recognized by Greece and feature the entry visas if required);
  • Official and certified translations of the applicants’ Family and Marriage Certificates, as well as the Birth Certificates of any children under 18;
  • A contract for the purchase of the real estate;
  • Proof of registration of the contract with the relevant Land Registry;
  • A certificate issued by either the Land Registry or the National Cadaster Agency attesting the absence of any encumbrance;
  • Medical insurance from Greece or any other country for the main applicant(s) and any eligible family members;
  • A fee of €2,000 for the main applicant’s five-year residence permit and €150 for every adult family member. Children under 18 are exempt from fees. Applicants pay the fees via the e-Paravolo online platform;
  • A fee of €16 for each electronic residence permit, to be paid via the e-Paravolo platform.

In addition, valid Greek residence permits must also be provided in cases where the applicant(s) and any eligible family members:

  • Bought real estate in Greece before Law 4146/2013 came into effect;
  • Own real estate in Greece through a legal entity where the main applicant owns all shares;
  • Have purchased a plot of land or acreage and constructed a building;
  • Have signed a lease or timeshare agreement for hotel units or tourist facilities operated under the authorization of the Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT).

Finally, if the seller of the real estate is a third-country national, the applicant(s) must submit a certificate from the Aliens and Immigration Department of their competent Decentralized Authority. This requirement applies even if the real estate has already been used for residence permit applications in the past, as well as if the property is sold by a legal entity.
Language Requirements:

Any supporting documents must be in Greek. The applicants would need to have any documents in a foreign language translated and certified.

Applicants can have their foreign-language documents translated:

  • Through the Translation Service of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs; or
  • Through a lawyer who is a member of a Greek Bar Association and whose signature is certified by the Bar Association.

Two methods of certification are acceptable:

  • An apostille stamp for documents from countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention;
  • Certification by a consular authority.


Step 3: Submission of the Documents

The application and all supporting documents may be submitted at any office of the Aliens and Immigration Department at the Decentralized Authorities in Greece.

The applicants may submit the documents in person or through an appointed lawyer acting via a Power of Attorney. In both cases this must be done before the expiry of the entry visas.

Eligible family members do not need to submit their application for initial residence permit simultaneously with the main applicant(s). They may do so at a later date, after they enter the country.


Step 4: Upon Arrival

Upon arrival each applicant would need to provide:

  • Four recent, colour passport photos, both printed and digital;
  • A digital sample of their signature for all applicants over the age of 12;
  • The fingerprints of two fingers for all applicants over the age of 6;
  • A fee of €16 payable through the e-Paravolo platform;
  • A completed residence permit application form;
  • Supporting documents as required.

If the application is submitted by an attorney, the applicant(s) will be asked to present themselves in person at a later date to submit their biometric data (signature and fingerprints).


Step 5: Processing of the Application

The processing time of residence permit applications may not exceed two months after all required paperwork has reached the competent authority.

In the interim, if all required supporting documents have been included, the applicant(s) will be issued a confirmation that their application has been successfully submitted. The confirmation:

  • Is valid for one year;
  • Serves as proof that the applicant(s) have a pending residence permit application;
  • Entitles them to reside legally in Greece while their application is being processed;
  • Entitles them to all the benefits of the residence permit that they have applied for;
  • Allows the applicant(s) to carry out any legal transactions in relation to their real estate.


Step 6: Issuing of the Residence Permit

If the applications meet all relevant criteria, the Aliens and Immigration Department of the Decentralized Authority will issue permanent residence permits valid for five years. Eligible family members will receive residence permits of the same duration as that of the main applicant.

It is important to note, however, the residence permit does not entitle its holder to the right to work in Greece.

The children of the applicant will be issued with residence permits that are valid until they reach the age of 21.

As of February 20, 2017, all EU Member States issue electronic residence permits. These replace the printed stickers that were previously affixed in the holder’s passport or travel document.


Step 7: Renewal of Residence Permits

While the residency rights under the Greek Permanent Residence Permit program are permanent, each permit is valid for five years. Therefore, the permits must be renewed at the end of each five-year period.

The children of the main applicant(s) must renew their residence permits when they turn 21. These will be valid until they reach the age of 24. After that, the children would be able to apply for further renewal as per the applicable immigration legislation.

Applicants must meet two conditions in order to be able to renew their residence permits:

  • The applicant(s) must remain in full ownership of the real estate; and
  • Any relevant contracts and/or leases must still be in force.

All applications for renewal of residence permits must be made at least two months prior to the expiry of the applicant’s current residence permit. Late submission of up to a month from the expiry of the active permit is possible, but subject to a €100 fine.

Periods of stay abroad do not prevent the renewal of permanent residence permits.

In cases where the holder of a permanent residence permit sells their property to another third-country national, they lose their residency rights, as the rights pass onto the new owner.

How Much Does the Greek Permanent Residence Permit Cost?

Government Fees

The application fee is €2,000 for the main applicant and €150 for every adult family member. Children under the age of 18 are exempt.

Electronic residence permits cost a further €16 per person.

Legal and Other Expenses

In addition to the government fees, the applicants would also need to cover the relevant legal fees and other costs arising from the relevant real estate transaction. These include:

  • Legal fees as agreed with the applicant’s legal representatives;
  • €100 for Power of Attorney per person;
  • 1.2% of the contractual real estate value for notary services;
  • 3.09% of the real estate value for all resale properties or VAT 24% of the real estate value for new properties that are bought directly from the developer;
  • 0.475% of the real estate value for all properties payable to the Public Land Registry or 0.575% of the real estate value payable to the Public Cadastral Office.

Medical Expenses

  • Private health insurance (approximately €150 per person)


How Can Savva & Associates Assist You?

Savva & Associates offers the following professional services to third-country nationals interested in obtaining permanent residency through real estate investment:

Real Estate Transactions

  • Assistance at all stages of the real estate transaction, including real estate sourcing, title search, and property due diligence;
  • Drafting of the sale and purchase contract and any other required documents;
  • Registration with the Land Registry;
  • Obtaining certificates from the cadastral authorities and notaries.

Tax, Finance, and Accounting

  • Opening a bank account in Greece for the purposes of the real estate transaction;
  • Tax registration, including applying for a Tax Identification Number (TIN).

Greek Permanent Residence Programme Applications

  • Preparation of the application and all supporting documents;
  • Arranging biometric data appointments;
  • Filing of the application and all supporting documents with the Ministry of Internal Affairs;
  • Applying for renewal of permanent residence permits every five years.


Our team of highly experienced professionals can advise you further on the Greek Permanent Residence Permit application, on the basis of your particular circumstances. Please feel free to contact Charles Savva at c.savva@savvacyprus.com to discuss how we can be of assistance to you.

 

INTRODUCTION  

We are very happy to welcome you to C. Savva & Associates Ltd’s website privacy notice.

 
About C. Savva & Associates Ltd:

 

  1. Savva & Associates Ltd is a Cyprus registered company with offices at 75 Prodromou Avenue, 1st Floor, 2063, Nicosia, Cyprus.
  2. Savva & Associates Ltd respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice will inform you as to how we look after your personal data when you visit our website (regardless of where you visit it from) and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

This privacy notice is provided in a layered format, so you can click through to the specific areas set out below. Please also make use of the Glossary to understand the meaning of some of the terms used in this privacy notice.

  1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND WHO WE ARE
  1. THE DATA WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU
  1. HOW IS YOUR PERSONAL DATA COLLECTED
  1. HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA
  1. DISCLOSURES OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA
  1. INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS
  1. DATA SECURITY
  1. DATA RETENTION
  1. YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
  1. GLOSSARY
  1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND WHO WE ARE

PURPOSE OF THIS PRIVACY NOTICE  

This privacy notice aims to give you information on how we collect and process your personal data through your use of this website, including any data you may provide through this website when you contact us.

This website is not intended for children and we do not knowingly collect data relating to children.

It is important that you read this privacy notice together with any other privacy notice or fair processing notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your data. This privacy notice supplements the other notices and is not intended to override them.

CONTROLLER  

  1. Savva & Associates Ltd is the controller and responsible for your personal data (referred to as ”COMPANY”, “we”, “us” or “our” in this privacy notice).

We have appointed a data protection officer (DPO) who is responsible for overseeing questions in relation to this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact the DPO using the details set out below.

CONTACT DETAILS  

Our full details are:

Legal entity: C. Savva & Associates Ltd

Contact Name: Constantinos Pavlides

Email address: c.pavlides@savvacyprus.com

Postal address: 75 Prodromou Avenue, 1st Floor, 2063, Nicosia, Cyprus

Telephone number: Tel: +357 22 516 671

Fax Number: +357 22 516 672

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Commissioner for the Protection of Personal Data in Cyprus. We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.

CHANGES TO THE PRIVACY NOTICE AND YOUR DUTY TO INFORM US OF CHANGES  

This version was last updated on [24/5/2019].

It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.

THIRD-PARTY LINKS  

This website may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice of every website you visit.

  1. THE DATA WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU

Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together follows:

  • Identity Data includes [full name, similar identifier, or any other information you provide using the free message area].
  • Contact Data includes [email address and telephone numbers].
  • Technical Data includes [internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access this website].
  • Usage Data includes [information about how you use our website, products and services].

We also collect, use and share Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific website feature. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice.

We do not collect any Special Categories of Personal Data about you (this includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health and genetic and biometric data). Nor do we collect any information about criminal convictions and offences.

IF YOU FAIL TO PROVIDE PERSONAL DATA  

Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with goods or services). In this case, we may have to cancel a product or service you have with us, but we will notify you if this is the case at the time.

  1. HOW IS YOUR PERSONAL DATA COLLECTED?

We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through:

  • Direct interactions. You may give us your [Identity, Contact and Financial Data] by filling in forms or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you:
  • apply for our products or services;
  • give us some feedback.
  • to report a product side effect and/or quality complaint
  • Automated technologies or interactions. As you interact with our website, we may automatically collect Technical Data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns. We collect this personal data by using cookies, server logs and other similar technologies. We may also receive Technical Data about you if you visit other websites employing our cookies. Please see our cookie policy for further details.
  • Third parties or publicly available sources. We may receive personal data about you from various third parties [and public sources] as set out below:
  • Technical Data from the following parties:
  1. HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation. 

Generally, we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data other than in relation to sending third party direct marketing communications to you via email or text message. You have the right to withdraw consent to marketing at any time by Email: info@savvacyprus.com

PURPOSES FOR WHICH WE WILL USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA  

We have set out below, in a table format, a description of all the ways we plan to use your personal data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so. We have also identified what our legitimate interests are where appropriate.

Note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please Email: info@savvacyprus.com if you need details about the specific legal ground we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground has been set out in the table below.

Purpose/Activity

 

 

To register you as a new customer

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

Performance of a contract with you

To process and provide you with our services, including:

(a) Manage payments, fees and charges

(b) Collect and recover money owed to us

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Financial

(d) Transaction

(e) Marketing and Communications

(a) Performance of a contract with you

(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to recover debts due to us)

To manage our relationship with you which will include:

(a) Notifying you about changes to our terms or privacy policy

(b) Asking you to leave a review or take a survey

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Profile

(d) Marketing and Communications

(a) Performance of a contract with you

(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation

(c) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to keep our records updated and to study how customers use our products/services)

To administer and protect our business and this website (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data)

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Technical

(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, provision of administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation or group restructuring exercise)

(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation

To deliver relevant website content and advertisements to you and measure or understand the effectiveness of the advertising we serve to you

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Profile

(d) Usage

(e) Marketing and Communications

(f) Technical

Necessary for our legitimate interests (to study how customers use our products/services, to develop them, to grow our business and to inform our marketing strategy)

To use data analytics to improve our website, products/services, marketing, customer relationships and experiences

(a) Technical

(b) Usage

Necessary for our legitimate interests (to define types of customers for our products and services, to keep our website updated and relevant, to develop our business and to inform our marketing strategy)

To make suggestions and recommendations to you about goods or services that may be of interest to you

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Technical

(d) Usage

(e) Profile

Necessary for our legitimate interests (to develop our products/services and grow our business)

Without prejudicing any of the above-mentioned purposes, in connection with any transaction which we enter into with you:

1.We, and other companies in our group, may carry out credit and fraud prevention checks with one or more licensed credit reference and fraud prevention agencies. We and they may keep a record of the search. Information held about you by these agencies may be linked to records relating to other people living at the same address with whom you are financially linked. These records will also be taken into account in credit and fraud prevention checks. Information from your application and payment details of your account will be recorded with one or more of these agencies and may be shared with other organisations to help make credit and insurance decisions about you and members of your household with whom you are financially linked and for debt collection and fraud prevention. This includes those who have moved house and who have missed payments.

2.If you provide false or inaccurate information to us and we suspect fraud, we will record this and may share it with other people and organisations. We, and other credit and insurance organisations, may also use technology to detect and prevent fraud.

3.If you need details of those credit agencies and fraud prevention agencies from which we obtain and with which we record information about you, please write to our Director at 75 Prodromou Avenue, 1st Floor, 2063 Nicosia, Cyprus.

 

MARKETING AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

We strive to provide you with choices regarding certain personal data uses, particularly around marketing and advertising. We have established the following personal data control mechanisms:

PROMOTIONAL OFFERS FROM US  

We may use your Identity, Contact, Technical, Usage and Profile Data to form a view on what we think you may want or need, or what may be of interest to you. This is how we decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you (we call this marketing).

You will receive marketing communications from us if you have requested information from us or purchased services from us and you have not opted out of receiving that marketing.

THIRD-PARTY MARKETING  

We will get your express opt-in consent before we share your personal data with any company outside the group of companies for marketing purposes.

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

 

Without prejudicing any of the above, by submitting your email address you are consenting to receive the particular piece of information you requested, as well as allowing us to send you appropriate and useful communications. This includes, but is not limited to; invitations to our events and webinars, our latest assets (blog posts, whitepapers, guides, reports, info graphics, videos and case studies) and promotional offers on software and services. We would also like to keep you abreast of the charity events and initiatives we partake in. If you are a customer of C. Savva & Associates Ltd, you will also receive regular updates. These updates will highlight information relevant to the services we deliver.

OPTING OUT  

You can ask us or third parties to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by logging into the website and checking or unchecking relevant boxes to adjust your marketing preferences or by following the opt-out links on any marketing message sent to you or by Email: info@savvacyprus.com at any time.

Where you opt out of receiving these marketing messages, this will not apply to personal data provided to us as a result of a service purchase.

COOKIES  

You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when websites set or access cookies. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of this website may become inaccessible or not function properly. For more information about the cookies we use, please see below.

 

CHANGE OF PURPOSE  

We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us by Email: info@savvacyprus.com

If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.

  1. DISCLOSURES OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA

We may have to share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out in the table in paragraph 4 above.

  • Internal Third Parties as set out below.
  • External Third Parties as set out below.
  • Specific third parties with which we co-operate for the provision of our services
  • Third parties to whom we may choose to sell, transfer, or merge parts of our business or our assets. Alternatively, we may seek to acquire other businesses or merge with them. If a change happens to our business, then the new owners may use your personal data in the same way as set out in this privacy notice.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

  1. INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS

We do not transfer your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

  

Whenever we transfer your personal data out of the EEA, we ensure a similar degree of protection is afforded to it by ensuring at least one of the following safeguards is implemented:

  • We will only transfer your personal data to countries that have been deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for personal data by the European Commission.
  • Where we use certain service providers, we may use specific contracts approved by the European Commission which give personal data the same protection it has in Europe.
  • Where we use providers based in the US, we may transfer data to them if they are part of the Privacy Shield which requires them to provide similar protection to personal data shared between the Europe and the US.

Please contact us by Email: info@savvacyprus.com if you want further information on the specific mechanism used by us when transferring your personal data out of the EEA.

  1. DATA SECURITY

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

  1. DATA RETENTION

HOW LONG WILL YOU USE MY PERSONAL DATA FOR?  

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data: see Request erasure below for further information.

In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.

  1. YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS

Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data. Please click on the links below to find out more about these rights:

  • Request access to your personal data.
  • Request correction of your personal data.
  • Request erasure of your personal data.
  • Object to processing of your personal data.
  • Request restriction of processing your personal data.
  • Request transfer of your personal data.
  • Right to withdraw consent.

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us by Email: info@savvacyprus.com

NO FEE USUALLY REQUIRED  

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

WHAT WE MAY NEED FROM YOU  

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.

TIME LIMIT TO RESPOND  

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.

  1. GLOSSARY

LAWFUL BASIS  

Legitimate Interest means the interest of our business in conducting and managing our business to enable us to give you the best service/product and the best and most secure experience. We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests. We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law). You can obtain further information about how we assess our legitimate interests against any potential impact on you in respect of specific activities by contacting us by Email: info@savvacyprus.com

Performance of Contract means processing your data where it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party or to take steps at your request before entering into such a contract.

Comply with a legal or regulatory obligation means processing your personal data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation that we are subject to.

THIRD PARTIES  

  

EXTERNAL THIRD PARTIES  

  • Service providers acting as processors based in Cyprus who provide IT and system administration services.
  • Professional advisers acting as processors including lawyers, bankers, auditors and insurers based in Cyprus who provide consultancy, banking, legal, insurance and accounting services.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS  

You have the right to:

Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

 Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.

Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.

Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

Cookies consist of portions of code installed in the browser that assist the Owner in providing the Service according to the purposes described. Some of the purposes for which Cookies are installed may also require the User's consent.

Where the installation of Cookies is based on consent, such consent can be freely withdrawn at any time following the instructions provided in this document. 
 

Technical Cookies and Cookies serving aggregated statistical purposes 

Other types of Cookies or third parties that install Cookies

Some of the services listed below collect statistics in an anonymized and aggregated form and may not require the consent of the User or may be managed directly by the Owner - depending on how they are described - without the help of third parties.

If any third party operated services are listed among the tools below, these may be used to track Users’ browsing habits – in addition to the information specified herein and without the Owner’s knowledge. Please refer to the privacy policy of the listed services for detailed information.

CYPRUS TAXATION CONNECTED TO THE ACQUISITION & HOLDING OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY

A. TAXES IN RELATION TO ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY

The following taxes/fees are applicable upon the acquisition of immovable property in Cyprus:

1) Land transfer fees:

Market value (€)Rate
First 85,0001.50
85,001 to 170,0002.50
Over 170,0004.00

The above transfer fees do not apply if the transaction is subject to VAT (refer to section A.3 below).

2) Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is payable on any document which relates to any property situated in Cyprus or to any matter or thing to be performed or done therein, irrespective of the place where the document is executed.

The rates of stamp duty on agreements the subject matter of which relates to property situated in Cyprus or to matters or things to be executed in Cyprus are as follows:

  1. Consideration up to €5,000, at 0%.
  2. Consideration from €5,001 to €170,000, at 0.15%
  3. Consideration over €170,000, at 0.2%.

A maximum cap of €20,000 of stamp duty per document is applicable.

3) VAT

New properties are subject to VAT at 19% on their sale irrespective if the purchaser is a legal entity or a natural person.

The only exception to this rule is if the building permit was granted before 1st May 2004, then the said new property is exempt from VAT.  Nowadays, very few such new properties exist in the market.

Resale properties are exempt from VAT, hence subject to Land Transfer Fees as described in section A.1 above.

In the case where the purchaser of a new property (which is subject to VAT) is a legal entity, then the legal entity can only reclaim back the VAT suffered only if the activities of the said legal entity are the trading of real estate or the renting of the real estate where the rental income would be subject to VAT (refer to section C below for further details). As you can appreciate, the former (i.e. trading of real estate business) would not meet the requirements of the CIP program since the said legal entity would not be able to hold the real estate for the minimum required holding period.

In the case of the buyer’s main residence (assuming that this is not rented out), the buyer can apply for a reduced VAT of 5%, subject to the following conditions:

  • The reduced rate of VAT is 5% and is applied only if the property will be the buyer’s main residence in the Republic of Cyprus.
  • If the owner disposes of the property within 10 years from the date of purchase, then the part of the VAT benefit enjoyed will need to be refunded to the authorities, on a pro-rata basis.
  • The reduced rate of VAT is applied only on the first 200m2 whereas for the remaining square meters, as determined based on the building coefficient, the standard VAT rate (i.e. 19%) is imposed.

Furthermore, as from 2 January 2018, the purchase of non-developed building land may be subject to VAT at the standard rate of 19% if the sale was deemed as a business activity by the seller (i.e. was not an “one-off” transaction by the seller). In the case where the seller of the non-developed building land is a legal entity, VAT is always applicable.

B. TAXES IN RELATION TO OWNING PROPERTY

The owners of immovable property in Cyprus are subject to various taxes arising from the mere ownership of immovable property in Cyprus.

1) Local Authority Fees

Depending on the size of the property, the local authorities charge between €85 to €256 per annum for regular refuse collection, street lighting, sewerage and similar community services. Communal Services fees are payable to the local municipal authorities on annual basis during the period from October to December.

2) Municipality tax

Municipality taxes are applied by each local municipality to the owners of the immovable property. The municipality tax is calculated on the value of the property as at 1 January 1980 and the rates vary from 0.1% to 0.2%. The municipality taxes are payable to the local municipal authorities on annual basis during the period from October to December.

3) Sewerage Tax

The sewerage taxes are applied by each local Sewerage Board to the owners of the immovable property. The sewerage tax is calculated on the value of the property as at 1 January 1980 and the rates vary from 0.3% to 0.35%. The sewerage taxes are payable to the local Sewerage Board on an annual basis during the period from October to December.

Kindly note that the Cyprus government is currently considering combining all three of the above taxes (i.e. 1 to 3 above) in order to simplify matters for property owners and have in place a more transparent tax regime relating to the ownership of immovable property.

C. TAXES IN RELATION TO RENTING PROPERTY

Rental income received in Cyprus (from immovable property situated in Cyprus) is considered, for Cyprus tax purposes, as “Cyprus-sourced income” and as a result is subject to Personal Income Tax and General Healthcare System contributions, irrespective if the owner is tax resident in Cyprus. Depending on the tax residency and domicile status of the owner, rental income may also be subject to Special Defence Contribution.

If the property is being rented out, the local authority fees and the sewerage tax (described in section B above) can be potentially passed on to the tenant.

The earning of rental income from properties located in Cyprus will give rise to the following tax implications:

1) VAT

As from 13 November 2017, the renting/leasing of immovable property to a taxable person who will carry out taxable activities from the property is subject to VAT at the standard rate of 19%, provided that the said rental income surpasses the VAT registration threshold (currently at EUR 15,600 over a 12-month period).

The rental of residential properties and properties where the tenant will not use them to carry out taxable activities are exempt from VAT.

The owner of the property has the option to irrevocably exempt (by submitting the relevant form to the Tax Authorities) a specific property’s rents from VAT, however in such a case the owner will not be able to reclaim any input VAT suffered on the purchase of the said property or on any ongoing maintenance expenses.

2) Special Defence Contribution (“SDC”) on rental income

Any rental income earned by domiciled Cyprus tax residents will be subject to SDC at the rate of 3% on 75% of the gross rental income (i.e. effective rate of 2.25%). In the case where the tenant is a legal entity, the tenant is obliged to withhold at source the SDC amount and pay it to the Tax Department on a monthly basis.

Non-domiciled Cyprus tax residents and non-Cyprus tax residents are exempt from SDC on any rental income earned from immovable property in Cyprus. In such a case and when the tenant of the property is a legal entity (who has an obligation to deduct SDC at source), the owner must provide the tenant, on an annual basis, the relevant declarations via forms IR614A DECL and IR614A Q, confirming exemption from SDC.

3) Income tax

As mentioned above, rental income received in Cyprus (from immovable property situated in Cyprus) is considered, for Cyprus tax purposes, as “Cyprus-sourced income” and hence subject to Personal Income Tax (PIT).

Out of the gross rental income received:

  • There is a statutory reduction of this income by 20%, and
  • The owner is entitled to claim an annual deduction of 3% against the cost of acquisition/construction of the building (excluding the cost of the land) for a period up to 33 years from the year the property was constructed.

The net amount is taxable under PIT at the following rates:

Taxable income EURRate %
0 – 19,5000
19,501 – 28,00020
28,001 – 36,30025
36,301 – 60,00030
Above 60,00035

4) General Healthcare System (“GHS”)

As mentioned above, rental income received in Cyprus (from immovable property situated in Cyprus) is considered, for Cyprus tax purposes, as “Cyprus-sourced income” and hence, from 1st March 2019, is subject to GHS contributions at 1.70% on the gross amount of rents (2.65% from 1st March 2020 onwards).

In the case where the tenant is a legal entity, the tenant is obliged to withhold at source the GHS amount and pay it to the Tax Department on a monthly basis.

5) Personal tax compliance

Individuals earning rental income must register to the tax authorities and submit their annual personal income tax returns and where applicable their quarterly VAT returns. The following is a short summary of the actions required:

  1. Registration with the tax authorities to obtain Tax Identification Code and also register for VAT purposes (where applicable).
  2. Submission of quarterly VAT returns and payment of any related VAT liability, in the case where the rents received are subject to VAT (as per section C.1 above).
  3. Submission of the annual personal income tax return (IR1 form). The deadline to submit the IR1 form is 7 months after the year end.
    If the annual rental income exceeds EUR 70,000, the individual will have to maintain proper books and records on the basis of which annual accounts must be prepared in accordance with IFRS, which must be audited by a licensed auditor in Cyprus, in such a case the deadline for submission of the audited iR1 form is 15 months after the year end.
  4. Payment of personal income taxes and GHS contributions not withheld at source: the respective liabilities have to be paid to the authorities via provisional tax declarations, submitted on 31 July and 31 December each year.

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Our team of highly experienced professionals can advise you further on the implications arising from the acquisition, ownership and rental of properties in Cyprus, on the basis of your particular facts and circumstances. Please feel free to contact Charles Savva at c.savva@savvacyprus.com to discuss how we can be of assistance to you.

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