Cyprus has a modern and competitive infrastructure along with an efficient and sophisticated business environment. Geographically its position is one of its major attractions as this is known as the gateway to Europe, Asia and Africa. This has led to Cyprus becoming one of the most significant transit and trade centers between Europe and the East, with Limassol port being one of the busiest ports in Europe. The Cyprus Government is similar to other western democracies where human rights and private property are protected. There is very little crime and Cyprus' legal system is settled. Its legal system is a common law system based on the same principles as those applicable in England. The best ways to obtain a Permanent Residency options in Cyprus are the following:

1) You can apply for the regular category F, providing that you have a secured annual income which derives from abroad, and without having to engage in any business, trade or profession in Cyprus. The annual income should be at least €10.000 for a single applicant, and moreover at least €4613.22 for each family member. This procedure takes 5 to 12 months.

2) The second option is a new and accelerated procedure for obtaining a Permanent Residence Permit. It is called ''Fast-track'' procedure, which you can apply for if you buy a property of at least €300.000 (subject to a few more conditions). You will also need to show that you do not intent to work in Cyprus and that you posses a secured annual income from abroad of at least €30.000 if a single applicant and €5.000 for each family member. This procedure takes approximately 2 months. It is considered a great investment too since real estate is 30-50% down compare to 1-2 years ago.

One of the most profitable advantage in becoming a permanent resident in Cyprus, with excellent prospects for the future, is that Cyprus will soon enter the Schengen Zone of Europe allowing all Cyprus PR holders to travel freely through Europe (The Schengen Area is one of the greatest achievements of the EU. It is an area without internal borders, an area within which citizens, many non-EU nationals, business people and tourists can freely circulate without being subjected to border checks. Since 1985, it has gradually grown and encompasses today almost all EU States and a few associated non-EU countries). At the moment it is very easy to receive a Schengen Visa once you have CY PR, the whole process takes approximately 30 minutes and the visa is valid for up to 2 years. In addition, Cyprus PR holders have a right to much lower tuition costs in European countries because they are considered Permanent Residents of a European country. Also, Cyprus PR applies to the wife and husband as well as all children under the age of 18. However if the children are over 18 they are also allowed to reside in Cyprus under the Family Reunification Act.

As a permanent resident you can have access to business opportunities for offshore companies in Cyprus and enjoy the low taxation while being able to travel anytime to check up on your investment. Additional benefits include: freehold property, no inheritance tax and one of the lowest property taxes in the world. It is not necessary to reside in Cyprus, a short visit once every two years is sufficient to keep your PR status ( If you are thinking of having a holiday home in one of the most exotic islands in the Mediterranean this is the perfect time). Also, under certain rules, Cyprus Permanent Residents can qualify for Cyprus Citizenship and a Cypriot passport.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.