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Title Deed confusion for non-Cypriot property buyers

It’s been reported in the media that non-Cypriots trying to obtain the Title Deeds for their property are facing more confusion. According to the report, the Government has recently introduced a new set of rules, which makes the process even more difficult. We too were confused, and have looked a bit deeper into the situation. […]

It’s been reported in the media that non-Cypriots trying to obtain the Title Deeds for their property are facing more confusion. According to the report, the Government has recently introduced a new set of rules, which makes the process even more difficult.

We too were confused, and have looked a bit deeper into the situation. It appears that the Land Registry has been instructed by the Interior Ministry to issue Title Deeds to non-Cypriots ONLY if they have been resident in Cyprus for five years and have made a successful application to become permanent residents on the island OR if they have received permission from the Council of Ministers to own property.

Previous arrangements

Non-Cypriots who are resident in Cyprus

Under the previous arrangements, non-Cypriots who had registered with the Aliens Department and received their ‘Temporary Resident Permit’ needed to take that Permit along with their passport to their local District Administration Office where the officers would issue a ‘Certificate of Permanent Residence’ confirming their status.

When the Title Deeds for the property they bought became available, they needed to take this ‘Certificate of Permanent Residence’ to their District Lands’ Office where, on payment of the Property Transfer Fees, the officers would register the property in their name and issue Title Deeds to that effect.

Non-Cypriots who are not resident in Cyprus

With the exception of EU citizens buying land, all non-Cypriots were required to seek a Licence from the Council of Ministers’ to own property on the island (this licence was granted to all genuine purchasers).

When the Title Deeds for the property they bought became available, they would take this ‘Licence’ to their District Lands’ Office where, on payment of the Property Transfer Fees, the officers would register the property in their name and issue Title Deeds to that effect.

Revised arrangements

Non-Cypriots who are resident in Cyprus

Under the revised arrangements, it appears that non-Cypriots will only be issued with Title Deeds if:

  • They have resided in Cyprus for a minimum of five years and
  • Successfully applied for permanent residency with the ‘Aliens Department’.

or

  • They have applied for and received Council of Ministers approval to own property in Cyprus.

To apply to become permanent residents of Cyprus, applicants need to complete a Form MEU3A and attend an interview with officers at the Aliens Department. The Form MEU3A is intended for:

“Application for the Issue of a Permanent Registration Certificate of Union Citizen and His/Her Family Members also EU Citizens”.

“Application for the Issue of a Permanent Residence Card for non-EU Citizen Family Members of Union Citizen”.

(The application for the issue of a Permanent Residence Certificate can only be made after a five-year period of uninterrupted legal residence in the Republic of Cyprus).

These forms may be obtained from their local Aliens Department office or downloaded from the Ministry of Interior’s website.

Once they have attended an interview with an officer at the Aliens Department and got their Form MEU3A registration form approved, they will be issued with a yellow ‘Residence Permit’. It is this Permit that they need to take to the Land Registry to get the Title to the property they have bought registered in their name.

Non-Cypriots who are not resident in Cyprus

The previous arrangements remain unchanged; with the exception of EU citizens buying land, all non-Cypriots are required to seek a licence from the Council of Ministers’ to own property on the island.

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