Cyprus is an attractive destination for investors, individuals and families for several reasons. These include a favourable and transparent tax system, modern legal and regulatory infrastructures, a high quality of life, top educational institutions, the ease of doing business, a large pool of human talent, and access to major European markets.

A contemporary global business centre

A variety of innovative growth sectors such as shipping, real estate, investment, hospitality and tourism, energy, education, filming and start-ups, have also transformed Cyprus into a sought after international business hub with some of the world’s largest corporations setting up presence here. This combined with opportunities for investment across sectors and the benefits that the Cyprus Investment Program grants to foreign investors, has seen the ongoing expansion of the Cyprus market.

Non-EU immigration to Cyprus

Immigrants from outside Europe include asylum seekers and economic migrants. The term “immigrant” is used by the European commission to describe a person from a non-EU country establishing his/her own usual residence in the territory of an EU country for a period that is or is expected to be twelve months.

However, there are restrictive laws and regulations with respect to issuing entry, residence and work permits for the non-EU citizens. They are also subject to changes, continuous adjustments and amendments. In general, all non-EU citizens who intend to reside in Cyprus need to apply for a visa.

How we can help

Myrianthous Law Firm has extensive experience in advising individuals in Immigration Law. Our team of immigration specialists offer advice on a range of matters relating to Cyprus immigration law, and remain continually informed on any regulatory changes. Our lawyers work closely with clients, monitoring all stages of any immigration application until its conclusion.

Types of Visas and Permits

a) Short stay visa

If you intend to visit Cyprus for business or vacation for a period not exceeding 3 months, you are required to apply for a short-stay visa. The visa can be issued as multiple-entry or single-entry. If you plan on travelling to Cyprus frequently for business or otherwise, you may apply for a 1-year multiple-entry visa but the total stay within that period may not exceed 3 months.

b) Temporary residence permits

For any non-EU citizen who will be in Cyprus long-term without taking up employment may apply for a special temporary permit (commonly referred to as the “Pink Slip”). This permit is usually issued for a period of 1-2 years but can be easily extended for an additional 1-2 year period is required.

Categories of temporary residence permits (pink slips) include:

  1. Visitor visa
  2. Student visa
  3. Employment visa

c) Immigration Permits

This permit is for any non-EU national who wishes to be self-employed or take up employment at a Cyprus company or has at their disposal a secure annual income without the need to secure employment or engage in any business or profession; and who meets the criteria of the specific category that such person would fall into, as defined by Cyprus legislation and immigration regulations.

d) Permanent Residence Permits

This permit applies to a non-EU family member of non-EU citizens or non-EU family members of EU citizens who wish to apply for permanent residency in Cyprus.

Registration of European citizens in Cyprus

According to Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, EU citizens have the right to move and relocate without permissions within the Union’s territory. European (EU and EEA) citizens who wish to live in Cyprus can apply for a registration certificate, as known as Yellow Slip. The application should be submitted within 4 months from the date of entry. We can answer your questions and help you with the application.

Foreign companies in Cyprus

Third party national employees in international companies

The civil registry and migration department policy for third-country nationals and their employment in companies of foreign interests in Cyprus allows them to get temporary work permits. It regulates entry visas, employment permits, renewing permits and family reunification permits. It is based on the Aliens and Immigration Law - Cap. 105. It has been subsequently modified to include Cyprus companies from specific sectors.

Eligible foreign companies
  1. The majority of the company’s shares are owned by third party nationals (exclusions apply in cases foreign shares are worth over €200.000 or companies are listed in stock exchanges or they are Cypriot shipping/tech/pharmaceutical/biotech companies or former offshore companies)
  2. Operation of independent offices in Cyprus

Employee Categories

-Directors, General Managers, Project Managers with a minimum gross monthly salary €4.000

-Middle Management Executives and other key personnel with a minimum gross monthly salary €2.000

-Specialists, with a minimum gross monthly salary €2.000

-Support staff

The maximum allowed number of directors is 5 and for middle management executives 10.

Family Members

Third-country nationals who work as directors or as middle management executives or other key personnel are eligible for family reunification. As the government states, “Family reunification refers to the entry and residence of the family members of a third-country national residing legally in the Republic, in order to preserve family unity”. The right for family reunification is given to family members of third party nationals who have resided lawfully in Cyprus for at least 2 years and hold a residence permit of at least 1 year.

Digital Nomads

The Cyprus Digital Nomad Visa scheme was recently introduced to allow third party nationals to work remotely by residing temporarily in Cyprus. The program is intended to non-EU/EEA citizens who work remotely and are employed in a company registered abroad. Remote employees have to prove they have stable and sufficient monthly net income of at least €3500. The digital nomad permit has a validity period of 1 year and can be extended for further 2 years. Feel free to reach our law firm to get help with the application.

Cyprus Residency by Investment in 2022

The Cyprus residency by investment program allows the successful applicant and his family members to enjoy Cyprus permanent residency within one (1) year from approval. Subsequently, the investor can apply for Cypriot citizenship after five years of Cyprus permanent residency.

This Cyprus investment visa allows non-EU citizens and dependents to come and stay as permanent residents in the Republic of Cyprus without any restriction. The visa does not expire and, as a result, need not be renewed.

An applicant needs to make a minimum investment of €300,000 in new residential properties, real estate, share capital of a Cypriot company, or alternative investment funds.

This scheme comes under Regulations 5 and 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.

Below, we will consider the factors to becoming a Cypriot resident.

Characteristics and Benefits

The benefits of the Cyprus residency by investment visa are such that an investor can:

  • Obtain direct access to permanent residency in Cyprus
  • Live, study, and do business in Cyprus
  • Bring dependents like spouse, children, parents, and parents’ in-law
  • Enjoy the benefit of living in a well-connected country within the European Union (EU)
  • Have the right to free access to the EU market
  • Enjoy healthcare under the General Healthcare system
  • Apply without any language or education requirements

However, the investor has no right to work in Cyprus with the following exceptions:

  • As a director in a company in which he has invested in share capital
  • Be an unpaid director in a company in which he has invested other than in its share capital (for example, debentures or preferred shares)

Requirements for Cyprus Residency by Investment

Who can apply?

An investor can apply for the Cyprus residency through an investment visa by investing at least €300,000 into the Cypriot economy and fulfilling the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have a clean criminal record certificate
  • Prove that the money belongs to him and the source of the money is from abroad

What are the investment requirements?

To qualify for a Cyprus residency by investment visa, an applicant must invest at least €300,000 in one of the following options:

A. Purchase of new residential property(s)

Buy up to two (2) brand-new houses or apartments from any developer with a combined sale price of at least €300,000. In addition, there is a 19% VAT on the sale price.

B. Investment in real estate (besides houses/apartments)

Buy any other kinds of real estate such as shops, offices, hotels, or other developments. The combined value of the purchases must be at least €300,000. In addition, there is a 19% VAT on the sale price. The investor can buy resale properties under this category.

C. Share capital Investment in a Cypriot company

Investment of at least €300,000 in the share capital of an active and trading Cyprus registered company. The company must have a physical presence in Cyprus and employ at least five people.

D. Investment in Cyprus Investment Organisation Collective Investment

Purchase units worth at least €300,000 in alternative investment funds (AIFs). There are two subtypes of AIFs: AIFLNP and RAIF. AIFLNP is an AIF for a limited number of people, whereas RAIF is a registered fund with an unlimited number of people.

Income Criteria

The applicant must also show that he has an annual income of at least €30,000.

The income criterion increases by €5,000 for every dependent family member and €8,000 for every dependent parent (the applicant and/or his spouse).

Income Source

Under Option A above, the source of the income should be from abroad and may include the following:

  • Salaries, wages, or pensions
  • Share dividends, fixed deposit interest, or rental income
  • Spouse’s income

Under Option B, C, or D, the applicant’s total or part of the income requirement may come from sources within Cyprus.

Dependent Persons

The visa covers the applicant and dependent persons, including his spouse and any child under 18.

Unmarried children between 18 and 25 will need a separate application and pay the relevant fees. Similarly, a visa may also be granted to the applicant’s parents and parents’ in-laws with the submission of separate applications for each person and the payment of the relevant fees.

The applicant must show an additional annual income of €5,000 for each dependent child and €8,000 for each parent.

Cypriot citizenship

An investment visa holder can apply for citizenship after five years of permanent residency within seven years. He is also required to show proof of residency for 1825 days. However, short absences (holidays and family emergencies) may count for allowable absences.

Schengen Area or Europe Visa-Free Travel

Although Cyprus is a full member of the EU, it is currently not a member of the Schengen zone. Nonetheless, Cyprus applied for Schengen membership in September 2019 and is expected to be accepted soon.

Additional information

What is the application process?

Together with all the required documents, the applications must be submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD). You can do this in person or through an authorized representative.

CRMD will expedite the application process and submit it to the Ministry of Interior.

How much is the visa fee?

The Cyprus investment visa application fee is €500.

When will it be approved?

The Cyprus authorities usually take 2 to 6 months to process an application.

Is there any residency requirement for visa holders?

The investor must visit Cyprus at least once in 2 years. However, there is no minimum stay period for Cyprus permanent residency.

How long is the visa valid for?

The Cyprus investment visa is issued once and does not need to be renewed. Nonetheless, holders of the visa need to meet the residency requirements and maintain their investment in Cyprus.

Can the visa holders work in Cyprus?

The investor and his spouse cannot work in Cyprus except as directors in the company they have invested in.

Required Documents

The required documents for a Cyprus residency by investment visa are as follows:

  • Passport copies of the applicant
  • CV of the applicant
  • Marriage certificate*
  • Child’s birth certificate*
  • Criminal record certificate from the country of residence*
  • To prove sufficient annual income from abroad
  • Demonstrate the amount required for the investment has been transferred from abroad
  • In the case of parents/parents-in-law, proof of relationship is needed*
  • If the child is between 18 and 25, proof of tertiary education is required
  • Investment-related documents such as title deeds, sale, purchase agreements, share purchase agreements, or memorandum of the investment fund.

All documents with an asterisk need to be translated into English and have the Apostille requirement. Alternatively, the documents can be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and the Cypriot Embassy of that country.

Cyprus Permanent Residency

This visa is a legal status that allows non-EU citizens and qualifying dependents to become Cypriot permanent residents. As such, they can enter and stay in Cyprus without any limitations.

Applicants must meet the Cyprus residency by investment requirements and income criteria to qualify for permanent residency. The permanent residency does not expire. Therefore, it does need not be renewed.

Cyprus Golden Visa program summary

The Cyprus residency by investment visa is Cyprus’s version of the golden visa. Therefore, it offers permanent residency to individuals and qualifying dependents who make substantial investments in the Cypriot economy.

Please note that the Cyprus residency superseded the previous Cyprus golden visa by investment visa in 2021. Our law firm offers the full range of services for applications under the new Cyprus residency by investment program.