Estimated reading time: 14 minutes, 16 seconds.
Updated 23rd of May 2023
Cyprus offers Non-EU citizens and their eligible dependents the opportunity to acquire Cyprus Permanent Residency, a lawful status that grants them unrestricted entry and long-term residency in the country. Unlike other permits, this residency status has no expiration date, eliminating the need for periodic renewal. It is alternatively referred to as a Cyprus immigration permit or boundless residency.
To secure the fast-track option for Cyprus Permanent Residency, applicants are required to make a minimum real estate investment of €300,000. This permit covers the entire family and remains valid indefinitely.
After residing in Cyprus for a continuous period of five years, individuals holding this permit are eligible to apply for Cyprus citizenship.
The legal foundation for the permanent residence program lies in the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, specifically in Regulations 5 and 6(2).
There are various categories under the Permanent Residence programs in Cyprus.
One such category is the Permanent Residency by Investment, which is tailored for investors who purchase property in Cyprus and demonstrate sufficient income from overseas sources:
- Fast Track Permanent Residency (Category 6.2): This option allows individuals to obtain permanent residency by investing a minimum of €300,000 (plus VAT) in a newly constructed house or apartment in Cyprus. The specific list of eligible real estate options can be provided.
- Permanent Residency Category F: This category necessitates an investment in real estate of at least €100,000 (plus VAT) and a regular income from abroad. The income should cover the living expenses of the applicant and their dependents during their stay in Cyprus, without engaging in employment or business activities. The required annual income starts from €9,568 for the main applicant, with an additional €4,613 for each dependent person.
The Permanent Residence programs in Cyprus also include categories that grant residency with the right to work. These categories cater to individuals who either own or work for companies with foreign interests:
- Category C: This category is designed for investors who are actively involved in their own company’s operations. To qualify, they must bring in capital of approximately €260,000 from abroad, which will be utilized for their company’s activities in Cyprus.
- Category E: Individuals who have been offered permanent employment in Cyprus fall under this category. They can obtain residency with the right to work based on their job offer.
It’s important to note that specific requirements and conditions apply to each category, and further details can be obtained from the relevant authorities or immigration consultants.
Cyprus offers additional types of permanent residency options apart from the ones previously mentioned:
- Permanent Residence by 5 Years of Stay: Non-EU citizens who have legally and continuously resided in Cyprus for a period of five years, holding a valid temporary residence card throughout that entire duration, have the opportunity to apply for a long-term residence permit. This permit grants them extended residency rights in Cyprus.
- Permanent Residency for EU Citizens: European Union citizens and their family members, who have maintained continuous legal residence in Cyprus for a minimum of five years, are eligible to apply for permanent residency. This category allows EU citizens to obtain long-term residency status in Cyprus.
- Permanent Residency by Marriage to a Cypriot: Individuals who are married to Cypriot citizens, along with their minor children from a previous marriage, and parents or parents-in-law of the Cypriot citizen, are permitted to apply for a residency permit with unlimited duration. This permit grants them extensive residency rights based on their marital relationship with a Cypriot citizen.
For further information on the Permanent Residency options available, including specific requirements and application procedures, it is advisable to consult official resources or seek guidance from immigration experts.
To expedite the process of obtaining Permanent Residency (PR) in Cyprus, a fast-track procedure is available. The requirements for Cyprus permanent residency by investment are as follows:
- Property Purchase: The investor must purchase a new house or apartment, or a combination of properties, from a development company. The minimum investment amount required is €300,000 plus VAT. For the first property bought for personal use, the VAT is either 19% or 5%.
- Registration and Payment: The investor must register the sales agreement at the Land Registry and make the payment of €300,000 (plus VAT). The payment should be made to the seller’s bank account in Cyprus, with the funds transferred from abroad. The delivery date of the property is not a factor, meaning properties under construction can also be included.
- Property Ownership: The property can be registered in the name of a company, of which the investor or their spouse is the absolute owner or ultimate beneficiary. The investor can purchase up to two properties, as long as the total sales price meets the aforementioned criteria. The combinations can be as follows:One residential property (house or apartment) with a value of €300,000.Two residential properties (houses or apartments) with a combined value of €300,000.Offices, hotel buildings, or other real estate with a total value of at least €300,000.
- One residential property (house or apartment) with a value of €300,000.
- Two residential properties (houses or apartments) with a combined value of €300,000.
- Offices, hotel buildings, or other real estate with a total value of at least €300,000.
- Property Replacement: If the investor intends to sell the property in the future, it must be replaced with another property of equal or higher value, while adhering to all the conditions mentioned above.
The investor must demonstrate an annual secured income of at least €50,000 from abroad. This income requirement increases by €15,000 for the spouse and €10,000 for each dependent child in the family. The source of income can be diverse, including salaries, pensions, dividends, fixed deposits, rental income, etc. The spouse’s income, if applicable, can be considered when calculating the total income.
Family members of the main applicant are eligible to be included under the Permanent Residency permit, which covers the following individuals:
- Spouse and Dependent Children: The spouse and children up to the age of 18 can be included as dependents under the main applicant’s Permanent Residency permit.
- Dependent Children aged 18 to 25: Children between the ages of 18 and 25, who are financially dependent on the investor, unmarried, and studying at a university abroad with a minimum of six months remaining in their study period at the time of application, can apply separately for a student immigration permit. To qualify, the parents must demonstrate an additional annual income of €10,000 for each child.
It’s important to note that the Permanent Residency of the children remains valid for their lifetime, even if they exceed the age of 25 or no longer meet the conditions of being unmarried, financially dependent, or students.
However, it is not possible to add future spouses or children of the dependent children as dependents under their own Permanent Residency. If the children wish to study at the University of Cyprus, they need to apply for a temporary residence permit as students. Once they complete their studies, regardless of their age, they can apply for Permanent Residency, with the only requirement being the additional annual income of €10,000.
These provisions allow for the inclusion of family members within the framework of the Permanent Residency program in Cyprus, while also accounting for specific circumstances and conditions related to education and age.
In addition to the requirements mentioned earlier, applicants for Permanent Residency in Cyprus must also fulfill the following conditions:
- Clean Criminal Record: Applicants need to provide a clean criminal record from their country of residence. This record serves as evidence that they have not been involved in any criminal activities.
- No Threat to Public Order/Security: Applicants should not be considered a danger to the public order or security of Cyprus. This requirement ensures that individuals seeking Permanent Residency do not pose any risks or threats to the overall safety and well-being of the country.
By meeting these conditions, applicants demonstrate their commitment to maintaining lawfulness and contributing to the security and harmony of Cyprus.
Permanent Residency in Cyprus under Category F involves certain eligibility criteria. To qualify for this type of permit, the applicant needs to fulfill the following requirements:
- Property Purchase: While Category F does not have strict property purchase requirements, it is advisable to buy a property in Cyprus, even if it is a resale property. There is no specific minimum investment amount, and the funds for the purchase do not need to be transferred from abroad.
- Annual Income: The applicant must demonstrate a yearly income of at least €9,568 for the main applicant, plus an additional €4,613 for each dependent person. This income should originate from abroad and can be derived from various sources such as salaries, pensions, stock shares, and rental income.
- Bank Deposit in Cyprus: It is necessary for the applicant to deposit approximately €15,000 to €20,000 into their personal bank account in Cyprus. This amount should be a regular deposit and should not be pledged. The deposited funds can be utilized after the application process.
- Family Members: Only children up to 18 years old can apply as dependents under Category F. Their permanent residency will remain valid until they reach the age of 18. The parents of the applicants are not eligible to apply as dependents.
It is worth noting that while applying with a rented property is possible under Category F, there is a risk of the application being declined by the Migration Department. Therefore, based on previous experience, it is recommended to apply after purchasing a property.
By meeting these criteria, applicants can seek Permanent Residency under Category F, enjoying the benefits of long-term residency in Cyprus.
Certain conditions and restrictions apply to the Permanent Residency program in Cyprus, particularly for Category F. These include:
- Employment Restrictions: Holders of Permanent Residency permits are not permitted to work in Cyprus. However, they have the option to be shareholders in a Cypriot company, which can conduct business within Cyprus or abroad. Dividend income can be received from this company.
- Limited Visa-Free Travel: The Cypriot permanent residence permit does not grant visa-free travel to other countries or European Union member states, except for Romania and Bulgaria, which have certain exceptions.
- Processing Time: As of May 2023, the exact processing time for Category F applications cannot be estimated. It is important to stay updated with the latest information and consult the relevant authorities for the most accurate processing timelines.
- Age Limit for Children: Under Category F, the children of the applicant who are included as dependents will lose their permanent residency status once they reach the age of 18. It is crucial to be aware of this provision and plan accordingly.
These conditions and restrictions help define the scope and limitations of the Permanent Residency program in Cyprus, ensuring compliance with the established regulations and guidelines.
Starting from 2023, there are annual obligations for applicants under the Permanent Residency program in Cyprus to verify their compliance with the program’s criteria. These obligations include the following:
- Retention of Initial Investment: The applicant must provide confirmation that they have maintained their initial investment, which includes the property or properties purchased as part of the residency application.
- Secured Annual Income: It is necessary to provide evidence of the continued availability of the required annual income, as specified by the program’s criteria. This income should be sourced from abroad and meet the minimum threshold set for the main applicant and any dependents.
- Clean Criminal Record: Applicants must present a valid clean criminal record from both their country of residence and their country of origin. This record serves as proof that they have not been involved in any criminal activities during their residency.
- Health Insurance Coverage: If the applicant and their family members are not covered by the General Health System (Gesy), they must maintain valid health insurance. Verification of health insurance coverage is a mandatory requirement to ensure the well-being and healthcare access of the applicant and their family.
Failure to submit or verify these documents as part of the annual obligations can result in the withdrawal of the residence permit. It is crucial for applicants to stay compliant with these requirements to maintain their permanent residency status in Cyprus.
To obtain a permanent residency permit in Cyprus, applicants are required to submit the following documents as part of their application:
- Copies of Valid Passports: Copies of the applicant’s valid passport, as well as those of their spouse and children, need to be provided.
- Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae: A detailed curriculum vitae (CV) of the main applicant should be included in the application.
- Certified Marriage Certificate: A marriage certificate, duly certified, should be submitted along with an official and certified translation if it is not in English.
- Certified Birth Certificates: Birth certificates of the applicant’s children should be provided, duly certified, along with official translations if they are not in English.
- Original Criminal Record Certificate: An original criminal record certificate issued from the applicant’s country of residence should be included. It must be submitted with an official translation that is certified. This document helps verify the applicant’s clean criminal record.
- Proof of Annual Income from Abroad: Documents must be provided to demonstrate the applicant’s annual income from abroad. This can include salary statements, pension documents, investment income statements, or any other relevant financial documentation.
- Title of Ownership or Contract of Sale: The applicant needs to submit the title of ownership or a contract of sale for the property purchased in Cyprus as part of the residency application.
- Bank Swift and Receipts: A Bank Swift document indicating the payment of the purchase price, as well as receipts of payment, should be provided as proof of the financial transaction.
- Category F Requirement: For Category F applicants, an original letter from a bank in Cyprus or a bank statement showing a balance of €15,000 to €20,000 needs to be included.
It is important to note that criminal record certificates, marriage certificates, and children’s birth certificates must be translated into English and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of the issuing country. Additionally, they must be certified by the Cyprus Embassy of that country or bear the APOSTILLE stamp.
By providing these required documents, applicants can complete their application for a permanent residency permit in Cyprus.
The application procedure for obtaining a permanent residency permit in Cyprus is as follows:
- Submission of Application: The application can be submitted by the investor’s lawyer, who does not need to be present during the submission process. It is important to note that applications are only accepted at the Civil Registry and Migration Department in Nicosia, not at the district immigration units in other cities.
- Photo and Fingertips: After the submission of the application, the applicants are required to provide a photo and fingertips. This information is used for the issuance of the residency cards upon approval. The photo and fingertips can be provided at any migration district unit in any city before the final approval.
Below are the addresses of the immigration units in each city:
- Nicosia: Agamemnonos 6, Engomi, 2411 Nicosia
- Limassol: Franglinou Rousvelt 223, Zakaki, Building ¨D. Nikolaou¨, 2nd floor, 3046 Limassol
- Larnaka: Piale Piasha 75, 6027 Larnaka
- Pafos: Eleftheriou Venizelou & Kaningos 22, 2nd floor, 8021 Pafos
- Famagusta: Eleftherias 83, Tatolos Bld, Derynia Plaza, 1st floor, 5380 Derynia
- Collection of PR Cards: Upon approval of the application, the lawyer representing the investor will be responsible for collecting the permanent residency cards on behalf of the applicants.
By following this application procedure and providing the necessary documents, applicants can proceed with obtaining their permanent residency permit in Cyprus.
The processing time for the fast-track Cyprus residency by investment, including the issuance of residency cards, is approximately two months. Once the application is approved, the lawyer representing the investors can collect the residency cards on their behalf.
However, it is important to note that as of May 2023, the processing time for applications under category F cannot be estimated. While applications can still be submitted as usual, they will not be processed until further notice from the immigration department.
Applicants are advised to stay updated with the latest information from the immigration department regarding the processing status and any potential changes to the processing time for category F applications.
The Cyprus government fees for the fast-track permanent residency program are as follows:
Applicant/Applicant’s spouse/Children under 18:
- €500 for each individual
- €70 for registration of each person
Adult children (each):
- €500 for each individual
- €70 for registration
These fees apply to both the fast-track permanent residency program and Category F permits. It’s important to note that these fees are separate from the required investment amount and other associated costs. Applicants should be prepared to cover these government fees in addition to the program requirements.
There are several benefits associated with obtaining permanent residency in Cyprus, including:
- Lifelong Validity: Permanent residency in Cyprus is valid for the entirety of the individual’s life.
- Family Inclusion: The entire family, including the spouse and dependent children, can apply for and obtain a residence permit.
- Citizenship Eligibility: After completing five years (1825 days) of legal stay in Cyprus as a permanent resident, individuals become eligible to apply for Cyprus citizenship through the naturalization scheme based on years of residence.
- Fast-Track Process: Through the fast-track procedure, the residency card can be obtained within two months, allowing for a relatively quick and efficient application process.
- Tax Advantages: Permanent residency holders may be eligible to apply for Cyprus tax residency, which offers benefits such as exemption from worldwide dividend and passive interest income, as well as profits from the sale of securities.
- General Healthcare System: Permanent residents in Cyprus benefit from the recently established General Healthcare system, which grants access to free healthcare services.
- Minimal Investment: Category F permanent residency provides a flexible procedure for obtaining permanent residency in a European country with a minimal investment requirement.
These benefits make permanent residency in Cyprus an attractive option for individuals seeking long-term residence in a European country with various advantages and opportunities.