Applying for a permanent residency in Cyprus is possible for foreign nationals who wish to settle in Cyprus for longer than three months. They must obtain a residence permit after getting an entry visa – whether it is for work or study. If you intend to live in Cyprus, you must apply for a Cyprus visa in your country of residence. And once you arrive in Cyprus, you can then apply for a residence permit.
There are several types of residence permits for settling down in Cyprus. You can choose to have a Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit, Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit, or a Cyprus Immigration Permit.
Let us discuss in detail the functions and coverage of each permit.
What is a Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit?
A Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit is often provided for people seeking employment, studying, or aiming for family reunification.
It is valid for one year and is renewable annually. Those who completed five years of continuous residence in the country may apply for a Permanent Residence Permit.
Once issued a temporary residence permit, an individual may not leave Cyprus for longer than three months. Doing so will automatically cancel the temporary permit of residence.
Temporary Residence Permit for Employment
If you work in Cyprus, you must present a residence permit upon arrival. On the other hand, holding a temporary residence permit does not automatically allow an individual to work in Cyprus.
Foreign nationals coming to Cyprus for work must first apply for a work permit and work Visa before traveling into the country.
Temporary Residence Permit for Students
For those planning to stay in Cyprus to study, you will need a Study Visa as an international student. Before obtaining a Study Visa, you need to register your stay and apply for a temporary residence permit. If you hold a Temporary residence permit for students in Cyprus, you are not allowed to work full time. And if you will work during your stay, you will only be permitted in specific industries.
Additionally, you will be allowed to renew your temporary residence permit during your study in Cyprus.
Temporary Residence Permit for Reunification
Cyprus also issue temporary residence permits for non-EU family members of their citizens and residents who applied for family reunification. This permit will be given to the family members upon arrival in Cyprus.
What are the Requirements for A Cyprus Residence Permit?
There are several simple requirements that foreign nationals must submit to obtain a temporary Cyprus residence permit. The documents are listed below:
- Completed and signed Application for Temporary Residence Permit form
- Proof of financial capability to sustain oneself in Cyprus
- Proof of Accommodation in Cyprus
- Certificate of Police Clearance from the country of residence issued within the last six months
- Proof of health insurance
- Medical Certificate issued within the previous four months. It should indicate negative results for Hepatitis B and C, Tuberculosis, Syphilis, and HIV/AIDS.
- Copy of your passport’s relevant pages
- Bank Guaranteed
- Other documents such as work permit for employment, proof of enrolment in an educational institution for students, and marriage or birth certificates for family reunification.
What is a Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit?
A Cyprus Permanent residence permit allows you to legally live in Cyprus for five years on a renewable term. This permit is issued in the following situations:
- You have lived in Cyprus on a Temporary Residence Permit for five years. You only left the country for less than three months, and you hold a valid work contract for at least 18 months or have an open duration.
- You purchased a property in Cyprus that is worth at least €300,000.
For investors, the second case is also referred to as the “fast-track” option. Business owners may choose their path to apply for permanent residency in Cyprus to have their application processed within two months. However, this procedure calls for the fulfillment of the following conditions:
- Purchase of a property using funds acquired outside Cyprus
- An annual income of at least €30,000 from sources outside Cyprus
- A €30,000 deposit in a Cypriot financial institution
- An additional yearly income of €5,000 for each dependent child under 18 years and spouse.
- Additional annual revenue of €8,000 for the dependent spouses or parents.
- For dependent parents, either yours or your spouse’s, you must have an additional €8,000 per year for each of them.
- You will not take up paid employment in Cyprus
- Re-enter Cyprus every two years to keep permanent resident status.
- Prove you do not intend to take up paid work in Cyprus
Holding a permanent residence permit in Cyprus comes with several advantages. You will have similar rights to a Cypriot citizen, such as:
- Tax benefits
- Employment and self-employment opportunities
- Social assistance and social protection
- Freedom of movement within the EU
What are Cyprus Immigration Permits?
There are several other means to obtain residency in Cyprus, whether permanent or temporary. Here are five categories of issuance of Cyprus immigration permits for foreign nationals:
- Category A: Self-employed in agriculture, fish culture, and cattle/bird breeding. Has land or access to land in Cyprus and with activities that do not negatively impact the country’s economy.
- Category B: Self-employed in Cyprus mining sector with sufficient financial capacity and a relative permit. Activities should not negatively impact the economy.
- Category C: Self-employed in trade or profession. With sufficient financial capacity, relative permit, and activities that do not negatively impact the economy.
- Category D: Self-employed in a scientific and in-demand profession in Cyprus, with academic or professional qualifications and sufficient financial capacity.
- Category E: Has a permanent work offer in Cyprus and whose presence will not cause undue local competition.
- Category F: With independent annual income sufficient to provide a comfortable life in Cyprus (retirees).
Foreign nationals falling into the categories mentioned above will only be issued immigrations permits if the Immigration Control Committee recommends approval of their application to the Minister of Interior.
You must apply directly to the Civil Registry and Migration Department in Cyprus or at the Aliens and Immigration Branch if you wish to have a Cyprus Immigration Permit.
What Are the Steps for Applying for A Cyprus Residence Permit?
A foreign national must apply for a temporary residence permit within seven days of arriving in Cyprus. The application should be made at the following:
- District Immigration Unit, if you will live outside Nicosia
- Civil Registry and Migration Department, if you will live within the Nicosia Area
Applications for a Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit or Immigration permit should be submitted at the Central office of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
You may visit the website of the said office and search for the contact information to set an appointment. For foreign workers and students, you may seek assistance from your employers or educational institution to process your residence permit.
You will also be required to give your biometrics (photo and fingerprint) to the Cypriot immigration authorities. Once approved, the immigration department will contact you and issue a residence card. You will also be notified if your application is disapproved and its reasons.
When Do You Renew Your Cyprus Residence Permit?
A Cyprus Residence permit must be renewed a month before it expires. You should proceed to the exact location where you applied for your original permit and process the renewal therein.
How Long Does the Processing Time for A Cyprus Residence Permit Takes?
There are several processing periods for issuing a residence permit in Cyprus. The general processing times are listed below:
- Within four months for employment purposes
- Within three months for students
- Within nine months, if for family reunification
- Within twelve or more months for permanent residency (two months on the fast-tract option)
These periods may change depending on specific cases of the application received.
Do EU and EFTA Nationals Need Cyprus Residence Permits?
Fortunately for EU nationals, they can live and work in all EU countries without restrictions. You do not need to apply for a residence or work permit to start working in Cyprus if you are an EU national. If you want to live, work or stay in Cyprus beyond 90 days, you may register your stay at the Civil Registry and Migration Department to get a Registration Certification or the Yellow Slip.
When Do You Get a Cyprus Citizenship?
Foreign nationals without blood links to Cyprus may become eligible to apply for citizenship if they have lived in Cyprus for the last seven out of ten years. They must also meet the following requirements:
- 21 years of age
- No criminal records
- Been living in Cyprus continuously for the years immediately preceding the application.