Any foreign national who wants to live in Cyprus has to obtain a Cyprus residence permit.
The Cyprus residence permit is what allows foreigners to legally live in Cyprus for longer than three months. Before you get the residence permit, you must get an entry visa depending on your purpose of travel, such as a student visa or work visa.
You have to get the visa in your country of residence and after arriving in Cyprus, apply for the residence permit.
There are two types of residence permits for Cyprus:
- Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit
- Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit
- Cyprus Immigration Permits
Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit
The Temporary Residence Permit for Cyprus is usually issued for one of the following reasons:
- For employment
- For studying
- For family reunification
The residence permit is usually issued for 1 year and is renewable annually. After five years of continuous residence in Cyprus, you can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit.
However, while you are living in Cyprus with a temporary Cyprus residence permit, you cannot leave the country for longer than 3 months since your permit would be automatically cancelled.
Cyprus temporary residence permit for employment
Every foreign national who comes to Cyprus to work has to get a residence permit upon arrival. However, the temporary residence permit does now automatically authorize the holder to work. Prior to travelling to Cyprus and obtaining the residence permit, you must also get a Cyprus work permit and work visa.
Cyprus temporary residence permit for students
Foreign students who come to Cyprus on a Study Visa have to register their stay and get a temporary residence permit upon arrival. They are not allowed to work full-time, and even so, only in certain sectors of employment.
They may renew their temporary residence permit for the duration of their studies.
Cyprus temporary residence permit for family reunification
see also: countries that need a Visa for Cyprus
Non-EU family members of Cyprus citizens or legal residents who have applied for family reunification will get a temporary residence permit upon arrival to Cyprus.
Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit Requirements
To apply for a Temporary Cyprus Residence Permit, you must submit the following documents:
- Temporary Residence Permit Application Form, completed and signed.
- Proof of accommodation in Cyprus
- Proof you have the required financial means to sustain yourself in Cyprus
- Medical certificate, stating you are negative for Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS and syphilis, issued within the past 4 months
- Certificate of police clearance, issued from your country of residence within the past six months.
- Proof you have obtained health insurance
- A copy of your passport’s relevant pages: personal information, expiry/issuance date, previous visas.
- Bank Guarantee.
- Other documents which are related to the reason you want to live in Cyprus, such as:
- Marriage/birth certificate for family reunion
- Work permit for employment
- Proof of enrollment in an educational institution for international students
Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit
The Permanent Residence Permit for Cyprus is valid for up to five years, and can be renewed before it expires. It is issued in one of the following cases:
If you have lived in Cyprus with a Temporary Residence Permit for at least 5 years, during which time you did not leave Cyprus for longer than three months. You must have a work contract that’s either open-duration or for a minimum of 18 months.
If you purchase property in Cyprus at the value of at least €300,000. This is also known as the “fast-track” option. If you choose to apply for Cyprus permanent residency via the fast-track option, your application will be processed within 2 months. However, you must fulfill certain conditions, such as:
- You must prove you purchased the property with funds acquired outside Cyprus
- You must have an annual income of at least €30,000, which you receive from outside sources
- You must deposit €30,000 in a Cypriot bank, where it will be frozen for three years, after which time you will have access to it again.
- If you have dependents (children under 18 and a spouse), you must have an additional annual income of €5,000 a year for each one.
- For dependent parents, either yours or your spouse’s, you must have an additional €8,000 per year for each of them.
- You may bring dependent children from 18 to 25 years old, provided that they
- Prove you do not intend to take up paid employment in Cyprus
- You must enter Cyprus at least every two years to maintain your status as a Permanent Resident
A Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit allows the holder similar rights to Cypriot citizens, including:
- Access to employment and self-employment opportunities, without restrictions
- Access to freedom of movement within the EU territory
- Access to Social assistance and Social protection
- Access to tax benefits
Cyprus Immigration Permits
You can also get residency in Cyprus if you fall under one of the following categories:
- Category A: Foreign national who will be self-employed in the agriculture, cattle/bird breeding or fish culture sectors in Cyprus, and who has land or the means to get land in Cyprus and whose activities do not negatively affect the Cyprus economy.
- Category B: Foreign national who will be self-employed in the mining sector in Cyprus, who have sufficient financial means and a relative permit, and whose activities do not negatively affect the Cyprus economy.
- Category C: Foreign nationals who will be self-employed in a profession or trade,who have sufficient financial means and a relative permit, and whose activities do not negatively affect the Cyprus economy.
- Category D: Foreign nationals who will be self-employed in a scientific field or a profession which is in demand in Cyprus and who has the necessary academic or professional qualifications as well as sufficient financial means.
- Category E: Foreign nationals who have been offered a permanent work position in Cyprus and whose presence does not cause unnecessary local competition.
- Category F: Foreign nationals who have an independent annual income, which is enough to provide for a comfortable living in Cyprus without having to work (eg. retirees).
You can only receive an Immigration Permit in one of the above-mentioned categories if the Immigration Control Committee recommends to the Minister of Interior that you meet the requirements of one of those categories.
To apply for a Cyprus Immigration Permit, you have to apply directly to the Civil Registry and Migration Department in Cyprus or through an Aliens and Immigration Branch of the Police, even if you are abroad.
How to apply for a Cyprus Residence Permit?
You must apply for a Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit within seven days of arriving in Cyprus at:
- The Civil Registry and Migration Department, if you will be living in the Nicosia District
- At a District Immigration Unit, if you will be living in another District
If you are applying for a Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit or an Immgration Permit, you must apply at a central office of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
You should visit the website of the Civil Registry and Migration Department to look about their contact information and make an appointment. If you are a student or foreign worker, your school or employer will help you with the application process.
When you apply, the Cypriot immigration authorities will take your fingerprints and picture (your biometrics).
If your application is approved, they will contact you to go and receive your residence card. If the application is not approved, they will inform you of the reason.
How to Renew a Cyprus Residence Permit?
You must apply for a Residence Permit renewal at least one month before it expires. You should apply at the same location in which you received your original residence permit.
What is the processing time for a Cyprus Residence Permit?
Cyprus Residence Permits are processed:
- For employment: within four months
- For studying: within three months
- For family reunification: within nine months
- For permanent residency: within twelve months (two months via the fast-track option)
However, this is just a general outline of the processing times, since they may change slightly depending on your specific case – you may receive it earlier or later.
Cyprus Residence Permits for EU/EFTA nationals
EU nationals have the right to work and live in all other EU countries. As such, if you are an EU or EFTA citizen and want to stay in Cyprus longer than 90 days, you have to simply register your stay at the Civil Registry and Migration Department and get a Registration Certificate (also known as a Yellow Slip).
You do not need to have a work or residence permit to start working and you do not have to undergo the usual application procedure for a residence permit (in other words, your application is not at risk of being rejected).
As a foreign national with no blood links to Cyprus, you become eligible to apply for Cypriot citizenship once you have lived in Cyprus for at least seven out of ten years, and:
- You are over 21 years of age
- You have a clean criminal record
- You lived in Cyprus continually for the year immediately preceding the application