Permanent Residency
June 13, 2024
Reading Time: 9 min

3 ways to get Cyprus permanent residence and move to the Mediterranean

Cyprus permanent residence is an opportunity to live in an EU country, take your business to an international level, optimise taxes, and use the services of local banks.

With a residence permit, you can become a permanent resident if you live in Cyprus for 5 years. Alternative options are to invest at least €300,000 in the country’s economy or obtain an immigration permit.

Igor Buglo
Igor Buglo

Helps to obtain permanent residence in Cyprus

All ways to get Cyprus permanent residence in 2023

3 ways to get Cyprus permanent residence and move to the Mediterranean

Cyprus permanent residence allows a foreigner to reside legally in the country. It is issued for life, but the permanent residence card must be renewed every 5 years.

Cyprus grants permanent residence to:

  • highly qualified professionals, financially independent persons, and entrepreneurs with an immigration permit;

  • foreigners who have lived in the country with a temporary residence permit for at least 5 years;

  • investors who buy securities or property on the island.

Cyprus Permanent Residency by Investment in !year: a Golden Visa with a Purchase of Real Estate, Securities and Bonds

Cyprus permanent residence by investment

Permanent residence differs from citizenship slightly. Residents cannot hold public office and vote in local elections. Otherwise, Cypriot citizens' and permanent residents' rights and obligations are the same.

7 benefits of Cyprus permanent residency

1. Moving to an EU country. Permanent residence holders can move to Cyprus and live on the island without restrictions. The status is also obtained to quickly leave the country of residence in case of a black swan event. With a residence permit card, you can enter Cyprus anytime, even if the country’s borders are closed to foreigners.

2. Status for the whole family. Family members of the permanent residence holder can obtain permanent residence permits. For example, EU citizens’ relatives get family reunification status. An investor can immediately add a spouse and children to the permanent residence application.

3. Favourable tax system. There is no tax on inheritance in Cyprus. Corporate tax is only 12,5%, one of the lowest rates among the EU countries. The tax on income received in Cyprus is calculated on a progressive scale of 0 to 30%.

4. Opportunity to obtain a Cyprus passport. Permanent residents can apply for citizenship if they have lived in the country for 5 years. Cypriot citizens’ spouses receive passports faster — 3 years after marriage registration.

5. High-quality medical care. Permanent residents are treated free of charge in Cyprus public clinics under the General Healthcare program.

6. Opportunity to own a business. Permanent residence holders can buy shares of Cypriot companies, start their own businesses, or transfer an existing one to the country’s jurisdiction.

7. PR can be obtained by investment. Cyprus is one of the few countries with a state investment programme for permanent residence. Investors get the status in just 3 months: they buy property or securities for €300,000 or more.

It is possible to return the invested money if the investor obtains Cyprus citizenship or gives up permanent residence. If they plan to remain a permanent resident of the country, the investment must be preserved.

Cyprus permanent residency by investment

The timeframe for obtaining the status is at least 3 months.

Requirements for applicants. Cyprus has a state permanent residence program for wealthy people who invest in the country’s economy at least €300,000. Foreigners are eligible to participate in the program if they:

  • are over 18;

  • have a legal income of €50,000+ per year;

  • have no criminal record, sanctions, bans, or restrictions on entry into the EU countries and the UK;

  • have an impeccable personal and business reputation;

  • purchased or rented residential real estate;

  • have a health certificate and insurance.

The spouse and children can apply for permanent residence with the main applicant. If the children are over 18, they must be unmarried and financially dependent on the investor.

The minimum investment under the permanent residence program does not depend on the number of relatives in the application. However, the investor proves an annual income of €15,000 for a spouse and €10,000 for each child.

The investor and family do not have to live in Cyprus to maintain permanent residency. Visiting the country once every 2 years is enough.

Jonathan, 65 years old

Senior citizen from Arizona,owner of online media

Cyprus permanent residency as a way of optimising the living cost

Jonatan and his wife Emma dreamed of relocating to Europe and buying a house in a peaceful place. The obtaining process and minimal costs under the Cyprus investment program seemed the most affordable for them.

After relocation to Cyprus, the spouses spend two times less on utilities and car maintenance. A large selection of excellent medical clinics is within walking distance, and medical services are three times cheaper than in the US.

The Cypriot lifestyle, the warm sea, and the sun all year round have made them more relaxed and cheerful. The couple is planning to get Cyprus citizenship in 5 years and is considering relocating the company to Cyprus to reduce taxes.

4 investment options are available for program participants. The minimum investment for each of them is €300,000:

  1. Purchasing a new residential property. You also need to pay 19% VAT, which can be reduced to 5% if you buy a single property for a living. You can’t invest in a resale property.

  2. Purchasing commercial property, such as offices, shops, or hotels. Both new and resale real estate fits the program conditions. You are also required to pay 19% VAT.

  3. Investing in shares of Cypriot companies that conduct commercial activities and employ at least 5 people.

  4. Investing in stocks of local companies or investment funds in the form of AIF, AIFLNP, and RAIF.

Real estate investment is the most popular program option. An applicant for permanent residence can purchase one or two properties. In the second case, buying property from the same developer is essential.

Nicosia, Limassol, Paphos, and Larnaca are the most popular cities for buying property.

Property prices in Cyprus are lower than in many other European countries. For example, 1 m² of an apartment in the centre of Nicosia costs about €2,400; in Rome, the price is about €7,400.

A property buyer hires a lawyer and a notary and supervises the whole process. Or they turn to a reliable agent like Immigrant Invest, which has a database of properties from trustworthy developers.

How to obtain Cyprus permanent residence by purchasing real estate

Obtaining a permanent residence card in Cyprus takes about 2 months and consists of 5 key steps.

Immigrant Invest’s property specialists select real estate for living or renting to suit the investors’ goals. The company’s lawyers obtain permission to purchase the property, check the purity of the transaction, and help conclude a contract of sale.

1

1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

The results of this mandatory step define whether the investor can become a Cypriot resident. A certified Compliance Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Immigrant Invest conducts a thorough check to evaluate the applicant’s chances and reveal possible risks.

2

Up to 2 weeks

Documents preparation

Immigrant Invest lawyers help the investor collect, translate, and apostille the necessary documents. When everything is ready, they transfer the documents to our local agent in Cyprus.

3

Up to several weeks

Fulfilment of investment conditions

If you buy real estate in Cyprus, we help you choose a property from our database, draw up a contract of sale, and close a deal. The applicant transfers the €300,000 investment and VAT to the developer at this step.

4

1 day

Application to the Civil Registry and Migration Department of Cyprus

To submit the documents, the investor does not have to visit Cyprus. Our local representative will pass the documents to Cyprus’s Civil Registry and Migration Department.

5

2 months

Obtaining a Cyprus residence card

The application processing takes 2 months. If the decision is favourable, the investor and their family must visit Cyprus within a year to submit biometric data and obtain permanent residence cards.

Cyprus permanent residence on an immigration permit

The timeframe for obtaining the status is 12 to 18 months.

For qualified professionals. Permanent residence is granted to foreigners who have been offered permanent employment in Cyprus. Employers can hire foreign specialists if they cannot find employees among locals or EU citizens.

The employer submits a work contract to the Cyprus Ministry of Labour for approval. The Ministry considers each situation individually and determines whether the foreigner is eligible for the position.

For entrepreneurs. Permanent residence is granted to business people who work in sectors of the economy that are strategically important for Cyprus. The company’s activity must not have a negative impact on the economy of the country.

The amount of the company’s capital can be reduced in agreement with the Migration Control Committee.

Requirements for the field of activity and company capital

Agriculture, livestock, poultry, or fish farming

Mining enterprises

Trade

Capital

€430,000

€350,000

€260,000

Additional requirements

Own land or permission to purchase it

Have a licence to operate in the country

Have a licence to operate in the country

For financially independent individuals. Permanent residence is granted to wealthy people with income or savings abroad. The income must be passive; the salary will not work.

The minimum annual income must be €9,568 for the main applicant and €4,613 for each family member. Pension, dividends from shares, and income from leasing real estate are suitable as a source of money.

Applicants collect documents, fill out the MIP1 form, and submit documents to the Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department. They also pay an application fee of €500 for all family members included in the application.

Cyprus permanent residence after 5 years of living in the country

The timeframe for obtaining the status is at least 6 months.

Some Cypriot residents can obtain permanent residence if they have lived on the island for 5 years with a residence permit. Foreigners are obliged to live in the country for at least 183 days a year. Also, they cannot be absent for more than 90 days in a row.

It is possible to obtain a Cyprus residence permit based on:

  • a temporary residence permit, or a Pink Slip;

  • a residence permit for family reunification;

  • a residence permit for work.

The temporary residence permit is granted to foreigners with sufficient income from abroad. It must fully cover the applicant’s living expenses in Cyprus.

The permit is issued for 1 year but can be extended unlimited times. It is forbidden to work in Cyprus with a temporary residence permit.

The residence permit for family reunification is granted to relatives of a Cypriot resident or citizen. These include the following:

  • a spouse;

  • minor children;

  • relatives of foreigners who have an immigration permit for permanent residence;

  • partners of Cypriot citizens if the couple has been in a permanent relationship for one year or more and plans to get married.

All adult family members must be financially dependent on the relatives they are reuniting with.

Relatives of citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland can also obtain permanent residence in Cyprus if they have lived on the island for at least 5 years. The status is granted even if the family members are not citizens of these countries.

The following people can become Cyprus permanent residents:

  • a spouse or a partner of an EU citizen with whom they are officially married or in a partnership;

  • direct descendants under 21 or those entirely financially dependent on an EU citizen;

  • family members in the ascending line of an EU citizen and their spouse or partner.

Applicants fill out the MEU3 form to obtain permanent residence, submit documents to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, and pay a state fee of €20.

The residence permit for work. Most qualified employees receive the Cyprus residence permit for up to 4 years. However, they cannot extend it.

The residence permit’s validity is not limited to athletes and coaches, chefs, and agricultural workers.

A permanent residence permit is not issued to residents who have received a residence permit:

  • to study at universities or professional courses;

  • temporarily, for example, for seasonal work;

  • for diplomatic activities;

  • as refugees;

  • for temporary asylum.

Applicants fill out the MLT1 form and submit documents to the Civil Registry and Migration Department. They also pay a €30 fee.

Cyprus permanent residency costs and processing time

Investments and additional costs. Applicants have 4 investment options to obtain permanent residency by investment. The number of family members included in the application does not affect the investment size. Apart from the minimum investment of €300,000, additional expenses are needed.

Investments in shares and stocks have the same requirements, so in the table below, they are combined into one category.

Cost comparison for one applicant

Expense item

Purchase of residential property

Purchase of commercial property

Investments in shares or stocks

Investments

€300,000+

€300,000+

€300,000+

VAT

€15,000+

€57,000+

Confirmed income

€50,000+ per year

€50,000+ per year

€50,000+ per year

Administrative fee

€500

€500

€500

Registration fee

€70

€70

€70

Permanent residence card fee

€70

€70

€70

Legal services

1% of the transaction

1% of the transaction

The process of obtaining Cyprus permanent residency takes 3+ months. The Civil Registry and Migration Department of Cyprus considers the application for 2 months. The permanent residence card will be issued within 40 days after the investor visits Cyprus to submit biometrics.

Documents for obtaining Cyprus permanent residence visa

The application for a residence permit is submitted to the Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department. The standard package of documents includes the following:

  • a completed application in the form corresponding to the residence permit type;

  • copies of valid international passports for all applicants;

  • the applicants' biographies;

  • a marriage certificate;

  • children’s birth certificates;

  • a certificate of no criminal record.

Depending on the residence permit type, additional documents may be required. For example, proof of passive income for financially independent individuals.

All documents obtained outside Cyprus need to be translated into English and certified with an apostille. When applying for a residence permit, biometric data must also be submitted.

All ways of obtaining Cyprus permanent residence

An example of Cyprus’s permanent residence card for a foreign worker
Source: Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department

Why a Cyprus residence permit can be refused

The Civil Registry and Migration Department of Cyprus does not approve all applications for permanent residence. Refusal can be received by foreigners who:

  • did not confirm the sources of income or the origin of income is doubtful;

  • provided false documents, such as a fictitious employment contract;

  • have not cleared a criminal record in their country of permanent residence;

  • pose a threat to the security of the island.

Residence permits can also be cancelled if a foreigner fails to fulfil the conditions based on which they received the status. For example, an investor sold a property before obtaining citizenship, or a qualified employee resigned from a Cypriot company.

How to get Cyprus citizenship

Permanent residence is valid for life. However, they need to renew their permanent resident card every 5 years.

The permanent residence permit allows the holder to obtain citizenship by naturalisation. The foreigner must have lived in the country for most of the last 7 years:

  • 3 years for spouses of Cypriot citizens;

  • 4 years for those living in the country continuously or being in public service;

  • 5 years for investors if they have maintained permanent residency;

  • 7 years for international students, self-employed, and those who came to Cyprus to work.

Before applying for citizenship, one cannot leave Cyprus for the last 12 months.

To obtain a Cypriot passport, one must pass examinations on the English or Greek language, culture, and the Constitution of the country.

Comparison of a Cyprus residence permit, permanent residence, and citizenship

The benefits of the Cyprus residence permit and permanent residence are similar. The status choice usually depends on the goals: move to Cyprus, have a "backup plan", bring family to the country, or preserve capital.

The Cypriot passport provides more benefits than a residence permit, but it is impossible to become a Cypriot citizen directly by investment.

Differences between residency and citizenship in Cyprus

Criteria

Residence permit

Permanent residency

Citizenship

Validity period

Up to 5 years

Lifetime

Lifetime

Renewal required

Yes

No

No

Obtainment by investment

No

Yes

No

Visa-free entry to the Schengen Area

No

No

Yes

Visa-free travel worldwide

No

Bulgaria, Romania

179 countries

Requirements for living in Cyprus

At least 183 per year

For investors — to visit the country once every 2 years


For other permanent residents — no requirements

No

Right to work in Cyprus

Depends on the residence permit type

Depends on the residence permit type

Yes

Right to vote and be elected

No

No

Yes

Briefly on how to get permanent residency in Cyprus

  1. Foreigners obtain Cyprus permanent residence by investment, through immigration authorisation, or after 5 years of living on the island with a residence permit.

  2. Investing €300,000+ in real estate or securities is the fastest way to get permanent residence. The process can take as little as 3 months.

  3. Holders of permanent residence in Cyprus get the opportunity to live on the island or create a "backup plan", optimise taxes, and open accounts in European banks.

  4. The Civil Registry and Migration Department of Cyprus can refuse an applicant for a residence permit if they have provided false information or threaten the country’s security.

  5. Permanent residency is valid for life, but the residence card must be renewed every 5 years.

  6. A foreigner can apply for citizenship after 5 years of living in Cyprus with a permanent residence permit.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many years do I need to live in Cyprus to get permanent residence?

    A foreigner obtains Cyprus permanent residence if they have lived on the island for 5 years with a residence permit. However, there is an exception.

    Investors and foreigners with immigration permits get permanent residency immediately if they have fulfilled the legal conditions. For example, investors put at least €300,000 into the country’s economy, and financially independent people confirm their passive income of at least €9,568 per year.

  • How can I get permanent residency in Cyprus?

    Cyprus grants permanent residence to foreigners by investment, by an immigration permit, or after 5 years of living on the island with a residence permit.

    The fastest way to get permanent residence is to invest €300,000 in the country’s economy. Investors’ applications are considered within 3 months.

  • What is the difference between a residence permit and permanent residence in Cyprus?

    A temporary residence permit is issued for a fixed period, usually 1 or 3 years. Some types of residence permits can be extended.

    Permanent residence is obtained for life. The resident card must be renewed every 5 years.

  • Can I travel to Europe with a Cyprus residence permit?

    Cyprus’s Permanent Residence Card entitles you to visit Bulgaria and Romania without a visa. To travel to the Schengen states, you need a Schengen visa: it will be issued under a simplified procedure.

  • How much does it cost to obtain a Cyprus residence permit?

    The obtaining costs depend on the permanent residence type. If foreigners participate in the investment program, their expenses will be at least €300,000. Entrepreneurs confirm that the capital of their company is at least €250,000.

    In other cases, applicants must pay only administrative fees.

  • Is it possible to work with Cyprus permanent residency?

    Permanent residence does not always give the right to work in Cyprus. It depends on the type of permanent residence the applicant receives. For example, financially independent people are prohibited from working on the island, and their income must come from abroad.

  • What are the options for Cyprus permanent residence?

    There are 3 options for how foreigners can get a Cyprus permanent residence permit:

    • by investing at least €300,000 in the country’s economy;

    • by obtaining an immigration permit as a financially independent person, highly qualified professional, or entrepreneur;

    • after 5 years of living on the island with a residence permit.

  • Can I get residency in Cyprus if I buy a house?

    Yes, you can get Cyprus residency by buying a residential or commercial property for €300,000.

  • How long can I stay in Cyprus if I own a property?

    It depends on the type of residence you have. If you purchase a holiday home and plan to stay there occasionally, you can apply for a visa to stay in Cyprus for up to 90 days every 6 months — 180 days per calendar year.

    If you are going to live in the property you own, you can obtain life-long permanent residency by investing €300,000 or more in a residential or commercial property.