Residence permit
June 13, 2024
Reading Time: 7 min

How to get a Cyprus residence permit

More than 15 categories of applicants are eligible for a Cyprus residence permit. Among them are foreigners with international income, digital nomads, students, researchers, and volunteers.

Investors can get a permanent residence permit when buying real estate or shares of Cypriot companies for €300,000 or more. The status is issued in three months, for life.

Igor Buglo
Igor Buglo

Shares all ways to get a residence permit in Cyprus

Cyprus permanent residence: how to get a Cyprus RP and what rights does it give

How to get a Cyprus residence permit

Reasons to get a Cyprus residence permit

A residence permit allows staying in Cyprus for over 90 days every six months and, in some cases, getting a work permit. A tourist Schengen or Cyprus national visa does not provide such opportunities.

There are 15 grounds for applying for a Cyprus residence permit. The Government of Cyprus publishes up-to-date information on obtaining a residence permit on the website of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

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

Cyprus permanent residence by investment

A Cypriot ID card confirms the right to live in the country. It contains basic information about the foreigner, including two digital fingerprints.

Until 2020, a Pink Slip was issued instead of an ID card: a registration certificate printed on pink paper. Pink Slips were given to third-country citizens. Applicants from the European Union or the European Economic Area received Yellow Slips, certificates on yellow paper.

Residence permit holders can’t leave Cyprus for over 3 consecutive months: otherwise, their resident status will be automatically revoked.

Cyprus’s permanent residence by investment allows foreigners to get residency for life without moving to the island. Investors can visit Cyprus once every two years.

Cyprus residence permit by investment

Cyprus permanent residence has been granted for investing €300,000 or more since 2021. The money can be invested in residential and commercial real estate, Cypriot company shares, or units of AIF, AIFNLP, and RAIF investment funds.

The Golden Visa program replaced the Cyprus citizenship by investment program after the latter ended in November 2020.

Foreigners over 18 with a legal income and good character can apply for permanent residence by investment. They should not be included in any sanction lists or have criminal records and EU or UK entry bans.

The investor can add their spouse and children under 18 to the application.

Children between the ages of 18 and 25 can also apply if they are:

  • financially dependent on the investor;

  • unmarried;

  • enrolled in a university outside Cyprus.

From May 2023 onwards, parents of investors or their spouses can not be added to the application.

The main applicant fulfils the conditions of one of the four investment options, contributing at least €300,000 to the country’s economy.

Most investors prefer buying real estate in Cyprus, such as residential properties from the developer or commercial premises on the primary or secondary market.

Under the Cyprus residency by investment terms, real estate can be rented out but not sold when the investor retains their permanent residence. They can sell the property after living in the country for five years and obtaining Cyprus citizenship by naturalisation.

The cost of obtaining permanent residence by investment in real estate includes property value and additional expenses:

  • VAT — 19% for the purchase of new properties;

  • transfer tax when buying a resale property — 3 to 8%;

  • legal support — 1%;

  • administrative and registration fees, depending on the investor’s family composition.

The additional expenses are approximately 20% of the transaction value. When buying a property worth €395,000, the total cost of obtaining permanent residence will start at €474,000.

The investor shows financial solvency by providing an annual income of at least €50,000. This minimal income increases depending on the applicant number:

  • €15,000 is added if the spouse is included;

  • €10,000 is added per minor child included.

Applicants obtain permanent residency within 3 months. However, the application processing depends on the workload of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

Permanent residence is valid for life. The investor does not need to collect documents annually and renew the status; changing the ID card once every five years is enough.

Cyprus residence permits in for foreigners with international income

Foreign citizens with a stable income outside Cyprus can apply for a residence permit called Autonomous Visitor Permit and still unofficially referred to as a “Pink Slip”. It is valid for 1 year and can be extended unlimited times. The holder can not live outside Cyprus for more than 90 days.

Main applicants for Cyprus residence permits must be non-EU citizens over the age of 18. They can bring their spouses and children under 18.

The main applicant confirms an income of €2,000 per month or €24,000 per year. The qualifying income is salary, pension payments, rental yields, and dividends. Before submitting the residency application, one must transfer €24,000 to a Cypriot bank account.

These minimal income and bank deposit thresholds should increase by:

  • 20% if the application includes a spouse;

  • 15% per child if children are added.

Starting January 1st, 2023, main applicants can provide international and Cyprus-earned income as proof of their financial solvency. Applicable types include rental or dividend income.

A registered address in Cyprus is required to obtain a Pink Slip. Applicants can buy or rent a property and submit either the long-term lease or the sale and purchase agreement as proof. No minimum cost is required when buying or renting an apartment or house.

The timeframe for obtaining a Cyprus residence permit for financially independent foreigners is at least three months.

A visitor residence permit is issued for a year, but the status can be extended unlimited times. The renewal application is submitted at least one month before the residence permit validity ends.

Cyprus residence permit for digital nomads

500 remote workers can get Cyprus’s Digital Nomad visas every year. Applicants must:

  • come from countries that are not part of the European Union;

  • be a contracted or self-employed worker with professional income from outside Cyprus;

  • earn at least €3,500 net per month.

Family members — spouses and children under 18 — can get residence permits with the main applicant. Additional applicants are not allowed to work for hire or register a company in Cyprus.

A Digital Nomad visa can be obtained within 5 to 7 weeks. It will be valid for one year and subject to renewal for another two years.

Residence permit for work in Cyprus

A residence permit for employment is obtained following an offer from a Cypriot company. In this case, the employer, not the employee, applies for the entry and residence permit.

Foreigners who apply for key positions in a company with a monthly gross salary of at least €2,500 can get residence permits.

Applicants can sponsor the following family members:

  • a spouse or a partner;

  • children under 25;

  • parents.

A work residence permit is issued for one year, while the maximum stay in Cyprus is four years. The restriction doesn’t apply to highly qualified specialists in key economic sectors.

For sponsored family members, the validity period of a Cyprus residence permit is the same as for the specialist who came to work in Cyprus.

Residence permit when transferring to a foreign company branch in Cyprus

Cyprus residency can be obtained by international company employees who get transferred to a Cyprus branch for work or study. The employer handles the registration of residence and entry permit documents.

The following applicants are eligible for a residence permit:

  • heads of branches and divisions;

  • highly skilled professionals;

  • exchange employees and interns transferred to Cyprus.

The validity period of a residence permit for an intra-corporate transfer starts at 90 days. The maximum stay is 3 years for managers and key employees and 1 year for regular employees and interns.

Applicants can obtain residence permits for their spouses and children under 18 through a sponsorship procedure or family reunification.

Student residence permit in Cyprus

International applicants who enrolled in Cypriot universities and paid for their studies can get residence permits. So do students of English and Greek language courses.

A student residence permit grants the right to work to foreigners who study at state-accredited universities full-time and plan to work less than 20 hours a week.

The obtainment period for a student residence permit is 3 months.

A residence permit for students in Cyprus is issued for 1 year. The ID card must be renewed annually as long as the holder studies.

Documents for obtaining a Cyprus residence permit

The main list of documents for getting a residence permit includes the following:

  • an application form;

  • a foreign passport or travel document;

  • blood test results for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, as well as fluorography results;

  • a criminal record certificate;

  • proof of place of residence, such as a rental agreement or sale and purchase agreement for a property in Cyprus;

  • a bank statement confirming the main applicant’s financial solvency.

The list of documents may be expanded depending on why a foreigner receives a residence permit. For instance, applicants for a Digital Nomad visa provide contracts with non-Cypriot companies. Financially independent individuals will be asked to provide a bank guarantee letter confirming that the main applicant’s account will be used to cover possible repatriation costs.

The complete lists of documents, forms and instructions for obtaining a residence permit are published on the Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department website.

How to apply for a Cyprus residence permit

After preparing documents corresponding with their grounds for relocation, foreigners must obtain the following:

  • either an entry visa from the Cyprus consulate;

  • or an entry permit from the Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department.

Within 1 week after arriving in Cyprus, foreigners must register with the Aliens Register and apply for a temporary residence permit from the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

Authorised representatives can prepare and submit applications on behalf of foreigners, especially digital nomads, individuals with passive income, and Cyprus investment program participants.

Workers with offers, transferred workers, and students can contact their employers or universities to get their applications handled.

Processing times for a Cyprus residence permit

The timeline for getting a residence permit depends on the Civil Registry and Migration Department’s workload and each applicant’s situation.

Here are the estimated processing times for different types of Cyprus residence permit:

  • under the investment program — 3+ months;

  • a temporary residence permit, or the Pink Slip — 3 months;

  • for digital nomads — 3 months;

  • for workers with an employment offer — 3 months;

  • for transferred workers — 1 month;

  • for students — 2 months.

Benefits of a Cyprus residence permit

A Cyprus residence permit allows the holder to:

  1. Get Cyprus citizenship after 5 years of permanent living in this EU country. The minimum residing period for students and foreign company employees is 7 years.

  2. Apply for a Schengen visa and a US visa under a simplified procedure at the consulates in Cyprus.

  3. Live in a country with a comfortable climate. Cyprus has mild, snowless winters and dry summers. The water temperature in the summer months reaches +28°C.

  4. Become a Cyprus tax resident and qualify for individual and corporate tax incentives.

  5. Give children a European education. Cypriot residents can enrol in universities in Cyprus or other EU countries on more favourable terms than third-country graduates.

How to get Cyprus citizenship

A Cyprus passport is obtained in one of three ways: naturalisation, descent or marriage. Until 2020, a citizenship‑by‑investment program was in effect but closed.

Naturalisation is the most popular path to Cyprus citizenship. Applicants who have permanently lived in the country with resident status for more than five years can submit documents. A foreigner wanting citizenship cannot leave Cyprus for a year before applying for a passport.

One cannot buy a Cyprus passport: foreigners who obtain permanent residence by investment qualify for Cyprus citizenship on a general basis. Permanent residency does not change the timeline; however, it reduces the number of bureaucratic procedures.

Unlike a temporary residence permit, permanent residence by investment is issued immediately for life: the ID card does not need to be renewed every year.

Main takeaways on a Cyprus residence permit

  1. More than 15 applicant categories can receive Cyprus residence permits. The Government of Cyprus publishes up-to-date information on obtaining a residence permit on the website of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

  2. Cyprus has a permanent residence by investment program that allows foreigners to become residents by investing at least €300,000 in the country’s economy. The status is valid for life; holders don’t need to renew it.

  3. After five years of living in the country, a foreigner has the right to apply for and obtain a Cyprus passport.

  4. Foreigners with a Cyprus residence permit need to obtain a visa to enter the Schengen Area. The visa is issued at the consulates in Cyprus, so applicants do not need to travel to the country of first citizenship.

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

  • What documents are required to obtain a residence permit in Cyprus?

    The main list of documents for a Cyprus residence permit includes the following:

    • an application form;

    • a foreign passport or travel document;

    • blood test results for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, as well as fluorography results;

    • a criminal record certificate;

    • proof of place of residence, such as a rental agreement or purchase and sale agreement of property in Cyprus;

    • a bank statement confirming the financial viability of the main applicant.

    The list of documents may be expanded depending on which grounds a foreigner receives a residence permit. Complete lists of documents, forms and instructions for obtaining a residence permit are published on the Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department website.

  • How long can I stay in Cyprus without a residence permit?

    For up to 90 days on a tourist national or Schengen visa.

    A residence permit allows you to spend more than 90 days in Cyprus every six months and, in some cases, get a work permit.

    More than 15 categories of applicants can obtain a residence permit in Cyprus, including students, volunteers, researchers, digital nomads and investors.

  • How long is the Cyprus residence permit valid?

    On average, for 3 months, but the document preparation deadline depends on the Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department workload and the grounds for obtaining the status.

  • Where can I enter with a Cyprus residence permit?

    Without a visa — to Romania and Bulgaria. Cyprus is a member of the European Union but not a member of the Schengen Agreement. This means that a foreigner with a residence permit in Cyprus will need a visa to Schengen countries, which can be issued at consulates in Cyprus.

  • What does Yellow Slip offer in Cyprus?

    “Yellow slip” and “Pink Slip” are the former names of the certificate of registration of foreign citizens in Cyprus. Starting in 2020, the right to live in the country is confirmed by a plastic ID card that contains basic information about a foreigner, including two digital fingerprints.

    Despite the digitalisation, the terms “yellow slip” and “pink slip” are still used informally. Yellow slip means certificates issued to EU and EEA citizens, and pink slip — certificates issued to third-country nationals.

    ID card holders can live in Cyprus, become tax residents and receive tax benefits, apply for medical care, and give their children a European education on more favourable terms.