Immigration Laws in Cyprus: Everything You Need to Know

Immigration Laws in Cyprus

As a member of the European Union, Cyprus has countless advantages when relocating to the country. These benefits include government and tax incentives, encouraging trends regarding various sectors of the Cypriot economy as well as outstanding healthcare and education systems. The popular Mediterranean island has several programs in order to gain citizenship and residency. The immigration laws in Cyprus differ depending on your relocation plans and where you are emigrating from.
In this article we will discuss the different immigration laws and the schemes offered by the Cypriot government.

Cyprus immigration lawyer

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Advantages of Permanent Residency in Cyprus

Before we discuss how to gain permanent residency and talk about immigration laws in Cyprus, let’s take a look at some of the advantages:

  • The permits give non-EU nationals the right to permanently reside in Cyprus.
  • Families (married spouse, children under 18 and financially dependent children up to 25 years old) can also obtain permanent residence as dependents.
  • The permit is granted indefinitely, meaning it is a one-off application.

Acquiring Permanent Residency

To gain permanent residency in Cyprus, property needs to be purchased on the island. This property can be purchased by a single applicant or with a spouse as well as a Cyprus based company. The applicate must purchase a newly constructed property with a developer as the sole vendor, it cannot be a resale.
In terms of the price, the property must be at least €300,000 excluding VAT and a minimum of €200,000 excluding VAT must be paid. Once the applicant has provided proof of the foreign money transfer a contract of sale has to be registered at the Department of Lands and Surveys.
Furthermore, the applicant must make a deposit into a Cypriot bank worth €30,000. This will be blocked for a minimum of three years. It must also be transferred from a bank account abroad. An additional €5,000 will need to be made for each dependent of the applicant and proof will need to be provided that the funds have been generated abroad.
Finally, the applicant must provide evidence of a clean criminal record for themselves and their spouse and children aged 16 and above. This cannot be issued from more than 3 months prior to the application.

signing immigration documents

Work Permits in Cyprus

Of course, when we are discussing immigration laws in Cyprus, we must mention how to obtain work permits.
Foreign nationals are welcome to take up employment in Cyprus as long as they are eligible for a work permit. However, citizens from EU member states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (EFTA) are exempt from needing a work permit.
In order to obtain a Cyprus work permit an employer must substantiate that the work opportunity could not have been filled by a Cypriot national or a citizen from the category mentioned above. Due to this part of the immigration laws in Cyprus, most non-EU foreign nationals find it easier if they seek out employment in foreign companies that operate on the island, especially if they can provide language skills.
Positions that are eligible for a work permit include the following:

  • Executive Director: Annual salary of €41,000, only five foreign executive directors can be hired by a company.
  • Middle Management Staff: Directors, Mid-level managers, technical and clerical staff. Annual Salary between €21,000 and €40,000.
  • Supporting Staff: Workers who do not fall under the former categories.

Before receiving the work permit, the contract of employment must be finalized. This is due to the employer needing to obtain the permit on behalf of the foreign national.

Immigration Laws in Cyprus: Permit Categories

The permit categories in Cyprus are as followed:

Category A
The applicant is a self-employed foreign national working in the agriculture, livestock or fish culture sectors in Cyprus. The applicant owns land or has the financial means to own land on the island, and will not undertake any activity to disrupt the economy.

Category B
A self-employed foreign national looking to work in Cyprus’ mining sector, and has sufficient resources and permits, and will not undertake any activity to disrupt the local economy.

Category C
A self-employed foreign national who will undertake a profession or trade, has sufficient financial means and required permits, and will not undertake any activity to negatively impact the local economy.

Category D
A foreign national who will be self-employed in the scientific research sector or an in-demand profession on the island. The applicant will have required academic and professional qualifications, alongside financial resources.

Category E
A foreign national with an offer for a permanent employment position in Cyprus, and whose skills or qualifications will not compete against the local workforce.

Gaining Citizenship in Cyprus

Finally, we are going to discuss how to gain citizenship in Cyprus. There are 4 possible ways to achieve this. They are as followed:

Naturalization

Foreigners who have been legal residents of Cyprus for 7 years can apply for citizenship. The applicant must complete 2555 days of continuous residency on the island. Applicants who are parents or children of Cypriot citizens require 5 years of continuous residency.

Marriage to a Cypriot Spouse

Foreign applicants who are married to Cypriot citizens for three years and have completed 2 years of residency on the island can apply for citizenship. Spouses of Cypriot citizenships who have been living abroad can apply for citizenship after three years of marriage.

Origins in Cyprus

Adults or minors who were born abroad after 16th August 1960 and who has a father who was a Cypriot Citizen can apply for citizenship. The same is applicable for those born after 11th June 1999 and has a Cypriot mother. Minors who have a mother or father with correctly obtained citizenship through naturalization or marriage are also eligible.

The Cyprus Investment Programme

The Cypriot government has created a new investment programme that aims to attract foreign investors through the incentive of gaining citizenship. The investor must make an investment of a minimum 2 million euros along with other guidelines.

Conclusion

Higher education in Cyprus and the facilities available on the island are well-recognized throughout the world due to their strong belief in students and excellent academic teaching standards. Whilst we have only mentioned 3 out of the 8 universities on the island, it is clear from looking at the mission and value statements that the universities are of great quality. With recognition from the European Union and non-EU countries, it is no wonder that Cyprus welcomes so many international students each year.

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