Cypriot Permits & Visas For Non-EU Citizens

One of the many benefits of being an EU citizen is the ability to move and work freely within the EU. For non-EU citizens however, moving to an EU nation can be a more difficult prospect.

Thankfully Cyprus has a number of schemes designed to cater to foreign nationals looking to reside and work in the country. The most popular of these is the Cypriot Residence Permit for Non-EU Citizens.

What is the Cypriot Residence Permit For Non-EU Citizens?

If you’re looking to purchase a holiday home in Cyprus, then you needn’t worry about the issue of residency: your property automatically entitles you to 180 days a year in Cyprus for holiday purposes. If you’re looking to reside and work in Cyprus on a permanent basis however – and looking to gain the advantages of EU citizenship – then you’ll want a Residence Permit.

Other benefits of a Cypriot residence permit include:

  • A pathway to permanent citizenship after seven years
  • No obligation to live in Cyprus – just return once every two years
  • Visa-free entry and residency in Cyprus
  • Freedom of movement within the Schengen zone
  • Permit extends to spouse, parents and financially dependent children
  • Tax liability in Cyprus is unaffected

If you’ve purchased a property in Cyprus, you may find that you already qualify for residency. The application process is straightforward and has an average approval time of two months, meaning there is little reason not to apply if eligible. Qualification criteria include:

  • A new property worth €300.000 or more
  • Payment of at least €200.000
  • Annual global income of €30.000 or more
  • Annual income of €5000 for dependent children and €8000 for parents
  • A minimum of €30.000 deposited in Cyprus for 3 years
  • No criminal record
  • Visit at least once every 2 years

While you do not need to spend a lot of time in Cyprus to fulfil the requirements of the Residence Permit, you do need to stay permanently if you wish to fulfil the pathway for Cypriot citizenship. Qualifying residents must have spent at least 7 years of a 10 year total living in Cyprus in order to obtain Cypriot citizenship, as well as fulfilling certain other criteria.

What is the Cyprus Startup Visa scheme?

If you’re looking to start a business in Cyprus, you may instead want to opt for the Startup Visa scheme for third country nationals. The scheme was introduced in 2017 to encourage talented individuals to choose Cyprus for their EU base, specifically those starting up innovative businesses.

The financial requirements for a startup visa are fairly low compared to the Residence Permit and investment visas. Only 150 visas will be available between February 2017 – February 2019, and your business will require a comprehensive plan detailing your plans and suitability.

Applications should be made by the startup founder for an individual startup visa; or by the founder and up to four senior executives for a group startup visa. Applicants must adhere to the following conditions:

  • Non-EU nationality
  • Start-up capital of €50.000 or more
  • An innovative business or business plan
  • Plans for a business HQ in Cyprus
  • Effective management in Cyprus
  • Tax residency in Cyprus
  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • Fluency in either Greek or English

What is the Cypriot Citizenship by Investment scheme?

Part of Cyprus’ recent success has been its ability to court high-worth individuals, both for the purposes of business and pleasure. With a strong financial services sector, global trade networks and EU access, Cyprus is a favourite port of call for high net worth individuals

Cyprus is one of only two nations in Europe to offer a citizenship by investment scheme. Principally, this allows wealthy individuals to settle in Cyprus and gain the benefits of citizenship, in return for substantial investments in the Cypriot economy.

Applicants for the Citizenship By Investment scheme must invest €2 million in one or more projects and personal properties across the island. These include:

  • Buildings, infrastructure or land
  • Alternative Investment Funds & other licensed assets
  • Buying or opening a Cypriot business
  • Investing in an existing Cypriot business
  • Purchasing government bonds (max €500,000)

For more information on the Cypriot Citizenship By Investment visa or any other visa requirements in Cyprus, don’t hesitate to contact us.