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Immigration Services in Cyprus

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Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can assist natural persons who want to relocate to this country, but also foreign businessmen interested in investing in a new country or expanding an existing business to this market. Our lawyers can also provide legal representation to the families of our clients, who have the right of relocating to Cyprus.
With in-depth experience in this field, our lawyers have helped over the years numerous foreigners seeking to obtain a visa in this country, to relocate here for a short-term or long-term basis, or even applying for Cypriot citizenship. Foreigners interested in receiving immigration services in this country can find out below how our immigration lawyer in Cyprus can be of assistance.

A foreigner can be entitled to obtain citizenship in Cyprus by marriage with a local citizen. This right can be granted in the moment when the spouses have been married for minimum 3 years.

It is also necessary for the applicant to be a resident of Cyprus for a period of minimum 2 years at the moment when the application is made. This right also applies to spouses living in a foreign country.

For couples living in this country, the foreign spouse must present the residence permit in Cyprus, attesting the lawful residence. Besides this document, the applicant must prepare an extensive set of documents.

It is necessary to present documents attesting the citizenship of the spouse, regardless if the spouse is a Cypriot national by birth or by naturalization.

Citizenship in Cyprus can also be acquired when a foreigner does not have any connection to this country/to a Cypriot national. This is known as citizenship by naturalization, a long process which requires the foreigner to gradually become part of the Cypriot society.

The foreigner will need to spend many years in this country as a permanent resident first, in order to be entitled to starting this procedure.

For the situation where the foreigner applies for citizenship based on the marriage with a Cypriot national, please mind that there is also the possibility to apply without being the holder of a residence permit in Cyprus.

This can happen when the spouses are married and the foreign national is living in his or her home country due to various reasons, which must be presented in the application file.


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    Basic immigration services our lawyers can provide in Cyprus

    Our immigration lawyer in Cyprus can represent clients from all around the world and can assist them regardless of their citizenship. Foreigners should know that the legislation available in Cyprus distinguishes between citizens of the EU and citizens outside the EU, which means that different regulations will apply. With regards to the ways in which our immigration lawyer can be of assistance, we mention the following:

    • participating in the Cypriot investment program, through which foreign investors can obtain residency in this country;
    • obtaining the temporary residence permit and the permanent residence permit, after having lived here for a specific period of time;
    • providing legal advice on the manner in which a foreigner can become a Cypriot citizen; our immigration lawyer in Cyprus has helped many foreign citizens obtain citizenship;
    • applying for a work permit, which is designed for persons who are seeking employment in this country;
    • preparing the documentation for family reunification programs for the family members of third-country foreigners;
    • assist with legal advice on the regulations applied in Cyprus for intra-corporate transfers;
    • offering information on the types of visas available in this country and the documents an applicant should submit.

      Don’t hesitate to ask for our help if you intend to immigrate to Cyprus and need specialized legal assistance.
     Quick Facts  
      Entry visa requirement
    (from EU)  (YES/NO)
    Entry visa requirement (outside EU) (YES/NO) Mandatory visa requirements for immigration to Cyprus are imposed for the citizens of 114 countries (third party countries). Visa exemptions are available for non-EU citizens as well.  

    Types of visas available in Cyprus 

     Airport transit visa, short-stay visa, multiple entry visa, visa issued upon the arrival, long-stay visa, visa extension. 
    Time frame for obtaining
    work visa (approx.) 

    5-10 days 

    Validity of temporary residence permit Temporary immigration to Cyprus is accepted for 1-2 years, depending on the grounds for which the permit was obtained.
    Temporary residence permit renewal requirements

    The renewal of temporary residence must take place in the same location where the first residence permit was issued. The application should be started with minimum 1 month before the expiry date of the document. 

    Documents for obtaining a residence permit in Cyprus  – identity documents of the applicant;
    – the completed application form;
    – a rental agreement signed in Cyprus/ real estate purchase contract;
    – a bank statement and proof of having sufficient financial funds;
    – valid health insurance;
    – other documents based on the
    purpose of stay.
    Time frame for obtaining permanent residence (approx.) The law for immigration to Cyprus stipulates that permanent residency can be obtained after 5 years of living in this country. 
    Investor Visa availability (YES/NO) Yes
    Start-up Visa Scheme availability (YES/NO) Yes 
    Sponsorship requirement (YES/NO) Yes, for certain types of visas.  
    Time frame for obtaining citizenship 5 years in certain cases, or
    7 years in most situations. 
    Citizenship/Residency by investment scheme availability (YES/NO) Citizenship by invesment – No/ Residency by investment – yes
    Taxation of foreign citizens The income of foreigners that is obtained overseas is exempt from taxation in Cyprus. A non-resident is exempt from taxation in Cyprus if the person spends a maximum of 183 days per year in this country. Other than this, the income obtained here is charged with the personal income tax charged to Cypriot residents.   
     Tax benefits for expats Deduction on salaries for non-residents.  
     Visa issuance fees  EUR 0 to EUR 80, depending on the visa type, the nationality and the age of the applicant.  

     Fees charged for the issuance of a residence permit 

     EUR 70 

     Institution in charge with the immigration formalities  

     Immigration services in Cyprus are provided by the Civil Registry and Migration Department.  

     Right to appeal a visa refusal (yes/no)   Yes
     When can a person make an appeal  

     A person can make an appeal for a visa refusal if there are sufficient reasons for appealing the decision.

    However, the appeal must be made in 75 days since the notification of refusal was sent. 

     Fee exemption for the issuance of a residence permit (yes/no) 


     When can a foreigner be exempted from fee payment  

     The immigration services in Cyprus provided by the Civil Registry and Migration Department are exempt of visa fee payments in the case where applicants are children with an age below 6 years old. 

     How long does it take to obtain a business visa?  

     It is recommended to initiate the procedure 1 month prior to the arrival, but in general such visas are processed in around 2 weeks. 

     Registration obligations  

     After the arrival, the foreigner must register in the Aliens’ Registry in a period of maximum 7 days. 

     What happens in case of overstaying a visa?  

     Overstaying a visa is illegal.

    Persons in this situation can be fined and the fine is established in accordance with the number of overstayed days.

    The person can also receive an interdiction to arrive in Cyprus for a period of time. 

     Ways to acquire citizenship

     Have Cypriot origins, become a permanent resident and apply for citizenship, marry a Cypriot citizen. 

     Requirements for citizenship by naturalization 

    Citizenship by naturalization refers to the procedure through which a person becomes first a permanent resident.

    The law states that a foreigner must have at leat 7 years of stay in Cyprus (out of which 5, as a permanent resident) in order to initiate the citizenship procedure.  

     Fees for citizenship application 

     The immigration services in Cyprus for citizenship by naturalization cost EUR 500. 

     Residency rights for refugees 

     – the right to live in any region of Cyprus;

    – access to employment;

    – right to social assistance;

    – right to healthcare;

    – right to register refugee children in public education units;

    – right to long-term/permanent residence and right to citizenship.  

     Laws on immigration in Cyprus   Cyprus Aliens and Immigration Regulations.  

    How can foreigners obtain a residence permit in Cyprus?

    Foreigners moving to Cyprus have to be aware of the fact that once they have arrived in this country, they should conclude a set of steps that will allow them to live here on a legal basis. The procedure for obtaining a residence permit varies based on the type of document one is interested in. The legislation in Cyprus provides two basic types of residence permits: temporary residence permits and permanent residence permits.

    With regards to temporary residence permits available for those who want to immigrate to Cyprus one should know that there are two categories: a temporary residence permit issued for employment purposes, divided into six main categories of employment, and the temporary residence permit known as the Pink Slip, which allows the right to live here as a visitor, but not the right to work. Our immigration lawyer in Cyprus can give you more details about these types of temporary residence permits.

    Foreigners should know that a temporary residence permit is required for non-EU nationals who are planning to stay here for a period longer than 3 months. The temporary residence permit is usually issued for a period of one year. Cyprus permanent residence permits can be obtained after five years of living in this country, under specific conditions. Foreigners who would like to immigrate to Cyprus can receive more details about the permanent residence permits from our team of lawyers.

    Cyprus is known as one of the most attractive touristic destinations in Europe. With beautiful landscapes and warm temperatures, and an attractive lifestyle, the country can be an ideal destination for foreigners who are seeking to relocate to a new country.
    Besides this, there are numerous economic advantages that can be obtained when moving to Cyprus, especially in the case of foreign businessmen who want to set up a company here. In case you want to immigrate to Cyprus, our team of lawyers can give you more details about these advantages. You can also rely on us if you want to know the basic legal requirements for obtaining the Cyprus permanent residence.

    Visas for Cyprus

    There are around 134 countries for which a visa for Cyprus is required. Citizens from Botswana, Belize, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Haiti, India, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Fiji, Georgia, Iran, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Laos, Kenya, Jamaica, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, Mongolia, Nepal, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tanzania, Suriname, Turkey, UAE, Vietnam, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, Thailand, Ukraine, Russia, Qatar, Philippines, Peru, North Korea, Cuba, China, Bahrain, Cambodia, and Colombia must apply for a visa to enter Cyprus. Here are the main categories of visas for Cyprus:

    • short-stay or travel visas are available for 90 days – these allow several entries in the country in a year;
    • long-stay visas for persons intending to stay more than 90 days in Cyprus, for work or study purposes;
    • transit visas are required to travel from one country to another by transiting through Cyprus;
    • airport transit visas for citizens passing through the international transit area in airports to get to another flight.

    The application for a short-stay visa is straightforward and it involves a series of conditions that must be respected:

    • the application form with complete personal information;
    • a valid passport for at least 3 months;
    • the travel itinerary comprising the return flight ticket;
    • the proof of accommodation in Cyprus.

    It is also necessary to have an official letter invitation if the purpose of the visit to Cyprus is business or family reunification, as well as information about personal funds that should suffice for the entire stay in Cyprus. All the steps involved in a visa application for Cyprus can be explained by one of our immigration lawyers in Cyprus.

    Those interested in relocation to Cyprus should ask for legal assistance and guidance. It is quite recommended to rely on the support of a specialist in immigration in Cyprus who knows the legislation and who can guide foreigners throughout the entire visa application process.

    Below, you can watch a short presentation on the main immigration services in Cyprus:

    Permanent Residence Program in Cyprus

    Non-EU citizens who intend to make investments in Cyprus can benefit from special programs sustained by the Ministry of Interior in this country. An investment of at least EUR 300,000 in real estate properties is one of the conditions to enter the Cyprus Permanent Residence Program.

    This condition refers to a single applicant and the spouse. Also, the investor must deposit EUR 30,000 in a Cypriot bank account, a sum that will be locked for 3 years. Another condition involves an annual income of at least EUR 30,000 derived from overseas or country of origin, from incomes like salaries, pensions, dividends, rents, etc. Additional EUR 5,000 is required for each child in the family.

    Among the benefits of this program we mention the possibility of traveling freely without the restriction to stay in Cyprus. Children can benefit from top education and excellent private schools in Cyprus, plus a climate and great conditions of living alongside family members.

    The Cyprus Permanent Residence Program is quite appealing to foreigners who want to take advantage of great standards of living provided by this country. If you need legal advice and more details on this matter, please feel free to discuss it with our immigration lawyers in Cyprus. We have experience in a wide range of immigration matters, including the ones related to specific programs.

    Choosing our immigration services in Cyprus

    Cyprus welcomes foreigners who want to enjoy great standards of living in a safe and appreciated country. There are specific countries that require attention for entry visas for Cyprus, a matter where our immigration lawyers can offer in-depth support and assistance.

    The Immigration Law in Cyprus is quite permissive, yet there are specific conditions to understand and to respect, mostly in matters of visas, work permits, and residence permits, which can also open the legal pathway to applying for Cypriot citizenship. These aspects enter our concern, so persons interested in immigration to Cyprus can rely on the support, professionalism, and competence of our specialists.

    In the case of company relocation to Cyprus, the requirements are straightforward and mostly refer to the types of documents that must be prepared, starting with a declaration signed by company owners and ending with the approvals issued by the authorities in Cyprus. We also take care of these matters and we can provide immediate assistance and dedicated services to each client who gets in touch with us.

    How can a foreigner become a Cypriot citizen?

    Traditionally speaking, foreigners had four different legal options that would provide them with the opportunity of gaining the Cypriot citizenship. One of the most common ways to become a Cypriot citizen is through naturalization, the process through which a foreigner relocates here on a permanent basis, with the purpose of becoming a permanent resident and a citizen of the country.

    Another legal option of moving to Cyprus and become a citizen is by marrying a Cypriot citizen. Here, certain conditions will apply and the citizenship will not be granted automatically, as several years of staying in this country are required. The option of becoming a citizen is opened for those who are citizens of other countries, but who have a Cypriot origin.

    The fourth option, which is no longer available, was the right to Cypriot citizenship through investments, but this program is no longer active, as it was abolished in November 2020. Of course, one has to know that children who are born in Cyprus will gain the Cypriot citizenship, as long as one of the parents is a Cypriot citizen. The same right is granted even if the child is born on a foreign territory, if a parent is a Cypriot citizen. For more information on citizenship matters, please send your inquiries to our Cyprus immigration lawyers.

    What are the benefits of a Cypriot passport?

    A Cypriot passport can only be granted to persons who have obtained the Cypriot citizenship through any of the legal means presented above. While permanent residents have almost the same rights as the Cypriot citizens, limitations do apply and they will not be entitled to the Cypriot passport. They will live here under a permanent residence permit, which will allow them to stay on a permanent basis, but they will use the passport from their country of residence.

    The Cyprus immigration law allows foreigners to have a Cypriot passport after they have completed the citizenship procedure. The document grants full rights, which are the same as the ones of the persons who have been living in Cyprus for generations, as Cypriot citizens, without any distinctions.

    Those who have a passport issued by the Cypriot authorities are allowed to vote and they can use their passport for travelling without any limitations. It must be noted that the holders of a Cypriot passport can travel in the European Union (EU) without any restrictions and without any visas, as the country is a member state of the EU and applies the right of free movement of persons for the citizens of the EU.

    One should also know that such passport holders can enroll in EU education institutions following the same rules of law that are available for the citizens of each EU member state. The rights obtained through this passport also refer to employment opportunities in the EU or to medical care.

    What are the minimum conditions of obtaining the citizenship in Cyprus?

    If you are moving to Cyprus for the purpose of becoming a citizen, it must be noted that you have to live here for a period of 7 years prior to starting this procedure. According to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, those who are related to Cypriot citizens (parents or children only) can start the citizenship procedure after living here for five years.

    When starting this procedure, one has to provide evidence on the permanent residency in Cyprus and then to submit a set of documents, which can vary based on the legal pathway through which the citizenship will be obtained. Our Cyprus immigration lawyers have prepared a basic list of documents which are necessary in this case:

    • the birth certificate of the applicant and his or her clean criminal record;
    • copies of the person’s passport showing all the arrivals and departure from Cyprus;
    • copies of an advertisement from a local newspaper in which the person announces that he or she has applied for naturalization;
    • two passport photos and the payment of the fee required for this procedure (of EUR 500);
    • in the case in which the applicant has to present documents from his or her origin countries, the documents have to be translated into Greek or English.

    Then, the person has to submit the application form, which will vary based on his or her particular situation. Here, you can rely on our Cyprus immigration lawyers for in-depth advice, as these application forms will range based on the legal pathway of acquiring the citizenship, as well as on the age of the applicant (for instance, the form M71 is a general application form, while the M123 refers to the application for citizenship of a minor person who has Cypriot origins).

    Migration trends in Cyprus

    When referring to Cyprus migration, the country is characterized by a high number of immigrants interested in living and working here, but it must be noted that there is a high level of emigration as well. However, the rate of immigrants moving to Cyprus is much higher compared to the ones leaving this country. Below, we present some of the main trends:

    • in 2017, Cyprus was the 3rd EU country with the highest immigration volume, compared to the size of the Cypriot population;
    • a total of 17,350 persons immigrated to Cyprus in 2017;
    • from the total number of immigrants, EU citizens accounted for 9,315 persons;
    • non-EU immigrants moving to Cyprus accounted for 8,035 persons in 2017;
    • at the level of the same year, 3,956 Cypriot citizens relocated to other countries.

      Persons interested in receiving immigration services in this country are invited to contact our immigration lawyer in Cyprus. Our team can assist with additional services, other than the ones presented in this article. Please contact our lawyers for professional assistance and tailored advice concerning the most suitable way you can immigrate to Cyprus.