Our expat services in Cyprus are designed to assist foreigners relocated here for various purposes. An expat is a type of immigrant who arrives here for a definite period, generally for the specific purpose of working in this country as a full-time employee, part-time employee or as a person enrolled in local universities.
The expat community in Cyprus is a diverse one and it is comprised of citizens of the European Union (EU) and non-EU citizens. As a general rule, most of the foreigners are EU citizens, but the country is an attractive place to relocate on a long-term basis for Indians or Russians. Given the fact that the expat community is so varied, our Cyprus immigration lawyers have created a set of expat services designed for all foreigners, regardless of their nationality. Expats considering applying for the Cypriot citizenship can also rely on us.
An expat can apply for citizenship in Cyprus through the process of naturalization. This means that the person needs to become a permanent resident of this country and then comply with any other legal requirements.
There is also the possibility to become a citizen as an expat through marriage with a Cypriot national. For these 2 options, different residency requirements are applicable.
While for Cypriot citizenship by naturalization, the foreigner must be a resident for minimum 7 years at the moment when the application for citizenship is initiated, for citizenship by marriage, the foreigner must be a resident only for 2 years.
There is also the possibility to apply for citizenship without being a resident of this country, and this is limited only to citizenship by marriage.
Thus, in the case of a married couple, the foreigner who wants to acquire citizenship does not have to present evidence on having a residency permit in Cyprus when the person lives abroad.
For couples married for 3 years, the foreign applicant must present a reason for which he or she does not live in Cyprus, but for those married for more than 5 years, this rule will not be applied.
If you will decide to apply for citizenship, you will need to provide evidence on your residence permit in Cyprus, all the departures and arrivals in Cyprus completed throughout the years and other documents.
The arrivals and departures are necessary in determining the overall number of days spent in this country. Please mind that you will also have to pay a processing fee of EUR 500.
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What are the basic expat services in Cyprus?
Foreigners moving to Cyprus for a long period of time must comply with a set of legal requirements, that can vary based on the person’s nationality and the purpose of stay. This is why a foreigner can generally be required to apply for a residence permit, obtain a visa in accordance with the purpose of stay, register with the local immigration authorities and similar procedures. Considering these, our Cyprus immigration lawyers can assist expats in matters such as:
• obtaining a temporary residence permit – the first type of permit that can be used by foreigners when relocating to Cyprus;
• obtaining a Cyprus permanent residence permit – this document grants the right to unlimited residency in Cyprus and it can be obtained after 5 years of living here;
• applying for a visa – expats interested in moving to Cyprus who are citizens of third-party countries will generally have to apply for a visa, unless there is a specific exemption granted in this sense;
• obtaining a work permit, including the EU Blue Card (issued for persons who are highly skilled employees);
• assisting expats interested in starting a business in this country.
The expat services in Cyprus also refer to family reunification programs, through which a foreign person who lives here can bring his or her close family members in this country. Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can also assist foreigners with professional advice on the documents that should be prepared upon their arrival in this country.
We also have the necessary legal expertise in helping our clients with professional assistance on legal matters that must be completed after the arrival in this country. Those who want to purchase a property here can receive information from our lawyers, and our expat services in Cyprus can also be employed by those who want to sign a rental contract in this country or register for taxes.
How can an expat obtain permanent residency in Cyprus?
As per the Cyprus immigration law, permanent residency can be obtained after 5 years of uninterrupted stay in this country. Still, there is a faster way of attaining permanent residency in Cyprus through investments, as long as the foreigner is willing to invest at least EUR 300,000 in the real estate industry. Obtaining citizenship by investment in Cyprus is thus also possible, provided that the foreign national maintains the investment (does not sell the property, among other conditions).
It must be noted that expats moving to Cyprus under the investment program can obtain permanent residency in only two months and this right is also extended to their close family members (spouse and children). Those interested in this procedure must know that they can purchase one property with a minimum value of EUR 300,000, but they can also purchase maximum two properties if the threshold of EUR 300,000 is reached. You can find out more details on this investment program from our Cyprus immigration lawyers.
How many foreigners live in Cyprus?
Cyprus has one of the highest immigration rates in the EU, compared to its population. Although the country has a little over 1 million inhabitants, it has a very diverse society, when we refer to the ethnicities living here and the nationalities of the foreigners moving to Cyprus. Currently, the following data is available:
• in 2019, the Cypriot population was estimated at 1,2 million citizens;
• the country has approximately 110,000 foreigners who have Cyprus permanent residence;
• it is estimated that a total of more than 170,000 foreigners chose Cyprus immigration;
• the largest share, of more than 106,000 persons, are citizens of the EU;
• based on the ethnic groups of foreigners, the highest rates are registered for the following – Greeks (17,3% of the foreigners), British (14,8%) and Romanians (13,6%).
Please contact our Cyprus immigration lawyers for additional information on other expat services that can apply to your case. Our lawyers will prepare tailored assistance, depending on the specific particularities of your situation and you can also address to us if you need assistance on the procedure of obtaining the Cypriot citizenship. We can make your process of moving to Cyprus much easier.