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Move to Cyprus from US

Move to Cyprus from US

As a member state of the European Union (EU), Cyprus provides the right of free movement to EU citizens; however, the nationals of certain countries can also enjoy relaxed regulations.

For instance, those who immigrate to Cyprus from US for a short period of time can arrive in this country without applying for a visa, as long as their stay is of maximum 90 days.

If you want to relocate to Cyprus from US, you can rely on our experienced lawyers. Our team can assist with information on the process of obtaining Cypriot citizenship.

What are the requirements for short-term stays in Cyprus?

American citizens who immigrate to Cyprus for short-term stays benefit from very simple immigration procedures. The Cyprus immigration law stipulates that US citizens are exempt from visa requirements in this particular case, the passport being the only document foreigners should present.

Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can present the reasons American citizens can use when arriving here on a visa exemption.

Although the visa requirement is not applicable to those who want to move to Cyprus from US for a short period of time, it is necessary to comply with certain rules.

For example, the passport must have six months remaining validity when traveling here. If the purpose of the stay is for tourism-related activities, the foreigner does not have to apply for a tourist visa.

 Quick Facts  
  Visas for short-term immigration from US to Cyprus  Americans can move to Cyprus from US for short-term stays without applying for a visa.  
Visas for long-term immigration from US to Cyprus Visas are necessary, and they can be issued for work, business, study, etc. 

Visa exemptions 

 Visas exemptions are granted for stays with a duration of maximum 90 days. 
Electronic visas available 

Not yet. Cyprus will implement the ETIAS system in 2023. 

Main reasons to immigrate from US to Cyprus 

One can move to Cyprus from US for any of the following: business, travel,  visiting family and friends, family reunification, work, investments, humanitarian reasons.

Institution in charge with the issuance of the visa 

Civil Registry and Migration Department

Fee system available for the processing of the visa (yes/no)  Yes  
Fees charged for the issuance of short-term/long-term visas  The fees range from EUR 15 (Category A visa) to EUR 60 (Category D visa).  
The procedure for permanent residency in Cyprus   If an American citizen wants to move to Cyprus from US on a permanent basis, then he or she will need to live here for a period of 5 years before applying for permanent residency. 
Documents required for permanent residency application  The documents required vary based on the purpose of stay. The foreigner must provide evidence on his or her identity, purpose of stay, the temporary residency card issued in Cyprus and other documents. 
Reasons for which permanent residency can be granted in Cyprus • investment; 
• working in Cyprus; 
• marriage to Cypriot national;
• family reunification.  
Right to permanent residency for refugees/asylum seekers (yes/no)  Yes 
Immigration pathways for highly skilled persons  C or D visas can be used for employment purposes.  
Legal pathways to citizenship   • 7 years of residency in Cyprus, for general situations;
• 5 years of residency for parents or children of Cypriot citizens;
• 2 years of residency, for persons married with Cypriot nationals (minimum 3 years of marriage ).   

Although Cyprus is a member state of the EU, it is not included in the Schengen area and, if the American traveling to Cyprus will stop to other European countries that are in the Schengen zone, he or she must be aware of specific rules of law that will apply.

It is necessary to provide evidence on the funds that will cover the costs of the stay, as well as a return ticket.

At the same time, persons who want to immigrate to Cyprus from US may do so for business purposes without a visa, but only for stays that are of up to 90 days.

Staying on the Cypriot territory for a longer period will imply for the American citizen to apply for a visa that will allow the right to a temporary residence permit. You can also find out from our lawyer the process of obtaining a Cyprus permanent residence permit, addressed to those permanently relocating here.

A residence permit in Cyprus that is issued on a permanent basis can be obtained only in certain situations. Most of the foreigners will be granted with a temporary residence permit.

For instance, a foreigner who will arrive here under the newest Cypriot visa, the digital nomad visa, will obtain a residence permit with a validity of 1 year. Upon renewal, the foreigner can stay here for an additional period of 2 years.

How can an American apply for a Cypriot residence permit?

Provided that the duration of the stay in Cyprus is of more than 90 days, any foreigner is required to apply for a residence permit. The Cyprus immigration law provides for several categories of residence permits.

Basically, they are divided between temporary residence permits and Cyprus permanent residence permits, but there are more legal grounds for which they can be obtained (employment, studies, family reunification programs).

Those who are the holders of permanent residence permits can also qualify for the issuance of the Cypriot citizenship.

As a general rule, persons who immigrate to Cyprus will apply for a temporary residence permit, which is issued for a period of one year. The document can be renewed (the specific forms can be found on the Web Portal of the Republic of Cyprus, administered by the Government of Cyprus).

However, American citizens can also request information on this document from our Cyprus immigration lawyers.

In order to obtain a temporary residence permit in Cyprus, the applicant has to submit a set of documents attesting the reasons for which the person arrived in this country, along with the standard application form.

Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can offer more details on the following documents, necessary for the application:

• the proof of accommodation in Cyprus and the proof on the financial means of the applicant;
• a medical certificate showing that the applicant is negative for a set of diseases;
• a police clearance certificate, showing that the applicant moving to Cyprus was not convicted for various crimes in his or her country of residence;
• a copy of the applicant’s passport, showing specific information such as the issuance date and the expiry date;
• documents presenting the reasons for which the residence permit is required and which will increase the opportunity to move to Cyprus from US.

Those planning to move to Cyprus from US can request our assistance for preparing the necessary documents.

Our team offers special services to US investors who are interested in obtaining citizenship by investment in Cyprus.

Americans can also apply for citizenship in other situations, that are regulated under the Cypriot law. Foreigners, regardless of their nationality, can become eligible for citizenship in the case in which they get married with a person who holds the Cypriot nationality.

Citizenship in Cyprus can also be obtained when a person has Cypriot roots. The regulations to apply differ based on the type of citizenship the person is entitled to.

Those who qualify for Cypriot citizenship by descent can apply by completing different application forms, based on the date when they were born. Thus, persons who were born after the date of 16 August 1960 who had a father that was a Cypriot national, must complete the form M121.

The same form applies to those born after 11 June 1999, who had a mother who was a Cypriot national at the time.

Where the applicants for citizenship are minors, it is also necessary to present a copy of the residence permit in Cyprus that was issued in the name of the child (temporary residency permits are allowed).

Among the accompanying documents, the certificate of citizenship of the parent is required (if the parent obtained the citizenship by naturalization). A registration fee of EUR 80 must be paid as well.


How can Americans obtain a work visa in Cyprus?

Americans who immigrate to Cyprus for the purpose of starting an employment activity are required to apply for a suitable visa (by suitable we mean designed for the level of education/skills the person has and the type of employment – temporary, full time, permanent).

From the beginning, it must be noted that Americans have to apply for a work visa, as this immigration document is necessary for all parties that are not part of the following:

  1. European Union (EU);
  2. EFTA – Liechtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland and Norway.

In general, the rule for the employment of foreign nationals is that the foreigner can occupy a job in Cyprus as long as the employer proves that they haven’t had any applications from locals or if they did, the locals who applied for the job are not suitable candidates.

The law further states that the next in line for the respective job are the foreigners from the EU and the EFTA states and if they haven’t made any employment applications or they were deemed unsuitable, then any third party nationals can apply for the job.

This is where Americans and any other foreign nationals can enter the process of obtaining a work visa.

According to the Cyprus immigration law, there are 3 types of work positions available for foreigners, as follows:

  1. executive director functions – the person is eligible when the salary given by the company in Cyprus is of minimum EUR 41,000 per month;
  2. middle staff management – the salary requirement varies from EUR 21,000 to EUR 40,000 per year;
  3. supporting staff.

Please mind that in practice, most of the foreign workers find it easier to get employed in multi-national companies working in Cyprus rather than in locally owned businesses.

In order to apply for a job, certain elements have to be satisfied. First of all, the applicant must already have a job offer with a company operating in Cyprus. However, the process to obtain the work permit falls under the responsibility of the employer.

The 1st part of the application is to obtain an approval from the Cyprus Department of Labor and if the institution provides a positive response, then the application can be continued with the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

With regards to the approval from the 1s institution, we mention that this procedure must be undertaken by your future employer. The institution will then issue a Letter of Recommendation, which will be further on used by your employer in the formalities with the 2nd institution.

If you plan to migrate to Cyprus for employment as soon as possible, you should know that the application process can take around 4 to 6 weeks after the Civil Registry and Migration Department receives of the necessary documentation.

However, in practice, the processing of the application can take up to even 6 months, therefore we advise you to start the procedure in due time and obtain the work visa and the Cypriot residence permit.

The application itself contains a wide list of documents, which are all compulsory for those who want to obtain the work permit. Our immigration lawyer in Cyprus can present the full list of documents, but you can discover below some of the main papers you should prepare:

  • standard forms, completed with the necessary details – Form M58 and Form M64;
  • a certificate of police clearance, issued in the applicant’s residence country (the document must not be older than 6 months when added to the file);
  • the employment contract signed with the Cypriot employer;
  • a medical certificate which shows the applicant doesn’t have certain diseases, such as TB or hepatitis B;
  • a health insurance recognized in Cyprus that covers the entire duration of the employment contract.

Our lawyer can present other information concerning the work visa. You can also rely on our team in the case in which you are interested in obtaining citizenship in Cyprus.

How many residence permits did Cyprus issue over time?

Americans who want to move to Cyprus from US or persons from other countries interested in obtaining a residence permit in this country must know that the data stored by the Civil Registry and Migration Department show that the basic reasons for which foreigners wanted a residence permit are the following:

• in 2016, the country had a total of 7,789 residence permits issued for employment purposes;
• 6,243 permits were issued to foreigners moving to Cyprus who had relatives here;
• 3,570 residence permits were issued for foreigners studying in Cyprus;
• the country had a total of 220 long term residence permits issued to foreigners;
• in January 2016, Cyprus accounted for 58,856 residence permits granted to foreigners.

Persons interested in receiving more details on the Cyprus immigration law can request additional information from our lawyers.

We invite you to contact our immigration lawyers for advice on how to apply for a visa in this country or how to obtain a residence permit if you want to immigrate to Cyprus from US.