Cyprus has been a member state of the European Union (EU) since 2004. However, the country is not a member state of the Schengen area. It must be noted that not all EU member states must automatically be members of the Schengen area, as specific conditions must be satisfied. Thus, foreigners cannot apply for a Schengen visa in Cyprus at this moment. This visa type can only be used for short-term stays and it can’t be used as a legal pathway for obtaining a Cyprus permanent residence permit.
Still, it must be observed that the Cyprus immigration law allows foreigners to use the Schengen visa for Cyprus-related visits, which can have the purpose of visiting the country, visiting family members, visiting friends or other purposes for which the Schengen visa can be obtained in any of the member states. Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can present more information on the applicable regulations. If you want details on other visa categories or how to receive the Cypriot citizenship, our lawyer remains at you disposal.
Please mind that, given the short validity of the Schengen visa, this immigration instrument can’t be used as a way leading to citizenship in Cyprus. This is a visa for short stays and it limits the rights and the benefits of the visa holder.
Thus, if you want to relocate here on a long-term basis/permanent, you can address to our team to find out what are the most suitable visa options.
Cypriot citizenship can be acquired when a person goes through the process of naturalization or by having Cypriot descendance. There is also the possibility to become a citizen through marriage with a Cypriot national.
Of course, for each of these 3 legal pathways the law prescribes different procedures the foreigners must comply with. The naturalization is the longest procedure for acquiring citizenship.
When a person will apply for citizenship through naturalization, it will be necessary to be the holder of a residency permit in Cyprus issued on a permanent basis. The person must provide evidence on living here for minimum 7 years at the moment of the application.
This is one of the most important requirements, amongst many others (having a permanent place of residence, providing evidence of income, etc.).
As a holder of a Schengen visa, a foreigner is not required to apply for a residence permit in Cyprus, due to the limited amount of time the visa is valid for.
One can have additional immigration obligations, including having a valid permit, after living in this country for a minimum period of 90 days. In this case, the visa holder should complete the basic requirements and obtain the residence permit.
Table of Contents
What is the current status of Cyprus with regard to the Schengen area?
Cyprus is a member state of the EU and a member of the Eurozone, but it is not included in the Schengen area. This means that the Schengen visa for Cyprus cannot be obtained by foreigners, at the moment. However, the Cypriot authorities are interested in becoming more integrated with the EU structures, and in 2019, the country has officially applied to become a member state of the Schengen zone.
The application made by the Cypriot authorities is currently being analyzed by EU officials and, if the documents submitted to the EU representatives will provide sufficient evidence that the country is able to implement the procedures applicable at the level of the Schengen zone, it will receive a positive answer and the country will become a member of the Schengen zone starting with September 2020.
Provided that the evaluation will receive a positive answer, foreigners traveling to this country will be able to apply for a Schengen visa in Cyprus. This type of visa is designed for short-term stays with a maximum duration of 90 days. It cannot be used for the purpose of moving to Cyprus and it can be obtained for business or travel purposes.
What is the Cyprus immigration law for Schengen visas?
Persons who are citizens of the EU or of any of the Schengen states do not need any to obtain a visa to visit Cyprus. However, other categories of individuals have to apply for a visa when arriving here, which is also a legal requirement for non-EU citizens who want to visit EU states or the Schengen states.
In the case of third-country nationals who are legally required to obtain a visa when entering the Schengen area, it must be noted that the Cyprus immigration legislation does not require them to apply for additional documents. This means that if a person has obtained a short-term visa which allows the right to reside on a definite basis in a Schengen state (or in more Schengen states), then the respective person can use the Schengen visa for Cyprus as well.
The foreigner can stay in Cyprus for the overall period for which the visa is valid. Provided that the person is interested in obtaining a Cyprus permanent residence permit, other legal options have to be explored. The same right is available for persons who have the status of refugees, as per the regulations of the United Nations Convention relating to Refugees of 28 July 1951. This regulation can apply as long as the foreign refugee has obtained a travel document issued by the EU authorities or by a member state of the Schengen area. In this case, they can use the Schengen visa in Cyprus.
Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can present more information on the rights refugees have when relocating to this country; our attorneys can also present more details regarding the rights granted to stateless persons, who can also use a Schengen visa for Cyprus or another immigration document issued by the EU authorities.
How many Schengen visas were issued to foreigners?
The Schengen visa is one of the most common immigration documents requested by foreigners who want to visit the Schengen states. The number of visas issued by the European authorities increases from one year to another and it must be noted that foreigners can use the Schengen visa for Cyprus starting 2014, when the country’s authorities accepted this document as a valid document, recognized under the Cyprus immigration law. In 2018, the Schengen states had the following data:
• according to the European Commission, Schengen states received more than 16 million applications;
• in 2018, the Schengen authorities issued a total of 14,26 million Schengen visas;
• France had the highest number of requests, of more than 4 million;
• Germany was the 2nd most important country, with more than 2 million applications;
• Italy accounted for 1,844,140 applications, while Spain had more than 1,7 million applications.
Please contact our Cyprus immigration lawyers for additional information on the types of visas that are available under the Cypriot law. Our lawyers can present more details on the legal grounds for which a person can use his or her Schengen visa in Cyprus. You can also address to our lawyer if you need information on the legal procedures one has to follow in the order to acquire the Cypriot citizenship by investment.