Residence and Employment
Non-EU nationals wishing to reside and work in Cyprus need to apply to the Civil Registry and Migration Department for a Temporary Employment and Residence Permit. These Permits are usually issued for a period of 1-2 years but become void if the holder is out of Cyprus for more than 90 continuous days. They can be renewed upon expiry.
Non-EU nationals can be employed by a Cyprus registered international company, as long as more than 50 percent of its shareholders are foreign nationals. Employment by companies owned by Cyprus or other EU nationals is subject to very restrictive regulations.
The application package for the issue of the Temporary Employment and Residence Permit includes a number of documents such as a clean criminal record, medical insurance certificate, bank guarantee and medical examination results.
If the Cyprus registered international company shall employ a non-EU national for the first time, it must submit an application to become eligible to employ non-EU nationals. This application is submitted concurrently with that for the issue of a Temporary Employment and Residence Permit to the first non-EU national employee. The company’s application package consists of a number of corporate documents such as company incorporation, directors’ and ultimate shareholders’ certificates, as well as deposits of funds in banks operating locally.
The dependents of employed non-EU nationals (wife/husband and children under 18 years old) can also obtain Temporary Residence Permits through a separate application submitted under the Family Reunification process. These Permits are issued for one year and can be renewed upon expiry.
The above permits are issued within 7-10 working days after application submission. Close to their expiry, applications for renewal must be prepared and submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
Residence and Employment
Non-EU nationals wishing to reside permanently in Cyprus can do so by applying for an Immigration Permit on the basis of one of the Categories mentioned below. This Permit is granted for an indefinite duration to non-EU nationals who comply with the requirements of applying under each Category.
The Immigration Permit grants non-EU nationals, as well as their wife/husband and children under 18 years old, the right to permanently reside in the country and travel to Cyprus without immigration entry procedures.
Applications are submitted on the basis of one of the following categories:
Persons who intend to work as self-employed in a trade or profession in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal the required capital and that such an employment should not affect negatively the general economy of the Republic.
Persons who intend to work as self-employed in a profession or science in the Republic, provided that they have academic or professional qualifications for which there is demand in Cyprus. Possession of adequate funds is also necessary.
Persons who have been offered permanent employment in the country which will not create undue local competition.
Persons who have fully and freely at their disposal a secure and regular annual income, which is high enough to provide a decent living in Cyprus without having to engage in any business, trade or profession.
Applications are reviewed by the Immigration Control Board and the Minister of the Interior grants final approval. Examination and processing of applications takes around 12 months.
Category F 6(2) – Expedited procedure
An expedited procedure which complements Category F enables the granting of an Immigration Permit to non-EU nationals who invest in Cyprus. These permits are granted on the basis of the following requirements. Applicants must have:
– Purchased in Cyprus one or two new real estate properties with total purchase cost of at least €300,000 (excluding VAT). At least €200,000 of the purchase cost must be settled
– A secure and steady annual income transferred on a regular basis from abroad to a bank operating in the country. The income should derive from sources other than employment in Cyprus
– Funds transferred from abroad and deposited in a Bank operating in Cyprus in a 3-year Fixed Deposit Account
Applications are reviewed by the Civil Registry and Migration Department and the Minister of Interior grants final approval. Examination and processing of applications takes around 2-3 months. The Immigration Permit continues to be valid provided that the holder visits Cyprus at least once every two years.
The application package for the issue of an Immigration Permit under Procedure 6(2), includes (and is not limited to) a number of documents such as title deed or purchase agreement for residential property and receipts of payments, evidence of a secure annual income and bank certificates for deposits etc.
A Long-Term Residence Permit is granted to non-EU nationals who have resided legally and continuously in Cyprus for a period of at least five years. A Long-Term Residence Permit has a five-year duration and is renewable. It allows the holder to permanently reside in Cyprus without having to go through immigration procedures such as visas, or the issue and renewal of Temporary Residence Permits.
Applicants should be able to present an employment contract of at least 18 months’ duration. They should have adequate income from employment or/and other sources to support themselves and their dependents. The applicants should also have available suitable accommodation for themselves and their dependents.
The holder has access to employment in all international and local companies, and has the right to change employer. Applicants should hold the certificate of knowledge of the Greek language and history (employees of international companies are exempted when they apply for the first time).
The application pack must be submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department. Required documentation includes (and is not limited to) a valid Temporary Residence Permit, income tax returns for the last five years, a tax clearance certificate, a statement of social insurance contributions for the last five years, and bank account statements.
Applications are reviewed by the Immigration Control Board and the Minister of the Interior grants final approval. Examination and processing of applications takes around six months.
Categories not eligible to apply for this permit include students, persons residing in Cyprus for vocational training and recognized refugees or asylum seekers.