Cyprus, the tiny Mediterranean island nation near Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria. This country has become so popular among expats, young and old, from all over the globe in recent years. This is due to a few main aspects: widespread English comprehension, beautiful climate, large expat community, inclusion in the EU, and (equally as important) some great residence and citizenship opportunities for those looking to live, work, retire, or invest abroad in Cyprus.
Types of Documentation
As is standard with most EU nations, traveling to Cyprus for tourism or any other short-stay rationale can be done on the standard 90-day visitor visa. This allows you to freely travel and stay within the country (or any other EU nation) for 90 days within a 180-day span.
However, if you would like to stay longer than 90 days in Cyprus, for whatever reason (work, study, retirement, etc.), you’ll need to apply for a Temporary Residence Employment (TRE) permit. To do this, contact your closest immigration office or consulate for details, proper forms, and required documents.
Largely, residence permits in Cyprus fall into six main categories:
- Category A: Self-employed in agriculture. Applicants will need to be able to prove that they have adequate land or a permit to buy said land, with at least 430,000 euros in capital at their disposal. Work must not negatively affect the economy of Cyprus.
- Category B: Self-employed in mining. Applicants must have at least 350,000 euros in capital and acquire the necessary permits and documentation to mine in the country. Work must not negatively affect the economy of Cyprus.
- Category C/D: Self-employed in trade or professions. Must have all relevant permits and qualifications, with 260,000 euros in capital.
- Category E: Offered permanent employment in Cyprus, which must not create undue local competition. This is the standard form of work visa in Cyprus, in which you will receive a job offer or employment contract after spending time interviewing in the country during the 90-day tourist visa.
- Category F: This category of residency permit is for those you will receive in Cyprus, but without working in the country. This is primarily for retired expats receiving foreign pensions or generating income through international investments.
It’s important to contact the appropriate immigration offices before applying for a residence permit in Cyprus, as the regulations are always subject to change. In general, however, the main documents you’ll need to provide to apply for a TRE are:
- A passport, valid for at least one year
- Four passport-size photos
- Birth certificate, marriage certificate if applicable
- Evidence of income, pension, savings, employment contract (how you will support yourself)
- Evidence of accommodation, where you will stay in the country (lease, contract agreement, deed, etc.)
- Complete application form
Once your residence permit in Cyprus has been approved, you will immediately receive an Alien’s Registration Certificate (Form P74), which allows you to live in Cyprus until your official TRE arrives (within six months).
Permanent Residency in Cyprus
After 5 years of temporary residence, you can apply for permanent or long-term residence in Cyprus.
To qualify, you will need:
- An employment contract of at least 18 months in length
- To prove sufficient income, as decided by the government, for yourself and any dependents to live a decent life in the country
- Proof that you have maintained your temporary residence permit for 5 uninterrupted, valid years
- Income tax returns from the previous 5 years
- A tax clearance certificate
- A statement of social insurance from the previous 5 years
- Recent bank statements
Citizenship in Cyprus
If citizenship is the end goal of your move abroad to Cyprus, there are a few main ways to accomplish this.
Naturalization – Expats can apply for citizenship through naturalization after seven total years of living in Cyprus. This includes the five years of temporary residence, plus two years of permanent residence.
Investment – Citizenship through investment, also known as the “Golden Visa,” can grant virtually immediate citizenship in Cyprus for high net worth individuals. For more information on this process and its requirements, read the Escape Artist article on investing abroad in Cyprus.
Marriage – Citizenship in Cyprus can be had after three years of marriage to a Cypriot citizen. You will also need to prove cohabitation during this period, and your Cypriot spouse will have to endorse the citizenship.
Bloodline – People with Cypriot origins can obtain citizenship in the country in a handful of different ways. This largely includes those born prior to August 16, 1960, or minors born after June 11, 1999.
Tyler Sorce is an American writer and digital nomad currently living in Lisbon, Portugal. In a past life he was a chef in Manhattan and Paris, follow his travels and favorite dishes on Instagram.