Cyprus Visas and Residence Permits
Updated: Sep 1
Visa is an official permit for an individual to cross certain geographical borders under pre-defined conditions.
Any individual who wishes to visit Cyprus (with the exception of Cypriot citizens, holders of residence permits, citizens of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein), shall obtain a visa authorizing the entry. State control is conducted at all airports and ports of the Republic and it is illegal to enter the country elsewhere.
1. Types of Cyprus entry Visas
There are several types of visas, which have their own characteristics and eligibility terms. Prior to your trip in Cyprus, you shall apply for the relevant visa at the Consulate of Cyprus in your country. Each type of visa is analysed below:
A. Airport Transit Visa This type of visa permits entry to the territory of Cyprus during an international transfer but does not allow the holder to actually visit the island. This visa must be obtained by all individuals transferring in Cyprus, except holders of EU passports and residence permit in the European Union, EU member-state, United States, Canada, Andorra, Japan, San Marino, or Monaco.
B. Transit Visa This visa is required when crossing Cyprus by land. It is issued for a single trip of a period no more than 5 days. The permit may sometimes imply multiple transit. To be eligible for this type of visa, your entry needs to be guaranteed, and the usual route requires crossing the Cyprus borders.
C. Group Visa This visa can be issued for a group of 5 to 50 individuals and is valid for up to 30 days. In this case, it is important that the entire group enters and leaves Cyprus in the same composition.
D. PRO-visa This visa is issued only to citizens of Russia or Ukraine who fly directly to Cyprus and allows them to stay in the Republic for up to 30 days in a period of 6 months. It is vital that the passport of the individual who applies for PRO-visa has a validity of at least 6 months. This type of visa is issued free of charge within one business day.
E. Short-term visa This visa is issued to individuals who visit Cyprus without the purpose of immigration. It is eligible for one-time or multiple entries to the Republic as long as the visits are during the designated period and your stay in the Republic does not exceed 90 days.
F. Tourist visa This type of visa permits one time or multiple entries to Cyprus for no more than 90 days within 6 months.
G. Multi-entry visa This type of visa is valid for 1 year and permits the holder to visit the Republic multiple times in a period of 6 months as long as the total travel period does not exceed 90 days. A multi-entry visa is suitable for those who plan to do business in Cyprus or have other goals requiring frequent trips there.
H. Schengen visa Despite the fact that Cyprus is not part of the Schengen Area, holders of Schengen visa do not need to obtain a national Cyprus visa. Thus, someone who has visited a Schengen Area and has a valid permit, can visit Cyprus in the remaining time of their permit.
2. Who is required to obtain a Cyprus Visa?
A. Persons who are not required to have a Cyprus Visa.
Holders of Diplomatic and Service passports of Armenia, China, Colombia, Iran, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the Seychelles. · Holders of Diplomatic, Service and Official passports of Cuba and Egypt. · All civilian air and sea crew. · The flight crew and attendant on emergency or rescue flights and other helpers in the event of disaster or accident. · The civilian crew of ships navigating in international waters. · The holders of laissez-passer issued by the United Nations to their officials. · School pupils having the nationality of one of the countries whose citizens are required a Cyprus visa and who reside in one of the countries whose citizens are not required a Cyprus visa, and are traveling in the context of a school excursion as members of a group of pupils accompanied by a teacher from the school in question. · All persons who are in possession of work permit issued by the Civil Archive and Migration Officer. · All persons who possess permanent or temporary residence permit issued by the Civil Archive and Migration Officer. · All persons who possess study permit.
B. Citizens of certain countries, more specifically 58 states, 1 entity or territorial authority and 2 special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China, are not required to have a Cyprus visa for a stay up to 90 days, provided they are bona fide visitors
C. Citizens of certain countries, more specifically 134 states and 1 entity or territorial authority, are required to have an entry visa to Cyprus ·
D. Countries whose citizens require a Cyprus Airport Transit Visa
Citizens of 13 countries and persons who are not necessarily citizens of those countries but who possess travel documents issued by their authorities are required to have Airport Transit Visa (ATV). (Note: Flight crew who are citizens of a Contracting Party to the Chicago Convention are exempted from the ATV requirement.)
CYPRUS RESIDENCE PERMITS
Any foreign national who wishes to live in Cyprus for more than 3 months, is legally obliged to obtain a residence permit. Cyprus offers 3 types of residence permits, namely:
A. Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit (Pink Slip)
B. Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit
C. Cyprus Immigration Permit
In all above cases, the individual shall obtain an entry visa, depending on the purpose of travel, prior to their arrival in Cyprus and residence permit application. Below, we analyze the 3 types of permits and the circumstances under which they can be obtained.
1. Types of Residence Permits
A. Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit (Pink Slip)
i. What is a Temporary Residence Permit?
The Temporary Residence Permit is typically issued for one of the following reasons:
a) Employment in the Republic of Cyprus
b) Studying in an Educational Institution in Cyprus
c) For family Reunification purposes
d) For Visitors
This type of residence permit is usually issued for a period of 1 year and can be renewed on an annual basis. Holders of the Temporary Residence Permit can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit after 5 years of continuous residence in the Republic. However, while you are living in Cyprus under the scheme of the Temporary Residence Permit, you cannot leave the country for longer than 180 days, otherwise your permit will be automatically cancelled.
a) Temporary Residence Permit for employment purposes
Every foreign national who comes to Cyprus for employment purposes has to get a residence permit upon arrival. Issuance of a temporary residence permit does not automatically grant the holder the right to work in the Republic. In order to be able to work, the individual shall obtain an employment permit and work visa.
b) Temporary Residence Permit for Students
Foreign Students who come to Cyprus on a Study Visa shall register their stay and obtain a residence permit upon arrival. Individuals who reside in the Republic under a Study Residence Permit are not allowed to work full-time, and even so, only in certain sectors of employment.
Their residence permit can be renewed for the duration of their studies.
c) Temporary Residence Permit for family reunification purposes
Non-EU family member of Cyprus citizens or legal residents can obtain a temporary residence permit upon arrival to Cyprus.
d) Temporary Residence Permit for visitors
Non-EU citizens who have obtained a visitor visa and wish to prolong their stay in Cyprus for more than 90 days, can acquire a Temporary Residence Permit for visitors. They should apply for this permit prior to their Visa’s expiration date. Holders of this type of permit do not have employment rights in the Republic.
In order to be eligible for this type of permit, the applicant needs to show proof of stable and adequate income from abroad (could be employment income, pension, bank deposits etc.), to cover their living expenses while residing in Cyprus (typically €10.000 for every adult and €5.000 for every minor) and also sustain a bank account in a Cyprus bank institution. Applicants should transfer a minimum of €15.000 from abroad to their Cyprus bank account and have proof in the form of a SWIFT or confirmation letter from the bank institution.
ii. Temporary Residence Permit Requirements
All applicants shall submit the following documents to the relevant authorities:
· Temporary Residence Permit Application Form, dully completed and signed
· Proof of accommodation in Cyprus (such as rental agreement)
· Proof you have the required financial means to sustain yourself in Cyprus
· Medical certificate, stating you are negative for Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS and syphilis, issued within the past 4 months
· Proof you have obtained health insurance
· A copy of your passport’s relevant pages (personal information, expiry/issuance date, previous visas)
· Bank Guarantee Letter, issued by a Cyprus bank institution with validity of 10 years, covering possible repatriation expenses (amount depends on the country of origin).
· Other documents which are related to the reason you want to live in Cyprus, such as:
o Marriage/birth certificate for family reunion
o Work Permit for employment
o Proof of enrolment in an educational institution for international students
iii. What are the benefits of the Temporary Residence Permit?
The holder of a Cyprus Temporary Residence Permit is allowed to:
a) Stay in Cyprus for the duration of the permit
b) Re-enter Cyprus if they travel abroad without the need for a visa
B. Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit
i. What is a Permanent Residence Permit?
The Permanent Residence Permit is valid for up to five years, and can be renewed before it expires. The Permanent Residence Permit is typically issued for one of the following reasons:
a) For people who reside in Cyprus under the Temporary Residence Permit scheme for at least 5 years. In this case, the applicant shouldn’t have leaved Cyprus for a period longer than 3 months and have an open-duration work contract or for a minimum period of 18 months.
b) For investors who fulfil certain criteria and invest a minimum of €300.000 in either residential property, real estate, equity of local companies or securities. Further information can be found in our article Cyprus Permanent Residency.
ii. What are the benefits of the Permanent Residence Permit?
The holder of a Cyprus Residence Permit has similar rights to Cypriot citizens, such as:
a) No restrictions to employment and self-employment opportunities
b) Freedom of movement within the EU territory
c) Access to Social assistance and Social protection
d) Various tax benefits
C. Cyprus Immigration Permit
A residence permit can be obtained for foreign nationals who fall under one of the following categories:
i. Category A
Persons who intend to work as self-employed in agriculture, cattle breeding, bird breeding or fish culture in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession adequate land or a permit to acquire same, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of approximately €430,000 and such an employment should not negatively affect the general economy of the Republic.
ii. Category B
Persons who intend to work as self-employed in mining enterprises in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of approximately €350,000) and such an employment should not negatively affect the general economy of the Republic.
iii. Category C
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 capital of approximately €260,000 and such an employment should not affect negatively the general economy of the Republic.
iv. Category D
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.
v. Category E
Persons who have been offered permanent employment in the Republic, which will not create undue local competition.
vi. Category F
Persons who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income, high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession. The annual income required should be at least €9568,17 for a single applicant and moreover at least €4613,22 for every dependent person, but the Immigration Control Board may demand additional amounts as necessary. Most applicants come under this Category, the majority of them being pensioners or retired persons.
2. Processing Time for Cyprus Residence Permits
The processing time of every application depends on the purpose and the complexity of each specific case. As a general outline, please see below the typical processing times based on the purpose of the application:
· For employment: approximately 4 months
· For studying: approximately 3 months
· For family reunification: approximately 9 months
· For visitors: approximately 3 months
For permanent residency: approximately 12 months or 2 months if via the fast-track option
*DISCLAIMER: This article and its publication are intended to provide a brief introduction and act as a general guide. This is provided for information purposes only and cannot be utilized as a substitute for professional advice. This document does not represent a legal opinion and one must not rely on it without receiving independent advice based on the particular facts of its own case. No responsibility is accepted by the author or the publishers for any loss suffered from acting or refraining from acting based on the contents of this publication.
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