11 Jan Cyprus residency by investment [2023 Guide]
Although it is no longer possible to purchase citizenship in Cyprus, you can still apply for residency by investment. The process is swift, and the investment required is relatively low. In this up-to-date guide, we list the options and describe the process required to gain Cypriot residency, covering these areas:
- Cyprus residency by investment – What is it?
- Benefits of becoming a Cypriot
- Why choose Cyprus?
- Cyprus residency by investment options
- Cyprus’s residency by investment eligibility requirements
- How to apply for Cyprus residency – Step-by-step
- What is the minimum investment required for Cyprus residency?
- Are there any restrictions on the type of investment that can be made to obtain Cyprus residency?
- How long does the process of obtaining Cyprus residency through investment take?
- Can family members be included in the Cyprus residency by investment application?
- Is a physical presence required in Cyprus in order to maintain residency status?
- Can I work in Cyprus with a residency obtained through investment?
- Can I travel freely within the European Union with a Cyprus residency obtained through investment?
- Is it possible to obtain Cyprus residency by investing in real estate?
Cyprus residency by investment – What is it?
The Cyprus citizenship by investment program ended in November 2020. However, the Cyprus permanent residence program allows investors to live on the island and gain citizenship by naturalisation after five years. The scheme supports the Cypriot government’s aim to increase foreign investment and boost economic development. To apply, you need to make a minimum investment of EUR 300,000 in property or business in Cyprus.
Benefits of becoming a Cypriot
In addition to enjoying a fantastic location in a Mediterranean setting with wonderful landscape, history, culture and cuisine, Cyprus residents benefit from the following:
- Swift and efficient application procedure, with permits usually issued within two months
- The residence application can include the main applicant’s spouse, children under 25, parents, and parents-in-law.
- No requirement to reside in Cyprus before or during the application process – you only need to visit the island every two years to remain a resident (although a visit is required for biometric capturing during the application).
- Residency can be obtained through property purchase or business investment alone, with no government donations necessary.
- The property you purchase can be rented out.
- Favourable tax system – no worldwide dividends, interest, income tax, tax on gains or inheritance tax.
- No annual renewal of the residency is required.
- Residency is the first step towards Cyprus citizenship, which can be acquired in five years through naturalisation, as long as all the requirements are met.
- Children benefit from access to high-quality private schools offering English language courses.
- The country has excellent healthcare providers and enjoys some of the lowest crime levels in Europe.
Why choose Cyprus?
As a location, Cyprus has many natural advantages, including a Mediterranean climate with 320 days a year of sunshine, a beautiful landscape ranging from forests and olive groves to high mountains, breathtaking beaches and fresh cuisine, and a rich history and culture.
If you obtain citizenship through naturalisation after five years as a resident, your Cyprus EU passport allows visa-free access to over 173 countries, including the EU, the UK and most other countries in Europe, along with Japan, New Zealand, Canada and most of South and Central America.
With a Cyprus Permanent Residence Visa, you can apply for a Schengen visa, which gives you border-free travel across much of Europe.
Cyprus Residency by investment options
There are property and business options available, with a minimum investment of EUR 300,000.
There are two property investment options. As part of the residency application process, you must include proof of payment and submit the contract of sale to the Cyprus Department of Land and Surveys. The property can be bought by your company if you are a shareholder and it is registered in your name or the names of you and your spouse.
The options are summarised below.
Option 1: The purchase of new property worth at least EUR 300,000 plus VAT. The property should be a first-time sale comprising up to two housing units purchased from the same developer.
Option 2: The purchase of up to two new or used non-residential properties worth at least EUR 300,000 plus VAT.
Option 3: The purchase of shares worth EUR 300,000 in a physical Cyprus-registered company that operates in the country and employs at least five people.
Option 4: An investment of EUR 300,000 in the Cyprus Investment Funds Association’s collective investments (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF).
In addition, you must provide evidence of an annual income of at least EUR 30,000, a sum that increases by EUR 5,000 for a spouse and each additional child and EUR 8,000 for each dependent parent. This income can include salaries, rents, pensions and share dividends.
Cyprus’s residency by investment eligibility requirements
Applicants must be non-EU nationals over the age of 18. There are a few additional rules to observe:
- The property must be new, and resale property does not qualify for the scheme.
- The property must be purchased from the developer who built it.
- You must maintain a three-year fixed deposit with a Cyprus bank of at least €30,000. After three years, the money will be released without restrictions.
- You need to provide evidence of a secure annual income from abroad.
- You are not allowed to seek employment in Cyprus, although you can own a business registered there and receive dividends from it.
- You and the other applicants must have clean criminal records and should not be on the list of individuals whose assets have been frozen by the EU through sanctions.
- You and all family members included in the application must visit Cyprus once every two years as a minimum.
- If you are granted permanent residence in another country, your permanent residence permit may be revoked.
How to apply for Cyprus residency – Step-by-step
The Cyprus residency scheme is red-tape-free and low-cost, with a very swift admin process. These are the basic steps:
- Month 1: Talk with an agency such as Huriya Private to begin the application process. We will evaluate your circumstances and requirements and guide you through the application process, advising you on the required documents and compiling a suitable property shortlist, if required.
- Month 1: Submit the residency application plus an admin fee of EUR 500 and EUR 50 for biometric capturing.
- Month 2: Wait up to two months while the application is checked by the Civil Registry and Migration Department and forwarded to the Ministry of Interior.
- Months 2–3 (at the earliest): Once approval has been granted – a process that should take no more than two months – you and your fellow applicants must visit Cyprus within one year to obtain the permit.
Within this timescale, you must visit the migration office in Nicosia for the biometric data capture process. The data can be submitted with the residency application, during the two months of the application process, or immediately after residency has been approved.
What is the minimum investment required for Cyprus residency?
To take advantage of the Cyprus residency by investment program, you must buy property on the island worth at least EUR 300,000 or invest a similar sum in a Cypriot business or government investments.
Are there any restrictions on the type of investment that can be made to obtain Cyprus residency?
The investment must be in new property, either residential or commercial. It can span one or two properties and may include a residential and a commercial space, if desired.
How long does the process of obtaining Cyprus residency through investment take?
Cyprus residency by investment is one of the swiftest such schemes available. The application process is typically completed within two months, after which you will be able to collect your Cyprus residency visa.
Can family members be included in the Cyprus residency by investment application?
The application for Cyprus residency through investment can include your spouse, children under 18 and dependent parents and parents-in-law.
Is a physical presence required in Cyprus in order to maintain residency status?
Although investors in the Cyprus residency programme tend to spend a lot of time on this beautiful island, the scheme does not require you to do so. The residency permit can be maintained as long as you visit Cyprus once every two years.
Can I work in Cyprus with a residency obtained through investment?
You cannot work in Cyprus on a residency visa, although you can earn money from a Cyprus-based business. To work on the island, you need to be a citizen. This can be achieved through naturalisation five years after your residency permit is issued.
Can I travel freely within the European Union with a Cyprus residency obtained through investment?
With a Cyprus permanent residency visa, you can easily obtain a Schengen visa, which allows you to enjoy visa-free travel within the EU and the other Schengen countries of Europe.
Is it possible to obtain Cyprus residency by investing in real estate?
Residency in Cyprus can be achieved through a EUR 300k investment in property on the island. This can be either residential or commercial and must be newly built and not previously bought or sold.