Cyprus constitutes the ideal destination for those seeking to embark upon a new and desirable habitat. The island offers high living standards, extraordinary outdoor attractions and sceneries, a Mediterranean climate in conjunction with a stable, sound and contemporary business environment with quality infrastructure. In this way, the island signifies a suitable destination for a wide range of individuals either seeking a permanent oasis or potential business and employment opportunities. In combination with its ideal location, Cyprus offers a considerably advantageous gateway to Europe.
As with all other EU member states, third country citizens wishing to live and work in Cyprus are required to obtain relevant permits.
Residence permit: A permit granted by a nation which allows a foreigner to live within its borders, temporarily or permanently.
Work permit: A permit granted by a nation which allows a foreigner to work within its borders, temporarily or permanently.
Cyprus has 6 Different Categories of Residence Permits, otherwise known as Immigration Permits. An Immigration Permit will not be granted to anybody unless, such a person falls within the scope of one of the categories. The focal point of this document will rest on the most popular category of Residence Permits, broadly considered to be that referred to as a Category F Residency Permit.
Category “F” Residence Permit:
Persons who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income from abroad, high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession in Cyprus are eligible for this permit. According to the decision of the Ministry of Interior dated the 23/08/2012, the annual income required should be at least €30.000 for a single applicant and moreover at least €5.000 for every dependent person.
The majority of most applicants that come under this Category are pensioners or retired persons however, this is not a rule by any means. Anyone is at liberty to apply.
The said annual income may derive from wages from work outside of Cyprus, pensions, dividends, fixed deposits, investments, rents etc.
In order to obtain this Permit certain application forms must be thoroughly completed and signed. In addition, the applications must be supported by documents/ required certificates. The Permit is valid on a permanent basis but may be revoked by the authorities in certain instances . The Ministry of Interior anticipates that in light of the latest policy amendments dated the 23/08/12 regarding the issuance of the said permit, the procedure from the date of submission should take no more than 1-2 months. The Permit may be obtained by all family members simultaneously and they shall all have equal rights. Family members are considered to be the husband/wife of the applicant and any dependants.
Key aspects concerning category“F”immigration permits:
The Immigration Permit may be cancelled if the interested person fails to acquire residence in Cyprus within one year from the approval of the application, in case he/she is residing outside Cyprus.
The Immigration Permit may also be cancelled if he/she is absent from Cyprus for a period of two years. In a recent decision of the Ministry of Interior dated the 23/08/2012 it was explicitly stated that the applicant should visit Cyprus at least once every two years and this will suffice to maintain the permits’ validity.
It is possible for the Category F Permit to be issued without the candidate being present in Cyprus during the time of submission of the application and for a period of almost one year after the permit has been granted. Consequently, it would appear that an Immigration permit may be obtained and preserved as valid merely by residing in Cyprus for a short period of time. Initially, after obtaining the permit the individual must reside in Cyprus within a period of one year and subsequently, not be absent for a continuous period of 2 years.
The applicant must submit proof/confirmation from a Cypriot Bank that he has deposited legally from abroad the amount of at least €30.000. The aforementioned amount will be reserved/ blocked for at least the following 3 years.