The Cyprus Golden Visa program was launched in 2013 as a way to encourage foreign direct investment into the real estate sector of the Republic of Cyprus’s local economy. The Cyprus Permanent Residency Permit, a residency-by-investment scheme, offers the opportunity for third-party investors to obtain Cypriot residency in exchange for making a qualifying investment in local real estate, company share capital, or an investment fund.
This Golden Visa program stands out as one of the quickest and most straightforward options in Europe. Residency permits are usually granted within a mere two (2) months. To maintain their Cyprus Golden Visa residency status, investors are required to make a single visit every two (2) years. The Cyprus Permanent Residency Permit aligns with the provisions outlined in Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
There are many benefits to obtaining residency through the Golden Visa program. Investors and their family members can access EU-standard healthcare and educational systems. They will also benefit from Cyprus’s low taxation and double taxation policies. For many investors, the Golden Visa program is also a pathway for Cypriot citizenship and a Cypriot passport. It should be noted that investors who plan to apply for citizenship should reside in the country for seven (7) years and stay continuously for 365 days in the country before applying.
Applicants for the Cyprus Golden Visa program must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the residency permit:
The following are the eligible categories of dependents that can be included in the main application:
Unmarried children between 18 and 25 who are undertaking tertiary education abroad when the application is submitted and are financially dependent on the main applicant can submit their own application for a residency permit through the Golden Visa program. Children who wish to complete their tertiary education in Cyprus must apply for a student visa (temporary residence permit) before applying for the Golden Visa residency permit. In either case, they must pay the appropriate application fees, and an additional €10,000 will be added to the required annual income for each child.
No residence permits will be issued through the Golden Visa program to adult persons related to the main applicant who has not invested in Cyprus, including parents and in-laws.
Residence permits granted to dependents will remain valid even if the holder exceeds the age of 25 or their marital status, study, or financial situation changes. Future spouses or children cannot be included as dependents on the original application. If the main applicant’s Golden Visa is canceled, the residence permits of the dependents will be canceled as well.
The Cyprus Golden Visa program offers options for investors to make their qualifying real estate investments. Applicants have the option to invest in newly constructed residential properties, newly developed non-residential properties, or pre-owned non-residential properties. They can either choose to reside in the property with their family or rent the property for additional passive income. Investors can opt to split the investment amount across a maximum of two (2) properties provided the total investment amount exceeds €300,000. Properties can be owned by the main applicant alone, the main applicant and their spouse, or by a company where the main applicant and/or their spouse are owners.
Investors can choose to invest at least €300,000 in one of the following investment categories:
If the investor is alienated from the original investment, they must replace it immediately with another investment of the same or greater value. Failure to do so may result in a cancellation of the Golden Visa permit based on the provisions of Regulation 6 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations.
The real estate options offered by the Cyprus Golden Visa program are an ideal way for investors to contribute to the local economy while also seeing returns on their investments. Cyprus has a robust real estate market so property values will appreciate with time. Investors who opt to rent or purchase a new property for personal use have the option of making passive rental income. Investors who choose to invest in property for non-personal use can benefit from Cyprus’s vibrant tourism industry, which offers a lot of support to properties used in the hospitality and commercial sectors. It should be noted that there is a Value-added Tax (VAT) of 5% for the first purchased property used for personal use and 19% for property that is not for personal use. The VAT is added to all purchases and investments. There is also a €500 application fee that applies. Additionally, a fee of €70 for each person included in the application will be required for the issuance of the Alien Registration Certificate (ARC).
There are many benefits to seeking permanent residency in Cyprus through the Golden Visa program. Here are the major advantages of this program for the main investor and their dependents:
The Cyprus Golden Visa program allows investors and their dependents to live, work, and study in one of the safest and most beautiful island nations in the Mediterranean.
To maintain their residency, Golden Visa holders must only visit once every two years. This allows them the flexibility to maintain their EU residency and their international commitments.
Residents of Cyprus can benefit from low taxes and favorable double taxation agreements.
Investors and their family members will have access to EU-standard healthcare and educational systems.
The Cyprus Golden Visa program has one of the shortest wait times for applicants, with decisions issued in as little as two months.
Cyprus Golden Visa holders can expand their international business opportunities to the Republic of Cyprus and establish a wider network.
Investors interested in obtaining Cypriot citizenship and a Cypriot passport will find that the Golden Visa program helps to streamline the process. To qualify, investors and their dependents must maintain residency in Cyprus for seven (7) years and spend at least 365 continuous days in Cyprus before applying.
Investing in Cypriot real estate for personal or commercial use can yield promising returns. Cyprus’s robust economy and thriving tourism industry mean investors can benefit from rental income and property appreciation.
The Cyprus Golden Visa program is a great starting point for investors who want to obtain Cypriot citizenship eventually. To qualify for citizenship, applicants must have permanent residence in Cyprus for at least seven (7) years. The Golden Visa residency permit is valid for ten (10) years, which helps them meet this threshold.
After seven (7) years of legal permanent residency in Cyprus through the Golden Visa program, including permanent and continuous residence for the last year (365 days), applicants can apply for citizenship.
Applying for the Cyprus Golden Visa program can be done in a few straightforward steps. The following is the application process that applicants will undergo to submit their application:
Applicants must submit several mandatory forms. All forms can be found on the Civil Registry and Migration Department’s (CRMD) website.
Applicants must collect all the required documents before proceeding with the application process. These documents include a valid passport, proof of health insurance, a clean criminal record, and more.
Applications, including all required documents, must be submitted in person to the CRMD. Applicants can also submit the application through an authorized representative. In either case, they must arrange an appointment in advance. Applications submitted through a representative must be accompanied by a letter of authorization.
Applicants must pay a €500 fee when they submit the application. There is also a €70 fee for each person included in the main application for issuing the Alien Registration Certificate (ARC).
Golden Visa applications are processed by the CRMD and, provided they are complete and meet all the criteria, are submitted to the Minister of Interior through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior. The estimated processing time for the application is around two (2) months.
Once the application is approved, applicants must make the corresponding qualifying investment according to the investment option they chose. This investment must be maintained to retain the Golden Visa residency permit.
Once the application is submitted and the qualifying investment is made, investors and their dependents will receive their new residency permit. This permit allows them to live in Cyprus for ten (10) years, provided they maintain the eligibility criteria.
All applicants for the Cyprus Golden Visa program must submit several required documents that will be processed by the CRMN and the Minister of Interior.
The following are the basic documents all Golden Visa applicants should submit:
Applicants must complete the official application form accurately and ensure that the information provided matches other official identification documents.
Main applicants and their dependents must provide high-quality photocopies of the bio-data pages of their passports with all identification information clearly shown.
The main applicant must provide an up-to-date CV showing their professional and educational history.
Applicants must provide the latest tax return declaration from their country of residence as proof of their annual income.
Applicants must show that the capital used for their qualifying investment comes from outside Cyprus.
Applicants and their spouses must submit an official statement that they do not intend to engage in a lucrative employment activity in Cyprus with the exception of their work as Directors of a Cyprus-based company in which they invested, if applicable.
Applicants and their spouses must submit an original criminal record certificate from their country of residence and their country of origin if they are different.
The health insurance policy must cover all inpatient and outpatient care for the applicant, including their dependents, for the duration of their residency in Cyprus.
Applicants applying with their spouses must provide a marriage certificate that is duly certified and translated.
Applicants with children included in their application must provide their birth certificates. These documents must be duly certified and translated.
If the application is submitted through an authorized representative, applicants must be sure they include a letter of authorization stating that the representative has the credentials to receive their application packet.
If the children dependents of the main applicant are students, they must submit required documents stating their official status.
Applicants must provide a mailing address where they can receive official correspondence.
Holders of the Golden Visa must provide the CRMD evidence that they are maintaining their qualifying investment.
Applicants must continue to meet the required income threshold for themselves and their included family members.
Applicants must continue to provide proof that they hold a valid health insurance certificate that covers their medical care.
Applicants and their dependents must continue to provide a clean criminal record certificate from their country of residence each year.
Due to the number of requirements, it is highly advised that applicants seek the help of certified legal experts to assist with the application process. A specialized legal team can help them ensure compliance with the program’s criteria and regulations, as well as ensure they have correctly provided all required documents.
The initial validity period of a Cyprus Golden Visa residency permit is ten (10) years for the main applicant and their adult dependents. The residency permit must be replaced when it expires by following the renewal process.
To renew the Golden Visa, applicants must prove they can maintain their qualifying investment. They must also continuously show proof of health insurance and a clean criminal record each year for their residency. Renewal applications must be submitted through the CRMD and the Ministry of Interior.
Main applicants and their dependents must ensure that they return to Cyprus in person once every two years. Staying abroad for two years or more could result in the cancelation of the Golden Visa residency permit.
It’s vital that applicants maintain their qualifying investment and all other annual requirements to be eligible for renewal. Timely renewal is necessary to maintain residency in Cyprus. Failure to renew could result in the cancelation of the Golden Visa for the main applicant and all their dependents. Applicants are advised to prepare for renewal in advance of the actual process. This way, they will have time to prepare all necessary documents and submit them before the Golden Visa expiry date.
For many investors, the Cyprus Golden Visa is a pathway to eventually acquiring Cyprus citizenship and a Cypriot passport. The Golden Visa program allows holders to maintain permanent residency, which counts towards the qualifying number of years they need to be eligible for citizenship.
To apply for Cypriot citizenship, applicants must maintain permanent residency for seven (7) years. The ten-year duration of the Golden Visa allows them to fulfill this requirement while receiving the returns on their qualifying investment. Investors must also ensure they reside in Cyprus continuously and permanently for one year (365 days) before applying for citizenship.
There are many advantages to becoming a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus, including full access to EU voting rights, travel advantages, and social services. Holders of the Cypriot passport will have access to 177 countries visa-free for expanded business, education, or tourism opportunities. They can also take advantage of the high-level educational and healthcare institutions in the EU.
The application process for citizenship is straightforward, and there are no language requirements for investors. There is a €500 fee for submitting the application and a €500 fee once the citizenship application is approved. While maintaining a Golden Visa residency permit might be preferable to some investors who prefer to retain their original citizenship, Cypriot citizenship is a good option for those who want more travel mobility and access to the EU. The Golden Visa is a good option for nationals who cannot maintain dual citizenship and want to maintain a connection to their country of nationality. It’s important that investors take into consideration all the factors of their situation to determine the best option for their long-term goals.
Cyprus is a stunning Mediterranean island with elements of traditional charm combined with modern development. Life there runs at a leisurely pace, and many residents find that it is a safe place to raise a family. The island’s local population is very open and friendly, and there are many international residents.
Cyprus has a deeply rooted history that dates back thousands of years. Residents can explore archaeological sites, like Kourion and Salamis, that reveal the many civilizations, including Greek, Roman, and Byzantine, that passed through Cyprus.
Mountains and sea are both accessible within a day’s journey. The Troodos Mountains are an especially popular place to go trekking and camping. The beaches are well-known, and many residents go boating and swimming in the sea. Nature enthusiasts can explore the Akamas Peninsula's rugged terrain or relax on the tranquil shores of the Blue Lagoon.
There are also plenty of opportunities to visit vibrant cities like Nicosia, Limassol, and Paphos that offer a mix of modern amenities and old-world charm. Quaint cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and lively markets coexist with bustling shopping districts and vibrant nightlife, catering to a diverse range of tastes.
Cyprus has high-quality healthcare and education systems that are very beneficial to residents. The island has modern hospitals with staff that cater to international patients, as well as great schools for all ages. Cyprus’s universities attract international students making maybe of the cities very lively during the school year.
Due to its long history and traditions, residents can witness cultural events and festivals that are unique to Cyprus. These events celebrate everything from music and dance to drinks and food. The Limassol Carnival, Pafos Aphrodite Festival, and Larnaca Kataklysmos Fair are just a few examples of popular festivities residents can enjoy.
The cost of living in Cyprus will depend on the region, but overall, it is considered an affordable place to reside. Local cuisine is delicious and fresh, with many ingredients sourced locally. Dishes like souvlaki, halloumi cheese, and fresh seafood are readily available at reasonable prices. Transportation in Cyprus is efficient, with well-maintained road networks and public transport options. Residents can easily explore the island by car, and the proximity to Europe, Asia, and Africa makes international travel very accessible.
The minimum investment amount for the Golden Visa program is €300,000 plus VAT. Additional fees may apply depending on the investment option the applicant chooses and the amount of dependents they include in their application.
Yes, whether you purchase a house or apartment for personal or commercial use, it is possible to rent it out and collect the rental income. This is one of the many benefits of the Cyprus Golden Visa program.
No, there are no specific language requirements for the Cyprus Golden Visa program. However, proficiency in English or Cypriot Greek can be helpful for daily life.
No, it is not permitted to participate in lucrative employment while holding permanent residency status under the Cyprus Golden Visa program. The only exception is the position of Director held by the main applicant and/or their spouse in the company they invest in through the program. Applicants must submit a statement that shows they do not intend to violate this policy for the duration of their residency
Yes, if any of the investment or eligibility criteria are not met, it is possible that the Golden Visa permit for the main applicant and their dependents could be canceled. Some examples are if the qualifying investment, clean criminal record, and health insurance are not maintained. Investors must ensure they meet all criteria throughout the application process and for the entire duration of their residency in Cyprus.