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Case Studies

Cyprus residence permit: EU citizenship in five years

I want my son to choose which country to settle down in and where to build his career and raise a family. And I gave him a choice in the form of a Cyprus residence permit. Now it is up to him to decide whether to get citizenship in the EU or not.

Cyprus citizenship
Tamaz
61 years old,
the owner of a construction business
The name and photo of the client have been changed

Immigrant Invest has contacted the investor whose family obtained residence permits in Cyprus four years ago. Our experts have learned how their lives have changed with Cyprus residence permits and whether they plan to get Cypriot citizenship.

Cyprus permanent residence holders can apply for Cypriot citizenship five years after receiving the permanent residence. Cypriot passport allows its holders to travel visa-free to 176 countries, including the Schengen Area, the UK, Canada and Japan. The Cypriot citizens can live in any EU country without restrictions as the citizens of the European Union.

We will tell you how to apply for Cyprus citizenship after obtaining a residence permit in the country.

A backstory: reasons why the family decided to obtain permanent residence in Cyprus

Tamaz is the owner of a construction business. His wife, Nana, has a network of beauty salons. His son, Nikoloz, was entering a UK university at that time.

The family love to stay in Cyprus on vacation. The parents started to think about getting a residence in Cyprus to live there and be close to the sea, and their son would visit them on his days off.

In 2018 Tamaz turned to Immigrant Invest for advice. At that time, Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program was on. However, the investor chose Cyprus permanent residence with the prospect of getting a Cypriot passport after five years, as it costs less money than the citizenship program. Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program has been closed since November 1st, 2020.

The investor chose to purchase residential property — one of the investment options to get Cyprus permanent residence. The family chose a three-bedroom villa with sea views. It cost €400,000.

The purchase of a real estate for Cyprus permanent residence
Tamaz has bought a similar villa. There are three bedrooms and bathrooms in the duplex villa. The house has a private swimming pool on a large plot of land overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

Moreover, Tamaz and Nana became Cypriot taxpayers and registered their businesses there. They learned from Immigrant Invest lawyers that there is no tax on global income and inheritance in Cyprus. The corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in Europe — 12.5%.

We got lucky when we decided to move to Cyprus and obtain permanent residence there. We just wanted to buy a house near the sea in Cyprus. But it turned out we could save money on our taxes and be in the black.

Cyprus citizenship
Tamaz
61 years old, the owner of a construction business

Four years after obtaining permanent residence in Cyprus

In April 2022, Immigrant Invest contacted the family and found out how they have been doing since obtaining permanent residence in Cyprus.

The spouses live in Cyprus on permanent residence and go to other European countries for travel and business trips, as Georgian citizens can travel visa-free to the Schengen Area. Their businesses flourish and grow.

Their son, Nikoloz, is getting a bachelor's degree in finance this year, and he has serious intentions to obtain citizenship in Cyprus. 

For Nana and me, permanent residence is enough. We live in Cyprus, travel around Europe, and pay low taxes. Everything suits us. But I want my son to have a choice. With his education, he can find a good job either in the UK, or in another European country, or Cyprus and get citizenship there.

Cyprus citizenship
Tamaz
61 years old, the owner of a construction business

This spring, Nikoloz is applying for a job in Cyprus's investment and financial corporation. He is going to work and live in Cyprus to get Cypriot citizenship.

Immigrant Invest lawyers have advised Nikoloz on obtaining Cypriot citizenship.

Cyprus citizenship after obtaining a residence permit

Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate, with long dry summers from mid–May to mid–October, and mild winters from December to February, which are separated by short autumn and spring seasons

Cyprus citizenship after obtaining a residence permit

There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cyprus, including the town of Paphos, the Painted Churches in the Troodos Region and the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia

Cyprus citizenship after obtaining a residence permit

More than 45 beaches on Cyprus have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for cleanliness and safety

Steps to obtain Cyprus citizenship

In Nikoloz's case to get Cyprus citizenship is possible through naturalization. In Cyprus, the acquisition of this type of citizenship is fixed in the Registration Law 141 (I) of 2002.

1. The applicant needs to live in Cyprus for five years within eight years legally to obtain citizenship by naturalization. That means the applicant can leave Cyprus for about 4.5 months a year.

Moreover, for the last 12 months before applying for citizenship, the applicant needs to live in the country permanently. In Nikoloz’s case, he can stay in the country on Cypriot permanent residence. 

2. Prepare the documents. The main document for obtaining Cyprus citizenship is the application for a certificate of naturalization. To it is added:

  • applicant's birth certificate (original and copy);
  • applicant's marriage certificate (original and copy);
  • if applicable, the applicant's divorce certificate (original and copy);
  • certificate from the police about the absence of convictions and fines (original);
  • the applicant's foreign passport with personal information and an indication of all places of stay outside Cyprus for the last seven years;
  • a valid residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus (original and copy);
  • Alien Registration Certificate (ARC) indicating registration at the place of residence (original and copy);
  • the original of two Cypriot newspapers in which the applicant's announcement of the intention to obtain citizenship by naturalization was published;
  • two passport photos with the seal of the head of the community in which the applicant lives;
  • receipts of payment of a fee in the amount of €1,000 (€500 — for filing an application and €500 — for processing documents).

Documents are to be officially translated into Greek or English. The translation is to be certified by the Cypriot Ministry of Internal Affairs or the embassy.

3. Apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Cyprus. The Cypriot Ministry considers an application for citizenship by naturalization from one to two years.

Requirements for an applicant to obtain Cypriot citizenship by naturalization

  • lived in the republic legally for five years, the last year of which the applicant did not leave the country;
  • can confirm its reliability — has no fines, arrests, or convictions;
  • declares the intention to live in Cyprus — can confirm the availability of housing and work in the country;
  • collected a full package of documents: translated them into English or Greek, certified the documents at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Cyprus or the consulate;
  • submitted an application and documents to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Cyprus.

Nikoloz is preparing to move to Cyprus to fulfil the condition of residence. When the time comes, he is ready to turn to Immigrant Invest to apply for Cyprus citizenship: prepare and apostille the documents.

Living in Cyprus

In the first year, Nikoloz is staying in his parents’ house. The family is happy to сome together in Cyprus soon. They are going to gather all the relatives in their villa to celebrate their son's graduation.

Then Nikoloz wants to buy an apartment on the southern coast of Cyprus in Limassol. He likes this busy and the most developed-modern city, which is considered the business capital of Cyprus. Also, Nikoloz is thinking of buying a yacht in Cyprus and joining the local yacht club in Limassol.

With Cyprus citizenship, Nikoloz will be able to work in any EU country and the UK if he wants. To work in the UK for longer than 6 months, Cypriot citizens need to gain a work visa. The work permit can be under two categories: a skilled worker visa for people with a job offer or a highly skilled work visa for people without a job offer, potentially allowing for self-employment.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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Evgeniya Morozova
Head of the Legal Department
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