This major tourist destination in the Mediterranean is not just perfect for a relaxing holiday. Expats looking to live close to the best beaches in Europe and aspire a sunlit lifestyle don’t have to search anymore: Cyprus is the place. 

Cyprus is one island and an independent nation, but there are still two ‘countries’ to choose from when you want to call the island your new home. In spite of the fact that there is a dispute over the exact governance of Cyprus, it is a stable European Union democracy with an extremely low crime rate and is one of the safest places in the world. The island is child friendly and has great education options. It only rains 40 days out of the year and it’s sunny on more than 300 days. The Cypriot economy is growing and unemployment numbers are dropping. Tourism is very important to the island; nearly 3 million people visit the island every year. 

Locals speak a mix of Turkish and Greek but almost everybody speaks English too, which is convenient for expats from all over the world. Perhaps this is why there is a large expat community on the island and plenty of opportunities to meet new people. Taxes in Cyprus are low, finding a house is easy and rent is cheap compared to most places in Europe. 

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Citizens of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) can move, live and work freely in Cyprus.  Below are some of the residency options for non EEA citizens:

Investment

You can apply for an Investment Residency permit if you meet the following criteria:

  • Transfer at least €30,000 into a financial institution in Cyprus from an overseas account, which will be pledged for a period of at least three years.
  • Prove that you have a secure annual income of at least €30,000 from overseas sources.  For each dependent, the annual income increases by €5,000 and for each dependent parent or parent-in-law it increases by €10,000
  • Purchase real estate to the value of €300,000

Work Visa

Immigrants from an EU member country who want to live and work in Cyprus need a residence permit. Application must be done within three months of moving to the country, working in the meantime is allowed. The application process can take up to six months and permits are reviewed after two years.  People from other countries need to apply for a work permit and can only do so after being offered a job in Cyprus. They can start work once the permit is granted. 

Startup Visa

The "Cyprus Startup Visa" program/ scheme allows talented entrepreneurs from third countries [outside the European Union (EU) and outside the European Economic Area (EEA)], individuals or in a team, to enter, reside and work in Cyprus in order to establish / operate / develop a startup with a high growth potential.

Through your Family

  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Cyprus, you are probably eligible for residency.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
  • See the citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on descent.

Youth Mobility Visa

  • If you are an Australian Citizen between the ages of 18-25, you may be eligible under the Working Holiday programme. 

Here are some of the ways to get citizenship in Cyprus:

Investment

  • If you invest more than €2 million in the purchase or construction of residential or commercial developments or other infrastructure projects, you can apply for Cypriot citizenship.
  • If you invest more than €2 million in companies or organizations established and operating in the Republic of Cyprus,  you can apply for Cypriot citizenship.
  • If you invest more than €2 million in financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations such as bonds, bills and securities, you can apply for Cypriot citizenship.  The companies need to have a proven physical presence and substantial economic activity in the Republic of Cyprus.

Through your Family

  • If your mother was a citizen of Cyprus when you were born and you were born after the 11th June 1999 you are probably also a citizen of Cyprus. 
  • If your father was a citizen of Cyprus when you were born, you are probably also a citizen of Cyprus.
  • If your spouse is a citizen and you have been married for longer than 3 years, you can apply for citizenship after being resident in Cyprus for a period of 2 years.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
  • After having legally resided in Cyprus for seven years, a person may apply for citizenship by naturalization.

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The passport for Cyprus allows you to travel to 151 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 37.

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