Cyprus Golden Visa

Updated: September 10, 2023

The Cyprus golden visa in 2023 is a permanent residence by investment, not Cypriot citizenship. The citizenship by investment, the so-called “golden passport programme”, was discontinued in November 2020. An investor can apply for a Cyprus passport after residing in the country as a Golden visa holder for five years.

Cyprus is a major business and maritime centre in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is also a thriving European Union (EU) member state. In this Guide, you will find the information, criteria, process and other requirements for obtaining the Cyprus Golden Visa. You will also read about the benefits you might expect when living in Cyprus.

Key takeaways

  • The program gives the applicant, their spouse and underage children the right to stay in the Republic permanently.
  • An individual with a Cyprus Golden visa is eligible to apply for citizenship after residing in Cyprus for a total of 5 years within 7 years.
  • The family members covered, upon conditions, are only the applicant’s spouse and children.
  • The applicant must meet specific income and personal criteria for permanent residency in Cyprus. 
  • With limited exceptions, the Golden visa does not give the applicant the right to work.
  • The applicant must verify some of the criteria annually and some every three years (details below). 

Requirements for Cyprus Golden Visa

Broadly, there are criteria for investment, income, and a clear criminal record. Confirming or verifying some of these criteria annually (every three years for criminal records) through the Civil Registry and Migration Department is also necessary.

Minimum investment 

To obtain the Cyprus Golden Visa in 2023, the applicant must invest at least EUR 300,000 in the Republic. 

This investment can be made in one of three ways:

  • New residential property bought from a developer or developing company. Golden Visa real estate investment can be a house, a flat, or two properties. The investment can also be a commercial property like offices, which can be resale. In both cases, the applicant must show that they have paid the amount in full and that the money came from abroad. It is impossible to pay with money from sources inside Cyprus or borrowed from sources inside Cyprus.
  • Shares in a company registered and located in Cyprus, employing personnel of at least five (5) people.
  • Units in the Cyprus Investment Funds Association collective investments (AIF, AFLNP, RAIF).

Income requirement

The applicant must show a secure annual income of EUR 50,000 from abroad. 

If the applicant wishes to bring their spouse, the annual income is increased by EUR 15,000 (the spouse’s income can count towards this). 

The residence permit can also cover underage or dependent children, but the income is increased by EUR 10,000 for each child.

Personal requirements

The applicant and their spouse must have a clear criminal record from their country of origin or residence and maintain a clear criminal record in Cyprus.

Need to verify

There are some verification requirements concerning the investors’ visa.

Every year (annually), you should submit the following:

  • Evidence that you maintain the investment, and
  • Health insurance certificate for yourself and your family (in case you are not GESY beneficiaries).

Every three years, you should submit the following:

  • A clean criminal record for yourself and your family from your country of origin and residence.

The requirement that you annually submit proof of holding the necessary income level has been abolished.

However, you must not:

  • Acquire permanent residence abroad, or
  • Absent yourself from Cyprus for two years.

In either case, you lose the permanent residence right.

Visit to Cyprus

The permanent residence holder must personally visit Cyprus at least once every two years.

The right to work

There is a very limited right to work under the Cyprus golden visa.

The applicant and their spouse can work as directors in the company in which they invested EUR 300,000.

Moreover, the applicant and their spouse can own shares in companies registered in Cyprus and receive dividend income from them.

Finally, the applicant and their spouse can act as unpaid directors in the companies registered in Cyprus where they own shares.

The rules about parents and parents-in-law

Under the new policy, the golden visa no longer covers the parents and parents-in-law of the applicant and their spouse.

The rules about children

The golden visa has generous rules, allowing the applicant to enjoy family life in Cyprus’s safe and pro-family environment.

Underage children are covered by the Cyprus Golden Visa scheme.

Children between the ages of 18-25 are covered, provided they:

  1. Are students in a Cyprus tertiary education institution;
  2. Are unmarried;
  3. Bring documents to prove student status;
  4. Apply separately for a student visa;
  5. The parents satisfy the income requirements.

When the children complete their studies, they can apply for permanent residence, provided their parents show they continue to have an additional annual income of EUR 10,000 for each child.

This permit will still be valid even if the child marries or stops being financially dependent on the parents. However, the permit will not cover the child’s spouse or child(ren).

Can an investor include an adult, not financially dependent, child, on the golden visa for Cyprus?

Yes. However, in such a case, the investment amount is multiplied by the number of children. For example, one child will increase the required investment to EUR 600,000.

How to obtain Cyprus citizenship

An individual with a Cyprus Golden visa can apply for citizenship after residing in Cyprus for a total of 5 years within a span of 7 years. This translates to a required stay of 1825 days (5*365). In the final year leading up to the application, the individual must remain in Cyprus consistently, though brief departures are permissible.
Read more about Cypriot citizenship by years of residence.

Timeline and Cyprus golden visa fees

The Minister of the Interior will consider the application. The process is expected to take about two months.

The government fee is EUR 500 and EUR 70 for each person mentioned in the application (i.e. spouse or child(ren)).

Tax benefits of living in Cyprus

Permanent residence in Cyprus will give you certain tax benefits.

Cyprus has low personal and company tax rates (12.5 % for companies, among the lowest in Europe).

There is no tax on income from dividends, interest and other sources. There are exceptions for capital gains.

Also, there is no:

  • Inheritance tax
  • Gift tax;
  • Wealth tax;
  • Immovable property tax.

Is investing in Cyprus a good idea?

Investing falls into two broad categories: real estate and business. In both cases, investing in Cyprus seems to be a good idea.

Investment options for the investor immigration permit

The latest data show that real estate is still a safe investment method. The RICS Cyprus Property Index for the first quarter of 2023 shows a rise in the pricing of residential properties and a significant increase for holiday properties, such as holiday apartments and houses. Holiday assets show the highest increases of the quarter, while warehouses and other commercial property types are also in demand. Year-on-year (YoY) comparison also shows a rise. Read more about Cyprus property investment benefits.

The outlook for the economy and investing generally looks good. In a statement made on 30 March 2023, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) notes that the Cyprus economy has proved resilient to the fallout from the war in Ukraine; despite inflation and some deceleration (slowing down), “the medium-term outlook is robust”. The measures employed by the government to counter “war-related pressures” are proving “well-targeted” and do not burden the state’s budget.

Moreover, the US research and educational institution The Heritage Foundation commends the application of the rule of law in Cyprus, especially regarding judicial effectiveness and property rights.

The European Commission, in its recent forecast (15 May 2023) for the Cyprus economy, considers that growth will continue in 2023, though it will not reach the significant growth of 2022 (5,6%). The budget will remain in surplus, and Cyprus is resilient to pressures.

Internally, the BFU (Business Facilitation Unit), with its “One Stop Shop” structure, provides efficient business registration to eligible foreign investors and other easements.

The Cyprus government is implementing the Cyprus Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) for 2021-2026; the EU has allocated EUR 1,2 bln to Cyprus to strengthen the economy, growth and welfare.

The new policy

The criteria mentioned in this Guide apply since 2 May 2023. 

How we can help

Visit our office or get in touch for expert advice and help with the application and the application process. Our team will tell you about your success prospects and aid you in every step!

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