Citizens of European Union countries can buy property in Cyprus, work, and stay with no restrictions.
Buying property in Cyprus after Brexit
To buy property in Cyprus after Brexit, UK nationals must apply to the Council of Ministers for permission. Also, they will need a visa if they stay beyond a specific period (more than 90 days out of 180, see below). Note that some visas (or residence permits) do not allow you to work (see below).
Can foreigners buy property in Cyprus?
Third-country nationals also need permission from the Council of Ministers to buy property in Cyprus. The rules are the same as with British nationals.
Normally, the Council of Ministers will not deny permission to any good-faith applicant.
Also, foreigners will need a residency permit if they are staying beyond a certain time (more than 90 days out of 180). The application needs to be accompanied by several supporting documents, such as a valid passport, bank account in Cyprus, and sufficient sources of income.
The residency application is made at the immigration unit in your city. Note that a residence permit does not allow you to work; you can work with a specific type of residence permit (see below).
Most Popular Cyprus Locations
The city of Paphos is quite high on the list of popularity, because of the coastline, mountain and the established British expat community. Limassol, one of the island’s most ancient cities, has a large and thriving business sector, a marina, and a cosmopolitan community. The Famagusta region and Larnaca have extensive coastlines and, in the case of Larnaca, the city centre is close to the sea.
Cost – How Much?
The cost of property varies according to location. Limassol, Nicosia, and the properties along the coastline are more expensive. For a fast-track permanent residency in Cyprus, you need to buy a house or apartment for at least EUR 300,000 plus VAT (19%).
Sellers may require a deposit. There is no property tax in Cyprus, but municipality taxes apply (cost varies with area and type of property).
Foreign nationals can get a mortgage through a Cyprus bank. The mortgage application involves paperwork; you will need, for example, to provide proof of your income to the bank. The procedure takes from 3 weeks to a month.
Some banks may finance up to 80% of the house’s value. The rest you will need to pay as a down payment or deposit to the seller.
For loan repayment, you will be paying monthly. The amount will vary according to your income and the loan amount. You will also need to create a Cyprus bank account.
The interest rate for a mortgage in Cyprus is around 1,75% (as of March 2022; for more details, you can look at theglobaleconomy.com).
Note that the maximum age for getting a mortgage in Cyprus is 65 years. After that age limit, the banks do not grant mortgages. The rule is the same for locals, European Union nationals, and foreigners/ third-country nationals.
One Step at a Time: a checklist to find and buy property in Cyprus
Gather your funds or apply for a mortgage.
Find a local lawyer: there are real estate lawyers in Cyprus and firms which concentrate on the real estate sector, with a considerable experience with foreign national clients.
Contact and talk with the owner/ seller to make a deal.
Apply to the Council of Ministers for permission (if relevant).
Sign the contract and pay the price.
The property will be registered in your name at the Lands Registry. Your lawyer and the real estate agent will be of tremendous help in this.
Application to the Council of Ministers (if relevant)
The relevant form is Form Comm. 145, which you can download in PDF from moi.gov.cy. It is not long, but you will need to provide information about yourself, your general financial standing, and the property you are buying. Your lawyer can complete the form and file the application for you.
Permanent Residency by Investment Program
This is a fast-track process with certain rules as to the income required and the holding of real estate in the country. You can apply for permanent residence, and you will qualify if you have:
Property of at least EUR 300,000 plus VAT (19%);
At least EUR 50,000 annual income coming from abroad.
The permanent residency covers other family members; his/her spouse, and children up to the age of 25. However, the holder of this type of permit is not allowed to work.
It is also possible to buy a house in Cyprus and get citizenship. A residency by property investment permit gives the holder the right to apply for citizenship after 5 years of actual stay in Cyprus, out of a total number of 7 years.
The holder must stay a full number of 1825 days on the island (5 x 365). The stay must be continuous for the final year (the final 365 days). Brief absences are allowed.
Temporary Residence Permit to work, study or reunite with family members. Lasts 1 year and is renewable annually. If you live for at least five years on this scheme, you can get a permanent residence permit.
Immigration Permits, for example, if you are coming as a worker for agriculture.
How long can you stay in Cyprus if you own property?
EU nationals face no restrictions and don't need to own property in Cyprus.
If you are a third-country national, proof of frequent visits to Cyprus might give you the right to what is called a Multiple-entry Visa (Category C). Multiple entry visas are granted for up to 5 years. Each visit should not be over 3 months (90 days) in any half year, starting from the date of first entry (source Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cyprus).
Note that: You do not get this type of visa automatically. You need to apply to the Cyprus consul or Embassy in your country.
There is no legal right to a visa. Once you get the visa, you cannot enter Cyprus automatically. The entry criteria will be rechecked on entry into the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. For example, you may be asked to present evidence or documents, like a bank guarantee, proof of employment, or financial means.
Holders of Schengen do not need a visa to enter Cyprus.
At all events, third-country nationals cannot buy property in Cyprus without permission from the Council of Ministers.