Moving to Cyprus in 2023

Updated: September 25, 2023

For many reasons, Cyprus is a favourite destination for business, leisure and retirement. It has a warm climate, fantastic beaches and an easy-going way of life. At the same time, it is a commercial centre with work opportunities and a thriving business community. As a member of the European Union (EU) and close to the Middle East, Cyprus belongs to a complex network of financial relationships and activities.

If you are a third-country national (TCN) considering moving to Cyprus and wondering how easy it is or how it can be done, this guide is for you. You will find information about:

  • The types of residence permits and visas available and how these can be obtained.
  • The cost of living and healthcare in Cyprus.
  • How a foreigner can acquire property, open a bank account and conduct a business.

This guide is for information only, however. For personalised advice and applying for a permit, buying a house or renting property, you are strongly recommended to seek the services of a local lawyer and real estate agent.

How to move to Cyprus in 2023

There are several ways a TCN may come and stay in Cyprus in 2023, which can be summarised as follows:

Permanent residence

A permanent residence permit is available for TCNs in the following categories:

Category C. Working as self-employed. You may register a business organisation, such as a limited liability company or a partnership, or work as a sole trader.

Category D. Working as self-employed in a profession or science. You need due qualifications and sufficient funds.

Category E. You were offered permanent employment in the Republic.

Category F. You have a secure and regular annual income, enough to provide a decent living in the Republic.

Investors’ visa (new criteria). This requires an investment of EUR 300,000 in property or shares and a minimum annual income of EUR 50,000. For all the details, see our office guide: Cyprus residency by investment.

The application form is the same for all categories (MIP1), though supporting documentation and fees vary. You can bring your spouse and underage children, though some details differ from one category to another. The application is submitted to the Central Offices of the Civil Registry and Migration Department in Nicosia.

See the relevant government website for application forms and more information:

Application forms and documentation.

Temporary residence permit (Pink slip)

The temporary residence permit is renewed annually and does not give you the right to work. Therefore, you should only apply if you have a stable and adequate source of income from abroad, for example, a pension. The fee is EUR 70 for each family member (spouse and underage children). The temporary residence permit is also called the “pink slip”.

Registration certificate for European citizens (Yellow slip)

The registration certificate is given to European (EU and EEA) citizens who wish to reside long-term in Cyprus. It is also called yellow slip because it is printed on yellow paper. You apply for a registration certificate within four months of entry to the Republic; you will hand the application to the relevant (district) immigration unity of the Civil Registry and Migration Department. The registration certificate does not expire.

Moving to Cyprus for EU citizens is straightforward as they can work in the Republic and own property without restrictions.

Work permit in a company for TCNs

You can receive a work permit to work in a Cyprus company within the following framework:

The company/ employer applies to the District Labour Offices of the Department of Labour, Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.

The company/ employer must show that the work position cannot be filled by a member of the local labour force. They will do this by showing that they have advertised the position in the daily newspapers for two weeks but could not find a suitable candidate. This is called the “labour market test”, the central condition for granting a work permit to a TCN. 

The company employs 3 Cypriot or EU nationals for 1 TCN.

The work permit is granted for at least one year and a maximum of four.

Exceptions under the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU)

Under the Ministry of Finance BFU, foreign companies can avoid the labour market test for work permits for TCNs who will be employed as key personnel. Under the BFU, the TCN employee will be issued a Cyprus temporary employment and residence permit (BCS).

The company must offer a minimum salary of EUR 2,500. (For existing key personnel, the minimum wage can be EUR 2,000 until 31 December 2026).

Key personnel are qualified personnel with a university degree or diploma or relevant work experience of at least two years.

Each company has until 31 December 2026 to employ at least 30% Cypriot workers.

The duration of the permit depends on the duration of the employment contract (which has a minimum duration of two years). See http://www.moi.gov.cy/moi/CRMD/.

A “foreign” company is defined as:

  1. Third-country shareholders own the majority of shares, OR they do not own the majority shares but own at least EUR 200,000 in share capital.


  1. Fulfil the following criteria:
  • Public companies registered in a recognised stock exchange
  • Former offshore companies approved by the Cyprus Central Bank that have changed their offshore status
  • Cypriot shipping companies
  • Cypriot companies of high technology/ innovation
  • Pharmaceutical/ biogenetics/ biotechnology companies

The company must establish and operate independent offices in Cyprus. The premises must be suitable and separate from private housing or other offices.

Temporary residence after buying a property/ renting a property

Proof of frequent visits to Cyprus might give you the right to 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.

Buying/renting a property in Cyprus

A TCN can rent a property. As you are unlikely to know the market well, you should contact a real estate agent. They are registered, know the market and will find the most appropriate property for your budget and needs.

To buy property, on the other hand, you need to apply to and get permission from the Council of Ministers. The procedure is relatively simple. However, there are restrictions to the extent of the property to be purchased. You can buy one house, one flat, or a plot of land not larger than 4014 sq m. Exceptions apply to buying land for business, such as building a hotel.

Temporary residence after registering a company or other business form - Business Immigration

TCNs can simply register a business in Cyprus by visiting the island for a few days. To go on running your business, however, you are advised to apply for one of the following:

  • The Cyprus pink slip. It does not give you the right to work, but you may be a shareholder in a company and receive dividends.
  • Category C permanent residence permit. This type of residence permit allows you to carry out a business.

The main types of business forms in Cyprus are the following:

  • Limited liability company (detailed section for registering a company below)
  • Partnership
  • Sole trader


Under Cyprus law, there are two types of partnerships to choose from.

In a general partnership, there is no limited liability for debts. Each partner is jointly and severally liable for the debts of the partnership. This means creditors can sue all or any partners and hold them personally responsible for the debts.

One general partner is personally responsible for the debts in a limited partnership. The other partners are limited and are given limited liability for the debts.

After deciding whether to have a general or limited partnership, you apply to the Registrar of Companies to get approval for the name. When the name gets approved, you register the partnership online, by hand or by post at the Registrar of Companies. You will need a solemn declaration of signature witness (a formal written statement signed by all the partners containing specific information about the partnership, for example, the sum each partner contributes) and a fee of EUR 120. The Registrar will issue a certificate of incorporation. Within 60 days, register the partnership at the Tax Department and Social Insurance Services. Each partner pays personal income tax for their profits.

The Registrar of Companies has useful information and the details for registration of partnerships.

Sole Trader

  • A person may do business as a sole trader.
  • You will be taxed on your income.
  • You will register via an application to the local District Social Insurance Office and submit the following documents: copy of ID card/ passport/ alien registration certificate (ARC).
  • You must show a capital of about EUR 260,000 and that your activities will not negatively affect the local economy.

Registering a business or trading name by application to the Registrar of Companies while acting as a sole trader is possible.

Company registration in Cyprus

To start a limited liability company in Cyprus, register it with the Registrar of Companies.

Then, you must also register with the Civil Registry and Migration Department Registry of Companies of Foreign Interests, done now through the Business Facilitation Unit via email at bfu@meci.gov.cy.

The details for this procedure are found at:

The Cyprus Companies Law (Cap 113) is the legislation concerning limited liability companies.

If you are a third-country national, and your company will have at least EUR 200,000 in share capital, you can benefit from the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU) scheme. This scheme makes registration and formalities easier. 

One sole director can also be the sole shareholder. This means that one person can be the single director and shareholder of the company.

The corporate tax rate is low in Cyprus, at 12,5%. It is among the lowest in Europe. There is no tax on the payment of dividends. 

A private limited company in Cyprus must have a company secretary.

The fee payable at the Registrar of Companies is EUR 165 plus EUR 100 fast track (source - companies.gov.cy).

Note that further fees may apply for registering the whole document package.

Process (how to register your company)

To register the company with the Cyprus Registrar of Companies, you should do the following:

Choose a unique trading name, which the Registrar must approve. You will mention at least three names in case another business already takes and uses your first choice. 

Once the name is approved, draft the Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A). These must be filed with the Registrar. The Registrar of Companies offers help with the M&A at:


  • Open a bank account at a Cyprus bank. Here, you will deposit the amount of the share capital.
  • Appoint the directors and secretary.
  • Submit all the documentation to the Registrar of Companies. 

Find the list of documents for Applying to incorporate a Company, Business Entities, Company, Company`s Lifecycle, Starting a Company, Guidance, Incorporating a Company | Companies Section, Department of Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property at the Registrar’s official website at companies.gov.cy

Register the company for tax, VAT, social insurance and pensions. Once done, Inland Revenue will give you a unique tax identification number. 

The business license will be issued for the company. Now the company can start work.

Student’s visa

To get a student visa for Cyprus, you must be a full-time student at a recognised institution of higher education. Before coming to Cyprus, you will send the institution several certified documents. These are:

  • Relevant academic qualifications, such as a high school diploma.
  • Copy of valid passport, with a minimum of two years duration.
  • English language proficiency according to the Certified European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
  • Original health certificates for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, syphilis and X-rays for tuberculosis. The health certificates must not be older than 4 months.
  • Original letter of good conduct from the police authorities of your country, not older than 6 months.
  • Original bank letter and a statement certifying that you or your sponsors (for example, parents) have sufficient funds to finance your studies and living expenses in Cyprus.

The institution will apply to the Civil Registry and Migration Department to get you an entry permit. An application will also be sent to the Ministry of Education. If approved, you will be sent the entry permit. Then, the institution will issue you a temporary residence permit (student visa).

The student visa is valid for a year and renewable. 

In June 2023, the Civil Registry and Migration Department effected a revised procedure for issuing entry and residence permits for the educational sector, including researchers and students. 

The details can be found by following this link: moi.gov.cy.

The contact email address for students is sgrigoriou@crmd.moi.gov.cy.

You email them to book an appointment.

Working visas and relocation to Cyprus

As explained above, there are several working visas to choose from.

Apart from applying for the visa or permit that best suits your circumstances, relocation to Cyprus involves the following:

  • Arrange to move your belongings to Cyprus. There is a variety of airfreight and shipping companies to choose from.
  • Rent or buy property. For this, you need the services of a professional lawyer and a registered estate agent.
  • Get health insurance. Once you obtain legal residence, you may register with the General Health System (GeSY).
  • Open a bank account.

People in Cyprus speak English, while a large international community lives on the island. At the same time, you may learn the language in one of the many tutorial centres that specialise in language teaching for adults. Regarding your children, they can attend one of the certified, high-quality international schools that operate in Cyprus. You can have a look at the list here: internationalschoolsearch.com.

Cost of moving to Cyprus

Air and shipping costs will depend on the company and how much luggage and belongings you carry to Cyprus. You should also allow a few days' stay in a hotel before settling in your new property.

Price of property to rent or buy

Whether you rent or buy, the price will depend on location, property condition (new, resale, in need of repair), number of bedrooms and available amenities.

Reportedly, the cheapest area is Paphos, and Limassol is the most expensive.

Some indicative average prices (in Euro) are the following:

  • To rent monthly from 700-1,300 for apartments and 1,200 to over 4,000 for houses.
  • To buy 160,000 to 500,000 for apartments and 250,000 to over a million for houses.

How much is healthcare in Cyprus? 

Concerning health, it is advisable to have health insurance. The figure will vary according to company and type of plan. There are offers for ex-pats, so it is a good idea to search and compare prices. Note, however, that once you have a valid residence permit, you are entitled to register with GeSy (the general health system) and receive healthcare at minimal prices.

Food and drink

The prices for food and drink remain low compared to other parts of Europe. The Consumer Protection Service publishes a price list of the major consumer products. The list is updated monthly and can be accessed here:


For June 2023, for example, two litres of milk full fat was 1,7 euro on average, lentils 2,7 per kilo, 12 eggs were 3,2, and large sliced white bread 1,8. 

Supermarket shopping may come to about EUR 600 monthly for a family of two.


The price of petrol is reported on average by the Consumer Protection Service here:


In July 2023, for example, Unleaded 95 was 1,47 on average per litre. Diesel was 1,5 on average.

Water and Electricity

Water costs EUR 0,90 for domestic use per cu m. for the first 40 cu m.

Electricity for household use is EUR 0,335 per kWh.


All major clothing lines have stores in Cyprus, so you should expect to find reasonably priced clothing in all seasons.

Private School Fees

Vary from about EUR 6,200 to about EUR 9,000 per year for high school. The junior school is lower.


Most types of leisure, such as cafes and restaurants, sports clubs, football and cinema, are reasonably priced.

Requirements for moving to Cyprus

For each and any of the visas and residence permits, you will need several documents, including a valid passport, a clean criminal record and proof of a stable and regular income from abroad or an employment contract in the Republic (as the case may be).

The list of documents is long and may vary depending on the visa or permit you are applying for.

You can find them in these government site links.

Opening a Bank Account in Cyprus

Opening a bank account in any bank operating in Cyprus is possible. The Cyprus banking system is highly regulated and efficient, operating under the aegis of the European Central Bank.

The Central Bank of Cyprus maintains a list of the authorised credit institutions here:


To open a bank account, you will need a passport, proof of address, proof of income and other documents. Our office has a short guide on opening a bank account in Cyprus, which includes a list of required documents.

Immigration Services

  • The central government department you need in Cyprus is the Civil Registry and Migration Department of the Ministry of the Interior. You may access their website by following this link: moi.gov.cy.
  • For the registration of companies and other business forms, you will need the services of the Registrar of Companies: companies.gov.cy.
  • To register a foreign company, the Business Facilitation Unit of the Ministry of Finance: businessincyprus.gov.cy.
  • The Press and Information Office (PIO) of the Cyprus Republic has compiled a list of all the Cyprus ministries and their websites: pio.gov.cy.

The takeaway

There are types of residence permits and visas to cover a wide variety of situations and lifestyles. Moving to Cyprus is quickly done using the services of a lawyer and real estate agent. The cost of living is lower than in other EU member states and the UK, while there are many opportunities for business, investment and family life. Contact us for more information, expert guidance, and advice on relocating to and residing in Cyprus.

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