Changes to the policy for acquiring a visitor's temporary residency permit in Cyprus
The procedure for issuing or renewing visitor's visas for citizens of third countries has undergone a lot of changes recently, as indicated by the Civil Registry and Migration Department ("CRMD"). The most recent adjustments primarily have an impact on the financial requirements that interested parties must meet in order to submit the appropriate application.
The Aliens and Immigration Regulations state that foreign nationals who wish to stay in Cyprus for a longer amount of time than is permitted (i.e., 90 days for every 180 days period) by a Cyprus tourist visa may be awarded a residency permit In fact, this particular form of visa is suited for pensioners who want to stay in Cyprus in addition to anyone who wants to live Cyprus for a prolonged period of time.
It must be highlighted that the holder is not permitted to engage in any economic activity in Cyprus in accordance with the conditions of granting of the temporary residence permit for visitors ("Visitor's permit"). Additionally, since the essential permit is transitory in nature, the individual cannot live outside Cyprus for longer than 3 months consecutively. Otherwise, there will be a risk of the cancellation of the permit.
The visitor's permit is valid for one (1) year and may be extended once a year as long as the necessary conditions and requirements are met.
Amendments that will affect first-time applications
Revised financial criteria
The applicant must have enough funds acquired from reliable or acceptable sources of income. According to the amended policy, specific examples of such "income" comprise salaries, pensions, deposits made in foreign banks, Interests, dividends, rental income, etc.
The pertinent requirement can also be satisfied in situations in which the applicant receives income from sources located in Cyprus, like dividends from a Cyprus company, rental income from immovable property located there, or even Cyprus bank deposits derived from salaries associated with the applicant's prior employment there in a corporation with foreign interests.
The pertinent income criterion must not be lower than €2.000 per month or €24.000 per year, according to the revised policy. The minimal need goes up by 20 percent for the applicant's spouse and by 15 percent for every child.
People who are seeking visitor's permits for the very first time must meet the CRMD application requirements by providing a cash transfer (carrying the necessary proof from Customs) or an initial bank transfer from abroad of at least €10.000.
According to the prior policy, there was no set monetary income criterion, but the applicant was still required to provide proof of a steady or sufficient income.
Additional requirements/criteria according to the amended policy
According to the revised policy, first-time visitors applying for a visitor's permit are subject to the new requirements listed below:
- recent, legally attested, and translated clean criminal record certificate from the home country (or the country of residence);
- medical result documents for specific examinations performed in Cyprus after the person's arrival in Cyprus.
Introduced changes affecting renewals of applications
Revised financial criteria
According to the revised policy, applicants for Visitor's permit renewals must provide the CRMD with a thorough bank statement (of a Cypriot bank) for the latest 12 months that shows foreign transfers made in the applicant's name in accordance with the relevant thresholds noted above (i.e., not less than €2.000 per month or €24.000 per year).
Furthermore, the applicant must submit a bank statement (from a Cypriot bank) indicating a balance of at least €6,000 as a component of the application for the renewal of the visitor's permit.
In accordance with the former regulations for visitor's permits, the applicant was required to submit supporting evidence to the CRMD that showed stable and substantial foreign income that had been sent to the Cypriot bank account of the applicant.
Entry into force
The revised policy for first-time visitor permit applications becomes effective on January 1, 2023.
On May 1, 2023, the revised policy regarding applications to renew visitor permits became effective. In this regard, all renewal applications submitted before May 1, 2023, will be evaluated in accordance with the financial standards in effect before the policy adjustment.