Every non EU citizen can apply for temporary residency (pink slip), which is renewable periodically.


In order to apply to the Immigration Office and obtain the Pink Slip applicants must open a Bank account with sufficient funds proving that they can support themselves and their dependants.


Applicants for permanent residency must possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income arising from abroad (not from Cyprus), high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession.


 Although there are no clear guidelines on actual amounts required, from experience at the time of writing this, proofs of an annual income of €30,000 for a couple is usually acceptable, plus another €5,000 for each dependent person but the Immigration Control Board may demand additional amounts as necessary therefore any extra funds deposited in the applicants’ bank account(s) will of course be considered as an extra advantage.


Temporary residence permits are typically valid for up to 1 year or more. An applicant must apply to renew the permit at least 1 month prior to its expiration at the District Immigration Office. This permit will be cancelled if the applicant leaves Cyprus for 3 consecutive months or more.


The necessary documents required to support the application for temporary residency at the Immigration Office can be provided.


As per the regulation the category F “permanent residence” permit, is a long term residency, which can be granted under the following basic provisions:


  1. Applicant must spend over €300.000 for the purchase of a property in Cyprus.
  2. Provide evidence showing sufficient, secure, annual income from abroad since applicants are not allowed to work in Cyprus. (A list of requirements can be provided)


Usually, there is no limit period for the validity of the permanent residency permit. The said permit remains valid provided the applicant will not be absent from Cyprus for a period exceeding 2 consecutive years.  


Once the application is then deposited with the Authorities, the applicant will be called for an interview by the Migration Officer in the district they have chosen to reside. The applicant can deposit the application whilst abroad through their solicitor in Cyprus, taking into consideration that the permit will be under the special term that the applicant is obliged to move to Cyprus within 1 year from the date of the permit for residency.


If clients are within the above provisions and plan to move to Cyprus to apply, since the procedure for the permanent residency takes time, in the meantime we would advise to apply and obtain temporary residency for convenience and ease of the applicant and their family.

With most economies in Europe not being healthy and with the prevailing approach by E.U. to keep cutting spending and increasing unemployment, Cyprus real estate demand from abroad is reducing in numbers notwithstanding the fact that prices are reducing and business opportunities are now more apparent.

Cyprus business and Governmental bodies have eyed in addition to Russia and some other ex eastern block countries, China. Cypriot business visits and exhibition participations in China have taken place which brought up as an initial reaction the prevailing data.

  • The first and most important difficulty met is to explain to potential Chinese investors where Cyprus is!! Not an unreasonable experience bearing in mind the sizes of the two countries.

  • Notwithstanding the first obstacle and if we, as Cyprus, keep pushing the plusses of Cyprus, there appears to be an emerging interest from China regarding Cyprus investments.

  • Chinese showed a particular interest since Cyprus can be their springboard for the remaining E.U. countries. The relatively ease with which one can register a Co in Cyprus, the common language (English) that is spoken by just about everybody and the most favorable income tax, the lowest in Europe, with the 10% taxation is a start.

  • The measure of passports for cash i.e. with investments €10 mil.(+) in real estate and/or bank deposits/shares etc, plus the acquisition of a house not less than €300.000 will entitle a Chinese to apply for a Cypriot (E.U.) passport, a major attraction.

  • The measure of house buy (not less than €300.000) will entitle a Chinese buyer to apply for a permanent residency visa.

  • The various large scale investment projects that are coming up and are now in search of finance/equity participation is another factor of interest. There are now 4 golf courses all with real estate development and 2 marinas with real estate development seeking business associates.

  • The recent interest that a Chinese colossus of business aiming to build a 50.000 sq.mts. shopping mall for Chinese exports at Larnaca airport, is another indication of the growing interest. This Chinese firm who had a similar project in the Arab countries are considering of moving out due to the political situation there, to Cyprus and have the island/project as a permanent exhibition center for exports.

  • The above project and others which are being built up (see the recent visit of Mrs Ming Zhon who is the representative of China’s export board to Cyprus) is another case in hand which shows the road.

  • The recent shipping laws and the more recent international trust law which is considered as being a “state of the art” in the international trust world is another cause of cooperation.

  • The increasing number of Chinese students for the Cyprus colleges and universities is a small be it vibrant future link increasing the communication and friendship of the two countries.

Cyprus is one of the top 4 European countries which is popular for holiday home buyers. Spain is the first, followed by Portugal and France/Italy after and then Cyprus. All countries have their plusses and minuses, but Cyprus is on the up due to the following:

  • It has the lowest crime rate in Europe, with only 7% of the U.K. and 12% that of Spain, 14% that of France’s – safety and security of one’s life and property, is paramount in these difficult days of increasing crime worldwide.

  • The fact that everybody speaks English and that correspondence can be undertaken in English even with Governmental departments makes life of business and people much easier (try to communicate in English in Spain or France?).

  • Most healthy weather with 300 days p.a. sunshine, easy access to the beach, motorway links of all towns is another.

  • The low cost of living (20th lowest out of the 27 countries in the eurozone) is another fact to consider.

  • Etc etc

Regarding now the real estate situation, the local market is going through a very slow period allowing for interested investors to conclude deals at reasonable prices and conclude business deals which were not so easy to achieve 2-3 years ago.

The situation regarding foreign demand for Cyprus is shown by the following statistics:

 2007  11281
 2008  6636
 2009  1761
 2010  2030
 2011  1652
 2012  (3 months) 351

 Prices have followed the above trend with the following downgrade scale

  • 2008   0% Base

  • 2009  -10%

  • 2010  -15%

  • 2011  -10%

Regarding real estate prices these vary since it depends on the location, town, facilities provided, land size, quality etc. But, as an indication and on a very general basis for new buildings, we provide the following:

  • OFFICES €3.500/sq.m.

  • APARTMENTS €2.000/sq.m.

  • SHOPS €5.000/sq.m.

  • VILLAS €3.000/sq.m.

Beach properties (residential) vary but on average are priced €4.000-€10.000/sq.m. depending on location.

We think that the basics are there and Cyprus is in the center of the Middle East and Europe being especially suitable for those who want to do business in these regions. The only problem, we feel, is the huge difference of sizes and wealth of the two countries that it might take a few months for either side to realize the parameters business and otherwise of the other. A recent Chinese client of ours who bought a 2 bedroom apartment having an extent of 80 sq.mts. was “impressed” by the“huge” size of the place!! (a small by Cyprus standards).

We hope all the best to China and Cyprus.