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How to become a resident of Cyprus in 2023, Part 2

Article 2. Registration of foreign citizens in Cyprus. Residence permit

In this article, we will provide you with some information the process of foreign citizens registering in Cyprus, and how to acquire a residency permit.

This is the second installment of the series “How to Become a Resident”, the full list of articles can be found at the following link: Article 1. Introduction. The path from tourist to resident.


Which organization deals with the registration of foreign citizens in Cyprus?

Registration of foreign citizens in Cyprus is carried out by the Civil Registry and Migration Department, otherwise the Aliens and Immigration Service (hereinafter referred to as the Immigration Service).

This department is part of the Cyprus Police Department, and branches are located in every city in Cyprus.

The addresses, contact information and working hours of the Department and its branches are available by clicking here.

The reception of foreign citizens by the Immigration Service is operating Monday to Friday, from 8:00 to 14:00, except for public holidays in Cyprus that are declared as bank holidays. Information about which these days are can be found by clicking here.


Deadlines for Foreign Citizens to Apply for Registration in Cyprus

An application for registration in Cyprus must be submitted:

1) By a citizen of the European Union and members of his family:

within four months from the date of entry into the Republic of Cyprus. Failure to comply with the registration requirement may result in penalties of up to € 2,562.90.

2) Citizens of non-EU countries who are not family members of an EU citizen:

before the expiration of their legal stay (tourist visa) in Cyprus.


What steps do foreign citizens need to take for the registration process?

The registration process can be roughly divided into 4 main stages:

1) Pre-registration: before the expiration of your stay in Cyprus (for EU citizens - before the expiration of 4 months from the date of entry into Cyprus) you should visit the office of the Immigration Service at your place of residence and inform about your intention to extend the period of your residence in Cyprus.

This must be done in person with a passport or ID (for EU citizens), as well as passports or IDs of all applicants associated with you.

An employee of the Immigration Service will enter your data in a special journal and provide you with a form indicating the date of the visit, your serial number and the approximate time when you need to be in the office. At the same time, you will receive a standard registration form (the form depends on your status and purposes of stay in Cyprus) and a list of documents that will be required during the registration.

Attention! If you do not have all the required documents on the day of your appointment, you may be refused registration and you will have to reschedule an appointment again.

Therefore, read the list of documents that you should provide to the Immigration Service carefully and always ask questions when something is not clear to you It is better to have extra documents with you rather than to reschedule an appointment and go through all the procedures again.

Remember, some of the required documents must be officially translated, notarized and/or apostilled.

2) Preparatory stage: by the time of the official visit to the office you will need to properly fill out the required forms and prepare all the documents and their copies from the list received from the office of the Immigration Service.

3) Registration: on the appointed date, you should visit the office of the Immigration Service in person along with all family members interested in registration, go through the interview and provide the necessary documents and pay the fee.

4)* Obtaining registration documents:* after handing in your documents following the interview and paying the required fee, you will receive a receipt which will be a temporary confirmation of registration.

After some time, you will receive your Registration Certificate (Yellow Slip or Residency Card, depending on your application) which you will be able to collect from the same office.


Documents confirming your registration in Cyprus:

The documents confirming your registration and the legality of your stay in Cyprus are valid Registration Certificates: Yellow Slip and Residence Card (Pink Slip).

If you have not yet received the Certificate but have already been registered with the Immigration Service (provided that your documents have been accepted for processing), until you receive the Certificate the document confirming the registration and the legality of your stay in Cyprus is the receipt of documents you received from the Immigration Service.

Yellow Slip

The Yellow Slip is the unofficial name of the Certificate of Registration issued to EU citizens and their family members who are also EU citizens. This Certificate is a residence permit granting its holder the rights equal to those of Cypriot citizens (including the right to work).

There are 2 main types of the Yellow Slip in Cyprus:

1) Certificate of registration in Cyprus of an EU citizen and his family members who are also citizens of an EU member state (MEU1 Form).

2) Certificate of permanent residence (a permanent residence permit) of a citizen of the European Union and his family members, who are also citizens of an EU member state, as well as his family members who are citizens of third countries (MEU3 Form).

You can get a Yellow Slip (MEU1 Form) only if you are a citizen of a member state of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland (hereinafter referred to as an EU citizen). This Certificate of Registration in Cyprus of a citizen of the European Union and his family members has no expiration date.

Residence Card (Pink Slip)

If you are a non-EU citizen, you will receive a Residence Card as a Certificate confirming your right to reside in Cyprus (until 2014 this role was played by the Pink Slip).

The Residence Card is a residence permit for third-country nationals, both related and not related by family ties with EU citizens or Cypriot citizens.

The only difference is that for the family members of EU citizens (MEU2 Form) who are not EU citizens, the initial validity period of the Residence Card is 5 years, while for other third-country nationals this period does not exceed 1-4 years (except for the Holders of special compatriot IDs [e.g., ΤΑΥΤΟΤΗΤΑ ΟΜΟΓΕΝΟΥΣ]) and family members of Cypriot citizens (at the discretion of the Immigration Service).

Attention! If you are absent from Cyprus for more than 3 consecutive months, the residence permit will be canceled.


Obtaining a Certificate of Permanent Residence in Cyprus:

You can obtain a Certificate of Permanent Residence in Cyprus in the following cases:

  1. After 5 years of uninterrupted legal residence in Cyprus (regardless of whether you are an EU citizen) you are eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit in Cyprus:
  2. for EU citizens and their family members - Yellow Slip (MEU3 Form) with no expiration date
  3. for third-country nationals – Residence Card (Permanent residency), (the card will need to be renewed every 10 years. The application review period is up to 1 year.)
  4. If you purchase a new residential property worth 300,000 Euro + VAT and apply for a permanent residence permit in Cyprus, confirming your economic viability. The term for consideration of the application is 3 months. This Certificate does not entitle you to work in Cyprus.

Once acquired, the right of permanent residence is only lost if the holder is absent from the Republic of Cyprus for a period exceeding two consecutive years.


Fees when applying for registration:

When applying for registration, the fee is paid for the applicant and each member of his/her family.

The lists of fees for different categories of foreign citizens (e.g., for EU citizens and their family members and for third-country nationals (including family members of Cypriot citizens)) are different.

They can be found by clicking here and selecting the appropriate type of residence permit and the category of the applicant.

Information about all the fees that you need to pay will be indicated in the list of documents that you will receive from the Immigration Service, along with setting the date of the visit for the interview and registration (the list is issued with a form to fill out and an admission sheet).


Who needs health insurance for the Immigration Service?

Medical insurance is included in the list of mandatory documents that must be submitted to the Immigration Service for all foreigners.

In the case of EU citizens, a European medical card can be accepted as such a document.

Citizens of non-EU countries (such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc.) will need special medical insurance, the conditions of which fully comply with the requirements of the Immigration Service.

The cost of such insurance is from €150 per year. You can read detailed information about the conditions of the insurance policy, as well as fill out a questionnaire and calculate its cost for you personally and for your entire family here.


Bank guarantee: what it is and who needs it:

To apply for an entry/residence permit as a third-country national, it may be necessary to present an original bank guarantee (hereinafter referred to as the “guarantee”).

A guarantee is provided to cover the costs of deportation if deemed necessary, in the event that they are no longer legally entitled to reside in the country for any reason.

The guarantee can be made at any commercial bank in Cyprus and is, in principle, personal. There are some exceptions, such as students, where the guarantee can be a group guarantee.

To find out if you need a guarantee, and if it is possible to provide a group guarantee, see the list of documents that are required for your registration application, in accordance with the category of residence that applies to you.

The guarantee is required for all third-country nationals, with the exception of third-country nationals who are family members of EU citizens or family members of Cypriot citizens.

The scope of the guarantee provided depends on the country of origin of the applicant, as the costs of deportation (air tickets, etc.) differ from country to country. You can find out the amount of the guarantee needed by following the link found here.

The Bank guarantee must be valid for at least 10 years. When applying for an extension to your existing residency permit, a new guarantee is not required provided that the previous guarantee is not close to expiring and that it covers the requested period of stay plus one (1) year. Different requirements apply to a student bank guarantee, as it can be a group guarantee.

In certain cases, bank guarantees may be terminated, and its amount returned to the beneficiary.


How long does it take to receive the residency permits?

Citizens of the European Union or family members of EU citizens who are also citizens of an EU member state receive the Certificate of Registration (Yellow Slip -MEU1 Form) at the place of registration either immediately or within 1-5 days from the date of registration.

Third-country nationals (including family members of an EU citizen who are not citizens of an EU member state and family members of a Cypriot citizen) receive their Residency Card) within 4-5 months from the date of application.

When it is ready the applicant will be notified by mail, sent to the address of correspondence indicated in the application, or to the last registration address of the applicant.

Only the applicant or a person officially authorized by the applicant to carry out these actions can receive the document.


Other information:

  1. You will be asked to provide documents proving your permanent address in Cyprus. Documents that you can provide include:
  2. If you are renting a house - a tenancy agreement.
  3. In case you own real estate in Cyprus - Certificate of ownership of residential real estate issued in your name.

If none of the above documents has been issued in your name and you are not a family member (spouse) of the owner or tenant, then you may need a court-certified official statement from the tenant/owner of the property at the address of your residence, confirming that you live at the address stated.

If possible, it would be useful to attach a utility bill issued in your name with the stated address on it.

2.If you are employed, along with the part of your registration form that is filled out by the employer, you should also provide a copy of your employment contract and a confirmation letter stating your start date and salary.

You should also provide a statement from the Social Insurances confirming your registration and your contributions.

You may also be asked to additionally provide a copy of the employer's liability insurance policy (this type of insurance is mandatory for employers in Cyprus).

3.If you are non-EU citizen and have been granted a residence permit contingent on you working for a specific organization, in the event that you cease to be employed there you must inform the Immigration Service and go through the re-registration procedure.

You are also obliged to inform the Immigration Service about the change of your residence address in Cyprus.

The information provided in this article were sourced from materials available on the official website of the Civil Registry and Migration Department of Cyprus.


Pitsas Insurances

Limassol, Cyprus

February 20, 2020

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