Legal Advice on Immigration
Our Firm has extensive knowledge on immigration and migration issues. We can provide any legal advice on almost every aspect of immigration law. Our services among others, include citizenship applications, work, residence and long term residence permits, family reunification applications, and visas for third country nationals, assisting EU nationals applying for their Registration Certificate, as well assisting clients that visit Cyprus to do business, any legal assistance and representation to embassies and to government bodies. The department advises both individual and corporate clients.
Most importantly, our Firm proudly announces the recruitment of expert lawyers on asylum seeking procedures with extensive knowledge on the Refugee Law. They have dealt with numerous complex cases of clients who applied for protection to the Republic of Cyprus and they can represent you thoroughly before the Asylum Service, the Reviewing Authority or before the District or Supreme Court, in the event of extradition procedures.
We are committed to providing professional and reliable legal service to all our clients.
Applying for the Cypriot Citizenship
To be granted the Cypriot citizenship you will either have to reside legally in Cyprus for a period of 7 years (or 5 years in the event where the applicant is a parent or a child of a Cypriot citizen) or exceptionally satisfy one (or a number) of 8 criteria laid down by the Council of Ministers on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013.
An application for citizenship by naturalisation, though it entails a rather simple procedure, one needs to be careful to fulfil the 7 years (or 5 years) requirement as many applications have been rejected for this reason alone. A ‘year’ for the citizenship application by naturalisation is a continuous stay of 365 days in Cyprus and not a calendar year (January to December). The procedure currently entails a two stage interview process, with the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Council of Ministers having the last word.
The procedure is quite a lengthy and it can take up to 6 years (and sometimes more) to complete. The Cyprus government is currently working on reducing the examination period to less than 2 years.
Citizenship by exception has been welcomed by investors from all around the world, who have favoured the Cypriot citizenship over other European nationalities. This is because the Council of Ministers has made it easier for an investor to apply and get the Cypriot citizenship, since the overall investment has been reduced to EUR5,5 million (including the purchase of a residential property of a minimum value of EUR500,000) while the examination process takes only 3 to 4 months. For example, an investor who can have a fixed term deposit of EUR5 million with a Cyprus Bank for three years (criteria A.5), he/she can obtain the Cypriot citizenship and have access to all EU countries, in maximum 4 months.
Most importantly, the spouse and children of the investor who will apply for citizenship by exception are also eligible to obtain the Cypriot citizenship without satisfying any further financial criteria.
Last but not least, there are no time limitations once an applicant has been granted the Cypriot citizenship by exception. An investor can live and work in any European country he/she wants following the issuance of the Certificate of Citizenship and of course the obtaining of his/her Cyprus passport and identity card.
For any information please feel free to contact us.
If you are a third country national and you are seeking employment in Cyprus, you will first need to find an employer and then apply to the authorities for a permission to live and work in Cyprus. Our expert team has handled hundreds of applications of third country nationals who are now working and living in Cyprus with their families.
Workers can be categorised to domestic, seasonal, researchers, those that fall under general employment and those who will be employed by international companies or Cypriot Companies of ‘foreign interests’.
In most instances, prior permission from the Ministry of Labour is required before applying to the Migration Department for a work permit, but under all categories the applicant is required to submit a number of documents supporting his/her application.
The most common application that our firm is called to file to Migration on behalf of clients is an application for a work permit of an employee of a Cyprus Company of foreign interests. This procedure entails the submission of a number of documents to the Migration Department before the expiry of the visa of the employee. The documentation includes, among other, a legalised Employment Agreement, a legalised certificate of criminal record, the issuance of a bank guarantee, a medical insurance, the undertaking of medical examinations, proof of education, etc. Certain documents need to be legalised by the authorities of the country where the employee (and applicant) comes from while others need to be submitted in original form. The Employer (the Company) needs also to be registered with the Migration Department and certain documentation must be presented together with the application for work permit of the first third country employee of the Company.
The examination of an application can take anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks and sometimes more. The employee can apply for a 1 year or a 2 year permit and needs to be present on the day of filing the application at the Migration Department, as his/her photo and fingerprints will be taken.
A business man or an investor who is interested to obtain a work permit and reside in Cyprus can do that by incorporating a Cyprus Company which he will own and manage personally. He will need to show that he is receiving also a salary from his Company and follow the same procedure as explained above.
For any further information on any of the above permits please contact us.
Family Reunification Applications
Employees who would like to bring their family members in Cyprus, need to apply for a family reunification application at the Migration Department. Complications may arise when a child is adopted or when the employee is divorced or even married again. The list of documentation supporting such an application includes among other, a legalised marriage certificate, legalised birth certificates of the children, consent letters in the event where the employee is coming to Cyprus without his/her spouse, the issuance of a bank guarantee, a medical insurance, the undertaking of medical examinations, etc.
Family reunification applicants can apply for a 1 year or a 2 year permit and need to be present on the day of filing the application at the Migration Department, as their photo and fingerprints will be taken.
A third country national who wishes to reside in Cyprus can do that by applying on the basis of one of the 6 Categories (Category A to F) of Regulation 5 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations. The holder of such permit can travel in and out of Cyprus freely but he/she has to visit Cyprus once over a period of two years. Such permit does not give a pass to Europe, and the holder still needs to apply for a visa to travel to any European country. Immigration permits do not have an expiry period.
The most common immigration permit is Category F or Regulation 6(2) permit. A third country national needs to buy a dwelling in Cyprus of a minimum value of EUR300,000 (excluding VAT), show proof of an annual income of minimum EUR30,000 and additionally EUR5,000 for every dependant, and submit a number of additional supporting documentation. It is important to note that the said funds must be proven to have been transferred to Cyprus from abroad.
It is noted that the purchase of a dwelling may be accepted even when made in the name of a Cyprus Company and not in the name of the applicant, provided that the company is registered in the name of the applicant and/or in the name of the applicant and his spouse and he/they are the sole shareholders. In the event that the shareholder of the company is another legal entity, it must be proven that the sole shareholder of the said legal entity is the applicant and/or the applicant and his spouse.
The permit issued to an applicant covers also his spouse and children under the age of 18. Unmarried children aged between 18 and 25, who may prove that they are students or undergraduates and are financially dependent on the applicant, may submit a separate application to obtain an Immigration Permit.
Applications must be submitted directly to the Migration Department. The application shall be processed by the Migration Department and be submitted to the Minister of Interior. An interview with the applicant may take place, if deemed necessary by the Minister of Interior.
The examination procedure usually does not exceed 3 months from the date of the submission of the application.