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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone :wave: I've looked through a lot of different threads in this subforum but still have a couple of questions for my own specific situation so I figured I would post and ask you all directly.

Most all of my questions are concerning emigration from the USA to Cyprus, so emphasis on that I am a non-EU citizen. I have visited a lot of government websites - particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website - but am looking to supplement their terminology with some additional facts. If anyone can shed some light on my questions I would greatly appreciate it! :)


1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website states I must have "solid evidence that there are sufficient funds to cover the cost of the intended stay in Cyprus". How much would "sufficient funds" be? How is that even calculated with so many variables per each individual person's stay?

2. The website also states that as an American, I do not need a 90-day visa. Is this different from a short-stay visa or are they the same?

3. The website is very unclear about specifics regarding a long-stay visa. How long is a "long-stay" visa good for? Is it a different length of time for a worker who has been offered employment versus a student who has enrolled in a schooling institution?

4. Friends and/or family can "host" visitors with proper documents. Does the "host" have to be a Cypriot citizen? Or can they also be a non-citizen with a valid long-term stay visa? Any difference for being hosted by an EU-citizen in Cyprus?

5. This is more of a request for a "best guess" than anything, but how much money would you all say is a good amount to have with you when first starting out for general expenses such as food, clothing, minor other expenses not including rent/utilities (particularly near suburban Pafos - not the expensive tourist cities)? I know it would vary immensely from person to person and area to area, but what is a minimum any of you would recommend as a baseline starting point?


I'm sure I will come up with more questions as I look around. :p If there are any other good websites for info besides the Ministry's website they would be very much appreciated. Thank you for reading all of my questions - any tips/info are welcomed. Thank you in advance!
 

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I am an American living in Cyprus. I have applied for and received a 1-year residency permit and have renewed it one time. This year I will be applying for a long-term (5-year) residency permit. Afterthat I will apply for citizenship.

To answer some of your questions:
1. If you are applying for a 1-year residency permit, then you have to show proof of sufficient funds for 1 year. IIRC, you need to have 10,000 Euros in a Cypriot bank account. More if you have a spouse and/or children with you. There are other things you need to provide. If you want to know the process I went through, just ask.
2. As an American you do not have to have a 90-day visa. You can stay in Cyprus for 90 days without a visa, then you have to leave. I am sorry, but I am not sure what a short-stay visa is.
3. Residency permits are issued for 1 year or 5 years, as I understand it. I am not certain, but I believe the 5-year residency permit is actually a long-term visa. There are different requirements for a work visa/permit or a student visa. If you are applying for a work visa, your employer will assist you.
4. Not sure about this. Perhaps it pertains your accomodations. I would assume that the "host" can be anyone who has the legal authority to reside in Cyprus.
5. You do not say for what length of time you want these expenses to cover. I would say that for a period of one year, you would need no less than $5000 to cover items like food, clothing etc. - this would be living frugally. This does not include the cost of health insurance, which is absolutely required in order to get a residency permit. It also does not include the costs of buying and maintaining a car. My annual living expenses, including the care and feeding of 3 really spoiled cats, is around $20,000 and I live quite comfortably. Note that this includes good health insurance, home owners insurance, utilities, vehicle insurance and road tax, food, clothing, home maintenance, personal care, vehicle maintenance.

Something that you will not find in any government document is that as a third country national, you will have to have a bank guarantee of 855 Euros (your bank will set this aside for you and issue a letter for immigration for a fee of around 50 Euros) - this money is in case you are bad and have to be deported (pays for your plane ticket out of here).

Another thing you may like to know is that if you buy a car, you must have your residency permit in order to transfer ownership of the car from the seller to you.

Hope this helps.
 

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This year I will be applying for a long-term (5-year) residency permit. Afterthat I will apply for citizenship.
Hm. How do you do it after only a year or two of residency? You are only eligible after 5 years: Status of non-EU nationals who are long-term residents
Or did you mean some other kind of permit?

There is also a residency criteria for citizenship (7 years unless you are married to a Cypriot national - then it is only 3 and different procedure). See http://eudo-citizenship.eu/docs/CountryReports/Cyprus.pdf
 

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Hm. How do you do it after only a year or two of residency? You are only eligible after 5 years: Status of non-EU nationals who are long-term residents
Or did you mean some other kind of permit?

There is also a residency criteria for citizenship (7 years unless you are married to a Cypriot national - then it is only 3 and different procedure). See http://eudo-citizenship.eu/docs/CountryReports/Cyprus.pdf
Well, that is a good question. I had never looked at that EU regulation. I have only looked at Cyprus regulations, and they are not necessarily current or complete or in English. We all know that there are EU regs and then there is Cyprus :). Anyway, last year when I went to immigration to renew my one-year residency permit, I asked the immigration official if there was an option to apply for a longer term permit instead of having to go through the same process every year. He said yes and explained the process to me. It is essentially the same as for a one-year permit except that I have to get a criminal record check done (by the FBI) and I have to provide certified letters from my bank(s) stating my account values. I was told to apply for the long-term permit at the same time as the one-year permit - I guess that in case you don't get the long-term permit you still have the one-year permit.

I am aware of the 7-year residency requirement for naturalization. I am working towards that goal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the answers, Miss Daisy! I appreciate them all. I would definitely be interested to hear the initial process you went through for the residency permit, if possible!

As an American with no need to apply for the short-stay/90-day visa (that I believe are the same thing), does the automatic 90-day visa cover multiple entries from Cyprus? I see on the regular "Short Stay Visa" application form that you may request Single Entry, Two Entries, or Multiple.

Also, what bank did/do you use in Cyprus? I have a bank account with HSBC who I know operates inside of Cyprus - would that be acceptable or does it have to be a true Cypriot-established bank?

Thank you again for your input! :)
 

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Thank you for the answers, Miss Daisy! I appreciate them all. I would definitely be interested to hear the initial process you went through for the residency permit, if possible!

As an American with no need to apply for the short-stay/90-day visa (that I believe are the same thing), does the automatic 90-day visa cover multiple entries from Cyprus? I see on the regular "Short Stay Visa" application form that you may request Single Entry, Two Entries, or Multiple.

Also, what bank did/do you use in Cyprus? I have a bank account with HSBC who I know operates inside of Cyprus - would that be acceptable or does it have to be a true Cypriot-established bank?

Thank you again for your input! :)
I use Hellenic Bank in Cyprus. HSBC does not have office in the RoC; they have one in the Turkish-occupied area. I searched because I have an account with HSBC. You need to have an account opened at an office of a bank in Cyprus.

The 90-day entry is for 90 consecutive days, so if you leave, the 90-day clock resets when you come back. Though if you do this often, immigration might question you. You should apply for a permit if your are going to be in Cyprus more than 183 days of the year.

For the 1-year permit, you need the following documents:
Contract of house or rental agreement
medical insurance
Bank statement
Birth certificate
Marriage Certificate
Bank Guarantee
3 passport size photos
M-61 form (they completed this for me)
Passport
ank statement from abroad or business contract
70 Euros

I went to the immigration with all the documents except the bank guarantee an the clerk went through my documents, explained that I was missing the bank guarantee, told me how to get it and set up an appointment for me for a few days later. I returned with all the documents and the guarantee and they filed the application for me and sent it off to Nicosia. 4 weeks later, my permit arrived in the mail.

To renew the permit, it's the same documents all over again, but the fee is only 35 Euros. Takes the same amount of time though.

Today I went to immigration to confirm what I need to apply for the long-term permit. The form for this is the M-67, titled "Application for Immigration Permit Under any of the Categories A to F, inclusive, of Regulation 5". Category F is for applicants of independent means. Documents for this are the same as above plus:
Income declaration from other sources
Criminal Record certificates (get this from the FBI - need to plan ahead for this as the FBI requires your fingerprints)

The clerk explained that I apply for the 1-year permit renewal at the same time as the long-term permit. There is no additional fee. He indicated that while they review my application for the 5-year permit, they will issue the 1-year permit renewal.

So I am gathering documents and will submit all this at the end of June.....stayed tuned for an update on what happens with regard to the long-term permit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you very much for all your info Miss Daisy - I greatly appreciate it! All of your answers have been very, very helpful. The M-61 form is the renewal for residency + work permit, yes?

It's too bad about HSBC - I chose them for their international presence so it's rather unfortunate they only operate in the north. Ah well.

Thank you again for your input!
 

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Update on my long-term residence permit application

At the beginning of July, I provided immigration with my application to renew my one-year residency permit and I also submitted my application for a 5-year permit, which is actually a Type F (in my case) visa for 5 years.

As was explained to me by immigration, I will receive notification in the mail whether my 5-year permit has been approved or not and if it is approved, I will have to go to Nicosia immigration (wherever that is) and pay a fee (whatever that is) and they will give me some kind of identity card.

I submitted all the required documentation to the office in Dherynia. About a week after I submitted the application and associated reams of documentation, I received a phone call from someone in the immigration office asking me some clarification questions - how much money did I have in the bank(s) in the US, confirmation of how much money I had in the bank in Cyprus, was I working, was I divorced, did I have children, did I buy my house in Cyprus, did I speak Greek (I am learning). I provided all answers and offered additional documentation (certificate from my Greek language class, Cypriot driving license) to support that fact that I have permanently moved here and have no intent of leaving - they said they did not need that additional documentation.

So far, the process seems to be moving along with no glitches. Stay tuned.......
 

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Looks like what you applied for is not a "Long Term Residence Permit" (see here: Status of non-EU nationals who are long-term residents ) but an "immigration permit category F" (some info here: CITIZEN'S CHARTER - Civil Registry and Migration Department - Immigration Permits ).

The difference is that the former is regulated by EU law, the holder have almost the same rights as a citizen (except voting etc.) and "immigration permits" are somewhat restricted depending on the category. Particularly a category F holder is not allowed to work or do business.
Both statuses are permanent though.
 

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Well, whatever the case, if I don't have to reapply every year for residency, I will be happy. And once I get this visa or permit or whatever it is called, it will keep me legal until I apply for citizenship.
 

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Well, whatever the case, if I don't have to reapply every year for residency, I will be happy. And once I get this visa or permit or whatever it is called, it will keep me legal until I apply for citizenship.
And after you apply for citizenship you will need to wait for another 7 years (i.e. you will need a permit nevertheless, just application for naturalization does not make one legal in the country))))) Unless, of course, something Drastic happens with the speed of processing applications.. or maybe they have special procedures for americans ;-)
 

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And after you apply for citizenship you will need to wait for another 7 years (i.e. you will need a permit nevertheless, just application for naturalization does not make one legal in the country))))) Unless, of course, something Drastic happens with the speed of processing applications.. or maybe they have special procedures for americans ;-)
Of course I understand that until I get citizenship, some sort of residency permit is required.

I find it hard to believe that the naturalization process takes 7 years from the time of application (requiring a total of 14 years living in Cyprus). I know that I cannot apply for citizenship until I have been here for 7 years and I assume that it will take 1-2 years to become a citizen, but not 7 years after I apply!
 

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I find it hard to believe that the naturalization process takes 7 years from the time of application (requiring a total of 14 years living in Cyprus). I know that I cannot apply for citizenship until I have been here for 7 years and I assume that it will take 1-2 years to become a citizen, but not 7 years after I apply!
Well, that is how long it Actually took somebody I know to get the Cyprus passport (and the application was in order, no criminal past or anything)) ! And I know Nobody who got it sooner than 5 years after the application. They are overloaded with applications and simply can not process them faster.. So unless some MAJOR restructuring happens in the relevant departments (and it has not for the past decade at least) I would not get hopes high and get ready for a Slow process.. Siga-siga as they say here.
 

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Anna-bel, processing of naturalization applications used to be faster around 5 years ago and earlier, I know a few people who got their citizenship in approx. 2 years after application around that time.
But you are right that lately it takes 5 years or more :(
 
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Just a question

What is the big difference for someone coming from outside EU between an unlimited permission to stay and citizenship?

It must be more then the right to vote.

Anders
 

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What is the big difference for someone coming from outside EU between an unlimited permission to stay and citizenship?
Hm... Freedom of movement in the EU? (as by becoming Cypriot citizen one also becomes European Union citizen)
Plus, as I pointed out earlier, there are different kinds of "permanent residence permits" with different kinds of restrictions.
BTW, here are some interesting (not exhaustive though) information about naturalization, residence permits etc.: Cyprus | MIPEX - Migrant Integration Policy Index
 

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Just a question

What is the big difference for someone coming from outside EU between an unlimited permission to stay and citizenship?

It must be more then the right to vote.

Anders
There are quite a few, most obvious one - Citizenship means European passport i.e. for example, ability to freely move within all Europe, and long-term permit means one can stay only in Cyprus and has to apply for visas to other countries (even for a 3 day visit). I am not a lawyer but I expect inheritance / marriage laws applicable to an individual differ quite significantly as well.. If you acquire citizenship they Have to treat you as a Cypriot (unless, of course, you commit a serious crime) - and you may have as many long-term permits as you want but legally you will still be a foreigner.. Well, in Cyprus even naturalized foreigners who do not speak perfect Greek (and even whose who manage well) are still treated as foreigners. IMHO, the community here is quite closed no matter what your passport is, they will only (often Unwillingly) treat as one of their own the foreigners who marry into the Family. Maybe that last bit's a little off the topic... but for a serious list of legal differences between individuals with European passports and non-EU nationals residing in Cyprus some study of lengthy regulations / publications might be needed!
 
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Ofc the free movement even if I thought that a permission to stay in Cyprus for third country citizens had the same validity as for a Eu one, meaning that you have the right to go in all 27 states without Visa

Have really not found any writing on Internet about the difference, perhaps someone can point in the right direction

Anders
 
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Hm... Freedom of movement in the EU? (as by becoming Cypriot citizen one also becomes European Union citizen)
Plus, as I pointed out earlier, there are different kinds of "permanent residence permits" with different kinds of restrictions.
BTW, here are some interesting (not exhaustive though) information about naturalization, residence permits etc.: Cyprus | MIPEX - Migrant Integration Policy Index
This is really scary reading. As Swede I should be proud but thinking of the 3 year of fighing to get my wife to sweden without succes is nothing to be proud for.

And even more scary reading is the way the EU states treats the Recidence card

But somehow in Cyprus it seems that the russian population has no big problems to get a permission to stay, and I cant believe that all work in Russian companies in Limassol
 

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This is really scary reading. As Swede I should be proud but thinking of the 3 year of fighing to get my wife to sweden without succes is nothing to be proud for.

And even more scary reading is the way the EU states treats the Recidence card

But somehow in Cyprus it seems that the russian population has no big problems to get a permission to stay, and I cant believe that all work in Russian companies in Limassol
In reality despite what all the government websites say, no EU citizens or their spouses, no matter what nationality, have any problems with getting permission to stay.
We sold a hosue to an Engisihman who hasnt lived in the UK for many years, his wife is from Taiwan and there were no problems at all with her getting her residence permit.
The whole immirgation thing has become far more relaxed, especially for anyone who is buying a property. They are even allowing Chinese to stay as long as they spend at least 300K on a house.
 
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