Brazilians around the world: Cyprus

Legalmondo e Internacionalize

The Internationalize portal, alongside Legalmondo, launches the Brazilians around the world series, which will address the main legal aspects of each country, analyzed from the points of view: immigration, tax, succession and business. This edition covers Cyprus.

Browse through the questionnaire items in the menu below:

Immigration Law

1. The main work visas in Cyprus

2. Investment-related visas in Cyprus

3. Special types of visa in Cyprus

4. How to obtain citizenship in Cyprus

Tax Law

1. Individual Income Tax in Cyprus

2. Wealth Taxation in Cyprus

3. How Cyprus views Tax Havens

4. Treaties to avoid double taxation in Cyprus

Succession Law

1. Probate in Cyprus

2. Trusts and Foundations under Cyprus' Law

Business Law

1. Setting up and running a business entity in Cyprus

2. Entity holders in Cyprus

3. Opening a bank account in Cyprus

Immigration Law

1. The main work visas in Cyprus

No work visa is required by a European Union national who can enter and work in Cyprus. An entry, residence or employment (work) permit is required in the case of nationals of other countries. There are different kinds of residence permits: temporary residence permit, immigration permit, long term residence permits; not all of them grant a right to the holder to work in Cyprus.

Generally, work related permits will be issued for a maximum period of 4 years, apart from work in the sectors of the livestock farming and agriculture sectors, in which case the maximum period is 6 years. Extended visas may be granted in the cases of:

(i) highly skilled personnel employed in companies with substantial annual turnover;

(ii) executive directors, middle-management staff, executive staff and other key personnel working in companies of foreign interests (at least 50% of the company’s share capital belonging to a non-Cyprus citizen or, its’ direct foreign capital investment to be at least €171.000); certain minimum salary requirements apply;

(iii) qualified nurses, registered in Cyprus for the practice of such nurse profession;

(iv) athletes and coaches of individual or team sports;

(v) religious icon painters (for particular projects).

Different rules apply for other categories of people who may obtain a temporary residence permit e.g. students, researchers, domestic workers, employees in start-ups etc.

2. Investment-related visas in Cyprus

At the time of drafting this report, no investment-related visa scheme is in force.

3. Special types of visa in Cyprus

European Union nationals and their family members must complete a registration procedure within four months from the date of entry into the Republic of Cyprus if they will live and work in the country. Such persons and their family members may apply for the issue of a permanent residence certificate after a period of 5 years of uninterrupted lawful residence in the Republic of Cyprus.

4. How to obtain a Cyprus citizenship

Different rules apply depending on one’s circumstances:

Foreign nationals: Completion of 7 years of lawful residence in the Republic of Cyprus prior to the date of application with the exception of foreign nationals who are either parents or children of Cypriot citizens in which case the period of residence is reduced to 5 years. Such person must have resided lawfully and continuously in Cyprus during the period of 12 months preceding the date of the application.

Spouses of Cypriot citizens: Foreign nationals married to Cypriot citizens who have completed 3 years of marriage and 2 years of residence in the Republic of Cyprus preceding the date of the application.

Cypriot origin: individuals born abroad after the 16th of August 1960 whose father at the time of birth was a Cypriot citizen and individuals born abroad after the 11th of June 1999 whose mother was a Cypriot citizen at the time of their birth may apply for Cypriot citizenship.

Tax Law

1. Individual Income Tax in Cyprus

Cyprus taxes tax residents on their worldwide income and non-tax residents are taxed on income accruing or arising from sources in Cyprus. An individual is considered as tax-resident in the Republic of Cyprus if he stays in Cyprus for more than 183 days in a year.

An individual who does not stay in any other country, for one or more periods exceeding in aggregate 183 days in the same tax year and is not tax resident in any other country for the same year, is deemed as a resident in Cyprus in that tax year, if all of the following conditions are met:

  • the individual stays in Cyprus for at least 60 days in the tax year,

  • exercises a business and/or is employed in Cyprus and/or holds an office with a Cyprus tax resident company at any time during the tax year,

  • maintains (by owning or leasing) a permanent home in Cyprus.

The income tax rates applicable to personal income are as follows:

Taxable income Tax rate

0 - 19,500 0

19,501 – 28,000 20%

28,001 – 36,300 25%

36,301 – 60,000 30%

60,001 and over 35%

Tax paid in respect of any income in another country with which Cyprus has entered into a double tax avoidance treaty is to be allowed as a credit against tax payable in Cyprus in respect of that income. The amount of tax payable in respect of the income is reduced by the amount of the credit.

2. Wealth Taxation in Cyprus

Cyprus generally does not impose a wealth, gift, or inheritance tax.

Capital gains tax is imposed on transfers of immovable property located in Cyprus as well as on shares of companies holding immovable property in Cyprus. Certain transfers are exempted from the applicable capital gains tax. These are as follows:

  • transfer by reason of death,

  • gift made from parent to child or between husband and wife or relatives within the third degree of kindred,

  • gift made to a limited liability company whose shareholders are and continue to be members of the disposer’s family for a period of 5 year as after the gift,

  • gift of property made by a limited company, where all the shareholders are members of the same family, to any of its shareholders property when the property which is gifted was acquired by the company also as a gift,

  • transfer of immovable property between estranged spouses after the issue of a divorce court order which constitutes a settlement of property between them under that relevant laws.

Gifts of movable assets are not subject capital gains taxation in Cyprus.

3. How Cyprus views Tax Havens

At the date of writing this report Cyprus does not maintain a blacklist. However, a draft law is under examination aiming to introduce withholding tax on dividend, interest and royalty payments to countries included in Annex I of the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions on tax matters at the rates of 17%, 30% and 10% respectively. In addition, a further corporate tax residency element based on incorporation is proposed to be added to the existing ‘management and control’ test.

4. Treaties to avoid double taxation in Cyprus

Cyprus is not a member of the OECD. The double tax avoidance treaties entered into by Cyprus usually follows the OECD model treaty with certain changes. Yet not all such treaties provide for a limitation of benefits provision. At this date, 63 double tax avoidance treaties with other countries are