A successful government initiative to attract foreign expertise and digital nomads.
Since the government's plan for luring firms and people went into effect in January of this year, the Civil Registry and Migration Department has received 9,090 relocation applications from international companies, with 97% of those applications now processed.
In addition, the department said that interest in the government's digital nomad visa has exceeded initial projections.
As a result, the government has revised its earlier proposal to issue no more than 100 of these visas to a maximum of 500 visas.
As previously described, the digital nomad visa is valid for a single year, although holders can renew it for an additional two years.
Interior Minister Nicos Nouris stated during his address at an event hosted by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) in Paphos, “Our intention is to establish Cyprus as a successful, reliable and competitive destination, ready to provide the conditions under which any investor can thrive”.
The seminar discussed Cyprus' commercial relations with China and the potential for future investments, as well as how business attractiveness schemes relate to immigration and residence restrictions, and how the nations might expand their corporate cooperation.
In his greeting, which was read by Paphos Prefect Mary Lambrou, Nouris discussed the evolution of relations between Cyprus and China, stating that Nicosia hopes to maintain this positive momentum.
In order to promote and expedite investment, the Interior Ministry has chosen to widen the scope of the fast-track planning authorization process to accommodate larger and more complicated developments, according to Nouris.
Maria Adamidou, director of the Civil Registry and Migration Department, stated during the occasion that the new strategy had resulted to an “impressive increase in interest from foreign companies to relocate to Cyprus”.
Moreover, Adamidou stated that the growing interest of firms seeking to migrate or extend their operations to Cyprus is evident when comparing the number of applications for residence and work permits submitted by foreign corporations over the previous two years.
“The number of applications submitted has more than doubled in the first nine months since the adoption of the new strategy,” Adamidou said.
“In more detail, 5,475 applications were submitted in 2021, while from January 2022 when the new business attractiveness strategy came into force and until the end of September 2022, our department has already received 9090 applications, with 97 per cent already processed,” she added.
In addition to promoting the hiring of foreign nationals, she added that the new policy also fosters family reunion.
She said that in 2021, 4,242 applications for family reunion permits were submitted, of which 204 involved spouses' access to employment.
During the first nine months of 2022, 4,653 family reunification applications were lodged, 291 of which concerned spouses' access to employment.
Adamidou then spoke to the digital nomad visas, which are also a part of the new plan, stating that they were introduced during a tough and vital time for Cyprus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Third-country nationals who are already self-employed or employed abroad and work remotely from Cyprus have the right to apply for a “digital prefecture” residence permit for up to one year, which can be renewed for an additional period of two years,” she explained, noting that digital nomads can also be accompanied by members of their family, who receive a visitor’s residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus.
“Initially, the percentage for such permits was set at 100, but it has since increased to 500, due to the popularity of the project,” Adamidou added.
In partnership with the Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy, the plan for talented entrepreneurs from outside the EU, known as the Cyprus Startup Visa, has been extended until May 31, 2024, according to Adamidou.
“The Government, the Ministry of the Interior and the Civil Registry and Migration Department will continue to work tirelessly, in cooperation with social partners, the public and private sectors to promote Cyprus as an ideal destination for establishing and developing a business”, Adamidou said.
“Our main priorities are to set aside red tape and introduce fast and smooth processes,” she concluded.
By fLEXI tEAM