Residence and Employment Permit – Cyprus (Updated)

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In general, as in most countries, Cyprus issues residence and employment permits on a temporary basis and for specified work. Foreign nationals (non-Eu citizens) can apply and be granted a general employment work permit for a duration of 4 years with the ability to renew if the Civil Registry is satisfied that such position could have not been filled by a Cypriot or an EU citizen.  However, the Republic of Cyprus as an initiative to encourage international businesses to set up their headquarters provides for special residence and work permits for non-EU staff of “Companies with Foreign Interest” that have no restrictions in regards to the duration of permits.

What are Companies with Foreign Interest?

  • Companies duly incorporated in the Republic of Cyprus
  • Majority of the companies’ shareholders is non-EU nationals (over 50%) or
  • If the percentage of the foreign participation in the share capital of a company is equal or below fifty percent (50%) of the total share capital, this percentage should represent an amount equal to or higher than €200.000.

An eligible company which fulfils the above conditions should apply to the Ministry of Interior, Civil Registration and Migration Department to be registered as a Company of Foreign Interest. The following documents at a minimum will be requested:

  • Original Certificate of Incorporation by the Registrar of Companies.
  • Original Certificate of Registered Office by the Registrar of Companies.
  • Original Certificate of Directors by the Registrar of Companies.
  • Original Certificate of Shareholders by the Registrar of Companies, proving that the percentage of foreign participation in the company’s share capital is over 50% of the total share capital*. In the case where companies are the shareholders, the whole chain of ownership up to the final owners (natural persons who are the ultimate beneficial owners) should be declared and documented. *In case where the percentage of foreign participation in the company’s share capital is equal to or less than 50% of the total share capital, in order for the company to be considered as suitable, the foreign participation should represent an amount equal to or greater than the amount of €200.000.
  • Directors’ Affidavit on the company’s ownership
  • Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ valid passport(s). 
  • Original Company Memorandum. 
  • Description of the company’s principal activities. 
  • Deposited amount of at least €200.000, supported by a Bank SWIFT or other similar document which proves a foreign direct investment by the ultimate beneficial owner, legally admitted to Cyprus from abroad. In the case where the investment has not directly been made by the ultimate beneficial owner, the relation of the investor to the ultimate beneficial owner must be proved and documented.
  • Recent bank account statement with a remaining balance of at least €41.006 (from the initial investment of €200.000).
  • Completed Analytical Statement of Company of Foreign Interests’ Personnel
  • Title of ownership or rent agreement. If the title of ownership has not been obtained yet, the applicant must submit the contract of sale duly stamped by the Stamps Commissioner and the Department of Lands & Surveys and proof of payments. 
  • Audited Company Accounts (for companies already operating in Cyprus).
  • Tax Clearance Certificate for the company (for companies already operating in Cyprus).
  • Proof of Levy Payment for the Registrar of Companies (for companies already operating in Cyprus).
  • The establishment/operation of independent offices in Cyprus, in suitable premises, separate from any private housing or other office, except in the case of business co-habitation.

Foreign Nationals Staff

Approved companies by the Civil Registration and Migration Department may employ third country nationals in the following positions:

  1. Executive Directors
  2. Middle Management Staff/Executive Staff/Other Key Support Staff
  3. Specialists
  4. Other Support Staff

Executive Directors

Includes employees who are:

  • Directors or Partners registered in the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver
  • General Managers of branches and subsidiaries of foreign companies
  • Departmental Managers
  • Project Managers

The maximum number of Executive Directors that can be employed is generally 5, unless the company can justify otherwise. Newly appointed Executive Directors must be paid a minimum €4.000, an amount that may be adjusted from time to time, depending on fluctuations in the wage index.

Middle Management Staff/Executive Staff/Other Key Support Staff

Includes employees who are:

  • Upper/Middle management personnel
  • Other administrative, secretarial or technical staff

The maximum number of staff allowed to be employed under this category is 10, unless the company can justify otherwise. Newly appointed employs in this category must be paid within the range of €2.000- €3.999, an amount that may be adjusted from time to time, depending on fluctuations in the wage index.

Specialists

Includes employees in professions/with skills as listed in the table below:

#Professions / Skills
1Software and System Engineers
2Application and Data Architects
3Information and Communication Technology and Enterprise Solution Architects
4Technical Assurance Professionals
5Telecom and Space Engineers
6Data scientists
7Machine Learning Engineers
8Web Developers and designers
9UX User Experience Professionals
10Quantitative Analysts
11Quality Assurance Analysts
12Mobile Application Developers
13Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality Programmers
14Digital Marketing Specialists
15Video Production Multimedia Specialists for Mobile Apps and Software
16Analysts for Mobile Apps and Software
17Designers of Prototype for Mobile Devices
18DevOps Engineers
19Cyber Security Specialists
20Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Big Data Specialists
21Pharmaceutical Formulation Technologists
22Pharmaceutical Engineer Validation Specialists
23Pharmaceutical Patents Specialists
24Pharmaceutical Regulatory and Quality Assurance Professionals
25Marine Engineers
26Naval Architects

The maximum number of staff allowed to be employed under this category is based on the annual turnover of the company as listed below:

≤1 million: 5
>€1 – €3 millions: 10
>€3 – €5 millions: 20
>€5 – €10 millions: 30
>€10 – €20 millions: 50
>€20 – €30 millions:100
>€30 millions: 200

Newly appointed employees in this category must be paid a minimum amount of €2000 an amount that may be adjusted from time to time, depending on fluctuations in the wage index.

Supporting Staff

This category includes all third country nationals not included in the aforementioned categories. In this case the Department of Labour expects that positions in this category should be filled by Cypriot or other EU citizens. In instances where no qualified Cypriot or other EU citizen can fill such positions then the company may elect to employ third country nationals in posts in this category at a rate of 30% of the total staff, by first securing positive recommendation of the Department of Labour

An eligible individual which fulfils the above conditions should apply to the Ministry of Interior, Civil Registration and Migration Department for an entry permit, registration and acquisition of a temporary residence and employment permit for employees in companies of foreign interest. The following documents at a minimum will be requested:

  • Copy of valid passport or other travel document with validity of at least two (2) years from the date of the submission of the application.
  • Copy of the passport’s or other travel document’s page showing the latest arrival in the Republic and visa (if applicable)
  • List of Company´s third country personnel per category [Directors and Middle Management Staff /Key Personnel] (instances which this is not required)
  • Brief Curriculum Vitae (CV) (including copies of academic qualifications) + Diplomas
  • Original letter of guarantee issued by a bank or cooperative institution in Cyprus with validity of 10 years covering possible repatriation expenses. The amount depends on the country of origin. (instances which this is not required)
  • Original blood analysis results showing that the third country national does not bear/suffer from HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C and a chest x-rays for tuberculosis (TB) from a Government Hospital of the Republic or duly certified by a Government Doctor of the Republic
  • Original contract of employment dully signed and two (2) copies dully stamped 
  • Title deed or rental agreement of a house/apartment dully certified by the relevant president of the community (mukhtar)
  • Valid Certificate of Health Insurance for medical care that covers inpatient and outpatient care and transportation of corpse (Plan A)
  • Employer´s liability insurance with an automatic renewal
  • Original Certificate of Criminal Record from the country of origin (if the applicant resides in a country other than the country of origin, the certificate should be issued from the country of residence)
  • Receipt of payment of the annual company fee to the Registrar of Companies (instances which this is not required)
  • Authorisation for payment by bank transfer (FIMAS) (instances which this is not required)

We are a team of experienced professionals, all sharing a unique drive for learning and development through teamwork. The Group utilizes its various core activities to implement customized solutions for its clients. Our collective experience spans the areas of Global Corporate & Fiduciary Services, Assurance & Advisory Services, Fund Administration, Tax Advisory, Corporate Governance, Financial Services, Private Wealth Services and Compliance. 

Start a conversation with us today to find out how you can benefit from a relationship with Flexi Group . Please get in contact with our Head of Business Development:

Mrs Daniella May / Head of Business Development

Tel. : + 357 7000 2 5555 / + 357 22 87 57 55

E: inquiries@flexi-group.net

We also organize calls using Skype. Our flexi Skype ID is web@flexi-group.net

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