For a variety of reasons, families, individuals, entrepreneurs, digital nomads and investors are visiting/relocating to Cyprus. These include a fair and open tax system, (but not a tax heaven as many think) up-to-date legal and regulatory frameworks, high standards of living, elite educational institutions, business-friendliness, access to key European markets, and a huge talent pool and of course the Mediterranean Sea and the Mediterranean food.
Numerous cutting-edge growth industries, including shipping, real estate, investment, hospitality and tourism, energy, education, filmmaking, and start-ups, have also helped Cyprus become a sought-after global business hub, attracting some of the biggest corporations in the world to establish presences here.
Non-EU immigration to Cyprus
Economic migrants and those seeking asylum are examples of immigrants from countries outside of Europe. The European Commission refers to a person from a non-EU nation who establishes his or her own customary residence in the territory of an EU country for a time that is or is anticipated to be twelve months as an “immigrant.”
The legislation and rules governing the issuance of entry, residency, and employment permits for non-EU nationals are, however, restricted. Additionally, they are open to modifications, ongoing adjustments, and revisions. All non-EU nationals who plan to live in Cyprus must, in general, apply for a visa.
Our corporate team provides guidance on a variety of issues relevant to Cyprus immigration law and keeps abreast of any legislative changes. We closely collaborate with clients, following through on any immigration application at every level until it is approved.
Types of Visas and Permits
If you intend to visit Cyprus for business or vacation for a period not exceeding 3 months, you are required to apply for a short-stay visa. The visa can be issued as multiple-entry or single-entry. If you plan on travelling to Cyprus frequently for business or otherwise, you may apply for a 1-year multiple-entry visa but the total stay within that period may not exceed 3 months.
For any non-EU citizen who will be in Cyprus long-term without taking up employment may apply for a special temporary permit (commonly referred to as the “Pink Slip”). This permit is usually issued for a period of 1-2 years but can be easily extended for an additional 1–2-year period is required.
Categories of temporary residence permits (pink slips) include:
This permit is for any non-EU national who wishes to be self-employed or take up employment at a Cyprus company or has at their disposal a secure annual income without the need to secure employment or engage in any business or profession; and who meets the criteria of the specific category that such person would fall into, as defined by Cyprus legislation and immigration regulations.
This permit applies to a non-EU family member of non-EU citizens or non-EU family members of EU citizens who wish to apply for permanent residency in Cyprus.
Registration of European citizens in Cyprus
According to Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, EU citizens have the right to move and relocate without permissions within the Union’s territory. European (EU and EEA) citizens who wish to live in Cyprus can apply for a registration certificate, as known as Yellow Slip. The application should be submitted within 4 months from the date of entry
Foreign companies in Cyprus
Third party national employees in international companies
Eligible to obtain temporary work permits under the civil registry and migration department’s policy for third-country nationals working for foreign-owned businesses in Cyprus. It governs family reunification permits, job permits, renewals of permits, and entry visas. It is based on Cap. 105 of the Aliens and Immigration Law. which was subsequently amended to include Cyprus companies from specific industries and sectors.
Criteria for Eligible foreign companies
1.Third-country shareholders should own the majority of the company’s shares OR,
In cases 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 eligible, then the foreign participation should represent an amount equal to or greater than the amount of € 200.000 as nominal capital OR,
Companies that fulfil the following criteria:
2. 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 cohabitation.
1. Highly skilled third-party nationals provided that:
– they will be paid a minimum gross monthly salary of € 2,500
– they will hold a university degree or diploma or equivalent qualification or confirmation of relevant experience in a corresponding employment position of at least 2 years duration.
– submit an employment contract of not less than two years.
The maximum number of third-country nationals that can be employed is set at 70% of all employees over a period of 5 years, from the date of joining the Business Facilitation Unit. After the lapse of 5 years if it is not possible to employ 30% of Cypriot workers, the matter will be re-examined on a case-by-case basis.
2. Third country nationals support staff with gross monthly salary less than EUR 2.500 is permitted provided that their number does not exceed 30% of the total support staff and provided that there is an employment contract between the third country national and the employer which is duly validated by the competent authority in accordance with current legislation Their salary is determined by the current legislation.
Third-country nationals who work as directors or as middle management executives or other key personnel are eligible for family reunification. As the government states, “Family reunification refers to the entry and residence of the family members of a third-country national residing legally in the Republic, in order to preserve family unity”. The right for family reunification is given to family members of third-party nationals who have resided lawfully in Cyprus for at least 2 years and hold a residence permit of at least 1 year.
The Cyprus Digital Nomad Visa scheme was recently introduced to allow third party nationals to work remotely by residing temporarily in Cyprus. The program is intended to non-EU/EEA citizens who work remotely and are employed in a company registered abroad. Remote employees have to prove they have stable and sufficient monthly net income of at least €3500. The digital nomad permit has a validity period of 1 year and can be extended for further 2 years.