25 Apr Obtaining a Work Permit in the Republic of Cyprus
On 29.11.2006, the Council of Ministers, established the policy for issuing and renewing residence and employment permits for personnel from third countries who are employed in companies of foreign interests that are registered in the Republic.
Unlike EU citizens, Non-EU citizens who wish to obtain a work / employment permit in the Republic of Cyprus must be employed by a Company who is eligible to employ third country nationals.
Employment permits for third country nationals
In order for companies of foreign interest, including former offshore companies and Cyprus shipping companies, to employ third country nationals in the Republic of Cyprus there are a number of criteria and conditions that they must fulfill:
Eligible CY companies :
a) Their third country shareholders should own the majority of the company’s shares.
The following cases are excluded:
- Public companies registered in any recognized stock exchange
- Former offshore companies that were operating in Cyprus by approval of the Cyprus Central Bank, before the change of the offshore status.
b) If 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 € 171.000.
c) In the case where Companies are the shareholders, then their final owners (natural persons who are the Ultimate Beneficial Owners) should be declared, in order to receive the approval of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
d) A foreign direct investment of capital amounting to at least € 171.000, must be legally transfered to Cyprus from abroad. This should be proved by appropriate bank and other documents (swift), explaining the relation between the sender and receiver. This requirement applies ONLY to companies which shall employ staff/employees from third countries for the first time.
e) To operate in independent offices in Cyprus, housed in suitable premises, separate from any private housing or other office, except in the case of business co-habitation.
Companies that meet the above conditions, are entitled to employ third country nationals in the following categories, provided that they first obtain temporary residence and employment permits.
In this category the following third-country nationals are included:
- Directors or Partners registered in the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver,
- General Managers of branches and of mother companies of alien companies
- Departmental Managers
It is emphasized that the minimum acceptable gross monthly salary for Directors is €3.872, an amount that may be adjusted from time to time, depending on fluctuations in the wage index.
Middle management executives and other key personnel:
In this category the following third country nationals are included:
- Upper / middle management personnel,
- Other administrative, secretarial or technical staff
It is emphasized that the minimum acceptable gross monthly salary for this category is between €1936 – €3871. Amounts may be adjusted from time to time, depending on wage index fluctuations.
All third country nationals not included in the above categories.
Companies are expected to fill in positions in this category with Cypriot or European citizens. In the case where there are no qualified Cypriots or European citizens available, a company may employ third country nationals in posts in this category by following the procedure and submitting the certificates/ supporting documents/ documents described in the list of accompanying documents, after first securing the positive recommendation (sealed employment contract) of the Department of Labour.
Maximum number of third country employees per staff category
Senior Management: Five (5) persons, unless the Civil Registry and Migration Department is satisfied that the employment of a greater number is justified, depending on the circumstances of each company.
Middle management executives and other key personnel: Ten (10) persons, unless the Civil Registry and Migration Department is satisfied that the employment of a greater number is justified, depending on the circumstances of each company.
Support staff: There is no maximum number for the employment of third country nationals under this category, provided that the necessary approvals from the Department of Labour have been obtained. No approval from the Department of Labour is needed for third county nationals who enjoy free access to the labour marker.
For employing a greater number of third country personnel under the above categories, duly justified and documented requests by the company must be submitted to the Department. The requests must include information on the salary offered as well as:
- The company’s turnover
- The ratio of third country employees to Cypriots / EU Nationals and
- The company’s operating time in Cyprus.
It is stressed that the requests should only concern specific persons whose employment is considered necessary by the company. General requests on the matter cannot be considered.
- The documents necessary for the registration of the Company are the following:
- Original Certificate of Incorporation
- Original Certificate of Registered Office
- Original Certificate of Directors
- Original Certificate of Shareholders that proves that the percentage of the foreign contribution in the share capital is over 50% of the whole. In case the shareholders are composed of foreign companies, the whole chain of ownership should be exhibited (along with the applicable original supportive documents e.g shareholders’ certificates) including the latest owners that must be natural persons.
- Memorandum and Articles of Association
> All of the above must be Originals and Stamped by the Registrar of Companies.
- List with the names, full addresses, passport numbers and nationality of the initial shareholders of the applying company. Companies registered in any recognized Stock Exchange and International Companies, which were operating before the change of regime, and for which the Central Bank of Cyprus possesses all necessary data do not require this.
- Financial statement of the Company
- Payment of the Company’s tax for each year (annual levy)
- Tax clearance certificate
- Statement that they have not employed any aliens / non EU in the past
- List of Company’s personnel (applicants and employees)
- Domicile deed title of lease agreement or contract of sale and purchase of the offices in Cyprus
- Deposited amount of €170.860 which, can be proved with relevant banking and other documents (SWIFT) that the direct foreign capital investments amounts at least €170.860 and it was legally transferred to Cyprus from abroad. If the investment is not made by the ultimate beneficial owner the relationship between the investor and the beneficial owner must be proved.
- Recent bank account statement with available balance of at least €41.006 and bank statement that amount came from abroad
- Affidavit regarding the proprietorship of the Company by its Directors
- Copy of passport (valid) of the final beneficiaries
- Profile describing the nature of the company’s business and details of its operations
- The documents necessary for the registration of the employee
- 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]
- Brief Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- 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.
- 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)
- 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
- Authorization for payment by bank transfer (FIMAS)
- Diplomas including copies of all academic qualifications (translated in English)
- Important notes:
- A foreign direct investment of capital amounting to at least € 171.000, must be legally transferred to Cyprus from abroad.
- The Cyprus company must open a bank account in Cyprus.
- The employees must have such a diploma which corresponds to the activities of the compan
- Criminal record certificate should not exceed 4 months from the date of issuance
For more information on how to apply and obtain an Employment permit in Cyprus, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +35725255059
Note: The above article does not constitute a legal advice and may not be relied upon for such purposes. Readers are recommended to take appropriate legal advice on the above subject matter.