CMCY | Temporary Residence and Employment permits for Non- EU citizens in the Republic of Cyprus (BCS)
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Temporary Residence and Employment permits for Non- EU citizens in the Republic of Cyprus (BCS)

Temporary Residence and Employment permits for Non- EU citizens in the Republic of Cyprus (BCS)

Temporary Residence and Employment permits for Non- EU citizens in the Republic of Cyprus (BCS)

The Council of Ministers approved on October 15th 2021, the “Strategy for Attracting Businesses for Activities or/and Expansion of their Activities in Cyprus”.

The Strategy is a very important initiative towards attracting both international investments and talent. The existing investment policy has been radically reviewed, broadened and simplified to include a series of actions and reforms in several areas of intervention, aiming to enhance Cyprus’ position as an international high-growth business centre.

The careful and thorough planning ensures that the benefits derived from the successful implementation of the Strategy will significantly contribute to redefining the Cyprus growth model.

As of 1 January 2022 the current “Fast Track Business Activation Mechanism” will evolve into the “Business Facilitation Unit (BFU)”. The Unit will be the single point of contact for foreign companies.

The purpose of the new unit will be the fast and efficient processing of requests received from foreign companies for the establishment of a company in Cyprus or the expansion of activities of existing companies.

  1. Eligible businesses must meet the following criteria:
  • The majority of the company’s shares are owned by third-country nationals.
  • It is noted that in the event that the percentage of the foreign participation in the share capital of the Company is equal to or below 50% of the total share capital, the Company is eligible when this percentage of the share capital represents an amount equal to or greater than the amount of €200,000.
  • Public companies registered on any recognised stock exchange.
  • Companies of international activities (formerly off-shore), which operated before the change of regime, whose data are held by the Central Bank.
  • Cypriot shipping companies.
  • Cypriot high-tech/innovation companies*
  • Cypriot pharmaceutical companies or Cypriot companies active in the fields of biogenetics and biotechnology.
  • Companies of whom the majority of the total share capital is owned by persons who have acquired Cypriot citizenship by naturalization based on economic criteria, provided that they prove that the conditions under which they were naturalized continue to be met.

* An enterprise qualifies as ‘High Technology Company’ if:

(a) it is already established and has a presence in the market, and

(b) it has a high level or experimental R&D intensity, and

(c) it developed product/s that fall into one of the following categories: products related to aviation and space industry, computers, electronic and telecommunication products, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, research and development equipment, electrical machinery, chemicals, non-electrical machinery.

  1. The procedure to be followed under the Business Facilitation Unit is described as follows:

(a) Businesses wishing to transfer their operations or expand their activities in Cyprus, must express their interest by submitting a relevant request to the Business Facilitation Unit of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry through email. The email must be accompanied by a letter of expression of interest for the establishment or expansion of their activities in Cyprus. The letter of intent should include a brief description of the company, activities (nature of business as stated in the Articles of Association), number of staff, expansion plans, etc. The request supported by the necessary documents (Annex I, only copies of the certificates are required in electronic form) should be sent to the following email address: bfu@meci.gov.cy.

(b) The Unit will inform the investor in writing of the next steps and the documents that would have to be submitted in accordance with the services he/she wishes to utilize.

(c) All the necessary registrations for the establishment of the company will be completed within seven (7) working days from the date of submission of all the necessary documents to the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry.

The confirmation of the registration of an eligible company in the Register of Companies of Foreign Interests will be done by electronic means (by email).

  1. Necessary Documents to be submitted to the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry:

 

1 Certificate of Incorporation
2 Certificate of Registered Office
3 Certificate of Directors’
4 Certificate of Shareholders’, 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 legal entities (e.g. local or foreign companies, trusts) are the shareholders, a shareholders’ structure diagram presenting 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.

5 Director’s Affidavit on the company’s ownership (from one of the directors if many)
6 Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ valid passport(s)
7 Articles of Association of the company
8 Rental agreement document or title deed or a sale document for the offices of the new business (it must be duly stamped if its value equals the annual amount of €5,000 or more)
9 Audited Financial Statements (for companies already operating in Cyprus)
10 Tax Clearance Certificate for the company (for companies already operating in Cyprus)

 

  1. Criteria for the employment of third country highly skilled nationals:

 

  1. A) Employment of third-country highly skilled 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 licenses will be issued for a period of up to 3 years.

Β) Employment of third country nationals support staff (with a gross monthly salary of less than €2500), is permitted provided that it 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.

  1. Number of employees allowed:

 

Maximum number of third-country nationals is set at 70% of all employees over a period of 5 years, from the date of joining the Business Facilitation Unit. Re-assessment after 5 years, on a case-by-case basis, if criterion of 30% Cypriot/European employees is not met.

 

  1. Application procedure for the employment of third country highly skilled nationals:

A third country highly skilled national can enter the Republic in order to work in a company of foreign interests with an entry visa or obtaining an entry permit.

The entry visa can be obtained from the consular authorities of the Republic abroad.

To obtain an entry permit, an application is submitted to the Migration Department.

After the arrival of the third country national in the Republic, he / she must apply to the Migration Department for his / her registration in the Register of Foreigners, and to obtain the necessary temporary residence and employment permit in the Republic.

Kindly note that after obtaining the temporary residence and employment permit, the third country national must not be absent from the Republic for a period of more than 3 months since the above-mentioned permits will be canceled.

  1. Necessary Documents to be submitted to the Migration Department:

 

6.1) ENTRY PERMIT, REGISTRATION AND FIRST TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT

 

  DOCUMENT
     
BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF THE THIRD COUNTRY NATIONAL
1 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.
2 Brief Curriculum Vitae – CV (including copies of academic qualifications and or relevant professional experience of at least two years).
3 Contract copy, of at least two years of duration, dully signed.
4 Employer declaration for covering the return cost of the third country national.
5 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-ray for tuberculosis (TB) from the country of origin.
6 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).
7 Receipt of payment of the annual company fee to the Registrar of Companies.
AFTER THE ARRIVAL OF THE THIRD COUNTRY NATIONAL
8 Original Entry Permit (M70).
9 Copy of the passport’s or other travel document’s page, showing the latest arrival in the Republic. When submitting the application, the presentation of the original passport is mandatory, for verification.
10 Original contract of employment, of at least two years of duration, dully signed and stamped, as well as two (2) copies of the stamped original contact, also dully stamped.

Note: the minimum gross monthly salary for highly skilled employment is set at € 2500. Below this limit, employment is considered to be at support level and a contract must be dully stamped by the Department of Labor.

11 Original blood analysis results, performed in Cyprus, showing that the third country national does not bear/suffer from HIV, syphilis, Hepatitis B and C and a chest x-ray for tuberculosis (TB), certified from a Specialised Doctor in Cyprus.
12 Title deed or rental agreement of a house/apartment, dully stamped if valued over €5000.
13 Valid Certificate of Health Insurance for medical care that covers inpatient and outpatient care as well as transportation of corpse (Plan A), automatically renewable, OR

Registration Certificate in the General Healthcare System (GHS – GESY) and private health insurance for transportation of corpse.

14 Employer´s liability insurance with an automatic renewal.

 

6.2) REGISTRATION AND FIRST TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT (In case he/she enters the Republic with an entry visa and does not need to obtain an entry permit)

  DOCUMENT
   
AFTER THE ARRIVAL OF THE THIRD COUNTRY NATIONAL
1 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. When submitting the application, the presentation of the original passport is mandatory, for verification.
2 Copy of the passport’s or other travel document’s page showing the latest arrival in the Republic and visa (if applicable).
3 Brief Curriculum Vitae – CV (including copies of academic qualifications and or relevant professional experience of at least two years).
4 Original contract of employment, of at least two years of duration, dully signed and stamped, as well as two (2) copies of the stamped original contact, also dully stamped.

Note: the minimum gross monthly salary for highly skilled employment is set at € 2500. Below this limit, employment is considered to be at support level and a contract must be dully stamped by the Department of Labor.

5 Employer declaration for covering the return cost of the third country national.
6 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).
7 Original blood analysis results, performed in Cyprus, showing that the third country national does not bear/suffer from HIV, syphilis, Hepatitis B and C and a chest x-ray for tuberculosis (TB), certified from a Specialised Doctor in Cyprus.
8 Title deed or rental agreement of a house/apartment, dully stamped if valued over €5000.
9 Certificate of Health Insurance for medical care that covers inpatient and outpatient care and transportation of corpse (Plan A) OR

Registration Certificate in the General Healthcare System (GHS – GESY) and private health insurance for transportation of corpse.

10 Employer´s liability insurance with an automatic renewal.
11 Receipt of payment of the annual company fee to the Registrar of Companies.

 

For more information on how to apply and obtain a Residence and Employment permit in Cyprus, you may contact us at info@cmcylaw.com 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.