Cyprus Residency for Non EU Nationals

Including work residence permits for Non EU employees of Cyprus companies of foreign interest

Why choose Cyprus?

Cyprus is an attractive destination for investors, individuals and families for many reasons. These include a favourable and transparent tax system, modern legal and regulatory framework, an excellent quality of life, top educational institutions, the ease of doing business, a well educated local workforce, and access to major European markets, to name but a few!

Non-EU immigration to Cyprus

There are restrictive laws and regulations with respect to issuing entry, residence and work permits for  non-EU citizens. They are also subject to changes, continuous adjustments and amendments. In general, all non-EU citizens who intend to reside in Cyprus need to apply for a visa.

Types of Visas and Permits

a) Short stay visa

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.

b) Temporary residence permits

Non-EU citizens 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 as required.

Categories of temporary residence permits (pink slips) include:

  • Visitor visa
  • Student visa
  • Employment visa (See section on Cyprus Companies of foreign interest)

c) Immigration Permits

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.

d) Permanent Residence Permits

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.

Work Visas for Non EU nationals of Cyprus companies of foreign interest

Recent changes to immigration law and policy, allows for temporary work permits for employment of non-EU nationals in companies of foreign interests in Cyprus.

Eligible foreign companies

  1. The majority of the company’s shares are owned by third party nationals (exclusions apply in cases foreign shares are worth over €200.000 or companies are listed in stock exchanges or they are Cypriot shipping/tech/pharmaceutical/biotech companies or former offshore companies)
  2. Operation of independent offices in Cyprus

Employee Categories

(a) Highly paid employment

  • Receiving a minimum gross monthly salary of €2500.
  • Possession of relevant academic qualifications or at least two years of relevant experience to the position to be filled.
  • Possession of an employment contract of at least two years’ duration. Even if the application is submitted for a one-year permit, the contract must have a duration and corresponding stamp duties for 2 years.

(b) Employment at the supportive level

  • A labour market test and a sealed contract by the Department of Labour are necessary.

Notes:

  • Based on the New Strategy (in force since 2.1.2022),  there are no longer any  maximum quotas for foreign staff.  Now companies can freely employ any number of highly paid third-country nationals without going through a labour market check, with the existing categories of Directors, Key Personnel and Specialists  maintained for reasons of administrative structure/ statistics. Further, specialists are not limited to specific professions or skills.
  • Furthermore,  all companies commit to invest 30% of their total staff in Cypriots/EU citizens over a period of five years. In five years, that is after 2.1.2027, the ratio for new hires will be checked. If a company does not adhere to the 70:30 ratio, the case will be evaluated on its own merits and put before the management for an administrative decision.

Family Members

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.

Digital Nomads

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.

How we can help you

Our team of experienced and qualified professionals can provide a wide range of services in relation to the Cyprus Residency  and any other related  Services.

For more information on how we may be able to assist you and your business please contact us at uhy@uhy.com.cy  or call (00357) 22379210.

The contents of this publication should be considered to be of a general nature only not referring to any particular business. Before proceeding with any action, please request further advice relating specifically to your business. We will be very pleased to be of assistance.

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