• Flexi Group

Cyprus Work and Residence Permits (Updated)

Updated: Sep 1

Are you looking for a European country to relocate your business? Maybe you are looking for somewhere to move with your family? Cyprus is just for you!

Why Cyprus?

Prime Location

Cyprus, since antiquity, was known as the crossroad of 3 continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. Located in the East of the Mediterranean Sea, the island is well known to the business and tourism world. Due to its strategic location, and despite its small size, the island has established a strong reputation as a “centre of excellence” and a dynamic business hub.

Since 2004, Cyprus is a full EU member and in 2008 it has also adopted the Euro as the local currency. Its EU Membership promises quality, efficiency and transparency in transactions while ensuring safety and stability to investors and offering market access to the rest of the EU.


Climate

The island enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers, mild winters and over 320 days of sunshine annually. If you are looking for snow though, you won’t be disappointed. During the winter, you can visit Troodos mountains in the central part of the island and enjoy the beautiful forests dressed in white.

Leisure

Whatever you are looking for, Cyprus has it all! You can spend your day diving in Protaras, hiking in Troodos, cycling along the Pedieos river, visiting the archaeological remains of Kourion or Tombs of the Kings or relaxing with a drink at the marina. The island has also recently opened casino resorts.

If you are a foodie, the island is known for its cuisine, so make sure you visit a local tavern to enjoy the meze, a selection of mouth-watering small dishes.


Quality of life

Cyprus is considered one of the safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate. Furthermore, Cyprus’ air and water pollution rate is significantly low due to the lack of heavy industry on the island.

The cost of living is relatively low in comparison to other European countries. This means that you can enjoy a lavish and cosmopolitan life without breaking the bank!


Healthcare and Education

Cyprus offers excellent healthcare options, both in the public and private sector, with over 70 hospitals and clinics across the island with an abundance of specialists. In comparison to other EU countries, the cost of healthcare in Cyprus is significantly lower.

Furthermore, Cyprus offers a high level of education, from kindergarten to university. While Greek is the predominant teaching language in public schools, most private ones are English-speaking while there are a few that teach in other languages as well (such as Russian).

Cyprus also boasts a number of reputable third-degree education institutions that are globally recognized, most of which teach in English. It is no wonder that Cyprus has the highest percentage of university graduates per capita in Europe.


Infrastructure & Telecommunications

Cyprus has an advanced and modern infrastructure. With 2 main airports and over 70 airlines flying from and to Cyprus and 2 main ports, the island offers great connectivity with the rest of the world. With the extensive and robust road network and small distances, you can travel across the island in just a couple of hours.

The island’s telecommunications are reliable and high-speed and you are able to enjoy fast broadband all over the island. The fibre optic cable network is currently being implemented all across the island to achieve even better speeds.


Advantageous tax system

Cyprus has a modern and efficient tax system, aligned with all EU and international regulations. Currently, Cyprus tax resident companies can enjoy a double tax treaty with over 65 countries worldwide.

The corporate tax rate is set at 12,5% but a number of exceptions apply, such as dividends from foreign sources, disposals of shares, no withholding taxes on payments made abroad, foreign exchange rates etc. It is worth to mention that Cyprus has implemented an IP tax regime that can be utilised by IP related companies, decreasing the tax rate to as low as 2,5%.


Banking Services

Cyprus offers a diverse network of domestic banks and International Banking Units, with various foreign banks operating branches or representative offices on the island. The banking system is EU, OECD, FATF, FATCA and FSF compliant, offering security and transparency.

All banks have an extensive correspondent network across the world and thus the customer can execute transactions worldwide.


Legal and Regulatory Framework

As Cyprus was a British Crown Colony until 1960, most of its legal and judicial system is based on the English model. Cyprus’ legislation is in compliance with the EU legislation and all EU directives and regulations are transposed into national law.


Human Talent

One of the main advantages of Cyprus is the high-quality work force it enjoys. As one of the top countries in tertiary education per capita, Cyprus offers an abundance of highly educated, skilled and multilingual professionals in a multitude of fields.


Spoken language

Even though Greek is the official language of the island, English is widely spoken by the locals. Furthermore, English is the predominant business language, with most companies choosing it for their internal and external communication.


Work and Residence Permits

Should one decide to move and work in Cyprus, they need to obtain a Work and Residence Permit. Further on, we explain the 3 types of permits and what is required for the acquisition of such permit.


Types of Work and Residence Permits:

1. EU Citizen

2. Non-EU Citizen who is a family member of EU-citizen

3. 3rd Country National


1. EU Citizen

In the case of which the person of interest is an EU national, the procedure for the acquisition of a work and residence permit is quite simplified. Below is a list of the documents that they will be expected to present at the Migration Department along with their application.

  • Original & 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

  • Brief Curriculum Vitae including copies of academic qualifications & Diplomas – If these documents are not in Greek or English, they need to be officially translated.

  • Original contract of employment dully signed and two (2) copies dully stamped

  • Original & Copy of title deed or rental agreement of a house/apartment dully certified by the relevant president of the community (mukhtar)

  • Copy of valid Certificate of Health Insurance for medical care that covers inpatient and outpatient care and transportation of corpse (Plan A)

  • Proof of sufficient maintenance funds (such as bank statement)

  • Social Insurance Certificate or Statement


2. Non-EU Citizen who is a family member of EU-citizen

In the case of which the person of interest is a family member or dependent of an EU national, the below documents will be required by the Migration Department along with their application.

  • 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.

  • Original & Copy of proof of existence of a family relation with the EU citizen (marriage certificate, birth certificate etc.) – If these documents are not in Greek or English, they need to be officially translated.

  • Brief Curriculum Vitae (CV)(including copies of academic qualifications) + Diplomas – If these documents are not in Greek or English, they need to be officially translated.

  • Original contract of employment duly signed and two (2) copies dully stamped

  • Original & Copy of title deed or rental agreement of a house/apartment dully certified by the relevant president of the community (mukhtar)

  • Copy of valid Certificate of Health Insurance for medical care that covers inpatient and outpatient care and transportation of corpse (Plan A)

  • 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) – If this document is not in Greek or English, it needs to be officially translated.

  • Proof of sufficient maintenance funds (such as bank statement)


3. 3rd Country National

In the case of which the person of interest is a 3rd country national, there are 2 routes for the for the acquisition of a work and residence permit which are described below:


A. Via the Business Facilitation Unit (Fast – Track Procedure)

In order to obtain a work and residence permit via the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU), a company must fall in one of the following categories:

i. Foreign Interest Companies

· At least 50% of the company’s capital is owned by third country nationals or in cases where third country nationals own less than 50% of the capital, their capital ownership shall represent an amount of at least €200.000.

ii. Public companies registered on any recognised stock exchange

iii. Companies of international activities (offshore) which were trading prior to the change of regime and whose data are held by the Central Bank

iv. Cyprus shipping companies

v. Cyprus high-tech/innovation companies

· A company is considered a “High-Tech” company if it meets the following criteria:

o Already established and has a presence in the market

o Has a high level or experimental research & development intensity

o Develops products in any of the categories of aviation and space industry, computers, electronic and telecommunication, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, research and development, electrical machinery, chemicals or non-electrical machinery


Upon the registration of the company to the BFU, they can then proceed with the work and residence permit application and the following will be required:

  • Original & 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)

  • Brief Curriculum Vitae (CV) (including copies of academic qualifications) + Diplomas – If these documents are not in Greek or English, they need to be officially translated

  • 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 with a minimum monthly salary of €2.500

  • Original & Copy of title deed or rental agreement of a house/apartment dully certified by the relevant president of the community (mukhtar)

  • Copy of valid Certificate of Health Insurance for medical care that covers inpatient and outpatient care and transportation of corpse (Plan A)

  • Copy of 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) – If this document is not in Greek or English, it needs to be officially translated.

The permit is then issued in approximately 1-2 months from the submission of documents and has a validity of 3 years.


B. Through the Migration Department – for companies not falling in the BFU eligible categories

In the case of which the person of interest is a third country national that will be employed to a company not eligible for the BFU procedure, the below documents will be required by the Migration Department along with their application.

  • Original & 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)

  • Brief Curriculum Vitae (CV) (including copies of academic qualifications) + Diplomas – If these documents are not in Greek or English, they need to be officially translated

  • 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

  • Original & Copy of title deed or rental agreement of a house/apartment dully certified by the relevant president of the community (mukhtar)

  • Copy of valid Certificate of Health Insurance for medical care that covers inpatient and outpatient care and transportation of corpse (Plan A)

  • Copy of 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) – If this document is not in Greek or English, it needs to be officially translated.

In this case, the timeframe for completion of the procedure and issuance of the permits is usually 3-4 months.

NOTE: In case the applicant is a minor relocating to Cyprus with their family, some of the aforementioned documentation is not required. Nevertheless, a birth certificate showing the name of the parents and, in some cases, a certificate of custody will be requested by the authorities.


Documentation required for applicant’s company

In all above cases, several documents for the company of the applicant must be presented to the authorities, namely:

  • 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

  • Original Company Memorandum

  • Description of the company’s principal activities

  • Copy of 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.


NOTE: As all applications are reviewed case by case, further documentation may be required at the discretion of the Migration Department or the BFU.


How we can assist you

Flexi offers tailored solutions to both businesses and individuals wishing to relocate in Cyprus. We are here to guide you through this journey and our experienced professionals are here to address all your needs from A to Z.

A. Pre-arrival

  • Preparation of a strategic plan with a step-by-step relocation process.

  • Tax planning

  • Consultation on visa requirements for the individuals, their families and employees

  • Offer options for temporary accommodation

  • Offer advice on local schools


B. Immigration Procedure

  • Advice on immigration matters and residence/work permits and business/travel visas (for more info and the particularities of the residence/work permits and visas please refer to our article Cyprus Visas and Residence Permits)

  • Collection of required documents for all applications


C. Accommodation

  • Advice on housing options

  • Legal assistance with drafting and reviewing of contracts and/or agreements and any other legal documents in respect to the purchase or rental of a residence


D. Personal taxation

  • Advice on tax residency, tax benefits, personal taxation etc. (for more info and the particularities please refer to our article High Net Worth Individuals Relocating in Cyprus)

  • Preparation of relevant applications

  • Submission of tax forms to the authorities


E. Travel arrangements

  • Arrangement of tickets from and to Cyprus and/or elsewhere

  • Arrangement of hotel accommodation to the destination of choice


F. Family support

  • Advice on job opportunities for partner and suggestion of recruitment agencies

  • Advice on civil marriage or domestic partnership requirements


G. Insurance

  • Arrangements for medical and life insurances for individuals

  • Arrangements for employer’s liability insurance


H. Setting up a business in Cyprus (for more info and the particularities please refer to our article Roadmap for setting up & operating in Cyprus)

  • Corporate structuring

  • Tax advice

  • Provision of Fiduciary services

  • Registration of company

  • Assistance on finding suitable business premises

  • Assistance with hiring of suitable personnel

  • Opening and management of bank accounts

  • Compliance with local authorities

  • Accounting and auditing services

  • Payroll services


I. Investment planning and management

  • Investment planning and advice

  • Succession and estate planning

  • Management of investment portfolio


*DISCLAIMER: This article and its publication are intended to provide a brief introduction and act as a general guide. This is provided for information purposes only and cannot be utilized as a substitute for professional advice. This document does not represent a legal opinion and one must not rely on it without receiving independent advice based on the particular facts of its own case. No responsibility is accepted by the author or the publishers for any loss suffered from acting or refraining from acting based on the contents of this publication.

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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