The New Investment Program of Cyprus
I. REGISTRATION WITH THE BUSINESS FACILITATION UNIT
The Business Facilitation Unit shall be established with the purpose of providing fast track company registration and fast track registration with the social insurance department, the tax department and the VAT department.
All international business companies seeking to establish their business under the new investment scheme will be required to register with the Business Facilitation Union.
II. NEW POLICY FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF HIGHLY SKILLED THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS BY ELIGIBLE BUSINESSES
a. Eligible Companies
Eligible companies are international business companies which are operating in Cyprus or international business companies which intend to establish their business in Cyprus and which have or will establish fully fledged offices, distinct from residential places such as:
• Cyprus shipping companies
• High tech Cyprus companies or companies which are operating in research and innovation
• Cyprus pharmaceutical companies or Cyprus companies which are operating in the biogenetic or biotechnology sectors.
b. Employment criteria for the issuance of work permits for highly skilled third country nationals
• Minimum gross salary EUR 2,500
• Holders of university degree or with a minimum of proven two years’ experience in the area of expertise of the third country national
• Contract of employment the duration of which, must not be less than two years
c. Duration of Visa:
d. Time for the issuance of work and residency visas:
e. Maximum number of employees:
The third country national employees of an eligible company can be up to 70% of its workforce for the duration of five years from the day of the eligible company’s registration with the Business Facilitation Unit. The remaining 30% of the workforce must be Cypriot nationals.
f. Ability to employ support personnel
Visas will be issued to eligible companies for the employment of third country nationals as support personnel provided that such support personnel does not exceed 30% of the overall support personnel that the eligible company employs. The company must enter into an employment contract with each such person being employed as support personnel, in accordance with Cyprus law and the salary shall be subject to the minimum salary applicable in the Republic of Cyprus.
The duration of the visas for such personnel shall be three years.
g. Access of dependent persons to the labour market
Free access to the employment market for the dependant persons of those third country nationals who are employed in the category of high skilled personnel.
h. Acceleration of procedure for the issuance of Category E visas
Simplification and acceleration of the procedure of issuance of work permits Category E (long term stay status)
i. Social Insurance
The government is seeking to secure the right through the social insurance fund with the strengthening of bilateral agreements thought the ministry of labour and social insurance so that when a third country national who has contributed for social insurance in the Republic of Cyprus as an employee, he /she shall be entitled to transfer his/her contributions to his country of origin provided that he/she will relinquish any right to a pension or disability allowance under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus.
III. DIGITAL NOMAD VISA
Eligibility is applicable to nationals of third countries who are self-employed or salaried persons working remotely from the Republic of Cyprus but are employed or have clients outside of the Republic of Cyprus
Duration of Digital Nomad Visa
Persons eligible for Digital Nomad Visas can remain for a year with the option to renew for an additional two years.
Dependent Persons of holders of Digital Nomad Visa
The dependant persons of the holders of Digital Nomad Visas, may join the main applicant and family provider in the Republic of Cyprus by filing an application for a residency permit, the duration of which shall be same as the holder of Digital Nomad Visa holder. Such dependants however will not be able to engage in any economic activity or in employment under their status as the dependants of the holder of a Digital Nomad Visa.
Tax Residency of the Digital Nomad Visa
If the holders of a Digital Nomad Visa stay in the Republic of Cyprus for a period of more than 183 days per annum and provided that they are not tax residents in any other country, they shall be considered as tax residents in the Republic of Cyprus.
Conditions for the issuance of the Digital Nomad Visa
a) Proof of sufficient financial resources necessary for the covering of the living expenses of the applicant for the Digital Nomad Visa, the minimum of which must be EUR 3,500 per month and this must emanate from:
• Proof of salary from employment on the basis of an employment contract
• Where the applicant is self-employed, he /she will need to provide bank statements evidencing sufficiency of funds with proof that all applicable taxes have been paid
The stipulated minimum amount is increased by 20% for the spouse of the applicant and by 15% for each one of the dependent children of the applicant.
b) Adequate health insurance for the applicant and the members of his/ her family
c) Certificate of clean police criminal record from the country of origin.
IV. TAX INCENTIVES
• Tax exemptions for up to 50% for new employees whose salary from employment exceeds the amount of EUR 55,000
• Possibility of 50% tax exemptions for companies who invest in innovation projects, certified as such
• Grant of discounts for expenses for companies which are involved in research and development.
• Persons who have remained in the Republic of Cyprus as eligible person in accordance with the new investment scheme for five years shall be eligible to apply for Cyprus nationality.
• Persons who have remained in the Republic of Cyprus as eligible person in accordance with the new investment scheme but who can demonstrate that they fluent Greek speakers, are eligible to apply after four years of continuous residence.