Cyprus, the 3rd largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is located at the eastern end of Europe, at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Cyprus is a small but dynamic country in the sense that it has achieved to establish itself as a destination of choice for doing business. Competitive advantages include one of the lowest corporate tax within Europe (at just 12,5%), multiple tax incentives for attracting international business companies and private clients, as well as an overall business friendly environment and advanced infrastructure. All this combined with a high quality of life and the best possible weather all year-round.
No wonder that Cyprus has been ranked so high both by leisure as well as business key indicators as an attractive destination for investor immigration.
Cyprus Permanent Residency can be obtained by investing at least €300,000 in one of the following investment categories:
(A) Investment in a house/apartment: Purchase of a house or apartment from a development company, which should concern a first sale of at least €300,000 (plus VAT).
(B) Investment in real estate (excluding houses/apartments): Purchase of other types of real estate such as offices, shops, hotels or related estate developments or a combination of these with a total value of €300,000. The purchase of interest can be the result of a resale.
(C) Investment in Cyprus Company’s share capital, with business activities and personnel in the Republic: Investment worth €300,000 in the share capital of a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus, based and operating in the Republic of Cyprus and having a proven physical presence in Cyprus and employing at least five (5) people.
(D) Investment in units of Cyprus Investment Organization of Collective Investments (forms of AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF): Investment worth €300,000 in units of Cyprus Investment Organization Collective Investments
Some other criteria that need to be met are:
The applicant must prove that he has a secure annual income of at least €30,000. This annual income increases by €5,000 for each dependent family member and €8,000 for each dependent parent (of the applicant and/or his spouse). This income should derive from abroad and may include salaries or wages, pensions, dividends from shares, fixed deposits, rents, etc.
Have a clean criminal record.
Visit Cyprus at least once every two years.
Declare that they will not engage in any employed activity (can of course form company in Cyprus and receive dividends).
Provided that the above criteria are met, the application shall be examined by the Ministry of Interior and the permit is expected to be granted within two months.
Key Benefits of the Cyprus Investment Program
The Cyprus Investment Program (CIP) is based on subsection (2) of Section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002 to 2019, which was approved by the Cyprus Council of Ministers on September 2016, with subsequent amendments made in May 2018, February 2019, May 2019, and August 2019.
By cause of this law, the Council of Ministers may grant citizenship by naturalisation to foreign entrepreneurs, as well as to the spouse/civil partner, children, as well as the parents of the investor. Details of this can be found further below.
Although generally, a Cyprus company must give priority in employment recruitment to Cypriots and EU nationals before attempting to employ third-country nationals, there is an exception enabling companies of foreign interests to give priority to the employment of third country
nationals instead of locals and EU nationals, provided that certain requirements are met. The main aim of the above exception was the attraction of foreign investments.
The company must be a private company and third country shareholders should own the majority of the company’s shares (percentage equal or more than 50% of the total share capital). It is important to note that a company is considered eligible even if the majority
shareholder is not considered as third country national provided that he/she acquired the Cyprus citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Program. There must be a foreign direct investment of capital amounting to at least €200.000 and the company must operate in
independent offices in Cyprus.
Staff Categories & Maximum Numbers
Under the new 2020 Regime, eligible companies can bring up to 300 employees, with a large number added in following the creation of a new category of employees, the ‘Specialists’. For a detailed break down of the staff categories, salary conditions, and number limits, please see the table below:
|Staff Category||Description||Minimum Gross Monthly Salary In Euros||Maximum Number of Third-Country Nationals that can be employed|
|DIRECTORS||Directors, Partners, Senior Managers (branch/department)||4,000||5|
|MIDDLE MANAGEMENT EXECS||Upper/Middle management, administrative, secretarial or technical staff||2,000||10|
|SPECIALISTS||Technological specialists, typically concerning IT. Some examples includes: software engineers, data scientists, app developers, programmers, multimedia specialists, quantitative analysts, marine engineers, naval engineers, AI specialists, as well as professionals in the pharmaceutical industry||2,000||Based on annual turnover
≤1 million: 5
>€1 – €3 millions: 10
>€3 – €5 millions: 20
>€5 – €10 millions: 30
>€10 – €20 millions: 50
>€20 – €30 millions:100
>€30 millions: 200
|SUPPORT STAFF||Anyone not included in the above categories||No minimum||30% of the workforce (the rest must be Cypriots or EU nationals)|
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 Civil Registry and Migration Department. The requests must include information on the salary offered as well as:
It could be approved if said increase is justified depending on the company’s size and needs. In order to exceed the limit of more than 300 third country nationals employed in categories 1-3 above, the consent of the Council of Ministers is required.
The permit granted through this scheme under staff categories of Directors, Middle Management, and Specialists allows them to work/reside for as long as their employment contract lasts (meaning no maximum time limit). For the Support Staff category it can be up to 2 years however it can be renewed.
Third country nationals under this permit have direct access to family reunification with their family members . Even for family members who temporarily do not qualify for family reunification (i.e. newlyweds), temporary residence permits of Dependent
How Dionysiou & Partners LLC can assist:
Our experienced professionals can assist with the preparation, collection and submission of all required documents for the registration of the company with the Cyprus Registrar of Companies and then with its registration with the CRMD as a Company of Foreign Interests. We can also
provide assistance in drafting of employment and rental contracts and obtaining the appropriate permits for third-country national employees and their family members.
Seeking legal, business or immigration solutions in Cyprus? Contact us for a consultation.