Investment Immigration

About Cyprus

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.

Permanent Residency Permit

Cyprus Permanent Residency can be obtained by investment in real estate with a minimum market value of 300,000EUR plus VAT, including proof of initial payment of at least 200,000EUR (excluding VAT). Some other criteria that need to be met are:

  • Maintain a deposit at a Cyprus bank with a minimum balance of 30,000EUR from funds transferred from overseas (amount increases by 5,000EUR for each dependent child and 8,000EUR for each dependent parent of the applicant or applicant’s spouse).
  • 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).
  • Declare that they have a secured annual income from abroad.

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.

Cyprus Investment Program

Key Benefits of the Cyprus Investment Program

  • A 6-month process from beginning to end
  • No requirement to physically live in Cyprus; either prior, during or after CIP application
  • Free movement of goods, services and capital within the EU
  • Valid for life
  • Citizenship transferable to descendants

 

Legal Framework

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.

Registration of a Company of Foreign Interests in Cyprus and employment of third country nationals

Introduction
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.

Eligible Companies
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 CategoryDescriptionMinimum Gross Monthly Salary In EurosMaximum Number of Third-Country Nationals that can be employed
DIRECTORSDirectors, Partners, Senior Managers (branch/department)4,0005
MIDDLE MANAGEMENT EXECSUpper/Middle management, administrative, secretarial or technical staff2,00010
SPECIALISTSTechnological 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 industry2,000Based 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 STAFFAnyone not included in the above categoriesNo minimum30% 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:

  • The company’s turnover
  • The ratio of third country employees to Cypriots / EU Nationals and
  • The company’s operating time in Cyprus.

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.

 

Family reunification
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.

 

Get in Touch

Seeking legal, business or immigration solutions in Cyprus? Contact us for a consultation.

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