The Council of Ministers, with its Decision of 7.10.2020, reviewed the policy regarding the issuance of temporary residence and employment permits to employees of existing and new companies of foreign interests registered in the Republic, as well as companies that have joined the Fast Track Business Activation Mechanism.
If you are aware of the current policy for companies of foreign interests, you can follow the steps below for the preparation of the application and documents to be attached to it. If you are interested in further information on the policy in place, please read first the paragraphs following the steps below.
Follow the link below and study the content of the page.
Follow the link below that corresponds to the category of staff you are interested in.
Download the documents on your computer.
Print the documents you downloaded. From the list of accompanying documents, choose the one that meets your needs, depending on which permit/ permits you will apply for.
After studying the list of accompanying documents for both the company's suitability and for obtaining a permit, collect the documents you need to submit.
(Attention to the documents that need to be submitted in their original form and duly validated/ certified. You can learn more in the validation of documents, here).
Attention, also, to the documents required to be collected by other Departments/ Services and documentation that may be required from abroad, since requisition in such cases may take time!
Fill in and sign any other forms that may have to accompany the application.
Fill in all the fields of the application form and sign it. Beware of the parts requiring signatures from third parties.
Submit the application and the documents to the Central Offices of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
It is emphasised that at the time of the application submission, the photograph, fingerprints and signature of third country national will be captured by authorised personnel. For convenience purposes, the capturing of the above may take place up to one (1) week after the submission of the application, at the District Units of the Aliens and Immigration Service of the Police, at the District of residence (for all Districts except Nicosia) by presenting the application submission receipt and a valid travel document. The application is not considered complete and cannot be processed further if these data is not captured.
Companies of foreign interests must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible to employ third country nationals in Cyprus:
Third country shareholders should own the majority of the company's shares. The following cases are excluded:
- For information on the general application process for registration and obtaining a residence permit click here
In the case where companies are the shareholders, their final owners (natural persons who are the ultimate beneficial owners) should be declared, in order to receive the approval of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
The ultimate beneficial owner must invest at least € 200.000 in Cyprus, for the purposes of operating the company.
This requirement only applies to companies which will employ staff from third countries for the first time.
In case the percentage of foreign participation in the share capital of the Company is equal to or below 50% of the total share capital, in order for the Company to be considered eligible, this percentage must represent an amount equal to or greater than the amount of € 200.000.
The establishment/ operation of independent offices in Cyprus, in suitable premises, separate from any private housing or other office, except in the case of business co-habitation.
Maximum number of third country employees per staff category
- Public companies registered in any recognised stock exchange
- Former offshore companies that were operating in Cyprus by approval of the Cyprus Central Bank, before the change of their offshore status.
- Cypriot shipping companies.
- Cypriot companies of high technology / innovation, that will be certified by the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy based on the applicable framework.
- Cypriot pharmaceutical companies or companies operating in the fields of biogenetics and biotechnology.
- Persons who have acquired Cypriot citizenship by naturalization based on economic criteria, given that they will prove that the conditions under which they were naturalized are still met.
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 Department. The requests must include information on the salary offered as well as:
|Staff Category||Maximum allowed number|
|Middle management executives and other key personnel||10|
|Specialists||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
* For eligible companies that relocate to Cyprus and have joined the Fast Track Business Activation Mechanism, the turnover that will be taken into account will be the one of the company's abroad. This will be valid for the first two years of operations in Cyprus. Following the first two years, the annual turnover of the company in Cyprus will be taken into account.
|Support Staff||30% of the total staff (will be reviewed by the Department of Labour during the labor market test). |
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.
It is stressed that the requests should only concern specific persons whose employment is considered necessary by the company. General requests on the matter cannot be considered.
- The company’s turnover
- The ratio of third country employees to Cypriots / EU Nationals and
- The company's operating time in Cyprus.
Conditions for third country nationals
Entering the Republic of Cyprus
Third country nationals falling under staff categories 1-3, can enter the Republic for the purpose of employment at company of foreign interests either by obtaining:
For third country nationals falling under staff category 4, entry is only allowed through an entry permit.
- an entry permit from the Civil Registry and Migration Department (see steps above for application submission), or
- a visa from the Consular Authorities of the Republic abroad. Find the Consular Authorities of the Republic abroad click here.
Required Actions After Arrival
Validity of Temporary Residence and Employment Permit
Change of Employer