In order for a third-party national to be employed in a company of foreign interests in the Republic, he must be a holder of a temporary residence and employment permit for this purpose, in accordance with the applicable immigration legislation.

Strategy for attracting companies to operate and/or expand their activities in Cyprus
The Council of Ministers, with its Decision dated 15.10.2021, approved the New Strategy for attracting companies to operate and/ or expand their activities in Cyprus. The new Strategy is in force since 2.1.2022. The Strategy abolishes and replaces the previous policy on the employment of personnel from third countries employed by companies of foreign interests. According to the provisions of the New Strategy:

(a) Maximum quotas for foreign staff are cancelled. Companies can freely employ any number of highly paid third-country nationals without going through a labour market check.

  • The existing categories of Directors, Key Personnel and Specialists are maintained for reasons of administrative structure/ statistics.
  • Specialists are not limited to specific professions or skills.
  • However, all companies commit to invest 30% of their total staff in Cypriots/EU citizens over a period of five years. In five years, that is after 2.1.2027, the ratio for new hires will be checked. If a company does not adhere to the 70:30 ratio, the case will be evaluated on its own merits and put before the management for an administrative decision.
(b) The examination time of applications for residence and employment is set at one month.

Employer criteria - Which companies are considered companies of foreign interests

Businesses that are not already registered at the Register of Foreign Interest Companies of the Civil Registry and Migration Department, should first register at the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU) operated by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry. The BFU will check whether companies are eligible and will grant them a written confirmation of their registration at the new Register of Foreign Interest Companies. The registration will be submitted to the Department for the purpose of issuing residence and employment permits.

Companies already registered at the Register of Foreign Interest Companies of the Civil Registry and Migration Department continue to benefit from the new Strategy, without further formalities.

Companies will also have to meet the requirements set out in the Legislation regarding the single permit.

Criteria for a third-country national

For the employment of a third-country national in a company of foreign interests, the conditions set out in the Legislation for the single permit as well as the requirements of the Strategy must be met. According to the Strategy, employees in companies of foreign interests are divided into the following categories:

(a) Highly paid employment
  • Receiving a minimum gross monthly salary of €2500. It is noted that third-country nationals who already hold residence and employment permits at the BCS Key Personnel level of companies of foreign interests, with a monthly gross salary of €2000 or more, will continue, for the next 5 years - until 31.12.2026, to renew their residence permit at the same employer without an increasing their payroll.
  • Possession of relevant academic qualifications or at least two years of relevant experience to the position to be filled.
  • Possession of an employment contract of at least two years' duration. Even if the application is submitted for a one-year permit, the contract must have a duration and corresponding stamp duties for 2 years.
(b) Employment at the supportive level
A labour market test and a sealed contract by the Department of Labour are necessary.