COMPANIES OF FOREIGN INTERESTS

For the employment of a third country national in a company of foreign interest in the Republic of Cyprus, the individual must be a holder of a temporary residence and an employment permit.

Companies that are already registered or intend to register at the Register of Foreign Interest Companies of the Civil Registry and Migration Department, upon examination of the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU), as companies of foreign interests, have the right to employ third country nationals of specific professions and qualifications without limitations to the number of employed staff and without the prior approval by the Labor Department.

The owners of the company will also have the right to apply and obtain an employment and residence permit through the Company. By obtaining such permit, they shall have the ability to enter and reside in Cyprus while bringing their family members as dependents.

Criteria of Eligibility
  1. The majority of the company’s shares should be owned by third country nationals.
  2. In cases where the third country nationals’ participation is equal or less than 50% of the total share capital, then, the share capital of the third country national shall represent an amount of at least €200.000.
  3. The activities of the Company should be operated in independent offices in the Republic of Cyprus.
  4. High skilled employment personnel should have a minimum gross salary of €2.500. This includes, Directors, Key personnel, Specialists and Support Staff.
  5. The company commits to invest 30% of its total staff in Cypriot or EU citizens over a period of 5 years of joining the BFU. In case the company will not be able to adhere to the 70-30 ratio, the case will be evaluated.
Categories of Employees

Third country nationals who are eligible for employment in companies of foreign interests are divided into two categories.

  1. Highly Paid Employment:
  • They shall receive a minimum gross monthly salary of €2.500.

Third country nationals who are already holders of employment permits at the BCS Key Personnel level of companies of foreign interests with monthly gross salary of at least €2.000, have the right to renew their residence permit with the same employer and without increasing their payroll, for the next 5 years.

  • They shall hold academic qualifications or at least two years of experience, relevant to the position to be filled
  • Their employment contract shall have validity of at least two years.

2. Support Staff

  • A Labor Market examination and approval by the Labor Department are necessary, along with a sealed contract.
Validity of Employment Permit

The temporary residence and employment permits are issued within 1 month from the submission of the application and they have validity up to 3 years, with a right of renewal.

Holders of a valid residence permit have the right to re-enter into Cyprus by presenting the permit and a valid passport, provided that they have not remained outside the island for more than 3 months.

Family Members

Family Members of the holders of the permit have the right to obtain a temporary residence permit under Family Reunification (provided that the relevant conditions are met) and are able to enter and reside on the island.

For the cases where the spouse and children of the third country national do not meet the conditions of family reunification, temporary residence permits as dependent visitors can be issued.

Tax Benefits

Companies of foreign interest are subject to flat corporation tax of 12,5% and their Shareholders can enjoy exempt tax from dividend income upon receiving non domicile tax residency in Cyprus.

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