On Friday 15/10/2021, the Cyprus Ministry of Finance announced an action plan for attracting foreign investment and enhancing business activity in Cyprus.
1. Business Facilitation unit:
Transformation of the existing Fast Track Business Activation Mechanism (FTBA) into a Business Facilitation Unit.
The FTBA is operated by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry (MECI) and includes the following ‘service package’:
2. Policy for Issuance of Temporary Residence and Employment Permits to highly skilled third country nationals and supporting staff
Cyprus government recommended the review, broadening and simplification of the existing policy requirements for the issuance of temporary residence/employment permit to third-country nationals employed by the following type of companies:
According to the action plan policy, a temporary residence and employment permit shall be issued to third country nationals with minimum acceptable gross monthly salary of €2.500, provided that the following conditions are met:
The maximum number of third country nationals that can be employed under this policy is 70% of the total number of employees employed within a period of 5 years, from the date of joining the Business Facilitation Unit.
Employment of third-country nationals as support staff will be also permitted provided that it does not exceed the 30% of the total supporting staff employed by the company.
The permits shall be issued immediately within 1 month and shall have a duration of up to 3 years.
3. Simplifying and fast-tracking the process of granting work permits (CATEGORY E - Long-Term Resident Status)
The action plan provides for the simplification and acceleration of the process of granting immigration and work permits under CATEGORY E (Long-Term resident status) to persons who have been offered permanent employment and whose employment does not create unnecessary local competition.
4. Right to family reunification of third-country nationals
Immediate and free access to the labour market for the spouses whose financial supporter has obtained a residence and work permit in the Republic, and who receives a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,500 (excluding support staff).
5. Introduction of Digital Nomad Visa
Nomad visas are available to third-country nationals who are self-employed or employees working remotely using information and communication technologies, with clients or employer outside Cyprus for a period of 12 months.
Holders of Digital Nomad Visas will have the right to stay in the country for a period of up to 1 year with the right to renew their residency for another 2 years. They can be accompanied by their family members who, however, during their stay in Cyprus are not allowed to provide dependent work or to engage in any kind of economic activity in the country.
If the holder of a Digital Nomad Visa resides in Cyprus for one or more periods which in total exceed 183 days within the same tax year, then they shall be considered as Cyprus tax residents, provided that they are not tax resident in any other country.
6. Tax incentives:
Third country employees shall have the right to apply for naturalization:
The action plan/mechanism shall be implemented from 01/01/2022. Emphasis is placed on areas related to, inter alia, High Technology, Shipping, Innovation, Research and Development, Biogenetics and Biotechnology, without excluding any other companies that choose Cyprus for relocation purposes. Its implementation aims to turn Cyprus in the coming years into an international hub for such businesses, offering high and sustainable added value to the economy, through the creation of new job opportunities and increased demand for domestic services, making this sector an important pillar of the new development model designed for the country.