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Employment of non-EU nationals in Cyprus- Standard Procedure

The Department of Labour examines applications from employers for the employment of foreigners, for the satisfaction of pressing, short term needs in the labour market, in certain economic fields and occupations according to the Ministerial Council’s decision No. 33.210 dated 15/3/1990.

A basic precondition for the granting of permit for employment of foreign workers is the absence of prospects to meet the specific needs of the employer by local force (Cypriot or European citizens), which will be ascertained following an investigation of the competent service of the Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance. The employer should therefore file with the competent authority two applications i) the Notification for the vacancy of work position and then the ii) application form for employment of foreign workers duly completed together with any other necessary documents, listed in the form.

The Department of Labour will examine employers’ applications for the employment of foreigners, provided that the criteria and procedures agreed between the social partners are met.

The major categories of companies for which applications are examined, are the following:

  • Local Enterprises
  • Local companies with foreign investment  

Local Enterprises

The applications for employment of foreigners are submitted to the District Labour Offices, which are entitled to ascertain that the following criteria are met:

a. Non-availability of suitably qualified local personnel (Cypriot or European citizens); in order to satisfy the specific needs of the employers.
b. Saving and better utilization of the local labour force.
c. Improvement of working conditions at the workplace.
d. Terms and conditions of employment of foreigners should be the same as those for Cypriots.

New Applications

The applications are submitted to the District Labour Offices that investigate and confirm that the criteria for employment of foreigners are being met.  Furthermore, the employer should then publish in a daily newspaper the available position via the Employment Services of District Labour Offices. In case where there are no Cypriot or European citizens available and capable to fill the specific position, the employer submits the application form for employment of foreign workers.  The Labour Department should provide its final decision regarding the application within 6 weeks from the date of submission of the said application.

Applications for employment of additional foreigners or renewal of the Labour Department`s recommendation letter

When the employer applies for either additional foreign workers or for renewal or replacement of existing foreign workers, evidence for the medical insurance of the foreign workers already employed is required (for hospital and non-hospital expenses).  The application form is forwarded to the Headquarters of the Labour Department for final decision and, eventually, the appropriate answer is sent to the employer, in writing.

Employers who receive a positive recommendation from the Labour Department to employ specific number of foreign workers in specified professions, submit the employment contracts duly stamped along with the abovementioned recommendation letter to the Civil Registry and Migration Department of the Ministry of Interior, which is the responsible authority for the issue of such work permits.

For any assistance in applying for such work permits, contact us by email at info@pirilides.com and we will be happy to help.