Employees at International Companies
Residence Permits for Non-EU Nationals Employed at International Companies
To increase the migration of international businesses to Cyprus, the Government has set up initiatives, such as the Policy for the acquisition of residence and work permits for non-EU nationals working in Cyprus companies with foreign interests.
Cyprus Companies with Foreign Interests
Cyprus companies with foreign interests must be registered in Cyprus. The majority of the company’s shares must be held by non-EU nationals and they must make up a percentage that is equivalent to EUR 171.000 or higher. It must be proven that the funds used to pay the share capital originate from outside Cyprus. In case the shareholder of the Cypriot company is a company registered outside the EU, then the shareholder company must prove that the beneficial owner is a Non-EU national who meets the paid-up share criteria. The Policy excludes public companies and former offshore companies which were licensed and operated by the Central Bank. It is also required that the company operates its business from an independent office and has suitable premises, which are not part of private residence. The Migration Department will determine whether a company falls into this category on a case by case basis.
The Policy sets the following categories of non-EU staff who are eligible to obtain Cyprus residence and work permits:
Upper management executives:
This category includes the company’s directors or shareholders registered with the Companies Registrar, general managers of branches or branches of foreign mother companies and department managers. The Policy establishes the minimum monthly gross salary for this category at EUR 3.872,00. The maximum number of employees in this category is five people.
Middle management executives:
This category entails the upper and middle management, other administrative, secretarial or technical staff. The Policy establishes the minimum monthly gross salary for this category at EUR 1936. The maximum number of employees in this category is ten people.
A work vacancy that does not fall into the above categories must be advertised first to Cypriot and EU nationals and if the Labour office deems that no suitable candidate was found, then a work and residence permit will be granted to a Non-EU national. There’s no maximum number of employees in this category.
The number of employees being granted license in the above categories may be extended if the Labour Department is convinced that is necessary after examining factors such as the company’s turnover, the proportion of non-EU employees in the company and the time it is operating in Cyprus.
The maximum duration of the permit is 2 years and is relevant to the duration set in the employment contract. In addition, the staff belonging in the first two categories may be granted a permanent duration permit.
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