Cyprus: grounds for staying in the country
Cyprus has long established itself as an attractive jurisdiction for IT business expansion.
We have collected some information about the main options which can be considered while moving to Cyprus below. This material is not an exhaustive consultation on all possible procedures, necessary documents. All recommendations that are set out in the material are based on the current experience of the lawyers of the REVERA Cyprus.
The so-called “secured freelancer visa” is a visa without the right to work in Cyprus. Pink Slip allows you to stay in Cyprus for up to 365 days a year (instead of standard 90 days under the regular Schengen visa). Pink Slip in Cyprus is valid for 1 year and must be renewed on an annual basis (but the procedure is not complicated).
Under the migration rules, having this visa you cannot stay out of Cyprus for more than three months continuously (in any case it’s advisable to stay in Cyprus for a long time otherwise there is a risk that the visa will not be renewed)
How to obtain a Cyprus Pink Slip:
- Open an account with a CY-bank (a bank but not a payment system (EMI))
! Currently it’s the key point as some banks do not open accounts for citizens of Belarus/the Russian Federation or open an account under particular conditions (such as permanent residence permit, proof of residence, tax residency in the EU).
- Show financial solvency of the applicant
We recommend to have on deposit of about €15.000 for each adult family member and €10.000 for each minor in a Bank account (as a general rule, the sum is less). This is to confirm, there must be a Cypriot bank statement, which shows transactions and running cash balance (the transactions must prove that the source of income is abroad and money is spent on the territory of Cyprus)
- Have real estate documents
At least one-year rental agreement in Cyprus.
- Submit other standard documents (a copy of passport, proof of income sources, etc.).
Visa applicant and each family member should submit a separate application form together with the other applicants and obtain his/her own residence permit document.
Employment for the team (including the founders, in case there is no Pink Slip)
For the employment (under the contract of employment) of non-EU residents in Cyprus, the company has to possess a "foreign company" status.
Since 2022, the status of a foreign company can be obtained without making an investment (previously it was required more than €200.000 for that purpose).
The requirements to obtain a "foreign company" status
There follows the link where we provide insight into the requirements to obtain a "foreign company" status: https://revera.cy/info-centr/news-and-analytical-materials/6-wat-do-you-need-to-start-a-biseness-in-cyprus/
! Of great importance: To make employees be employed without passing the "market test" (when a vacancy is offered first in the local market), it is necessary:
- for employees to have a higher education or work experience of 2 years or more, and
- for employees to get a gross salary starting with 2500 EUR or more, and
- for employees to be employed for at least 2 years.
The procedure to obtain the status:
- Collecting the necessary set of documents, business description and plans for staff recruitment.
- Submitting an application via email to the Business Facilitation Unit of the Ministry of Energy
- The BFU considers the application and informs about the documents requested additionally
- Within 7 working days after application, the BFU registers the company as a foreign company
- The employees submit the documents to the migration department and receive their residence permit, after which their spouses and families can apply for family reunification (the application for family reunification is usually considered within 90 days)
There is an alternative – to obtain a foreign company status in exchange for an investment of 200K+ into company capital, in that case it is not necessary to comply with the requirement to have European employees.
"Golden Visa" for the purchase of real estate in Cyprus
- Show an annual income of at least €30,000 for one applicant and €5,000 for each financially dependent family member
- Make an investment of at least €300.000 (excluding VAT) in a particular asset (property / capital or securities of Cypriot companies or funds)
Of great importance: While applying it is necessary to check whether the option is available for citizens of the Russian Federation/Belarus.