Cyprus residence and work permits – Foreign Interest Companies

Eligible businesses

A company will be eligible to be registered as a Cyprus company of foreign interest if it satisfies one of the following criterial:

  1. The majority of the company’s shares are owned by third-country nationals.

If the majority of the company’s shares are not owned by third-country nationals (i.e equal to or less than 50%) then the company is eligible if the foreign participation represents an amount of at least €200.000  OR

  1. Public companies registered on any recognised stock exchange OR
  2. Companies of international activities (formerly off-shore), which operated before the change of regime, whose data are held by the Central Bank OR
  3. Cypriot shipping companies OR
  4. Cypriot companies that qualify as high-tech/innovation companies OR
  5. Cypriot pharmaceutical companies or Cypriot companies active in the fields of biogenetics and biotechnology OR
  6. Companies of whom the majority of the total share capital is owned by persons who have acquired Cypriot citizenship by naturalization based on economic criteria, provided that they prove that the conditions under which they were naturalized continue to be met.


  1. The ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) must deposit an amount of €200,000 ,legally admitted to Cyprus from abroad, in an account held by the company in a credit institution licensed by the Central Bank (payment institutions are not included). Alternatively, the company can submit evidence of an investment amounting to €200,000, for the purposes of operating its business in Cyprus (e.g., office purchase)
  2. The company must operate from independent offices in Cyprus, in suitable premises


The new governmental policy differentiates between highly skilled employees and non-highly skilled employees.

Highly skilled employees

A highly skilled non E.U. national can be employed based on the following criteria:        

  1. The minimum acceptable monthly gross salary is €2500   
  2. Minimum Employment duration is two years
  3. Possession of relevant academic qualifications or at least two years of relevant experience in a corresponding employment position

Support staff

A company may employ third country nationals in posts in this category after first securing the positive recommendation of the Department of Labor.

Note: The maximum number of third-country nationals that can be employed is set at 70% of all employees over a period of 5 years.

Validity of Temporary Residence and Employment Permit

The permits will be issued within one month and the duration of the residence and employment permit, depending on the duration of the employment contract, can be up to three years, with a right of renewal.

Family members

Highly skilled employees have the right to exercise immediately their right to family reunification. In such cases the spouse and/or minor children can enter and reside in Cyprus.

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