New Incentive Schemes for Headquartering in Cyprus and Digital Nomads
The Cyprus government has recently presented its new strategy for attracting businesses and digital nomads to Cyprus with emphasis on high-tech, research and development and shipping, in an attempt to improve the island's attractiveness in the wider region.
The new strategy implemented will be starting from January 2022 and the main pillars from an immigration perspective are as follows.
Amendment of the international business companies policy for companies that will be part of the newly established business facilitation unit
An amendment of the international business companies policy for companies that will be part of the newly established business facilitation unit. The main provisions include a general minimum salary of €2.500 which will be introduced for all highly skilled employees, provided that they possess the relevant academic skills or at least 2 years experience. In addition to that, residence and work permits will have a validity of up to 3 years. For the 5-year period, 70% of the total number of employees can be non-EU nationals. Companies need to be able to employ non-EU nationals as supporting staff with salaries below €2.500 (maximum 30% of the total supporting staff of the entity).
Employment of family members
Immediate and free access to employment will be permitted for the spouses of non-EU nationals who are employed in a company operating under the provisions of the business facilitation unit.
Digital nomad visa
A new type of permit will be introduced where holders of the permit have no employment rights. This digital nomad visa will have a maximum quota of 100 applications. The permit will be granted for 1 year, whereas subsequent renewals will be valid for another 2 years. Digital nomads’ funds from abroad will have a minimum threshold of €3.500 plus an additional percentage for each of their companion, 20% and 15% for their spouse and minor respectively.
Naturalization of non-EU Nationals that are employed in Cyprus
Non-EU nationals who are employed in Cyprus, now have the chance to become Cyprus citizens. Individuals looking to apply for naturalization will now be eligible to do so within 5 years, instead of seven. This period can be lessen to 4 years for those who have a very good knowledge of the Greek language with a proof of certification. For all existing pending applications, a decision can be formulated to expedite the procedure.
Simplification of the process for obtaining permanent residency
Last but not least, the Ministry of Interior has aimed to simplify the process for obtaining immigration permits and long-term residency permits. Relevant regulations of the aliens and migration law will be amended in order to speed up the process of the applications.
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