One of the main considerations when expanding one’s business and choosing a headquartering base is connectivity to main markets but also lifestyle options for employees and key business executives.
Cyprus is a popular headquartering option for businesses looking to expand into the EU.
Relocating and moving Employees can be a challenge. We set out below the different options available to businesses looking to relocate employees to Cyprus.
- Work Permit: Fast-Track: BCS Visa
Cyprus companies whose majority shareholder or shareholders are Third Country Nationals may apply to be registered and be granted employment permits for up to 15 Third Country Nationals employees, without the approval of the Ministry of Labour. The shareholders are expected to show an initial investment in the Company of at least €200,000 of funds transferred from abroad and deposited in a bank account in Cyprus.
Applicants must have an employment agreement with the Cyprus Company and both the employer and the employee will need contribute to the Social Insurance Fund and General Health System (as all employers and employees in Cyprus).
Upon submission of an application the (non-EU) applicant is allowed to commence employment in Cyprus.
- Work Permit: Slow Track
All Cyprus companies, irrespective of shareholding arrangements, are allowed to employ Third County Nationals. Third Country Nationals may account for up to 30% of the total employees of a Cyprus company.
Cyprus companies are required to advertise the vacant position with the Department of Labour and on the EURES website. If no suitable candidate is found, Cyprus Companies may employ a Third Country National.
The Department of Labour needs to approve the proposed employment.
Following this, an application will need to be submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department and the Third Country National may commence employment with the Cyprus Company.
Both the employer and the employee must register and contribute to the Social Insurance Fund and General Health System.
However, Salaries payable to Third Country National employees should keep pace with wages in the Cyprus labour market.
- Work Permit & Business Activation Mechanism
In addition to the above, businesses should also note the possibilities provided by the Fast-Track Business Activation Mechanism that was announced last year.
This new mechanism aims to facilitate businesses to set up and relocate their operations to Cyprus.
The scheme is open to both established and new businesses and is accompanied by a revised immigration policy for the employment permits of up to 100 Third-Country Nationals in Cyprus.
Companies of Foreign Interests already registered in Cyprus can also apply and be granted additional Employment Permits for their employees.
- Family Members
Family members of Third Country Nationals (who hold work permits in Cyprus) may also reside in Cyprus, with children of school age having access to education facilities in the country.
- EU Nationals
The above apply to companies looking to employ Third Country Nationals in Cyprus.
The above restrictions do not apply to EU Nationals and their families who may freely work and live in Cyprus.
However, it is important to note that EU national employees also need to register with the Social Insurance Services, the General Health System and the Immigration Department and obtain the so-called Yellow Slip. For more information on EU nationals moving to Cyprus, read the article here.
Looking to move to Cyprus? Get in touch with us.