Startup Permit for Third Country Residents : Cyprus Adopts Startup Permit Scheme for Third Country Residents: Cyprus has recently adopted the Startup Permit Scheme or otherwise known as “Startup Visa” which is applicable for residents in third countries which have an interest in moving to Cyprus for business purposes in establishing and investing in their own business. This scheme in turn may attract highly skilled and talented entrepreneurs from countries outside Europe for the establishment and operation of their own choses innovative startup companies.  It may either be an individual or a group of individuals wishing to reside in Cyprus for such purpose provided that certain criteria are met.

Startup Permit for Third Country Residents :Startup Criteria

The Criteria required to be met in order to be eligible and obtain the said visa are the following:

  • Capital Access worth of EUR50,000
  • Registration/incorporation of Principal Offices in Cyprus
  • Innovative Business Plan upon condition that 10% of operational expenses within a specified timeframe is invested to research and development
  • Management and control must be exercised from Cypriot registered companies
  • Possession of necessary academic qualifications
  • Satisfactory knowledge of Greek and/or English

Scheme Characteristics

Startup Permit for Third Country Residents : Cyprus Adopts Startup Permit Scheme for Third Country Residents: The said scheme shall be applied at first stage for two years with the potential of extension.  Within the first 2 years the plan is to have available for issue up to 150 residence permits. The said Startup Permit Plan consists of an Individual Plan or a Group Plan.

Startup Group Visa Plan

The Group plan is applicable for a maximum number of 5 persons.

From those 5 persons the below are acceptable:

 -5 Founders of the proposed business

 -1 Founder of the proposed business and rest as executive members

The plan may include also EU nationals provided that over 50% of the total share capital of the Company is owned by third country nationals.

The founder must have access to EUR 25,000 capital.

In case there are more than 2 founders, then the capital must amount to at least a total of EUR 50,000.

Advantages and Benefits of the Startup Permit scheme

Below are some of the main benefits for obtaining the Startup Visa:

  • 1 year Permit for employment issued by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • 1 year Permit for residence issued by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • Right of permit extension/renewal for additional year at least.
  • Possibility of permanent residence in Cyprus provided that business succeeds
  • Employment opportunities for the founders, executives and other foreign staff
  • Possibility of family relocation in Cyprus
  • Gaining advantage of the tax benefits of Cyprus Company Formation

Business Evaluation

The evaluation of business success takes place after 2 years of operation and shall be performed through the Ministry of Finance. Factors to be taken into consideration include among others the nature and size of the business, number of personnel employed, income and taxes paid as well as any additional investments. 

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