Cyprus residence and employment permit procedures

Cyprus Residence and employment permits are granted mainly on a temporary basis and for specified job positions.

In case of self-employed or legal persons, the Civil Registry and Migration Department is the authority for the first issue and subsequent renewal of residence permits granted to all non-Cypriots employed by legal persons in Cyprus. The Civil Registry and Migration Department acts in consultation with other authorities such as the Registrar of Companies, the Labour Department and the Cyprus Police.

Employment of EU Citizens

EU citizens may enter the Republic without work contract and search for work for a period of 4 months before applying for a Registration Certificate for EU citizens to the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

The application for issue of registration certificate of Union citizen and his/her family members also EU citizens (MEU1) is to be submitted by hand to the PSC Cyprus’ office or to the local Immigration Branch of the Police along with the original identity card or passport, two passport-sized photographs, confirmation of engagement by the employer or certificate of employment for employed activity or certificate of registration to the social securities services as self-employed and the application fee of €8,54 and €17,09 for each family member citizen of a member.

The registration certificate is issued within 6 months from the date of application.

Employment of non-EU citizens

Third country nationals and all companies of foreign interest wishing to register a company in Cyprus and employ third country nationals need to obtain a residence and employment permit by the Civil Registry and Migration Department. Some of the most important requirements they need to fulfill are the following:

  • the majority of the company’s shareholders should be foreign shareholders and in the case of shareholders whose ultimate owners are foreign companies, they should be declared in order to be approved by the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD);
  • in case where the percentage of foreign participation in the share capital of a company is equal or below fifty percent (50%) of the total share capital, this percentage should represent an amount equal or higher than €171.000 in order for a company to be considered eligible.

Eligible companies which fulfill the above conditions may employ third country nationals in the following positions. Companies should not commit themselves to employing third country nationals for all the following positions before securing a Temporary Residence and Employment Permit from the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD):

A) Executive Directors.
B) Middle Management Staff.
C) Supportive Staff.

A) Executive Directors

The term ‘Executive Directors’ includes third country nationals registered as:

  • Consulting Directors or Partners (in the Registrar of Companies);
  • General Managers of branches and subsidiary foreign companies;
  • Departmental Managers

B) Middle-management staff, executive staff and any other key personnel

  • the abovementioned staff includes Directors who are not considered to be Executive Directors as well as other Executive/Middle-management staff or other managerial, clerical or technical personnel with an annual salary ranging from €20.503 to €40.999. The amounts may be adjusted from time to time according to fluctuations in the salary index;
  • the maximum number of employees permitted in this category is 10. The CRMD has the discrete authority to decide on the employment of more than 10 people if justified, depending on each company’s operation data. In the case that the total maximum number is exceeded, the company should justify the necessity of the employment of third country nationals, taking into consideration the payments as well.

C) Supporting Staff

  • all third country nationals employed in other professional, managerial, technical, clerical etc. positions in Cyprus and do not fall under the above mentioned categories (a) and (b), are classified in the remaining supporting staff;
  • companies are expected to employ Cypriots or European citizens for this category. In case that there are not available or suitable Cypriots or European citizens with the required qualifications, a company may employ third country nationals in positions of this category.

Foreign companies may approach private employment agencies for recruiting suitable staff. In addition local unemployed staff may be found through the Department of Labour while EU staff may be found through EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal.

Moreover, you may also visit the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance to find out more information regarding the procedure for the employment of non EU citizens