Residence and employment permits are granted mainly on a temporary basis and for a specified position.
In case of self-employed or legal persons, the Civil Registry and Migration Department is the competent 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 competent authorities such as the Registrar of Companies, the Labor 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 citizen 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 security’s 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:
- most 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 so as 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.
For the full requirements please read the document “BCS Documents for Checking Company Suitability” in the “Related Documents”.
Eligible companies which fulfil 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) Directors
B) Middle Management Executives and other key personnel
C) Support Staff
A) Executive Directors
The term ‘Executive Directors’ includes third country nationals registered as:
- Directors or Partners (registered as such in the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver);
- General Managers of branches and subsidiaries of alien companies;
- Departmental Managers
The minimum acceptable gross monthly salary for Directors is €3.872, an amount that may be adjusted from time to time, depending on fluctuations in the wage index.
The maximum number of employees permitted in this category is five (5). The CRMD has the discrete authority to decide on the employment of more than five (5) people.
B) Middle-management staff, executive staff and any other key personnel
In this category the following third country nationals are included:
- Upper/middle management personnel,
- Other administrative, secretarial or technical staff
The minimum acceptable gross monthly salary for this category is between €1936 – €3871. Amounts may be adjusted from time to time, depending on wage index fluctuations.
The maximum number of employees permitted in this category is ten (10). The CRMD has the discrete authority to decide on the employment of more than ten (10) people.
C) Supporting Staff
- All third country nationals not included in the above categories.
- Companies are expected to fill in positions in this category with Cypriot or European citizens. In the case, where there are no qualified Cypriots or European citizens available, a company may employ third country nationals in posts in this category by following the procedure and submitting the certificates/supporting documents/ documents described in the list of accompanying documents, after first securing the positive recommendation (sealed employment contract) of the Department of Labor.
There is no maximum number for the employment of third country nationals under this category, provided that the necessary approvals from the Department of Labor have been obtained. No approval from the Department of Labor is needed for third county nationals who enjoy free access to the labor market.
For employing a greater number of third country personnel under the above categories, duly justified and documented requests by the company must be submitted to the Department (CRMD). The requests must include information on the salary offered as well as:
- The company’s turnover;
- The ratio of third country employees to Cypriots / EU Nationals; and
- The company’s operating time in Cyprus.
It is stressed that the requests should only concern specific persons whose employment is considered necessary by the company. General requests on the matter cannot be considered.
Foreign companies may approach private employment agencies for recruiting suitable staff. In addition, local unemployed staff may be found through the Department of Labor while EU staff may be found through EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal.