Cyprus start - up VISA

CYPRUS START-UP VISA

The Cyprus Start Up visa is aimed at innovative and talented entrepreneurs, nationals from non EU and European Economic Area countries, who wish to enter, reside and develop their start-ups with high growth potential in The Republic of Cyprus.

There are two types of the start-up visa:for the individual investors and group of investors.

APPLICATION CRITERIA FOR START UP VISA

Start Up Visa for Individual Investors

1) Individual Investor:

  • must be the sole founder of an enterprise/business;
  • must have access to a capital of at least €50,000, either from venture capital funding, and/or crowd-funding and/or any other ways of funding;
  • must possess good knowledge of the Greek and/or English language; and
  • have academic qualifications, undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification.

2) Company:

  • Must comply with the criteria of innovation, i.e. the research and development expenses of the company must represent at least 10% of its operating expenses, in at least one of the three years prior to the submission, and this must be certified by an external auditor;
  • Must provide a Business Plan which clearly states the office location(s), the company must be operated from Cyprus and state the number of employees. In case of a new company the Business Plan must explain in detail the research and innovation criteria as required; and
  • The headquarters of the business/enterprise must be operated and have its headquarters and tax domicile in The Republic of Cyprus. The headquarters can be situated either at a co-working space, and/or an accelerator, and/or an incubator or/ and a digital hub, and/or be in a co-location with other Cyprus companies.

Start Up visa for Group of Investors

1) Group of Investors:

  • Should have either a maximum number of 5 sole founders; or
  • A founder and senior executive personnel, not exceeding maximum of 5 personnel. The senior management must belong to the third level of the administrative hierarchy (managers & C level employees) and will have the right to stock options;
  • The group of investors should hold more than 50% of the company’s shares; and
  • The founder should have access to a capital of at least €25,000 derived either from venture capital funding, and/or crowd-funding and/or any other ways of funding. If the company has more than two founders then they must have access to a capital of at least €50,000 in total; and
  • At least one of the founders must have academic qualifications relevant to the field of expertise of the business/enterprise; and
  • Must have good knowledge of the Greek and/or English language.

2) Company

  • Must comply with the criteria of innovation, i.e. the research and development expenses of the company must represent at least 10% of its operating expenses, in at least one of the three years prior of submission, as certified by an external auditor;
  • Must provide a Business Plan which clearly states the office locations, the company must l be operated from Cyprus and state the number of employees. In case of a new company a Business Plan must be presented that explains in detail the research and innovation criteria as required; and
  • The headquarters of the business/enterprise must be operated and have its headquarters and tax domicile in The Republic of Cyprus. The headquarters can be situated either at a co-working space, and/or an accelerator, and/or an incubator or/ and a digital hub, and/or be in a co-location with other Cyprus companies.

STEPS & PROCESS

Step 1 Choose the type of startup visa suitable for your case, i.e. either individual or collective.

Step 2 Gather personal and/or company’s documents necessary for the application.

Step 3 File application with the Ministry of Finance.

Step 4 The application will be examined by the Ministry of Finance.

Step 5 The applicant may be requested for an interview, either face to face or via video call, in order to present their Business Plan.

Step 6 Upon the application being successful, the applicant will receive the initial approval.

Step 7 The applicant must submit an application to Civil Registry and Migration Department in order to require entry/residence permit, within six months (in case he/she is abroad) or within one month from the obtainment of the initial approval (if he/she is legally residing in The Republic of Cyprus), , if applicable.

Step 8 The applicant must renew his Start Up Visa at least one month prior the expiration of the permit provided.

Step 9 Two months prior to the expiration of the renewed Start Up Visa, the applicant must submit an application to The Ministry of Finance in order to examine if the business/enterprise is successful.

Step 10 Upon examination, the applicant will receive final approval for the Start Up Visa.

BENEFITS OF START UP VISA

  • The right to reside and work in The Republic of Cyprus for one year, renewable for at least another year;
  • Right of self-employment or paid employment in the company which is registered and has its domicile in The Republic of Cyprus;
  • Potential of residing in Cyprus for an indefinite period of time, in case that the startup business is successful;
  • Family reunification, in case of the startup business being successful; and
  • Possibility of employing a specific number of personnel, without the prior approval from The Ministry of Labour, in case that startup business is successful.

CONTACT:

Christodoulos G. Vassiliades

Managing Director

Marianna Pavlides

Head of Immigration - Advocate

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