The Fast Track Business Activation mechanism was approved by the Council of Ministers on 3rd of September 2020 aiming to further attract foreign business to Cyprus as well as to provide fast and efficient services to foreign businesses wishing to establish presence in Cyprus.
Companies interested in joining the Fast Track Business Activation mechanism should meet the criteria below, thus contributing positively to the country’s economic growth.
The main criteria are:
Fast Track Business Activation is operated by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry and includes the following services:
Assisting companies to obtain all necessary registrations for the establishment of a business from a single point of contact, including the following:
Provision of information for all the necessary permits required by the company in order to start operations.
Facilitating the issuing of residence and employment permits in Cyprus for third country nationals.
The Council of Ministers, on the 7th of October 2020, approved a revision of the Policy for the Issue of Residence and Employment Permits for companies of foreign interests registered in the Republic of Cyprus. The revised Policy defines the criteria on the basis of which facilitation services will be provided for residence and employment permits of third country nationals. this applies to both existing and new companies under conditions.
In order for companies of foreign interest to employ third country nationals in Cyprus under more favourable provisions, the following should apply:
The following cases are excluded:
If the percentage of foreign participation in the company’s share capital is equal to or less than 50% of the total share capital, in order for the company to be considered as eligible, then the foreign participation should represent an amount equal to or greater than the amount of € 200.000.
Companies that meet the above conditions, are entitled to employ third country nationals in the following categories, provided that they first obtain temporary residence and employment permits.
In this category the following third-country nationals are included:
The minimum acceptable gross monthly salary for Directors is €4.000, which may be adjusted from time to time, depending on fluctuations in the wage index.
Five (5) is the maximum number of third country nationals that can be employed under this category, unless the Civil Registry and Migration Department is satisfied that the employment of a greater number is justified, depending on the circumstances of each company.
In this category the following third country nationals are included:
The minimum acceptable gross monthly salary for this category is €2.000 which may be adjusted from time to time, depending on wage index fluctuations.
Ten (10) is the maximum number of third country nationals that can be employed under this category, unless the Civil Registry and Migration Department is satisfied that the employment of a greater number is justified, depending on the circumstances of each company.
Companies are entitled to employ third country nationals in professions / with skills as listed in Table 1. The number of employees that may be employed by each company will be determined based on its turnover, as described in Table 2.
The minimum acceptable gross monthly earnings for Specialists is €2.000, an amount that can be adjusted from time to time, depending on fluctuations in the wage index.
Professions / Skills
The maximum number of third-country nationals that may be employed in this category is shown in Table 2 below:
|Turnover||Number of Employees||Application Examination Timeframe|
|≤1 million||Up to 5||4 weeks|
|>€1 – €3 millions||Up to 10||4 weeks|
|>€3 – €5 millions||Up to 20||4 weeks|
|>€5 – €10 millions||Up to 30||4 weeks|
|>€10 – €20 millions||Up to 50||4 weeks|
|>€20 – €30 millions||Up to 100||6 weeks|
|>€30 millions||100-200||6 weeks|
Companies already registered in the Register of Foreign Companies of the Civil Registry and Migration Department, are considered eligible and can automatically benefit from the Policy for employment of third country nationals in the Specialists’ category.
All third country nationals not included in the above categories. A company may employ third country nationals in posts in this category by following the General Employment procedure, by first securing the positive recommendation (sealed employment contract) of the Department of Labour.
Given the market test by the Department of Labour, a company may staff up to 30% of its total personnel with third country nationals in posts in this category. The market test is not necessary for third country nationals with free access to the labour market.
Exceeding the maximum allowed number of employees from third countries in each category
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. The requests must include information on the salary offered as well as:
In order to exceed the limit of more than 300 third country nationals employed in categories 1-3 above, the consent of the Council of Ministers is required.
Businesses expressing interest in transferring their operations to Cyprus and wishing to benefit from the above provisions should submit a request to MECI at firstname.lastname@example.org accompanied by.
It is noted that Due Diligence Checks will be conducted for all companies wishing to join the Fast Track Mechanism.