In order for companies of foreign interest to employ third country nationals in Cyprus under more favourable provisions, the following should apply:
- Third country shareholders should own the majority of the company's shares.
The following cases are excluded:
- Public companies registered in any recognised stock exchange
- Former offshore companies that were operating in Cyprus by approval of the Cyprus Central Bank, before the change of their offshore status.
- Cypriot shipping companies.
- Cypriot companies of high technology / innovation, that will be certified by the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy based on the applicable framework.
- Cypriot pharmaceutical companies or companies operating in the fields of biogenetics and biotechnology.
- Persons who have acquired Cypriot citizenship by naturalization based on economic criteria, given that they will prove that the conditions under which they were naturalized are still met.
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.
- Foreign direct investment of at least € 200.000, for the purposes of operating the company in Cyprus.
- The establishment/ operation of independent offices in Cyprus, in suitable premises, separate from any private housing or other office, except in the case of business co-habitation.
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.
- Middle management executives and other key personnel:
In this category the following third country nationals are included:
The minimum acceptable gross monthly salary for this category is €2.000
- Upper / middle management personnel
- Other administrative, secretarial or technical staff
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
- Software and System Engineers
- Application and Data Architects
- ICT and Enterprise Solution Architects
- Technical Assurance Professionals
- Telecom and Space Engineers
- Data scientists
- Machine Learning Engineers
- Web Developers and designers
- UX User Experience Professionals
- Quantitative Analysts
- Quality Assurance Analysts
- Mobile Application Developers
- Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality Programmers
- Digital Marketing Specialists
- Video Production Multimedia Specialists for Mobile Apps and Software
- Analysts for Mobile Apps and Software
- Designers of Prototype for Mobile Devices
- DevOps Engineers
- Cyber Security Specialists
- Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Big Data Specialists
- Pharmaceutical Formulation Technologists
- Pharmaceutical Engineer Validation Specialists
- Pharmaceutical Patents Specialists
- Pharmaceutical Regulatory and Quality Assurance Professionals
- Marine Engineers
- Naval Architects
The maximum number of third-country nationals that may be employed in this category is shown in Table 2 below:
||Number of Employees
||Application Examination Timeframe
||Up to 5
|>€1 – €3 millions
||Up to 10
|>€3 – €5 millions
||Up to 20
|>€5 – €10 millions
||Up to 30
|>€10 – €20 millions
||Up to 50
|>€20 – €30 millions
||Up to 100
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.
- Support staff:
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:
- The company’s turnover
- The ratio of third country employees to Cypriots / EU Nationals and
- The company's operating time in Cyprus.
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.