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Cyprus Residence

Cyprus Company Formation and Cyprus Citizenship Packages

€99 - Cyprus Company Formation | 9.950 - Cyprus Citizenship

We are Cyprus Company Formation specialist consultants and Cyprus Citizenship and Residence specialists. We provide ALL the Cyprus company formation and company registration and management services as well as Cyprus Residency and Citizenship Services in order to obtain Cyprus Company Tax and Cyprus Residence and Citizenship Advantages.

We have an experienced team of Company Formation and Citizenship professionals who are part of the FBS Kotsomitis Global Network. Your Trusted Partner in Cyprus for ALL your Cyprus Company Formation and Cyprus Citizenship Needs.

We can help you with the following:

Citizenship (or Residency Application)

Compilation of Application Forms, Personal Questionnaires and all forms necessary;

Review / Drafting of all licensing and other documentation;

Acting as accredited agent / point of liaison with the Cyprus Immigration Authorities;

Liaison with real estate agents, insurance brokers, stock brokers necessary for complying with conditions of the Citizenship or Residence Scheme;

Application for oath of allegiance and certification of naturalization and issuance of passport/s

Consultancy (Support to Real Estate Investment / Acquisition)

Identifying and assessing reasonably priced real estate for purchase and liaising with all Real Estate Professionals or Authorities AND avoiding the traps of searching for Real Estate in a foreign country without independent local advisors and representatives.

Personal and Company Tax Consulting and Cyprus Company Formation Services

So you maximize the Cyprus Tax and Other Advantages to the full.

Nicosia, June 2012

Introduction

Individuals who wish to come and work in Cyprus and be granted temporary residence and a visa are divided into two categories:

• Those who have a nationality from one of the European Union (EU) member states and,

• Those who come from all other countries, referred to as ‘Third Country’ Nationals.

Furthermore, they can be employed by a Cyprus Company (for Third Country Nationals see requirements below) or self employed.

There are three types of Cyprus visa: long-term, short-term, and permanent.

• Short-term applies to visits of up to 90 days
• The long term residence visa is required for a stay of up to one year and is applicable to employees and self-employed people; it can be renewed
• The permanent visa only applies to the married partner of a Cypriot national.

A Cyprus Residence Visa is only issued if a person can prove they have employment, are appropriately qualified for self employment or have sufficient funds to be financially independent.

The relevant Governmental Authority monitoring residency is Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) of the Ministry of Interior of Cyprus.

1. Third Country Nationals

Employment by Eligible Cyprus Companies

In general a Cyprus company must give priority in employment recruitment to EU nationals before resorting to employ a Third Country National.

However, Cyprus has provided an exception in the law for companies of foreign interests to employ Third Country Nationals subject to certain requirements, set out below:

All companies of foreign interests, including international companies (ex-IBCs), in order to be eligible to employ Third Country Nationals in Cyprus, should fulfill the following:

a. (i) The majority of the company’s shareholders should be foreign shareholders and in the case of shareholders whose ultimate beneficial owners are foreign companies, they should be declared in order to be approved by the Civil Registry and Migration Department. The following cases are exempted:

• public companies registered in any recognized Stock Exchange

• international companies (ex IBCs) that were operating before the change of regime and for which the Central Bank of Cyprus possesses all the necessary data.

(ii) In cases where the percentage of the foreign participation in the share capital of a company is equal or below the fifty percent (50%) of the total share capital, this percentage should represent an amount equal or higher than EUR171.000 in order for a company to be considered eligible. Applications by companies that deal with offering services or consulting services that invest capital lower than EUR171.000 will be examined given the fact that the nature of their work does not require a higher capital investment.

(iii) For new companies it should be proved by banking and other documents that the direct foreign capital investment amounts to at least EUR171.000, and it was brought in Cyprus legally from abroad. This can be a transfer from a personal account of one or more of the shareholders of the Cyprus company.

b. The companies should operate from their self-contained offices in Cyprus, which should be located in suitable distinct premises, not part of private residence or another office, except for cases of companies that share lodging. Cases in which the nature of the work allows people to work from their home will be examined.

Uses: This form is especially useful for a Third Country National who may incorporate his own company, or in conjunction with others with a minimum investment of EUR 171.000 (does not have to be the share capital of the company), and be employed by this company in accordance with the employee classifications mentioned below.

As a result a Third Country National can also benefit from the relatively low income tax level for individuals as well as low corporation tax levels of the Cyprus tax regime.

All the certificates/supporting documents required concerning the company are listed here.

Employee Classification

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 CRMD. In case of violation of these rules, the CRMD is not committed by the following provisions:

(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.

Note: The maximum number of such executives is five (5) unless the CRMD is persuaded that a greater number is justified.

The minimum acceptable total annual salary (annual salary plus any additional allowances/benefits) for a newly appointed Executive Director is around EUR 41.000. This amount may be adjusted from time to time according to fluctuations in the salary index.

There are no restrictions for the residence period of these employees.

All the certificates/supporting documents required concerning this category are listed here

(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 EUR20.520 to EUR 41.040. The amounts may be adjusted from time to time according to fluctuations in the salary index.

The maximum number of these 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 as:

(i) the scope of the company’s activities
(ii) the proportion of foreigners to Cypriots and
(iii) the duration of the company’s operation.

There are no restrictions for the residence period of these employees.

All the certificates/supporting documents required concerning this category are listed here

(c) Supporting Staff

All third country nationals employed in other professional, managerial, technical, clerical etc. positions in Cyprus and do not fall under the abovementioned 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 there are no available or suitable Cypriots or European citizens with the required qualifications, a company may employ third country nationals in positions of this category, following the procedure and submitting all the certificates/supporting documents described here, after an affirmative decision (stamp of contact) is ensured by the Labour Department.

Third country nationals who are self employed

A person can apply to obtain an Immigration Permit on the basis of one of the Categories referred to in Regulation 5 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations. An Immigration Permit will not be granted to anybody unless the Immigration Control Committee recommends to the Minister of Interior that such a person belongs to one of the following Categories:

Category A: Persons who intend to work as self employed in agriculture, cattle breeding, bird breeding or fish culture in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession adequate land or a permit to acquire same, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of approximately €430,000 (CY£250,000) and such an employment should not negatively affect the general economy of Cyprus.

Category B: Persons who intend to work as self employed in mining enterprises in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of approximately €350,000 (CY£200,000) and such an employment should not negatively affect the general economy of Cyprus.

Category C: Persons who intend to work as self employed in a trade or profession in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of approximately €260,000 (CY£150,000) and such an employment should not affect negatively the general economy of Cyprus.

Category D: Persons who intend to work as self employed in a profession or science in the Republic, provided that they have academic or professional qualifications, for which there is demand in Cyprus. Possession of adequate funds is also necessary.

Category E: Persons who have been offered permanent employment in the Republic, which will not create undue local competition.

Category F: Persons who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income, high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession. The annual income required should be at least €9568,17 (CY£5,600) for a single applicant and moreover at least €4613,22 (CY£2,700) for every dependent person, but the Immigration Control Board may demand additional amounts as necessary. Most applicants come under this Category, the majority of them being pensioners or retired persons.

For the granting of an Immigration Permit, an application is submitted on the form M.67 to the Civil Registry and Migration Department directly or through the District Aliens and Immigration Branches of the Police. The application should be accompanied by the appropriate documents, depending on the Category for which it is submitted. Applications for Category F which are the most usual should be accompanied by the original of documents regarding the income of the applicants.

Applicants who are abroad may submit an application directly to Cyprus, as stated above, or through the local Consular Authorities of the Republic of Cyprus. The applications are examined by the Immigration Control Committee which submits a relevant suggestion to the Minister of Interior for a decision to be taken.

An Immigration Permit will be automatically cancelled if the interested person fails to acquire residence in Cyprus within one year from the approval of the application, in case he/she is residing outside Cyprus. It will also be cancelled if he/she acquires permanent residence abroad or be absent from Cyprus for a period of two years.

Submission and Examination of Applications

(a) General

The Director of the CRMD is the authority responsible for the first issue and subsequent renewals of the temporary Residence and Employment Permits granted to all third country nationals employed by companies of foreign interests in Cyprus.

The Director of CRMD acts in consultation with other Authorities such as:

• The Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver
• The Labour Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance
• The Cyprus Police.

The above mentioned Authorities inform and advise the Director of Civil Registry and Migration Department of matters falling within their sphere of competences as soon as possible. The Director taking into account their recommendations (unless the recommendations are not submitted in due time) decides about applications and replies directly to the applicants.

(b) Initial Permits

The completed application forms for the employment of third country nationals for the above categories are submitted to the CRMD, which issues the first Temporary Residence and Employment Permit for a period of up to two (2) years within a month of its submission, unless it is a case that needs further consideration. The application should be accompanied with all the necessary certificates/supporting documents mentioned in each case above respectively.

The completed application forms for the employment of third country nationals for support staff are submitted to the District Aliens and Immigration Branches of the Police except for the District of Nicosia where the application forms are submitted to the District Office of CRMD of Nicosia after an affirmative decision (stamp of contract) is ensured by the Labour Department, which examines with this process, if there are available Cypriot/ European citizens in the Cypriot and European Labour market to be employed for the position.

(c) Renewal of Permits

The application forms for categories of Executive Directors and Management Staff are submitted to the CRMD with the necessary certificates and supporting documents mentioned here.

The application forms for categories of support staff are submitted to the District Aliens and Immigration Branches of the Police except for the District of Nicosia where they are submitted to the District Office of CRMD of Nicosia accompanied by the necessary certificates/supporting documents mentioned here.

(d) Family Members

Applications from all Districts, for family members under categories 2 Executive Directors and Management Staff are submitted to the CRMD with all the necessary certificates/supporting documents mentioned here.

Applications for family members of support staff, are submitted to the District Aliens and Immigration Branches of the Police except for the District of Nicosia where they are submitted to the District Office of CRMD of Nicosia accompanied by the necessary certificates/supporting documents mentioned here.

(e) Trainees

Applications from all Districts for trainees are submitted to the CRMD accompanied by all the necessary certificates/supporting documents mentioned here.

(f) Intra-Corporate Transferees

In the cases of intra-corporate transferees in the Cyprus Offices that are employed by the Offices of the same company in another country member of the European Union, the 137(I)/2002 Law will be applied for which the competent Authority is the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance.

(g) Domestic Staff of Executive Directors

Applications for the employees of this category are exempted from the procedure of examination of the Cypriot and European Labour Market and are submitted to the CRMD (District Office of Nicosia of the CRMD).

General

(a) In case any Company of foreign interests terminates its activities in Cyprus, it is obliged to notify the CRMD immediately.

(b) In cases that employees are bound to be away from Cyprus for an official assignment for a period of more than three (3) months, which results in the immediate invalidation of their residence permit according to the law in force, will have to:

(i) Obtain in advance a re-entry permit by the CRMD

or

(ii) before coming back to Cyprus ensure a consular entry visa by the Embassies/Consulates of the Republic abroad.

In exceptional cases in which there is not enough time to obtain a re-entry permit before leaving from Cyprus or the time of absence from Cyprus was unknown in advance and in the destination country or a country nearby there is no Cypriot diplomatic mission/Consulate, the CRMD (central offices) should be informed so that the re-entry to Cyprus is allowed without a re-entry permit or consular entry visa.

Persons whose Temporary Residence Permit has been invalidated, should apply to the CRMD as soon as they re-enter the country in order to renew their permit for the remaining time that their previous permit was valid for. These applications do not have to be accompanied by any certificates except for a confirmation from the company that the person concerned is still employed by the company.

(c) Personnel of categories of Executive Director and Management that are expected to stay in Cyprus for a long period of time may apply to the CRMD in order to ensure a Migration Permit.

(d) It is self-evident that no restrictions are imposed for the employment of Cypriot or European citizens in any category from companies of foreign interests.

(e) The cancellation of a temporary residence/employment permit is governed by the Aliens and Immigration Law and Regulations.

2. EU Citizens

As from the 1st May 2004, the date on which Cyprus joined the European Union, nationals from EU member states (including European Economic Area countries and Switzerland) can work in Cyprus without restrictions.

However, they will need a residency permit if they intend to stay longer than three months and take up employment in Cyprus. They must apply for such a residence permit to the Civil Registry & Migration Department, as soon as they secure employment and in any case before the expiration of the 3 month period from the date of entry into Cyprus.

EU citizens moving to Cyprus for a long duration or permanently must:

• Apply for the issue of a Registration Certificate for EU Citizens (see below for more details on the requirements)
• Apply for a Residency Card for a Non-EU Citizen who is a family member of an EU Citizen (where applicable) (see below for more details on the requirements)
• Apply for Permanent Registration Certificate of EU citizen and EU family memebers.

European Union citizen and family member - application for issue of Registration Certificate of Union citizen and his / her family members also EU citizens:

An application for the issue of a Registration Certificate is submitted by a European Union citizen and family members who are also citizens of a Member State, within four months from the date of entry to Cyprus.

For the issue of a Registration Certificate, the Union citizen must submit the following documents:

• If the purpose of residing in the Republic of Cyprus is for an employed activity:

(a) Valid Passport or identity card and copies of the same
(b) Confirmation of Engagement by the employer or certificate of employment
(c) Two Passport-sized photographs.

• If the purpose of residing in the Republic of Cyprus is self-employed activity:

(a) Valid Passport or identity card and copies of the same
(b) Certificate of Registration to the Social Securities Services as self-employed
(c) Two Passport-sized photographs.

• If the purpose of residing in the Republic of Cyprus is for studying at a Private or Public Educational Establishment accredited or financed by the Republic, including vocational training courses:

(a) Valid Passport or identity card and copies of the same
(b) Proof of enrolment to study at a Private or Public Educational Establishment accredited or financed by the Republic, including vocational training courses
(c) Proof of comprehensive health insurance cover in the Republic
(d) Declaration or other equivalent means, as the applicants may choose, to assure that they have sufficient resources for themselves and their family in order not to become a burden on the social assistance system of Cyprus during their period of residence
(e) Two Passport-sized photographs.

• If the purpose of residing in the Republic of Cyprus is other than the above:

(a) Fixed or adequate income from employment outside the Republic; or
(b) Fixed or adequate income from other legal sources; or
(c) Adequate deposits in financial institutions in the Republic or abroad; and
(d) Proof of comprehensive health insurance in the Republic.

For the issue of a Registration Certificate to family members of a Union citizen who are also citizens of a Member State the following documents must be submitted:

(a) Valid Passport or identity card and copies of the same
(b) A document attesting to the existence of a family relationship
(c) Where appropriate, the registration certificate of the Union citizen whom they are accompanying or joining
(d) In the case of a spouse of a Union citizen and direct dependants under 21 or who are dependants of the citizen and those of the spouse, proof of existence of a family relation and that said family members are dependants
(e) In the case of any other family member of the Union citizen not falling under the definition in paragraph 3(d), a document issued by the relevant authority in the country of origin or country from which they are arriving certifying that they are dependants or members of the household of the Union citizen, or proof on the existence of serious health grounds which render the personal care of the family member by the Union citizen absolutely necessary
(f) Proof of the existence of a consistent relationship with the Union citizen
(g) Two Passport-sized photographs.

Fees

The application fees payable are €8,54 for the Union citizen and €17,09 for each family member citizen of a Member.

Failure to comply with the registration requirement shall render the person concerned liable to a financial penalty up to €2.562,90.

European Union citizen and family member - application for issue of Residence Card for non - EU citizens family members of Union citizen:

The application for the issue of RESIDENCE CARD is submitted by Family Members of a Union citizen who are not citizens of a Member-State, within four months from the date of entry to the Republic of Cyprus.

For the issue of RESIDENCE CARD the Non-EU citizen Family Members of a Union citizen must submit the following documents:

(a) Valid Passport
(b) A document attesting to the existence of a family relationship
(c) Where appropriate, the Registration Certificate of the Union citizen whom they are accompanying or joining
(d) In the case of a spouse of a Union citizen and direct descendants under 21 or who are dependants of the citizen and those of the spouse, proof of existence of a family relation and that the said family members are dependants
(e) In the case of any other family member of the Union citizen not falling under the definition in paragraph 2(d), a document issued by the relevant authority in the country of origin or country from which they are arriving certifying that they are dependants or members of the household of the Union citizen, or proof of the existence of serious health grounds which render the personal care of the family member by the Union citizen absolutely necessary
(f) Proof of the existence of a consistent relationship with the Union citizen
(g) Two Passport-sized photographs.

The Residence Card shall be valid for five years from the date of the issue or for the envisaged period of residence of the Union citizen, if this period is less than five years.

The fees payable are €34,17.

Failure to comply with the registration requirement shall render the person concerned liable to a financial penalty up to €2.562,90.

European Union citizen and family member - application for the issue of a Permanent Registration Certificate of Union citizen and his / her family members also EU citizens

The application for the issue of a PERMANENT RESIDENCE CERTIFICATE is submitted by a Union citizen and family members also Citizens of a Member State, after a five-year period of uninterrupted legal residence in the Republic of Cyprus.

The application for the issue of a PERMANENT RESIDENCE CARD is submitted by a Union Citizen Family Members who are not citizens of a Member State, within one month after the expiration of validity of the Residence Card.

The validity of the residence card shall not be affected by temporary absences not exceeding six months in a year, or by absences of a longer duration for compulsory military service or by one absence of a maximum of 12 consecutive months for important reasons such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training, or a posting in another Member State or a third country.

Once acquired, the right of permanent residence shall be lost only through absence from the Republic of Cyprus for a period exceeding two consecutive years.

The right of permanent residence in the Republic of Cyprus shall be enjoyed before completion of a continuous period of five years of residence by:

(a) Employees or self-employed persons who, at the time they stop working, have reached the age laid down by the Cyprus Social Insurance Law in force for entitlement to an old age pension or employees who cease paid employment to take early retirement, provided that they have been working in the Republic of Cyprus for at least the preceding twelve months and have resided in Cyprus continuously for more than three years.

(b) Employees or self-employed persons who have resided continuously in the Republic of Cyprus for more than two years and stopped working in Cyprus as a result of permanent incapacity to work. Not withstanding the above, if such incapacity is a result of an accident at work or an occupational disease entitling the person concerned to a benefit payable in full or in part by the Social Insurance Services or other benefit payable by in full or in part by a different authority by virtue of another relevant law, no condition shall be imposed as to the length of residence;

(c) Employees or self-employed persons who, after three years of continuous employment and residence in the Republic of Cyprus, work in an employed or self-employed capacity in another Member State, while retaining their place of residence in the Republic of Cyprus, to which they return at least once a week.

For the purposes of entitlement to the rights referred to in points  (a) and (b), periods of employment spent in the Member State in which the person concerned in working shall be regarded as having been spent in the Republic of Cyprus. Periods of involuntary unemployment duly recorded by the Labour Department, periods away from work for reasons not of the person’s own making and absences from work or cessations of work due to illness or accident shall be regarded as periods of employment.

Irrespective of nationality, the family members of an employee or a self-employed person who are residing with him in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus shall have the right of permanent residence, if the employee or self-employed person has acquired himself the right of permanent residence in the Republic of Cyprus.

If, however, the employee or self-employed person dies while still working but before acquiring permanent residence status in the Republic of Cyprus on the basis this Law (article 14(1)), his family members who are residing with him in the Republic shall acquire the right of permanent residence on the condition that:

(i) The employee or self-employed person had, at the time of death, resided continuously on the territory of the Republic for two consecutive years.

(ii) The death resulted from an accident at work or an occupational disease.

For this application the fees payable are €34,17 for each person and two passport-sized photographs must be submitted.

The Republic of Cyprus shall issue family members who are not citizens of a Member State entitled to permanent residence a Permanent Residence Card valid for 10 years which shall be renewable automatically every 10 years from the date of issue upon request of the person concerned and with the payment of a fee of €34,17.

The application for a Permanent Residence Card must be submitted within one month from the expiration of validity of the Residence Card.

Failure to comply with the requirements to apply for a Permanent Residence Card shall render the person concerned liable to a financial sanction up to €2.562,90.

Our Services

Initially, Focus Business Services (Cyprus) can provide legal assistance with the preparation of the applications and supporting documents, as well as provide professional advice throughout the application process as well as during the operation of the company.

Also, our group can provide all Accounting and Audit.

Our group can furthermore provide the physical office space for elligible Companies, which is required by the relevant law.


Contact one of our officers to initiate the incorporation of a Cyprus registered company and start reaping the full benefits of an onshore, low-tax, EU jurisdiction. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on enquiries@fbscyprus.com
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