The Republic of Cyprus introduced in February 2017 a pilot scheme for the ‘Cyprus Start-up Visa’. The scheme aims to promote start-ups with strong potential for growth, innovation and research, with a view of generating new jobs and enhancing the Cyprus economy.
Non-EU nationals are eligible to apply for a Cyprus start up visa (either as individuals or as a group start up), provided certain conditions are satisfied, as follows:
- An undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification
- A very good knowledge of English and/or Greek language
- The applicant should be either the sole founder of the business start-up (access to €50,000 funding which may include venture capital funding, crowdfunding, or other sources) or if a group start up then it should consist of up to five (5) founders or at least one (1) founder and additional executives. In any case, the group must not exceed five members. The third country nationals must own, in total, more than 50% of the shares of the company. The founder must have access to EUR 25,000 capital. If the founders are more than two then the capital must amount to at least EUR 50,000 euro in total.
- Setting of its headquarters in Cyprus and the start-up to be Cyprus tax resident
- Certified business start-up with a detailed business plan
- The business must be innovative and also the research and development costs to be at least 10% of its operational costs – certain criteria apply in case of first year start up or of a business that already has audited accounts.
Our expert team of both lawyers and advisors can guide you, provide assistance and be next to you in every single step of the procedure as the successful applicants will benefit from:
- The right to economic activity and residence in Cyprus for one year, and possible renewal for another year
- Self-employment or paid employment in their Cyprus registered company
- Family reunification and prospective residence in Cyprus if the business succeeds (without any time restriction)
- Right to employ a number of non-EU nationals if the business succeeds
- The assessment of the success or failure of the start-up is at the end of the second year
- This scheme offers the opportunity for non-EU nationals to get access to Europe through Cyprus which is a low tax jurisdiction
Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC