On 15th October 2021, the Ministry of Finance presented its new strategy for attracting foreign investments in Cyprus and enhancing its position as a sustainable business and commercial centre. With implementation set to commence on 1st January 2022, the strategy focuses on attracting investments in specific sectors, such as shipping, technology, innovation, and research & development.
The main measures of the action plan are summarized below:
Establishment of a Business Facilitation Unit (BFU)
This is essentially a transformation of the existing ‘Fast Track Business Activation Mechanism’. The BFU will be providing assistance to companies of foreign interests that are either already operating in Cyprus or that wish to operate in Cyprus. The main responsibilities of the BFU will be as follows:
Revised policy for issuance of residence and employment permits to third country nationals
The companies eligible to utilize the revised policy are:
The main provisions of the revised policy are as follows:
Right to employment for family members
Spouses of third-country nationals who have obtained a residence and work permit in Cyprus will be granted immediate and free access to employment as paid employees. This applies only to spouses of qualified staff (minimum gross monthly salary €2,500) and not to spouses of support staff.
Digital Nomad Visa (maximum cap of 100 applications)
This new type of permit will apply for third-country nationals who are either self-employed or employees who work remotely using information and communication technologies with employers/ clients outside Cyprus.
The permit will be valid for one year, with the right to renew for an additional two years. Digital nomads may be accompanied by their family members to whom, upon request, a residence permit will be granted, provided that they do not engage in any kind of economic activity in Cyprus.
As a prerequisite, digital nomads must provide evidence that they have sufficient fixed income of at least €3,500 per month to cover their living expenses during their stay in Cyprus, plus an additional 20% for the spouse and 15% for each child.
NOTE: The beneficial Cyprus non-domicile tax regime continues to apply to all foreigners becoming Cyprus tax residents.
Right to apply for naturalisation after five years of residence and work in Cyprus (instead of the current seven years), or after four years for holders of certification of very good knowledge of the Greek language.