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Immigration & Residence in Cyprus

Cyprus Startup Visa - FAQ - Part I

What is the Cyprus Startup Visa?

The Cyprus Startup Visa is a scheme, aiming to attract talented entrepreneurs from third countries, either as individuals or in groups), so that they would establish startups with high growth potential in the Republic of Cyprus.

This scheme aims to:

  • Create new work positions;
  • Promote innovation and research;
  • Contribute to the development of the Cyprus startup ecosystem;
  • And thereby to the economic growth of Cyprus.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • In case of the Individual Startup Visa Scheme: the founder of the startup
  • In case of the Team Startup Visa Scheme: up to five founders or at least one founder and other senior executives (in total up to five persons).

Furthermore, the following conditions must be met:

  • Access to capital of 50 000 euro (either through venture capital funding, crowdfunding platforms, or through other funding channels)
  • Academic Qualifications (undergraduate degree or equivalent)
  • Very good knowledge of Greek and/or English.

In addition to the aforementioned criteria, the startup itself must be innovative:

  • In the case of an already existing startup, an external auditor must certify that at least 10% of the operational expenses, in at least one of the previous three years, were used for Research & Development (R&D) purposes.
  • In the case of a new startup, then the Business Plan must include a detailed presentation and explanation of the innovative elements of the startup.

Regarding the Business Plan to be submitted along with the application, it must provide that:

  • The headquarters of the Company will be registered in the Republic of Cyprus (these may be co-working spaces, accelerators, incubators, digital hubs etc.);
  • The effective management must take place in Cyprus.

What are the benefits for the founders?

  • Right to residence and work permit in Cyprus for one year with the possibility of renewal for at least another year.
  • Right to self-employment or employment in his company (to be registered)
  • Right to family reunification in case the startup is deemed as successful.
  • Possibility to hire a certain number of foreign employees without the prior approval of the Labour Office in case the startup is deemed as successful.

It is to be noted that the performance of the startup (success or failure) will be evaluated at the end of the second year.

The above information is provided for general purposes only, for legal advice and for more details on the scheme and on the procedure itself, you can get in touch with our team.