RESIDENCE AND WORK PERMITS FOR NON-EU NATIONALS THOUGH THE FAST TRACK BUSINESS ACTIVATION MECHANISM
Attracting foreign investors to settle and do business in Cyprus has always been at the core of the Cypriot culture and Cypriot economy. The Fast Track Business Activation mechanism ( FTBA) that was approved by the Council of Ministers on 3rd of September 2020 aims to do exactly that: attract foreign businesses in Cyprus that wish to establish presence in the Republic by giving them specific incentives that would be ideal for businesses wishing to enjoy access to the EU markets and EU trade agreements.
Entering the FTBA mechanism could be an ideal scenario for UK based companies following Brexit as relocating their headquarters or setting up branches and subsidiaries of the company in Cyprus would enable them to enjoy free movement of goods, services and capital with other European Union member states and members of the European Free Trade Association without tariffs , complex bureaucracy or regulatory obstacles.
However, the mechanism is not only available to companies that have already been incorporated abroad that wish to relocate in the Republic, but it is also available to companies of foreign interest that have been newly set up in Cyprus.
The Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry is responsible for approving or rejecting the application for membership in the Mechanism. Specifically, in order to join the mechanism, the interested companies must meet the qualitative and quantitative criteria seen below and their investments must have a positive impact on economic growth.
- Companies should have a physical presence in Cyprus including establishment/operation of independent offices that are separate from any private residence.
- Existing companies should have a minimum turnover of €500.000 per year for 3 out of the last 5 years
- Companies that are newly incorporated in Cyprus should submit a reliable five year business plan illustrating growth potential.
According to the regulations, all the necessary procedures for setting up companies in Cyprus that make use of the Fast Track Business Activation Mechanism are completed within 7 working days from the day the company joins the Mechanism.
Companies that have successfully entered the mechanism can take advantage of the accelerated procedures that facilitate the issuance of residence and employment permits to persons from third countries that will be employed by the companies that are part of the mechanism provided:
- the majority of the shareholders of the company are third country nationals. This requirement is lifted in cases where a company belongs in specific business fields such as public companies registered in any recognized stock exchange, Cypriot shipping companies, Cypriot companies of high technology and so on.
- A foreign direct investment of at least € 200.000 for the purposes of operating the company in Cyprus is made
- Independent offices are established in Cyprus for the company in suitable premises
Companies that meet the above conditions are entitled to employ third country Directors, Middle Management executives and other specialists who will have no restrictions whatsoever on the maximum duration of their stay in the Republic. The third country nationals family members will also have direct access to family reunification for their spouse and minor children.
Apart from its strategic location and being part of the European Union, Cyprus can undeniably be considered to be an internationally trusted location for the establishment of businesses because of its attractive and transparent tax regime, excellent regulatory structure, access to markets, low cost of doing business and high quality of life.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
Here at Andreas Demetriades & Co LLC, we are qualified Cypriot Lawyers with an in-depth knowledge of the law and the procedures pertaining to the Cyprus Immigration Laws and Investment as well as the Cyprus Corporate Laws. Having our base in Cyprus allows us to speedily solve problems to avoid unnecessary delays.
Andreas Demetriades & Co’s wealth of experience, knowledge and resources, offer clients the best possible legal support. We can provide step-by-step guidance through the whole process of submitting your permit application.
The contents of this article are intended to provide a general guideline with reference to the above subject matter. For more information on how to apply please contact our Law Firm for a personalized consultation.