In the fall of 2020, an accelerated company registration procedure was introduced in Cyprus within 7 days, providing the opportunity to obtain permanent residence in this island European state. This service, which has seen a significant increase in interest recently, is provided by the Cyprus Ministry of Interior together with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
As of May 2021, a total of 11 companies representing the US, UK, Luxembourg, Israel and Lebanon have used the service. However, about 50 more organizations, including several Russian ones, are ready to submit a corresponding application in the very near future.
This can be done by both new companies and those that either move their head office to Cyprus or open a branch here, including a store. In the first case, it is necessary to submit a business plan for the next five years and a covering letter, and in the second – constituent documents, articles of association, certificate of incorporation, list of shareholders and documented annual turnover, which must exceed 500 thousand euros in three of the last five years .
If the above conditions are met, the Cypriot Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy help register with the social insurance system and the local registry of companies, obtain a license to conduct a particular activity, register taxpayer status and request a residence permit for foreign employees with a work permit for the duration of the contract , which must subsequently be extended.
The number of employees who can be issued a Cypriot residence permit is determined by the company’s annual turnover. For example, if the turnover exceeds 30 million euros, then it can vary between 100-200 people. At the same time, the employer has the right to obtain permanent residence if he invests in the business in the amount of more than 300 thousand euros from foreign sources and employs at least five people.
In addition, the owner of the company must demonstrate that he has sufficient funds to live in Cyprus. For the applicant himself, the annual income is at least 30 thousand euros, and another 5 thousand should be added for each family member (spouse, children under 25 years of age). Parents can also be included in the application, for whose maintenance it is necessary to allocate 8 thousand euros per year. Another prerequisite is the presence of residential real estate in ownership or long-term lease.
Holders of permanent residence in Cyprus, which is for life (the only requirement is not to be absent from the island for more than two years in a row), have the right to apply for citizenship after five years. In the future, with a Cypriot passport it will be possible to enter 176 countries of the world without visas.
If foreign companies, thanks to accelerated registration in Cyprus, have the opportunity to quickly open a business without bureaucratic red tape and pay taxes of only 12.5% (half that in Spain), then for the state the benefit lies in the influx of investment and highly qualified specialists – first everything in the areas of IT and industry, as well as in creating new jobs for representatives of the indigenous population. This should be facilitated by the improvement of the accelerated company registration procedure planned for the near future, for which a special Internet platform will be created, the services provided will be automated and interaction between services will be improved.