In Cyprus, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has proposed new rules for the issuance of residence permits to third-country nationals. Now, in order to obtain an immigration permit, foreigners need to confirm that they have sufficient financial means to live in the republic with reasonable dignity, or to prove the possibility of earning this kind of money (even though foreigners should not compete with Cypriot citizens).

The new rules to issue residence permits have already been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of the country. The document was sent to the Cypriot Parliament for consideration on May 26th. These innovations will come into force after approval by deputies.

Categories of foreigners for whom the new rules will apply:

  1. Individual entrepeneurs
    • Appropriate experience and education will be required to engage in business.
    • If a business license is required, the foreign person must provide it.
    • To start a business, a foreigner needs to have a sufficient amount of funds.
    • It will be necessary to settle the issues of payment of social contributions with the social insurance fund and tax deductions with the tax department.
    • According to the authors of the document, foreign individual entrepreneurs will have a positive impact on the Cypriot economy in accordance with the principles of its development and will not compete in the labor market with the citizens of the country.
  2. Salaried employees
    • This category includes foreign nationals hired by local employers.
    • Foreign workers should not compete in the labour market with the local population.
    • A contract of employment between the employee and the employer will be required.
    • Employers may hire workers from abroad.
    • Employees must pay all tax and social contributions.
  3. Investors
    • These are foreign nationals who have invested considerable sums of money in the economy of Cyprus.
    • The types and volumes of investments are determined in accordance with the decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers.
    • All investments from abroad must be of legal origin.
  4. Permanent residents who do not have the right to employment
    • This category includes foreign nationals who plan to live in Cyprus without employment or economic activity.
    • The amount of their income should not be lower than 40 thousand euros per year. The foreigner also needs to confirm the availability of 10 thousand euros for the maintenance of each dependent family member per year.
    • It is necessary to have real estate in Cyprus, the price of which should not be less than 250 thousand euros. 
    • This category includes shareholders who receive interest in Cypriot companies.
    • Contributions must be paid if the foreign person wishes to join the GESY National Health System.