Thousands of foreign firms eye Cyprus

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Cyprus’ drive to attract foreign businesses has brought impressive results, with nearly 8,000 applications received in the past two years, said Interior Minister Nicos Nouris.

The Minister at VIII Best Legal Conference in Limassol said 5,475 applications were submitted in 2021, while by August, that number reached 7,883.

Nouris attributed the boom to initiatives taken by the government, “creating new opportunities for both existing and new businesses that intend to relocate to Cyprus”.

He presented laws and regulations introduced to facilitate and fast-track the move of businesses to the island, making it easier to hire skilled staff from third countries.

Incentives given by the Ministry of Interior fall under the New Strategy for Attracting Business and Talent, the New Development Licensing Policy and the New Licensing and Local Plans Policy.

Nouris said the one-stop mechanism, set up in 2020 to reduce red tape procedures for businesses in Cyprus, evolved into the Business Facilitation Unit under the Commerce Ministry.

The Digital Nomad Visa scheme makes efforts to facilitate the movement of skilled employees and their families from third countries to Cyprus.

It allows third-country nationals that are either self-employed or salaried employees abroad, and are working remotely from Cyprus, the right to a Digital Nomad residence permit for up to one year, which can be renewed for an additional two years.

Digital Nomads can be accompanied by their family members in Cyprus.

Originally the quota for such permits was 100, but it has been increased to 500 due to the popularity of the Scheme.

By August, 127 non-EU nationals had applied for and were granted a Digital Nomad Visa.

By the end of 2026, existing foreign interest companies will be able to employ workers from third countries without any limitation on numbers, while from 2027, the maximum number of such employees will be 70% of the total number of employees of the company.

Nouris referred to fast-tracking building permits through electronic submission, saying that 4,080 applications were submitted, of which 3,327 were approved, or 82%.

He hoped that by the end of the year, the Parliament would also approve the bill to facilitate strategic investments worth more than €20 mln.