Over 9,000 staff applications from foreign business

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Since the New Strategy for Attracting Businesses and Talents was launched in January, the government has received a bumper 9090 applications from foreign companies, with 97% examined.

An event by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEBE) in Paphos was told that interest in residence permits for “digital nomads” is on the rise, with authorities increasing the quota from 100 to 500 due to the “popularity” of the scheme.

“We intend to establish Cyprus as a successful, reliable and competitive destination, ready to provide the conditions under which any investor can thrive,” said Interior Minister Nicos Nouris.

The event in Paphos was themed “The Chinese Future of Cyprus: Investments, Immigration and Residence. Strengthening Business Cooperation”.

Nouris also referred to the development of Cyprus-China relations, saying that Nicosia aspires to continue their positive dynamic.

He said the ministry has decided to expand the scope of the fast-track planning permission to include larger and more complex developments to facilitate and speed up investment.

Regarding relations with Beijing, Nouris said: “The economic and commercial relations of the People’s Republic of China with Cyprus have become increasingly close in recent years.”

“Our ambition is that this positive dynamic in relations between the two countries continues to create the conditions for very fruitful cooperation in the political, social and economic fields.”

Nouris said that to better serve the citizen, the government also simplified the licensing procedures through the new Development Licensing Policy.

He said that this reform intervention in planning and building permits came into force in October 2020, introducing electronic submission of applications, a faster, more efficient, and more transparent permit granting process.

Most applications submitted are for housing developments involving single-family houses and semi-detached homes, while the fast-track process allows planning permits to be issued within 10 days for applications involving one or two residential units on approved plots.

“The results from implementing this fast process are very encouraging”.

Director of the Civil Registry and Migration Department, Maria Adamidou, said that New Strategy has led to an “impressive increase in interest from foreign companies to relocate in Cyprus.”

“This becomes evident when we compare the applications for residence and work permits from foreign companies submitted to the Department of the Civil Registry and Migration Department in 2021 and 2022.

“The number of applications has more than doubled in the first nine months since the adoption of the New Strategy.

“In particular, 5,475 applications were submitted in 2021, while from January 2022, when the New Strategy came into force until the end of September, our department has already received 9090 applications,” said Adamidou.

She stated that in addition to facilitating the employment of third-country nationals, the New Strategy also encourages family reunification.

In 2021, 4,242 applications for family reunification permits were submitted, 204 of which concerned spouses’ access to work.

In the first nine months of 2022, 4,653 applications for family reunification were submitted, of which 291 related to spouses’ access to work.

Adamidou said the plan for talented entrepreneurs from outside the EU, the so-called “Cyprus Start-up Visa”, has been renewed until May 31, 2024.

“Our main priorities are setting bureaucracy aside and introducing fast and smooth processes.”