The Council of Ministers approved on 30 November 2022, the amendment of the policy for the Registration of companies to the Register of Foreign Interest Companies.
This decision has entered into force on 12 December 2022 and it modifies the eligibility criteria of foreign interest companies and adds another criterion for the company to be obliged to prove an initial investment in the Cyprus company of at least €200,000, which must be proven by supporting documents such as Bank SWIFT or other similar documents to prove that the foreign direct investment is by the ultimate beneficial owner, legally admitted to Cyprus from abroad. The investment must be made by the UBO himself.
- The majority (50% + 1) of the Cyprus company’s shares must be owned by third-country nationals. If more UBOs exist, then this amount can be deposited or invested by one UBO or collectively.
- Public companies registered on any recognised stock exchange.
- Companies of international activities (formerly off-shore), which operated before the change of regime, whose data are held by the Central Bank.
- Cypriot shipping companies.
- Cypriot high-tech/innovation companies*
- Cypriot pharmaceutical companies or Cypriot companies active in the fields of biogenetics and biotechnology.
- Companies of whom the majority of the total share capital is owned by persons who have acquired Cypriot citizenship by naturalization based on economic criteria, provided that they prove that the conditions under which they were naturalized continue to be met.
* An enterprise qualifies as ‘High Technology Company’ if:
(a) it is already established and has a presence in the market, and
(b) it has a high level or experimental R&D intensity, and
(c) it developed product/s that fall into one of the following categories: products related to aviation and space industry, computers, electronic and telecommunication products, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, research and development equipment, electrical machinery, chemicals, non-electrical machinery.
For the cases 3-7, the investment criterion is also applicable and the company’s initial investment in Cyprus of at least €200,000, must be also proven by supporting documents.
Documents required for the registration of an eligible company in the Register of Companies with Foreign Interests:
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Certificate of Registered Office Address
- Directors’ Certificate
- Shareholders’ Certificate, proving that the percentage of foreign participation in the company’s share capital is over 50% of the total share capital. In the case where legal entities (e.g. local or foreign companies, trusts) are the shareholders, a shareholders’ structure diagram presenting the whole chain of ownership up to the final owners (natural persons who are the ultimate beneficial owners) should be declared and documented.
- Director’s Affidavit on the company’s ownership (from one of the directors if many)
- Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ valid passport(s)
- Articles of Association of the company
- Rental agreement document or title deed or a sale document for the offices of the new business (it must be duly stamped if its value equals the annual amount of €5,000 or more)
- Audited Financial Statements (for companies already operating in Cyprus)
- Tax Clearance Certificate for the company (for companies already operating in Cyprus)
- Deposited amount of at least €200.000, supported by a Bank SWIFT or other similar document which proves a foreign direct investment by the ultimate beneficial owner, legally admitted to Cyprus from abroad. The investment must be made by the UBO himself/herself.
Upon approval from the register of foreign interest, the criteria to employ a 3rd country citizen to a highly skilled position or as a supporting staff are the following:
- Brief Curriculum Vitae – CV (including copies of academic qualifications and or relevant professional experience of at least two years).
- Original contract of employment of not less than two years with minimum gross monthly salary of €2,500 for highly skilled employment. For supporting staff the salary is determined by the current legislation.
- Rent agreement or title deed of his residence in Cyprus
- Original certificate of Criminal Record from country of origin
- Original medical examinations from a Specialised Doctor in Cyprus
- Valid certificate of health insurance for medical care
- Employer declaration for covering the return cost of the third country national
- Employer´s liability insurance with an automatic renewal
Please also note that the spouses of third country nationals who fulfil requirements for highly skilled employment, have granted access to the labour market which means they can move to Cyprus and seek remunerated employment. This does not apply to the spouses of supporting staff.
Dependant family members (parents, children and parents) can proceed to family reunification and submit application in order for them to obtain residence permit based on the permit of the main applicant/employee of the company.
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