The prestige of a country and the prosperity of its citizens do not depend on the size of its territory or reserves of natural resources. A welfare state values its citizens, creates a comfortable and secure living model, and offers opportunities for choice. In such conditions, the majority of representatives of civil society feel at home, and the country becomes attractive, including for foreigners.
At present, Cyprus is in the midst of a campaign to attract talent from the IT industry to its shores. The high technology market is growing globally. The proximity and responsiveness of the public sector to the real world is reflected in a special approach to the high-tech industry, which is important for supporting the country's economy as a whole. Government actions are aimed at attracting leading profile players to the jurisdiction of Cyprus, and new legislation encourages in-demand specialists to sign long-term contracts or, along with their families, choose the island for permanent residence. It should be noted that these efforts are bearing fruit: the influx of professional talent from other countries is growing from month to month. For reference, program curators highly value IT specialists from post-Soviet republics, especially in gaming and financial directions. They are considered excellent mathematicians with a dynamic and progressive development history.
The main incentive for companies to move to Cyprus remains the low, and therefore comfortable, level of taxation for doing business. The corporate tax rate is 12.5% and is the lowest in the EU. The favorable Intellectual Property Box (IP Box) regime allows this fiscal indicator to be reduced, including for IT companies, to as low as 2.5%. The regime provides owners with maximum protection of intellectual property and simplifies the procedure for registering legal entities. In addition, there is zero tax on income in the form of dividends in Cyprus, and a wide network of agreements to avoid double taxation (DTA) with other countries. Any profits from the sale of property rights, such as stocks, bonds, or shares, are exempt from taxes in Cyprus.
The amount of financial receipts not subject to income tax is 19.5 thousand euros per year. Resident individuals can take advantage of a zero or reduced tax rate on income earned abroad due to DTA agreements. For foreign specialists coming to Cyprus, there is a 50% discount on income tax when the employee's salary starts at 55 thousand euros per year, and if the employee was not a tax resident of Cyprus in the preceding calendar year prior to starting employment.
IT companies have the opportunity to hire up to 70% highly skilled citizens from third countries for a period of five years with a minimum salary of 2,500 euros per month. This allows entrepreneurs who have placed their businesses in the jurisdiction of Cyprus not only to relocate their employees to the island, but also to remain their employers for five or more years if necessary. Family members of employees in this category also have the right to obtain a residence permit and free access to the official labor market. Permission for legal employment and residence permits can be obtained through an accelerated procedure within 4-6 weeks of application. After five years of living and working in Cyprus, non-EU resident citizens have the right to initiate the naturalization process, and with confirmed knowledge of the Greek language, after four years. Specialized professionals from third countries can obtain a Cyprus Digital Nomad Visa for one year with the possibility of extension for two more years. In this case, their family members also have the right to apply for a residence permit, but without permission to engage in entrepreneurship.
Corporate law in Cyprus regulates logical and orderly algorithms for the movement and registration of businesses without requiring the initiator's presence in the country. A company that will subsequently be recognized as an EU legal entity can be registered remotely. Such a jurisdiction provides access to the single European customs and economic market and provides broad opportunities for global entrepreneurship. The banking system in Cyprus, which operates according to EU rules and standards, is reliable and transparent. The use of accounts in the Cypriot euro currency provides great opportunities for international integration of financial assets.
The daily life of Cypriots is characterized by a relaxed and carefree lifestyle. The Mediterranean mentality is fully evident on the island, and the locals know how to enjoy life without unnecessary fuss, kindly suggesting that expats take their example. Cypriots are friendly towards natives of other countries and sincerely provide them with assistance. The majority of the country's population, especially in cities, speaks English fluently, which is widely used in daily life. Restaurant menus, road signs, and government documents are available in English, so the language barrier is practically non-existent. Due to the arrival of foreign specialists in Cyprus, it is increasingly common to hear a variety of languages, including Russian, Hebrew, Arabic and, of course, many languages of the EU countries.
A business ecosystem based on professional interaction is actively being formed on the island. Like-minded individuals communicate in an atmosphere of trust and mutual assistance, and working on joint projects generates genuine interest. In a Limassol or Larnaca establishment, over a cup of coffee, one can find an investor for a promising startup or an employee with the necessary specialization. Despite its growing multi-nationality, Cyprus has a low crime rate compared to other European countries. English law is in effect in conjunction with the efficient work of the local police. Living in one of the safest countries in the world is a significant advantage and a desirable goal for arriving specialists and their families.
Cyprus can rightfully be proud of its deep historical heritage, diversity of nature, and developed infrastructure. All regions of the island are covered by a network of good quality roads. Direct flights connect Larnaca and Paphos airports with more than fifty countries around the world, and dozens of cruise liners and ferries can always be seen in the seaports.
Many foreign patients come to the sunny island, where a world-class healthcare system is established, for treatment and rehabilitation. Services are available in both the public and private sectors, timely and highly professional. The majority of medical staff speaks English, and specialists speaking other languages are usually available in each hospital.
Cyprus offers a high level of education. According to statistics, the percentage of local residents who have completed higher education is higher than in most EU countries. State and private international schools provide children with fundamental knowledge, educate them in an international cultural environment, and guarantee further education at leading universities worldwide. This advantage plays a decisive role for many families when they decide to move.
The combination of picturesque nature and comfortable climate creates a beautiful atmosphere for work activity. Fifty Cypriot beaches, marked with blue flags, are ideal for comfortable rest and activities such as diving, surfing, and other sports. The island's climate is one of the warmest in the Mediterranean region. Some foreigners may find the second half of the summer too hot, but the rest of the months offer very comfortable conditions. More than 300 days a year, the sun shines in Cyprus, giving residents the opportunity to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature.
The classic Mediterranean cuisine is delicious, healthy, and diverse. A wide range of fresh vegetables, fruits, and seafood is available at local markets. The set of natural Cypriot products keeps the body in optimal physical condition. Cypriots are rightly proud of their rich historical and cultural heritage. The island has preserved many unique architectural and natural landmarks. On the one hand, they serve as objects of scientific research, on the other - as sources of inspiration and good mood.
What in return?
The combination of arguments above represents the concept of "high quality of life." Thanks to a well-planned government development strategy, Cyprus attracts intellectual and entrepreneurial people in their most active age. Most foreign specialists belong to the highly paid category, and they contribute to the state treasury through taxes and spend the fees earned in the country, thereby supporting the local business.
For the real sector of the economy, the IT community is the initiator of fundamental changes in many directions, and for the country, it is a catalyst for increasing its authority at the international level. Trying to attract the highest-level foreign professionals, the government hopes for the transformation of Cyprus into a modern digital country. It is likely that right now "all the stars are aligning" over the island to turn it into a global center of high technology.
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