Cyprus Simplifies the Startup Visa Issuance

Кипр упростит выдачу стартап-виз
25 January 2021 Liza Medvetskaya

Due to the lack of interest in the Cyprus Startup Visa program, the Cypriot authorities announced its intention to simplify the proсess of applying for foreign start-up companies.

As it turned out, the scheme did not produce the results that the government expected.

According to the Ministry of Finance, only 20 visa applications were submitted from foreign companies from 2019 to 2021, and only 7 were approved. At the same time Cypriot authorities were ready to issue 150 visas for entrepreneurs.

“Unfortunately, interest in the Cyprus Startup Visa was very low. Therefore, we are now exploring all possible ways to make the program more attractive for foreign entrepreneurs, ”said a representative of the Cyprus Ministry of Finance.

It should be noted that until recently the Cyprus Startup Visa program was administered by the Ministry of Finance. However, now it was decided to transfer it to the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy.

As a reminder, the Cyprus Startup Visa is a program that allows talented entrepreneurs from countries outside the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) to live and work in Cyprus.

The pilot version of the program was first launched in February 2017. The main difference between a startup visa and a traditional work visa is the significantly lower capital requirements for the company.

By the way, if for a company to hire employees from third countries in Cyprus, such an ordinary company must receive an investment of 171 thousand euros, then in order to obtain a visa for a startup, it is enough to show that the company has free investments in the amount of 20 thousand euros. It is also important to note that these 20 thousand euros can be obtained from venture investors, through crowdfunding or other sources of funding.

Кипр упростит выдачу стартап-виз

The procedure for considering applications for a startup visa is carried out electronically.

To start considering the application, the applicant (usually the founder of a startup) must send a special application form and attach documents. Among the required documents is the company's business plan, as well as documents confirming the presence of an initial capital of at least 20 thousand euros. Additionally, the applicant must attach their resume, a document confirming good knowledge of English or Greek, a copy of the passport (valid for at least two years from the date of submission), a diploma of education, as well as company reporting, if the company is valid at the time of application.

If the application is approved, the department will issue an appropriate pre-approval letter.

After receiving it, the startup participants are required to register a company within six months, sign labor contracts with a salary of at least EUR 850, obtain entry visas and enter the territory of the Republic. Next, the startup participants must go through an almost standard procedure for obtaining work visas provided for by the legislation of Cyprus.

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