On 15 February 2017, Cyprus adopted the Startup Visa (Startup Permit Scheme) for third country nationals interested in residing and investing in innovative businesses in Cyprus. Taxand Cyprus discusses the startup visa for third country nationals.
Specifically, it allows talented entrepreneurs from third countries (Non EU, Non EEA), be it individuals or group of investors, to reside in Cyprus and to establish and/or operate and develop their own innovative startup companies with high growth potential, provided that they meet certain criteria.
Such criteria mainly include: access to EUR 50,000 worth of capital, an innovative scope, principal offices registered in Cyprus, exercise of the management and control of the companies from Cyprus, possession of certain academic qualifications, and very good knowledge of Greek and/or English. The criterion of innovation will be considered to be met if 10% of the operational expenses within a certain year are related to research and development.
This National Plan will initially be applied for two years, during which 150 residence permits are available to be issued.
The evaluation of success of the company will be performed after two years of operations by the Ministry of Finance or the relevant Authority appointed by the Ministry. During the evaluation a number of factors will be taken into account such as number of employees, taxes paid by the company, exports, income and any further investments in the company.