If you are planning to work in Cyprus, whether you are an EU national/resident or a non-EU citizen, there are certain procedures and requirements you need to fulfil to obtain a work permit. Here is an overview of the process:
1. EU Nationals/Residents Moving to Cyprus:
- EU nationals or residents can freely enter and stay in Cyprus without a visa for up to three months.
- To stay longer than three months, you must apply for a Registration Certificate for EU Nationals, also known as the yellow slip.
- The yellow slip allows you to work and reside in Cyprus for more than three months, and it provides various benefits such as access to healthcare and enrollment of children in schools.
- To apply for the yellow slip, you need to visit your local immigration office within the first four months of your stay in Cyprus.
- You will need to fill out the MEU51 form and provide documents such as proof of employment, proof of address, valid passport or ID, passport-size photographs, and an application fee of €20.
2. Non-EU Citizens or Nationals:
- Non-EU citizens or nationals who plan to stay in Cyprus for more than 90 days need to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit, often referred to as the pink slip.
- Depending on the purpose of your travel, you will be entitled to one of the following residence permit categories: Student Visa, Employment Visa, or Visitor Visa.
- To apply for the pink slip, you need to complete the MCYV2 or MVIS2 form at the immigration office and provide documents such as passport copies, bank statements, employment contract (if applicable), marriage certificate (with apostille translation, if applicable), birth certificates of children (with apostille translation, if applicable), photographs, medical insurance, and an application fee of €140. Ministry of Interior, Cyprus
- UK Citizens
Following the UK’s exit from the EU, if you’re a UK national, you’ll need a visa to work in Cyprus. If you were living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021. Gov.UK
You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement, if you have a MEU or MUKW residence document, or have applied for one.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Work Permit in Cyprus?
The processing time for a work permit in Cyprus can vary depending on various factors such as the workload of the immigration authorities and the completeness of your application. Generally, it is recommended to apply well in advance to allow sufficient time for processing.
For the yellow slip (Registration Certificate for EU Nationals), it is advisable to book an appointment at least 3 to 4 weeks before the 4-month deadline of your stay in Cyprus. For the pink slip (Temporary Residence Permit for non-EU citizens), the processing time can take several weeks or even months. It is best to consult with the immigration authorities or a Cyprus immigration lawyer to get a more accurate estimate based on your specific circumstances.
Criteria for Employment in Cyprus
To be eligible for employment in Cyprus, there are certain criteria that you need to meet. These criteria may vary depending on the specific job or industry. However, some general requirements include:
- Possessing the necessary qualifications, skills, or experience required for the job.
- Obtaining a work permit or residency permit that allows you to work legally in Cyprus.
- Compliance with any specific requirements or regulations set by the relevant authorities or professional bodies for certain professions.
How to obtain a work visa in an international company in Cyprus
There are specific requirements and procedures to follow. Here is some additional information:
Minimum Income Requirement: The applicant must find an international company in Cyprus that is interested in hiring a qualified employee and is willing to pay a minimum salary of 2500 euros per month before taxes.
Visa Validity: The work visa for employees of international companies is initially valid for two years, with the possibility of extension.
Prerequisites for Application: The company must have permission to employ third-country nationals.
Document Requirements: All documents or their official copies issued by authorities or organisations from other countries must be translated into English, notarized, and in some cases, apostilled.
Certificate of Clean Criminal Record: The certificate can be in paper or electronic format. The paper version must be translated into English, notarised, and apostilled if applicable. The electronic version only needs to be translated.
Document Shelf Life: Medical tests must be taken within four months prior to document submission and can be conducted in Cyprus. Police clearance certificates must be issued within the last six months. Passports must be valid on the submission date, and the passports of family members must be valid for at least two years. Marriage certificates should be valid for at least one year before submission. The employment contract must have a minimum term of two years with an annual salary of 30,000 euros.
Family Members: Family members considered eligible to accompany the applicant include spouses and minor children.
Application Process: The work visa application is submitted by the employee first. Once the work visa is obtained, the process of obtaining residence permits for family members can begin.
Permit to Enter Cyprus: Only the employee of the international company can obtain a permit to enter Cyprus initially. Family members can join later under the Family Reunification Act.
Start of Legal Stay: The legal stay in Cyprus begins from the moment the immigration authorities accept the required documents for the visa.
Time Requirements: The employee should not be absent from Cyprus for more than 90 consecutive days. Exceeding this period can lead to the cancellation of the work visa and hinder re-entry to Cyprus on the same visa.
Bank Account Requirement: While the immigration authorities do not require a bank account in Cyprus, a Cypriot bank account is necessary to issue a letter of guarantee for family members.
Minimum Bank Balance Requirement: There is no minimum bank balance requirement for work visa applicants.
Processing Time: The approximate waiting period for issuing a work visa by the immigration authorities is around a month and a half after submitting all required documents.
Visa Category Change: It is possible to change the visa category later, for example, from a work visa to a visitor visa.
Spousal Employment: Spouses of work visa holders have the right to work in Cyprus. The minimum wage requirement for spouses is not less than the minimum wage set by law, which is currently 940 euros per month.
Medical Tests and Health Insurance: The applicant is required to undergo medical tests and have health insurance.
Letter of Guarantee: A letter of guarantee from a bank is not required for the employee of an international business company, but it is necessary for family members.
Counting Time Towards Cypriot Passport: The time spent in Cyprus with this work visa counts towards the term for obtaining a Cypriot passport.
Both EU and non-EU residents who have continuously resided in Cyprus for five years can be eligible for permanent residency. Non-EU residents can also apply for permanent residency through specific categories, including self-employment, employment, or having a secured annual income. Gov.cy
Cyprus offers the opportunity for foreign investors and their immediate families to obtain Cypriot citizenship. Today investors can acquire citizenship only if initially they acquire a permanent residency and then apply for citizenship after living in Cyprus for 5 years.
This category, Category 6.2, also known as “Fast Track Permanent Residency (PR)”, requires a minimum investment of €300,000 plus VAT (5% or 19%).
A brand-new house or apartment must be purchased in Cyprus with the above criteria.
Category F permanent residency
This residency permit can be obtained by investing a minimum of €100,000 (plus VAT) in Cyprus real estate. Additionally, the applicant must prove their annual income from abroad will comfortably cover their living costs while residing in Cyprus.
The required income starts from €9568 per applicant per annum, plus an additional €4613 for each eligible dependent person (spouses and family members).
Furthermore, citizens living in Cyprus legally for five-seven years have the right to apply for Cyprus EU Citizenship. Dependents (i.e. spouse, children) can also obtain a permanent residence permit. This is known as the naturalisation scheme (M127) based on years of residence.
For employment opportunities in Cyprus, look no further than Emerald Zebra Recruitment Agency.
Donna Stephenson is the Founder and CEO of Emerald Zebra, a leading niche recruitment agency based in Limassol, Cyprus. With over 21 years of experience in the recruitment and human resources field, Donna has built a strong reputation as a successful businesswoman and industry leader. Her innovative approach and knowledge of the local market have helped Emerald Zebra become the go-to agency for specialised recruitment solutions in Cyprus across the fintech, tech, finops and gaming sectors.
- Employment Offer: Secure a job offer from the employer in Cyprus. Emerald Zebra can advise you of job opportunities relevant to your skills and experience.
- Employer Application: The employer should apply for your work permit through the appropriate government authorities.
- Documentation: Gather the required documents, which may include your passport, educational certificates, and a clean criminal record.
- Application Submission: The employer will submit the work permit application, along with all required documents, to the relevant government department.
- Approval Process: Wait for the approval of your work permit. Estimated waiting times are currently 4-8 weeks.
- Residence Permit: After obtaining a work permit, you may also need to apply for a residence permit to legally live and work in Cyprus.