Cyprus is a member of the European Union (EU) and one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe. Citizens of any EU member country have not required a visa or work permit to work in Cyprus.
However, non-EU citizens require 3 different documents that enable them to engage in any legal monetary activity; employment, entrepreneurship, or business.
The benefits and advantages of living in Cyprus are many. For instance, Cyprus is a rapidly growing economy and allows equal opportunities for all. Secondly, the working environment is internationally assimilated, and lastly, it has the lowest tax rates within the EU region.
Relocating or working in Cyprus requires three documents:
- Work permit: Cyprus work permit is applied by the employer before the arrival of the employee
- Work Visa: A work visa allows a foreign national to reside in Cyprus and engage in employment in the long term
- A residence permit: a residence permit is obtained by a foreigner if he stays in Cyprus for more than 90 days (3 months)
The two conditions that qualify an aspirant to work in Cyprus are:
- The employer can prove beyond doubt that the job couldn’t have been filled with a Cypriot or an EU/EFTA national,
- the application must be moved by the employee and the hiring process be completed before the employee’s arrival.
The categories which usually qualify for a work permit
- Executives earning US$ 41,000 annually (Cypriot companies can’t hire more than 4 executive directors at any given point in time)
- Managers, foremen, and other mid-management
- Blue collar workers, such as technicians, support staff, clerical staff, etc.
Applying for work Cypriot work permit
Before applying for a Cypriot work permit, the applicant must have successfully secured a legal job position with a Cypriot company. A job can be applied online or through a placement agent in Cyprus. Once the employer has hired an incumbent, it must obtain approval from the Cyprus Department of Labor. Subsequently, the employer shall apply for a work permit on behalf of the incumbent at the Civil Registry & Migration Department.
Upon receiving the letter of recommendation from the Labor Department, the employer then posts/emails a work contract to the incumbent which has to be signed and returned to the employer. The entire process, from submitting documents at the Migration Department to dispatching contracts to the employee, usually takes 5 to 7 work weeks.
Documents to be submitted to the Cyprus Department of Labor
The Department of Labor requires the below-mentioned documents to be submitted for review and approval:
- Form M58 duly filled, signed, and stamped by the employer (issuance of entry into Cyprus)
- Form M64 duly filled, signed, and stamped by the employer (issuance of work authorization)
- Photocopy of valid passport (all pages. Validity at least 6 months from the time of arrival)
- Employment contract (original)
- Police character and clearance certificate (from incumbent’s town of residence)
- Medical certificates (list may be viewed at the official immigration website)
- Company’s tax certificates
- Contact details of the company’s staff, total strength, and new hires
- Bank guaranty letter (on behalf of the incumbent. Between US$ 350 to 900 depending on the incumbent’s country)
- Health insurance (travel as well as resident coverage)
- Cypriot visa fee receipt
Applying for a work visa
A work visa shall only be obtained after the applicant has obtained a work permit. A work visa allows the person to travel into the country to engage in employment. The requirements for a visa are listed below:
- Secure an appointment with the closest Cyprus embassy or consulate
- Submit a valid passport
- Duly filled and signed visa application form
- Medical clearance certificate
- Proof of financial means (maintaining decent subsistence)
- Health insurance certificate (travel)
- Police character certificate
- Employment contract (with Department of Labor’s seal)
- Supporting documents (performance certificates, relevant courses, etc.)
The visa may take up to 15 working days usually to process. Note that the Cyprus work permit is valid for a maximum of 4 years, and in some special cases up to 6 years. However, highly skilled labor and specialists in a rare field are exempt from work visa expiry limitations (surgeons, atomic energy specialists, etc.).