Cyprus Startup Visa: Requirements and Conditions

The Cyprus Startup Visa offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs, researchers, and creative individuals from third countries. It provides a chance to implement innovative projects in a favorable business environment with advantageous tax conditions.

This visa allows foreign entrepreneurs to reside and work in Cyprus with the aim of creating, managing, or developing their high-growth potential startups. Successful startups and their leaders have the right to hire foreign employees, and family members have the opportunity for reunification.

Irina Lugina
Head of direction
Visas and immigration

The main goal of the program is to stimulate the creation of new jobs, support innovation and research, foster the development of the business environment, and contribute to the economic growth of the island. The number of visas is limited to 150.

To obtain the startup visa, it is necessary to demonstrate the viability of the company and develop a plan for its development. There are two visa options: “Cyprus Startup Visa for Team”, which grants the right to a team of up to 5 people, and “Cyprus Startup Visa for Founder” for sole founders of innovative startups.

Visa benefits include extensive support infrastructure, such as accelerators and business incubators, as well as the possibility of an 80% tax exemption for entrepreneurs in high-tech companies. Funding options for startups include venture investments and grants from the European Horizon Europe program.

Owners of the startup visa are entitled to various privileges, including the right to engage in economic activities and reside for up to one year with the possibility of extension. They can also engage in paid activities within their company and obtain the Innovative Enterprises Certificate. After the second year of residence, with a successful evaluation of the enterprise, entrepreneurs can apply for long-term residence and family reunification.

Requirements for Obtaining a Startup Visa

The requirements for obtaining a Startup Visa in Cyprus can be met through two different schemes: Individual, where only the founder submits the application, and Team.

Individual Startup Visa Scheme includes the following conditions for candidates:

1️⃣ Citizenship of a non-EU country;

2️⃣ Role of the sole founder of an innovative startup;

3️⃣ Possession of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional qualification;

4️⃣ Minimum of 20,000 euros for investment in the enterprise;

5️⃣ Proficiency in Greek and/or English language.

The Team Startup Visa Scheme includes the following requirements for a startup team:

✔️ A team (maximum of 5 people) consisting of citizens not belonging to the EU;

✔️ Composition of the team with founders of an innovative startup or, at least, one founder and other senior executives;

✔️ Collective ownership of more than 50% of the company’s shares;

✔️ Each founder must have at least 20,000 euros for investment if the team consists of a single founder, and at least 10,000 euros if more than one;

✔️ Possession of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional qualification by at least one team member;

✔️ Proficiency in Greek and/or English language;

✔️ Innovative orientation of the enterprise.

When registering a new company, special attention is given to the applicant’s submitted business plan, which serves as a key criterion for assessing its potential. In this business plan, it is necessary to convincingly confirm that the central office of the company will be located in Cyprus and provide evidence that the company itself will acquire the status of a Cypriot tax resident.

The legal address can be specified as premises in modern workspaces, such as digital hubs or business accelerators, providing additional options for the convenience of entrepreneurs.

Startup visa application process

The process of obtaining a Startup Visa involves submitting an application to the Department of the Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy of Cyprus, which is reviewed within 5 weeks upon receiving a complete application. The applicant must provide the necessary documents and a business plan, and the decision is made considering all aspects. The subsequent steps include applying for entry, and upon approval, submitting an application for work and residence permits, along with providing biometric data.

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    What documents are required for obtaining a startup visa in Cyprus?

    To apply for a startup visa in Cyprus, you need to provide information about the applicant and submit the following documents in English:

    • Business Plan: A detailed document outlining the enterprise’s development strategy, including revenue and expenditure forecasts.
    • Applicant’s Brief Resume: Education and key skills of the applicant.
    • Diploma or other documents confirming proficiency in Greek or English.
    • Copy of the current passport or other identification document.
    • Bank statement confirming the availability of initial capital in the amount of €20,000.
    • Latest financial report if the enterprise is already in operation.
    What is the mandatory amount required for obtaining a Startup Visa?

    The founder must have a minimum of 20,000 euros, which will be invested in their startup.

    How to renew the Startup Visa in Cyprus?

    Upon expiration, it is necessary to submit a new application to the relevant department of the Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy of Cyprus. Government authorities will assess the success of the startup, determining whether it has reached the required level of development and possesses potential for future success.

    The application for visa extension is submitted electronically and should include:

    • Updated business plan.
    • Confirmation of payment of contributions and social insurance for the founder and team members.
    • Certificate of no outstanding obligations regarding corporate taxation.
    • Form with company personnel data.
    • Approved financial statements.
    • Bank statement.

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