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Cyprus "Start-up Visa"

(start up permit scheme)


The programme/scheme will operate on a pilot basis for two (2) years from February 2017 to February 2019. During this two-year period 150 visas will be issued.

What is the "Cyprus Start up Visa"?

The "Cyprus Startup Visa" programme / scheme allows talented entrepreneurs from third countries [outside the European Union (EU) and outside the European Economic Area (EEA)], individuals or in a team, to enter, reside and work in Cyprus in order to establish / operate / develop a startup with a high growth potential. The Scheme’s goal is the creation of new jobs, the promotion of innovation and research, the development of the business ecosystem and consequently the economic development of the country.

Who can benefit?

Team consisting of Non-EU country nationals:

  • Comprises:

    • solely of founders that meet the requirements of the  enterprise  below  and  are  of  a maximum number of five (5) individuals or,

    • of at least one (1) founder and other senior executives that their total does not exceed five (5) individuals. The senior management must belong to the third level of the administrative hierarchy (managers) (C - level employees) and will have the right to stock options.

  • Possess, in total, more than 50% of the company's shares

  • The founder has access to € 25,000. In case the founders are more than two (2) the total capital must be €50.000 which may include venture capital funding, crowdfunding or other sources of financing.

  • At least one of the team members holds an undergraduate or an equivalent professional qualification.

  • All team members have a very good knowledge of Greek and / or English language.

Requirements of the Enterprise:

  • The enterprise must be innovative. The enterprise will be considered as innovative if its research and development costs represent at least 10% of its operating costs, in at least one of the three years preceding the submission of the application, as certified by an external auditor, on the basis of international accounting standards. In the case of a new enterprise without any financial history, the evaluation will be based on the Business Plan submitted by the applicant.

  • The Business Plan must provide that the enterprise’s head offices and tax domicile be established in Cyprus. The head offices may be common co-working spaces (eg. business accelerators, incubators, digital hubs etc) or co-location with other enterprises.

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