The Cyprus Startup Visa Scheme

Ahhhh Cyprus, the island of love, adventure, yearly sunshine and now…Startups.

Unbeknown to most, Cyprus launched its’ first Startup visa scheme in February 2017 on a pilot basis for a period of 2 years, due to end February 2019.

The goal? To boost the island’s startup ecosystem and provide a significant incentive for non-EU nationals to bring their talent and innovative ideas to the country in order to establish / operate / develop a startup with a high growth potential.

Cyprus is a perfect location for business growth, providing a foothold in the EU, low operational costs and competitive tax rates. The startup scene is also booming in the country with more and more local entrepreneurs coming to the fore.

Backed by the EU, it has seen an increase in accelerator and incubator programs.

Entrepreneurs worldwide can apply for the fast track visa, which entails certain requirements. What are these, I hear you ask?

  • Open to individual founders of a startup
  • Have access to 50K in capital from either VC funding, crowdfunding or other sources
  • Holds an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification
  • Has very good knowledge of Greek or English
  • Company’s head office must be registered in Cyprus
  • Fulfills the requirements of an innovative Startup, i.e R&D represent 10% of its operating costs in at least one of the previous 3 years, certified by an external auditor
  • Evaluation of the Startup’s business plan if no financial history is available

Successful applicants will have the right to live in Cyprus for up to 2 years, by which time if their business succeeds, full time residency may be awarded.

Some well-established global tech companies in the game and online communications industries have already set up shop in Cyprus and are a beacon for others to join.

Due to its proximity to the Middle East, many entrepreneurs from the region have had a keen interest in the scheme. Who can blame them with the benefits it offers so close to home?

With an influx of Chinese investors looking into Cyprus for real estate, this visa scheme is a good alternative to the popular residency scheme Cyprus also provides. A leader in the business sector, China’s innovative minds may bring a definite boost to the economy, while providing them access to the EU.

150 visas will be awarded throughout the two years. We look forward to seeing Cyprus and its’ entrepreneurs make an impact on the global scene.

For more information regarding Cyprus’ Startup Visa Scheme, read more.




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