Persons who need a working visa for Cyprus will first have to apply for a work permit. The legislation in Cyprus provides more options with regards to the employment permits available, designed for general employment purposes and for highly skilled employees. First, it must be noted that the citizens of the European Union (EU) do not need to apply for a working visa for Cyprus as they are free to work here following the same rules addressed to those who have the Cypriot citizenship.
Many foreigners arrive here for employment purposes. In fact, most of the foreign community relocates here for work opportunities, which, in some cases, can lead to citizenship in Cyprus, for those who qualify.
The minimum requirement, besides the desire to become a Cypriot national, is to hold a visa that allows the right to a permanent residence card and this can be the case of work visas.
In this case, the foreigner will apply for Cypriot citizenship by naturalization, which represents the longest procedure through which a person can become a citizen.
Naturalization is the process through which a person who is not connected in any way to a country wants to relocate in that country on a permanent basis for the purpose of becoming a citizen, following the conditions imposed in the respective jurisdiction.
All foreign applicants for citizenship by naturalization must become the holders of a residency permit in Cyprus issued on a permanent basis.
The residence permit is issued based on the legal ground for which the person relocated here – in this case, the person will obtain the residence permit due to the fact that he or she obtained a work visa that allows the foreigner to relocate here on a permanent basis.
For instance, in 2022, the Cypriot institutions issued 7,000 work permits to highly skilled persons. The holder of a residence permit in Cyprus granted based on a highly skilled work visa is usually entitled to permanent residence.
This implies that the holder of permanent residency can apply for citizenship, in the case in which he or she will want to become a citizen (there are few differences between permanent residents and citizens).
Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can present the list of nationalities that are required to obtain a visa for employment purposes, which also grants the right of long-term stays in this country (this means that the document will be issued for stays that have a duration of at least 90 days).
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When can a working visa for Cyprus be issued to a foreigner?
A foreigner that is a citizen of a non-EU country will generally have to apply for a visa. In the case of visas issued for employment purposes, the process begins by applying for a work permit, which can be granted if specific conditions are satisfied.
Besides the basic requirements that must be met by the applicant, the Cypriot Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Insurance will issue the document if certain aspects are completed. For example, the institution will be able to provide the working visa for Cyprus to a foreigner if the company that has a job opening was not able to find a Cypriot citizen or an EU citizen to perform that work activity.
What are the steps in obtaining a Cypriot work permit?
Prior to having the right to a working visa for Cyprus, the foreigner must verify if he or she is eligible for the categories of work permits issued here. According to the Cyprus immigration rules, work permits available for foreigners can be obtained by those who will work as executive directors (and having a minimum yearly salary of EUR 41,000), those who are included in middle management jobs, with an annual salary of EUR 21,000 to EUR 40,000, and those who can be qualified as supporting staff.
The steps that have to be made by the applicant in order to receive a work permit here can be presented at length by our Cyprus immigration lawyers, but we will present below some of the basic aspects the foreigner should expect during this process:
• the foreigner must have a work contract with a company operating in Cyprus;
• the Ministry of Labor in Cyprus will then have to provide its consent on the application;
• then, the application has to be registered with the Civil Registry and Migration Department;
• the Civil Registry and Migration Department will process the application in a period of 4 to 6 weeks (as a general rule);
• the applicant must submit the application forms, along with the employment contract and other personal documents in order to receive a working visa for Cyprus.
Only after these steps are completed and after the local institutions have granted their approval on the application, the foreigner can complete the formalities related to the issuance of a working visa for Cyprus. The document cannot be obtained prior to applying for a work permit.
How can a foreigner apply for a working visa for Cyprus?
After the formalities related to the issuance of the work permit are completed, the foreigner can address the nearest Cyprus embassy or consulate and appoint a meeting for the issuance of the visa. The working visa for Cyprus can be issued if the applicant will submit additional documents, such as the certificate of medical clearance, the police clearance certificate, and others. Persons moving to Cyprus for employment purposes should know the following:
• a foreigner can receive a work permit with a validity of 4 years;
• however, those moving to Cyprus to work in fields such as agriculture or farming can obtain a work permit for a period of 6 years;
• in 2016, Cyprus issued a total of 16,970 residence permits (the work permit is a type of residence permit and one can also receive a Cyprus permanent residence permit under specific circumstances);
• out of these, the local authorities issued 7,835 permits for employment reasons;
• this accounted for 43,5% of all the permits granted by the local authorities.
The highest demand of non-EU foreigners interested in relocating to Cyprus was observed in the case of the following nationalities: Indian (18,1% of all the permits), Russian (13,8%) and Syrian (10,6%). Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can present more information on the visa formalities addressed to these nationalities. A visa issued for employment purposes can provide the opportunity of applying for the Cyprus permanent residence permit.
We invite foreigners to contact our Cyprus immigration lawyers for further information on how to obtain a visa for employment purposes or any other type of visa that is prescribed under the national law. Foreigners can also request details on the procedure of obtaining the Cypriot citizenship or how to relocate here by making an investment in the local economy.