Cyprus enacts startups visa program

NicosiaThe Cyprus Council of Ministers approved yesterday the Cyprus Startup Visa, a scheme aiming at attracting investments from third countries to Cyprus in the fields of innovation and research.

Speaking to the press after the cabinet meeting, Undersecretary to the President, Constantinos Petrides, said that this scheme concerns individual investors and groups of investors who will be in a position to establish a startup in Cyprus.

He explained that these investors will have to be citizens of third countries, with a €50.000 capital, who will set up their headquarters and their tax residency in Cyprus, will be university graduates and have a good knowledge of either the Greek or the English language. He added that these businesses must be certified startups. Petrides went on to say that a total of two-year 150 licenses will be granted.

Furthermore, petrides said that those who will establish successful startups will be given license for permanent residence and work in Cyprus, they will be able to employ a number of people, including foreigners, and enjoy family reunion as well as other benefits.

He noted that despite the fact that the majority of startup businesses fail, the ones which succeed can create many jobs and raise an increased income as well as promote innovation in the country.

The Undersecretary added that the Finance Ministry will be able to assess which of these startups are successful based on their contribution to the economic development and to the promotion of innovation and research in the country.

Petrides pointed out that “it is no secret that in international indices Cyprus is lacking in innovation and has not drawn innovative businesses. The absence is due to the lack of an ecosystem which benefits start-ups from abroad when it comes to innovation, research and development,” and noted that innovation and research are pivotal sectors for the government.