The Council of Ministers of Cyprus approved on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 the Cypriot startup visa scheme with the aim of attracting investment from foreign investors in the area of innovation and research.
The scheme is directed at individual investors and groups of investors who wish to establish a startup in Cyprus. The requirements are that the investors must be third country nationals, university graduates with a good knowledge of either Greek or English with a startup capital of at least €50,000. Furthermore, the foreign investors will have to set up their headquarters and their tax residence in Cyprus. It should also to be noted that their business must be certifiable innovative.
Undersecretary to the President, Mr. Constantinos Petrides, said that a total of 150 licenses will be given to startups which will be valid for two years.
Furthermore, he stated: “Although innovative start-ups have a very high rate of failure, the ones that survive can create many jobs, generate income, and push a country toward innovation. The founders of these successful companies will enjoy permanent residence in Cyprus, the right to hire up to a certain number of staff, and the right to reunite with their families, among other things.”
Mr. Petrides further highlighted that the Finance Ministry in Cyprus will be able to assess at later stage which of the startups will be successful based on their contribution to the economic development and to the promotion of innovation and research in the country.
The scheme is a major step for Cyprus as most of the developed countries have implemented a startup scheme. An ecosystem of startups is an important element to the economy of Cyprus as innovation and technology are areas that have the possibility to positively impact the country’s economic development.