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Sponsored immigration

New hires

What sponsored visas or work permits are available to employers seeking to hire foreign nationals in your jurisdiction? What are the eligibility criteria, application procedures and maximum period of stay for each?

Employers can apply for a working visa for non-EU employees if their company allows them to do so. The procedure takes three to four months and a work visa lasts for the duration of the employment agreement. Employees can renew their visa on renewal of their employment agreement.

Intra-company transfers

What sponsored visas or work permits are available to multinational employers seeking to transfer foreign employees to your jurisdiction? What are the eligibility criteria, application procedures and maximum period of stay for each?

Multinational employers follow the same procedure mentioned above, as an entity applying to register a foreign employee is treated as a Cyprus company or branch. Applicants must have signed an employment agreement with such a company.

Do any special rules govern secondments?

N/A.

Sponsor requirements and considerations

What are the eligibility and procedural requirements for employers to sponsor foreign employees?

N/A.

What ongoing reporting and record-keeping requirements apply to sponsors?

Sponsors must retain copies of their employees’ passport, know-your-customer documents and residence permits.

In what circumstances (if any) must the employer submit to resident labour market testing before hiring or transferring foreign employees? Do any exemptions apply?

Employers do not have to conduct a resident labour market test before hiring foreign employees. Nonetheless, in order to minimise unemployment, vacant positions must be advertised for two months indicating the qualifications and language skills required. Where no candidate is found to match the relevant requirements during this time, the employer can proceed with a work permit application for a foreign employee.

Are there any annual quota limits or restrictions on certain positions that can be filled by foreign nationals?

N/A.

Are there any immigration exemptions or other special schemes for shortage occupations in your jurisdiction?

N/A.

How long does it typically take to obtain a sponsored visa? Is expedited visa processing available?

N/A.

What rules govern the hiring of foreign third-party contractors?

N/A.

What are the penalties for sponsor non-compliance with the relevant immigration laws and regulations?

N/A.   

Are there any other special considerations for sponsors in your jurisdiction?

N/A.

General employee requirements

Must sponsored employees meet any language requirements?

There are no language requirements for working visas.

Are sponsored employees subject to any medical checks?

Medical checks may be required depending on the type of work permit being applied for (eg, a permit for a domestic worker).

Must sponsored employees meet any medical or other insurance requirements?

Employers must provide medical insurance for their foreign employees.

Are sponsored employees subject to any security or background checks?

The Immigration Authority conducts security checks during the examination of work permit applications. Further, the authority has the right to check that employees are still working for the employer as declared in their records.

Are sponsored employees subject to any restrictions on studying or working second or volunteer jobs?

The holder of a student visa has no right to work.

Are there any rules or standards governing the equivalence of sponsored employees’ foreign qualifications?

N/A.

What are the penalties for employee non-compliance with the relevant immigration laws and regulations?

Employees that fail to comply with Cypriot law and immigration requirements will be instructed to leave the country. Failure to comply with instructions from the Immigration Authority could lead to employees being placed on a ‘stop-list’ barring their entry to Cyprus for a number of years.

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