Cypriot Startup Visa: Challenges and Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Cypriot Startup Visa: Challenges and Opportunities for Entrepreneurs


Cyprus Startup Visa: Low Approval Rates, Ongoing Efforts to Develop the Program

The Cypriot government has approved only 4 out of 51 Startup Visa applications received last year, indicating an approval rate of around 8%. The Startup Visa program is set to run until May 2024, with a potential capacity of 150 approvals.

The program offers two options: the Individual Startup Visa Scheme and the Team Startup Visa Scheme. Approved applicants receive a 2-year (renewable) residence permit, which can be converted to long-term residency if the startup proves successful. Applicants must submit a detailed business plan that undergoes stringent evaluation.

The low approval rate may be due to the program's rigorous criteria. The Cypriot government recognizes the need to develop these initiatives further and transition the startup ecosystem from a "growing stage to a more mature one."

Alongside the Startup Visa, Cyprus is also reorganizing its immigration framework, including a proposed €250,000 residency by investment program and a new 3-year fast-track to citizenship.

As Cyprus continues to refine its Startup Visa program, it can learn from other examples worldwide, such as Canada's rapidly growing but now backlogged program.


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