Temporary Residence in Cyprus

There are two categories of people who can obtain a temporary residence in Cyprus. Those who reside or who will enter the Republic for employment purposes, and these who reside or who will enter the Republic for visiting purposes. In view of the enforcement of the above legislation, the Civil Registry and Migration Department has reviewed the procedure for the issuance of residence permits for the above mentioned categories. The visitors section examines cases of third country nationals who enter the Republic of Cyprus and wish to stay for more than three months, without employment rights.

The following categories of foreigners can receive a visitors permit following a specific porocedure:

 

  • Τhird country nationals that have conducted a marriage with Cypriot citizens and their minor children (younger than 18 years old) from a previous marriage and/or parents-in-law from third countries.
  • Third country nationals who apply for extension of their temporary residence permit, provided that they have sufficient financial resources for their maintenance originating from abroad.
  • Τhird country nationals who apply for extension of their temporary residence permitin order to conduct a marriage with a Cypriot or an EU

 

Work permit in Cyprus:

In Cyprus the employer applies for a work visa. The employer is obliged to make a contract of employment with which the employee must take to the Embassy of Cyprus to obtain an entry visa. Any company with the registration of a third-country nationality must provide evidence of work and declare the position of workers who are not Greek or EU citizens. The company places a job advertisement with their registration number in the database of the Ministry of Labour and Cyprus newspapers. The application is registered with the Ministry of Labour in Cyprus.

After 40 business days of the application being received from the eligible candidates, the Ministry of Labour receives a business statement and begins to process the consideration of the company. The company’s accounts are checked to ensure they have sufficient funds to cover the annual salary of each employee. If the company does not have sufficient working capital and / or the company doesn’t employ a sufficient number of Greeks or Europeans and/or the officials decide that the request is irrelevant, the company may be refused authorization. In general the government prefers for jobs EU citizens or Cypriots and only in specific jobs.

In Cyprus there are two types of companies: Cyprus companies and companies with foreign investments. It’s much easier for foreign companies to bring in workers than local ones.

The positions which are eligible for a Cyprus work permit are:

As an Executive Director the maximum number is 5 people if the registration and migration service of the Republic of Cyprus is not convinced about the justification of the presence of a larger number. The minimum acceptable total annual salary (annual salary + any additional premiums/additional payments) is €41,000. This amount may be adjusted in accordance with changes in the wages index.

  • Middle management staff or otherwise staff with mid-level qualifications among the above-mentioned employees, including directors but not the executive directors, as well as other members of the executive bodies of management/middle management or other technical or clerical personnel, with an annual salary of €21,000 to €40,000.
  • Supporting Staff

.All third-country nationals employed by other technical, managerial, professional, clerical and other positions in Cyprus, and not falling into the previous two categories, are classified as support staff. It is expected that the company will employ Cypriots or Europeans for this category.

 

 

Our Law Firm specializes in Immigration matters

Immigration is an international movement of people who move on to a country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle as permanent residents.

As experienced Cyprus Lawyers who specialize in Immigration Law we deal with the following immigration matter in Cyprus:

Permanent Residence:

People who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income is high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession. The annual income required should be at least Euro 30,000.00 for a single applicant and moreover at least Euro 5,000.00 for every dependent person, but the Immigration Control Board may demand additional amounts as necessary. In order to obtain the status of permanent residence to the applicants, they should buy any property in Cyprus that it is over 300.000 Euros. If the applicant acquires (the Category F) Visa, he/she will be able to bring together his wife and children.

Under the provisions of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations investors have the right to acquire permanent residence visa as long they will fulfill the following criteria:

  • The applicant must prove that he has at his disposal a secured minimum annual income amounting to €30.000 (employment in Cyprus is not allowed).
  • The minimum annual income is increased by €5.000 per year for every dependent person. The annual income should be earned from sources abroad and can include overseas employment income, pensions, dividends etc.
  • The application form must be accompanied by a title deed or a contract of sale that has already been submitted to the land registry, for the acquisition of a house, apartment or any other building situated in Cyprus, of a minimum value of €300.000 (excluding VAT). Further, the applicant must submit proof of payment for at least €200.000 (excluding VAT) in respect of the above mentioned property. The Civil Registry and Migration Department will only accept applications for granting immigration permits under the fast track route provided that the above mentioned property is being sold for the first time.

Our Law Firm specializes to debt collections and we provide high legal services concerning this matter.

Going through a difficult period worldwide because of COVID-19  fortunately for all the lawyers who handle pending cases, from now on it is possible for most procedures to be processed by sending an email giving the necessary document or asking for further instructions or details to the competent service/department of the Court. This is obviously a respectable facility for everyone, as the physical presence of the client or his lawyer is not necessary in each case . In this way, in order not to take too long for a case to continue to the next step because of the restrictions , the whole process can continue normally, without the need to appear in Court. The possibility to clarify the handling of cases by email or telephone by both the Court and the lawyers is an option that facilitates everyone mainly for protection reasons.  The Court will inform the lawyers of the parties in advance and in time about the lawsuits which are in order of hearing so that the appropriate coordination and planning for the commencement of these hearings can take place.

Our law firm specializes in litigation. Our lawyers specialize in Cyprus Law and can efficiently address a wide range of legal issues.

Regarding the debt collections, we provide prompt, efficient, simple and cost-effective solutions to our clients for all debt collection needs against individuals and entities. As experienced Cyprus lawyers, we proactively assist and act on behalf of our clients on debt collection matters in Cyprus. Furthermore, we represent clients in proceedings to secure claims as well as in execution proceedings. Our lawyers take all legal actions in execution proceedings but not limited to aforementioned debt collection through competent execution offices.

Cyprus Investment Program (CIP)

Implications of the amendments to persons who have already acquired the Cypriot citizenship by way of investment

Apart from the amendments to the CIP that have been decided to come into force and to impose stricter criteria and requirements concerning the application itself, the Council of Ministers also decided to use the services of three private companies to carry out due diligence check on all applicants, who have already submitted their applications.

Furthermore, it was decided that previously approved applications will also be re-examined it the light of the new criteria, which implement a more rigid due diligence check. In cases where it is proved that a person should not have been granted the Cypriot citizenship, if the new criteria had been applied during the examination of his/her application, then the citizenship may be revoked.

According to Civil Registry Law 141(I)/2002, as amended, there are a number of cases where a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus who is a citizen by registration or by naturalization (including persons who have been granted citizenship according to the CIP), ceases to be a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus, if the Council of Ministers issues an Order that deprives him/her of the citizenship according to the criteria set out in the law.

These cases extend to the case where a person is sentenced in any country to imprisonment for a particularly harsh offence, to the case where a person by words or conduct has shown lack of loyalty to the Republic of Cyprus etc.

Furthermore, the Council of Ministers may by Order deprive the citizenship of a person, if it is satisfied that the registration or the certificate of naturalization has been obtained by fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact.

In addition to the above mentioned reasons for deprivation of citizenship, the Council of Ministers may also by Order deprive the citizenship of a person, if it is satisfied that this person usually resided in foreign countries for a continuous period of 7 years and during this period he/she has not:

a) been at any given time in the service of the Republic or of an International Organization of which the Republic is a member; or

b) notified each year, with the prescribed manner, to the Consulate of the Republic his/her intention to maintain his/her status as a citizen of the Republic.

However, it is highlighted that the Council of Ministers shall not deprive any person of his/her status as a citizen, unless it is satisfied that it does not serve the public interest that such a person continues to be a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus.

In any case, the Council of Ministers shall give the relevant person a written notice, informing him/her about the reason for issuing such an Order.
For more information concerning the amendments in the Cyprus Investment Program, do not hesitate to contact us

British Virgin Islands entering the “white-list” of the cooperative tax jurisdictions of the EU

In 2018, British Virgin Islands were included on the EU’s ‘grey list’ of cooperative tax jurisdictions, despite its attempts to engage with the EU, because the EU required further progress in order to address its concerns.

Since that date, the BVI has proven its commitment to an effective cooperation with the EU and its dedication to promote good tax governance by passing the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act 2018.

There were also other pieces of legislation (either primary or secondary) which passed in order for BVI to achieve the aforementioned goals and at the same time to continue to be one of the most preferred jurisdictions for companies’ registration.

Each of these measures adopted by the BVI further establishes its position as an internationally respected and stable financial centre, which attracts businessmen from all over the world to establish their companies there.

Furthermore BVI seems to be present and committed in a positive dialogue with the EU, in order to meet and comply with the existing international standards.

Up to this end, during the last week of February 2020, EU announced that BVI managed to be included in the EU “white-list” of cooperative tax jurisdictions, among other countries and at the same time it managed not to impose/place irrational restrictions regarding the incorporation of companies.

Thus BVI is now, more than ever, one of the most appealing and stable jurisdictions for company incorporation, with a number of benefits, including among others the low taxation, the fast procedure of incorporation, the availability for residents of any country, etc.

For more information concerning company incorporation in BVI, do not hesitate to contact us directly in info@danoslawfirm.eu.

Personal Injury in Cyprus

Nowadays the number of personal injury cases seems to increase, while at the same time citizens are not aware of their rights. Recently our law firm has dealt with a number of cases regarding personal injury and we managed to obtain very reasonable compensations for each of our clients.

Under Cypriot legislation, the term personal injury refers to and includes any harm, physical, psychological or mental, that a person may suffer, most commonly due to road traffic accidents, accidents at work, tripping accidents, product defect accidents (product liability) and holiday accidents.

The above principle is based on the doctrine of negligence, according to which the innocent party has suffered harm due to the negligent behavior of another person. It is very important for citizens to have a full understanding of their legal rights and their ability to issue Court proceedings for such matters.

If the party responsible for the negligent behavior has an insurance plan under which negligent acts are covered, the person who suffered the injury should appoint a lawyer, who will negotiate with the insurance company in order to obtain a reasonable compensation.

However, if the insurance company does not make any reasonable offer, then the party who suffered the harm may instruct his/her lawyer to proceed with Court proceedings.

There are two types of damages and the person who has suffered the injury may claim them, namely general damages and special damages. Special damages are measurable damages such as loss of earnings, medical expenses and any financial expenses incurred and directly linked to the injury.

On the other hand, general damages are not measurable and include among others bodily harm, emotional and psychological trauma, pain and suffering and loss of amenity. The measure for general damages is estimated and decided upon by the Court on the basis of the severity of harm suffered, the degree of the negligent behavior and other factors.

Our law firm specializes in personal injury cases and has dealt successfully with a lot of such cases, both in negotiations’ procedures and in Court proceedings. We can offer a variety of services concerning any claim for personal injury, including advice on how to proceed with each case, advice regarding the amount that a person is entitled to claim, negotiating with insurance companies, managing Court proceedings either for the claimant or the defendant, etc.

For further information regarding personal injury claims or assistance in the estimation of the compensation you may be entitled to, you contact our legal firm.

Cooperation with Bulgarian banks for the opening of bank accounts

Andreas Danos Law Firm would like to announce that it has started successful cooperation with some of the most reputable Bulgarian banks. This cooperation would enable our clients to open bank accounts in Bulgaria easily and faster than before. This option is available not only to clients that have already a registered company, but also to clients who are willing to set up a new company. Such an option is suitable for Cypriot Companies but also for foreign companies as well. 

Andreas Danos Law Firm starts cooperation with Dubai law firm about registering companies

Andreas Danos Law Firm would like to announce that it has started successful cooperation with a Dubai law firm, mainly concerning companies’ registration, which would enable our clients to set up a company in the United Arab Emirates.

Even though the United Arab Emirates do not have the “tax heaven” stigma, registering a company there have a lot of advantages. First of all, for the entities registered in the UAE there is 0% corporate income tax. Further company registration’s details depend on the emirate where the entity is registered and the type of the entity.

There are several legal solutions for foreign companies wishing to conduct a successful business in the UAE. One of them is to register a company in numerous free-trade zones in the UAE. Those areas have a special tax, customs and imports regime and are govern by their own framework of regulations. Within the most investors-friendly free zones in the UAE are Dubai free zones. There are several free zones in Dubai and each of them is specified for the exact branch of business (f.e. Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City). Dubai free zone company can be established using the 3 following entities: Free Zone Establishment, Free Zone Company and branch. The two firstly mentioned enjoy limited liability, while the branch has unlimited liability for the parent company. All three types of entities allow the 100% foreign ownership, appointment of corporate directors and visa applications for foreign employees. The Dubai free zones companies are obliged to rent an office in the zone (but it is not necessary to hire the staff), appoint a resident company secretary, submit annual audited financial statements and annually renew the business licence. What is more, free zone companies do not require a UAE national shareholder and are excellent solution for investors wishing to use Dubai as a gateway to the consumer markets in Africa and the Middle East. Exemption on corporate tax minimalizes withholding tax on remittance to other countries and no customs duties are imposed on goods imported or exported from the free zone.

Another solution for the investor is opening a Dubai offshore company, which is an ideal, tax efficient and cost effective corporate structure for entrepreneurs who wish to conduct international trade. An offshore entity is sometimes called the ‘nonresident paper company”, because it allows foreign entrepreneurs to trade with Africa and Middle East without administrative obligations. The main difference between the Dubai free zone company and the Dubai offshore company is that the offshore company is not allowed to trade in Dubai and in the UAE. Besides that, a Dubai offshore company is quick and simple to set up and the shareholders and directors are not required to register their names and details for public record. What is more, an offshore company is exempt from all annual accounting and tax obligations.

The less popular corporate structure is the Dubai Limited Liability Company. This entity is advised for companies wishing to conduct consulting business (legal and accounting consultancy, IT and management consultancy, marketing consultancy). In other industries, the Dubai authorities require foreigners to create a joint venture with an UAE national, who must hold at least 51% of the shares.

REGISTRATION OF FOREX COMPANIES WORLDWIDE

We specialize in registration of Forex Companies worldwide especially in Cyprus, Vanuatu, Belize, etc. and we have recently successfully helped a client for registration of Cyprus Forex company.

FX or Forex (foreign exchange) trading is a relatively new type of market which investment firms worldwide conduct business in. It encompasses generally an over-the-counter market where buyers and sellers conduct foreign exchange transactions.

Why setting up a Forex Company in Cyprus, Vanuatu, Belize, etc?

Cyprus, due to its attractive tax regime, coupled with its EU Member status, its implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (‘MiFid’), and regulatory regime has proved the perfect jurisdiction for the incorporation and operation of FX companies.

Vanuatu, a remote archipelago in the South Pacific, a popular tourist attraction is something called land diving. It has zero corporate tax, it also has no income tax, no capital gains tax, no estate tax, no wealth tax, no withholding tax, no gift tax and no other personal income taxes. Aside from a locally applied 12.5% VAT, there are almost no taxes at all.  With such a taxation regime in place for international companies and offshore companies incorporated in the jurisdiction, Vanuatu can rightly be considered as a “Tax Haven” – and one of the most attractive in the World from many perspectives.

Belize, is located on the eastern coast of Central America, is a tax haven in the purest sense, because it provides a simple incorporation process for offshore companies, which do not pay taxes on earnings from abroad. The tax code in Belize defines offshore income as dividends, capital gains, earned interest and revenues. Dividends paid by offshore companies incorporated in Belize to non-citizens of the country are also tax-free.

Especially after the recent changes in EU directives and regulations non-EU regulated forex companies can no longer operate in the EU and/ or the euro as a currency.

So, nowadays there is a big trend of setting up regulated Forex companies in Cyprus, Vanuatu, Belize, etc that in addition have very favorable tax and regulatory regimes coupled with very low operating cost levels and considerable financial services, legal, tax and accounting expertise and infrastructure.

Minimum Capital Requirements:

In February 2014 there was an amendment of Law N.193(I)/2014 Article 10 (Law of the Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets), whereby the initial capital requirements of CIFs has been reduced significantly in order to attract further investments in Cyprus.

Hence the initial capital requirements were configured as below:

A CIF that provides one or more of the following investment services and holds clients’ money or/and client’s financial instruments, must have an initial capital of at least one hundred twenty five thousand euro (€125.000):

(a)  The reception and transmission of orders in relation to

financial instruments

(b)  the execution of orders on behalf of clients;

(c)  portfolio management;

(d)  provision of investment advice;

A CIF that provides the investment services stated in subsection (a) or/and (d) above, and does not hold clients’ money or/and clients’ financial instruments, and which for that reason may not at any time place themselves in debt with their clients, may have an initial capital of:

(a)  At least fifty thousand euro (€50.000); or

(b)  at least forty thousand euro (€40.000) and professional indemnity insurance covering all member states or some other comparable guarantee against liability arising from professional negligence, that it enters into with an insurance undertaking, representing an amount of at least one million euro (€1.000.000), per claim, and in aggregate at least one million five hundred thousand euro (€1.500.000) per year for all claims.

A CIF that provides one or more of the following investment services or/and performs the following investment activities shall have an initial capital of at least seven hundred thirty thousand euro (€730.000):

(a)  Dealing on own account;

(b)  Underwriting of financial instruments and/or placing of financial instruments on a firm commitment basis;

(c)  Placing of financial instruments without a firm commitment basis;

(d)  Operation of Multilateral Trading Facility.

Directors:

A Cyprus FX company must have at least one Executive Director, who passes a ‘fit and proper’ requirement test, who is resident in Cyprus. This means that he must have an investment/financial background, has a respected reputation in business circles and has a clean criminal record.

The requirement for Cyprus residency is to enable Cysec to correspond and liaise with him especially in as regards reporting as well as for clarifications and spot checks.

Furthermore, the company must have a General Manager, who is non-executive, and has no requirement to be resident in Cyprus. The requirement is that he visits Cyprus on a regular basis to oversee the functions of the company. The role of the General Manager is mainly to oversee the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in general.

Application Procedure :

All corporate documents of the company (incorporation certificate, certificate of directors/secretary, shareholders, Memorandum & Articles, etc) together with the CIF application form (Form 144-03-01). [The usual time frame for the preparation of the application and supporting documents is 1-2 months, depending on the prompt availability of the required documents].

Together with the above document bundle, a three year business plan, and internal procedures manual and anti-money laundering and know your client procedures must be filed with the application.

Initially, our firm has experience of setting up a Forex Company in Cyprus, Belize, Vanutatu, etc. We prepare the special memorandum and articles of the company

Registration of companies in BVI

Our law office enjoys an excellent reputation for its litigation strength and expertise in all aspects of commercial litigation, insolvency and investment fund disputes.  We have extensive experience in registration of companies worldwide and especially in British Virgin Islands. We have recently successfully helped a client for registration of Company in British Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands, or BVI for short, is a group of fifty islands in the Caribbean forming a British Overseas Territory. The main islands within this group are called Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. They have been autonomous from Britain since 1967. While the official name is the Virgin Islands, they are usually called the British Virgin Islands to separate them from the nearby American Virgin Islands.

Why is British Virgin Islands considered to be a tax haven?

A tax haven is – according to the OECD – a jurisdiction that seeks to make itself attractive to businesses and business owners seeking more favorable tax treatments than those available in their country of origin or residence. As such a tax haven provides beneficial terms under which either new companies can be incorporated or off-shore entities of already existing companies can be established.

The “British Virgin Islands tax haven” has come about through the creation of a very simple set of corporate taxation rules that offer a highly beneficial taxation system. The British Virgin Islands does not have any capital gains tax, gift taxes, sales tax, value added tax, profit tax, inheritance tax or corporation tax. Salaries paid to employees employed by an off-shore company established in the BVI tax haven are taxed at 8% for the employee the remaining percentage up to 12% or 14% for the employer for any salaries above $12,000.

The relative simplicity of these tax regulations along with the low tax rates explain why British Virgin Islands has become one of the most popular places for off-shore establishment of businesses. The BVI tax haven also offers another important benefit – relative privacy of details regarding financial transactions as well as corporate incorporations. This allows companies to configure their own corporate structure without harmful interference or risk of competitors gaining access to undue information.

Seven reasons to purchase an offshore company in the BVI:

1) Complete freedom from taxes in the country of registration.

2) The British Virgin Islands – the oldest and most respected offshore jurisdiction in the world.

3) The British Virgin Islands have the most elaborate offshore legislation in the world.

The highest level of security.  Information about the owners, shareholders and directors of the company is safely hidden from inquisitive eyes.

5) The Act does not limit the size of the share capital of BVI companies and does not specify the exact timing of the payment.

6) The law does not require the company to submit financial statements.

7) Free use of directors and shareholders as legal entities.

Documents needed to register a company in the British Virgin Islands:

The prestige of this jurisdiction has a downside. The documentation requirements are generally stricter than in more “democratic” offshore zones. If they seem too off-putting, we recommend that you try Belize or the Seychelles instead, where the process is much simpler.

Mandatory documentation:

1) A certified identification document.

A passport (foreign or domestic) is the most readily-accepted document. Next, in descending order, a national ID-card or driving licence (only acceptable if it contains a photo of the owner). The authenticity of the document must be certified by a notary, lawyer, certified public accountant, an employee of the embassy or consulate, a bank manager, a police officer or other person authorized to certify documents.

If you visit our office in Riga or in the BVI, copies of your document will be made by our staff on-site.

2) Proof of residence.

What is it? Any official document showing your name and address together. The most popular options are: utility bill (except mobile phone bills), bank statement (including credit card statement), a certificate from the housing department, an extract from the register of residents, a letter from a notary, bank official, etc.

3) Reference letter from the bank.

This formal document can easily be provided by almost any bank. Banks are familiar with this procedure and, as a rule, each bank has its own format.

In this letter, the bank confirms that the relevant person has been a customer of the bank for however many years, and declares the absence of any claims to this person .

4) Confirmation of the source of legal funds.

This is usually a bank statement.

Actual figures in this account are not that important. The law only requires proof that the client has legal funds.

Andreas G. Danos law office provides both corporate and litigation services.  Our law office enjoys an excellent reputation for its litigation strength and expertise in all aspects of commercial litigation, insolvency and investment fund disputes.  We have extensive experience in registration of companies worldwide and especially in British Virgin Islands.