Cyprus Employers Call for Relaxing Rules on Hiring Foreign Workers

Cyprus Employers Call for Relaxing Rules on Hiring Foreign Workers

Cypriot employers are urging the government to ease restrictions on hiring workers from outside the European Union (EU), citing severe staff shortages across the hospitality and retail sectors.

Labor Shortfall Leaves Businesses Understaffed

Representatives of hotels, restaurants, shops and other service industries said the lack of available local and EU workers has left them critically understaffed.

A recent policy change also barred asylum seekers from taking unskilled jobs, removing 15,000 people from the workforce.

With tourism rebounding, businesses say they are struggling to meet demand due to the labor deficit.

Industry groups called the situation unsustainable and said allowing more legal foreign workers is the only solution. 

Long Wait Times for Work Permits

The employers’ associations accused the government of responding too slowly to applications for work permits.

Despite promises to process permits within one month, businesses say they are experiencing lengthy delays.

Groups Call for Simplified, Expedited Process

In a joint statement, industry representatives urged the Labor Ministry to streamline, simplify, and speed up the work permit approval process.

They said immediate action is needed to integrate foreign workers and alleviate the staffing crisis ahead of the busy tourist season.

Here are two additional sections answering the questions:

ETIAS Approval Could Aid Worker Shortage

The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) goes into effect in May 2025.

It will require visa-exempt travelers to obtain an electronic permit before visiting EU countries.

Cyprus’ need for more foreign workers could potentially be aided by the ETIAS.

Applicants from countries like Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia would have a valid reason for travel while seeking jobs.

ETIAS would allow stays of 90 days, providing a legal interim solution.

Streamlining Hiring May Attract More EU Immigrants

Cyprus’ labor woes come as the EU faces its own workforce challenges.

Simplifying hiring procedures could attract EU immigrants ranging from seasonal hospitality workers to professionals in tech and finance.

Cyprus offers a Mediterranean lifestyle that appeals to remote workers and families alike.

By reducing bureaucratic obstacles to employment, the nation could draw more of the EU’s highly mobile labor force.

Businesses Brace for Tourist Surge with Ongoing Staff Shortage

With the tourist high season fast approaching, Cypriot businesses say they are still struggling with labor shortages that threaten to undermine the island’s economic recovery.

Unless the government acts swiftly to attract more legal foreign workers, employers warn they will be severely understaffed for the surge of arrivals expected in coming months.

The hospitality and retail sectors say easing hiring restrictions is crucial not just for their bottom line, but for providing quality service to tourists and maintaining Cyprus’ reputation as a prime destination.