Department of Labour

Employment of Students from Third Countries

Foreign students in Cyprus may now work in paid activity

According to a recent law, which follows a directive of the European Union, students who are nationals of third countries may now work in Cyprus, in paid economic activity, under certain conditions and for certain kinds of work.

The Order or Decree of the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance that makes this possible was published in the Official Gazette last week (11 April). Students of recognised universities or university programmes are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week, in specific occupations and specified sectors of economic activity.

They must be full-time students of recognised universities or colleges (or of some additional registered colleges) and they must have spent at least six months of full-time study in Cyprus.

They must be treated equally with Cypriot workers. All minimum labour standards should be observed. The Ministry has prepared a standard contract of employment for use in this case. The standard contract is available at the District Labour Offices.

Occupations and economic activities covered are shown in detail in the Order issued by the Minister. Typical occupations included are the following:
· petrol-station attendants and car-wash attendants
· care givers in homes for old people
· workers in agriculture/farming, fishing and bakeries
· fast-food delivery drivers

The main documents necessary for those wishing to work – and for their employers – are the following:
· a valid residence permit (with a date of at least six months)
· an employment contract, signed by the two parties
· a time-table of studies – which should not coincide with the working hours.

Students should first get a student permit from the Immigration Authorities. They should then sign a contract of employment, with an employer, and submit it to a District Employment Office for approval. The Employment Office will check the main conditions and if satisfied will approve the contract.

The Law provides for punishment (fine or imprisonment) for those who violate its provisions.

The above is for general information purposes. For more details, see the Aliens and Immigration (Amendment) Law No. 184(I) of 2007 and the Order published on 18 December 2009, by the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance.

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