Looking for a slice of laidback island life? Cyprus is a popular location for British expatriates, with a good work/life balance, year-round sunshine and sandy beaches.
Getting there, however, can be a little more stressful. Planning what to take with you, how to pack it all and the logistics of shipping everything a long distance across the sea, are all problems associated with any international move.
Therefore, it’s worth investing in the services of a professional removals agent like Cadogan Tate. We can take on your move from the UK to Cyprus and arrange all the details on your behalf. Apart from deciding what items you want to ship, you can leave all the hard work to our experienced teams.
We’ve helped thousands of individuals, couples and families make the move to the Med, so why not let us lend our support to your relocation?
Moving to a small island in the Mediterranean from the UK needs a lot of preparing, planning and research. It can be time-consuming and tedious to work through the various documents and permits needed to arrange an international move. That’s why we’re here to help.
We have decades of experience in moving families across Europe, both mainland and off-shore. We can use that knowledge to take a load off your shoulders, managing the logistics from start to finish. We know the ins and outs of customs clearance in Cyprus and can prepare any documentation you may need.
Our comprehensive service begins right from the moment you get in touch with us for a no-obligation quote. We will send a qualified surveyor to your home to find out more about your requirements and the belongings you wish to ship.
We can then advise you on the different transportation options available and packing solutions we offer. This will help us to create your bespoke quote to suit your needs.
Our team can then prepare a detailed Move Plan, which will help us to ensure that your move goes smoothly. No matter how valuable or delicate the nature of the goods we are transporting, we treat everything with the utmost care and professionalism.
We make regular shipments to Cyprus to help you receive your household effects at your new home as quickly as possible.
There is a large British expatriate population on the island of Cyprus. Drawn to its sunny climate and laidback lifestyle, it’s no wonder many individuals, couples and families are retiring to or relocating to this Mediterranean gem.
We’re sure you’ve already been doing your research to find out as much as possible about your new home. To make it easier to find the information you need, we’ve put together this detailed guide to moving to Cyprus from the UK. We are also building a series of more in-depth articles, looking at different aspects of the lifestyle for expatriates in the country.
Before relocating to Cyprus, it’s important to understand its regional division. Officially, the whole island is known as the Republic of Cyprus and is a member state of the EU. It’s the third largest and has the biggest population of all islands in the Mediterranean. It’s located off the coasts of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Greece.
There has long been a divide between the Greek population and the Turkish Cypriots, the latter of which called for its own independent region in the north of the island. The current situation is that the Republic of Cyprus has legally recognised sovereignty over the entire island and its territorial waters.
There is a de facto partition in place on the island, dividing it into north and south territories. Northern Cyprus is self-declared the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, though this is only recognised formally by Turkey. Other international countries consider the northern part of the island to be part of the Republic of Cyprus under Turkish occupation. Between the larger south and west region, and the smaller north region, is a UN ‘buffer zone’.
Most British expatriates will live and work in the southern region. Many expats are retirees, who wish to enjoy the sunnier climes of the Med. The country has a subtropical climate, with very mild winters.
The Cypriot lifestyle is very laid back. For a country that has experienced so much political unrest, and is divided physically and culturally, the people remain cheerful, friendly and welcoming.
Cyprus is a real melting pot of cultures, given its central location in the Mediterranean Sea. It has influences from Europe, Asia and Africa. There are signs of both Greek and Turkish culture and architecture throughout the island, and not just on their respective sides of the border. Until the 1960s, Cyprus was a UK territory and there are remaining influences from that time too. Even though Cyprus has since gained its independence, about 3% of the island is under UK control.
The official languages of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish; Greek is most widely spoken in the south. Many Cypriots will speak English as a second language, particularly in the business world, but it is worth investing in some language lessons before relocation. The Cypriot people are very accepting of foreign nationals, but also appreciate the effort to converse in the local tongue. In the north of the island, Turkish is the most commonly spoken language, but again English is widely understood.
Cyprus is a popular expatriate location for retirees, who are looking to buy a property and enjoy the long sunny days. House prices have been on the rise, recovering from a particularly bad time during the global recession. However, in comparison to prices in the UK, it’s still possible to make a great investment in Cyprus and purchase a luxury property with plenty of real estate.
In the most well-developed and popular resorts, there are new developments cropping up all the time, and off-plan properties can be bought directly. If you prefer a more traditional property, then look out for villas and townhouses located in the more rural suburbs and traditional towns. Most foreign investors and expatriate buyers go to Cyprus for the coastal regions, which is where the more luxurious homes can be found, overlooking the jewel blue sea. There are a number of exclusive developments located around new golf courses, which can be attractive to those who enjoy the sport.
The most popular areas to buy a property are Paphos, Limassol and Larnaca. In the city of Nicosia, where many professionals will be located for work, it is more common to rent, rather than buy.
The healthcare system in Cyprus is considered very cost-effective. Public healthcare is run by the Ministry of Health and paid for by a social security scheme. Once you start paying your social insurance, you will receive a medical card to access state healthcare services. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to pay fully or partially for some medical treatment.
Most expatriates will take out private health insurance. Many locals also use private services, as they are relatively affordable and they avoid the waiting lists in the public system. It also gives more choice in terms of facilities and treatments.
There are a couple of health insurance providers in Cyprus, who you can approach for a quote. You may prefer to use an international insurance provider and many expatriates do, so be sure to shop around to find the right policy for you and your family.
It’s worth bearing in mind that not all medical professionals will speak English. Many of the top doctors will have had training overseas and speak English fairly well, mainly in the private sector. You will also find that facilities are generally better in the south of the island, rather than the north.
The UK has a double taxation agreement with Cyprus, so you should not get taxed twice on the same income. Once you are tax resident in Cyprus (following the 183-day rule of time spent in the country per tax year), you are liable for its usual taxes. Income tax for top earners is set at 35% on a progressive scale, with a generously high threshold before tax is payable. There is also a social insurance contribution to be made, which applies to both employed and self-employed workers.
Salaries across Cyprus are lower than in other European countries and it can be harder to find job placements. However, those working in finance, telecommunications, electrical engineering and IT may find some prosperous opportunities.
The cost of living, however, is significantly less than the cost of living in the UK. According to the comparison site Numbeo, everything from rental prices to grocery shopping is at least 18% higher in the UK.
While the official currency in Cyprus is the Euro, in Northern Cyprus the Turkish Lira is used, though the Euro is widely accepted.
The time your shipment takes will depend on which region you are moving to. If you are moving to Southern Cyprus, you can expect your goods to arrive in as little as 3-6 weeks if you opt for a private container. Through groupage, or shared containers, door-to-door delivery can take up to 9 weeks. Due to the longer customs clearance times in Northern Cyprus, you should allow more time, up to 12 weeks for groupage and 7 weeks for sole containers.
As Cyprus is a member of the EU, you can import your household items free of customs duties and taxes. There are a few restrictions, such as firearms, plants, food and alcohol. You don’t need any documentation for items that originate within the EU, other than your passport and a comprehensive packing list, which we can provide for you.
If you are shipping your belongings into Northern Cyprus, you can still get duty-free entry for your shipment, as long as your items have been used and owned for at least a year. You must be present in the country to clear your goods through the customs procedures. It can also take longer to clear customs, as your items will be thoroughly inspected.
Most expatriates in Cyprus will need a car – the public transportation system can be unreliable. If you wish to import your own vehicle, it’s fairly straightfoward while we remain within the EU. You are permitted to import one car free from duties and taxes as long as you have owned and used it for at least six months in the UK. Your car must be imported within a year of your move to Cyprus. You may also need to provide evidence of your car purchase.
If you need to use your car straight away, you can drive with your UK plates for up to six months on a temporary import. To be able to permanently drive the car, you will need to apply for a permit and register your car. You can opt for a permanent import from the outset, but it can take up to a month to get your car registered and released from customs. This is why many people opt for a temporary import first, so they can drive it sooner, and later apply for a permanent import. Speak to your Move Coordinator about the best options for you.
When moving to Cyprus, the usual EU regulations apply to your pets, so you should have no trouble importing your beloved cat, dog or ferret. Ensure that their vaccinations are up to date, their pet passport has all the relevant documentation and information, and that they have a microchip. The regulations are slightly different in Northern Cyprus, so it is worth checking with your Move Coordinator for the latest advice as it can be more complex and costly.
Moving to Cyprus can have its complications because of the regional divides, but Cadogan Tate’s knowledge and experience makes the whole process much easier.
We know the country well and have put together a series of guides to living and working in Cyprus, so you can be well informed before you move.
We make regular trips to Cyprus, so we can advise you on the best packing methods and transportation to suit your budget.
We also offer international and UK-based storage options if you need to put some items into safe-keeping before you relocate. Get in touch today to discuss all of our services.