A guide to living and working in Cyprus
If there’s one thing that can help facilitate your move abroad, it’s ensuring you have a clear picture of what life might be like once you arrive. After all, living and working overseas is a much different experience to a holiday and settling into your new life might take a period of adjustment before you feel at home. For those considering a move to sunny Cyprus, we’ve compiled a brief guide to living and working out there to help you on your way…
Moving to Cyprus
Expats seeking a Mediterranean melting pot will find what they’re looking for in Cyprus. This small island, dotted with villages and ringed with rugged coastline and jewel-toned seas, has been influenced by a number of cultures over the years and, most recently, by the division between the Turkish north and the Greek Cypriot south.
As Cyprus is a member of the EU, citizens of other EU states are free to move there as they please and enjoy the same rights as the Cypriot citizens. If you intend to spend longer than three months in the country, however, you must apply for your ‘yellow slip’ – a Registration Certificate for EU Nationals. For Non-EU and Non-EEA citizens, the rules are stricter, but you can gain citizenship under the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception as long as you can demonstrate investment in Cyprus totalling at least 5.0 million euros or if your salary generates at least 100,000 euros in taxes in Cyprus over a three year period. You will also need to own a permanent residence in Cyprus with a purchase price exceeding 500,000 euros.
Working in Cyprus
In the past few years since the 2013 financial crisis, employment opportunities have dwindled in Cyprus. However, the tourism industry remains mostly secure with the market in the south looking generally stronger than the north – many expats are successful at finding work in the hospitality and hotel sector, though these roles are often seasonal and the better paid positions demand some knowledge of the Greek language. Other key areas of the economy include shipping, the service industry and the fast-growing energy sector. Generally speaking, expats with skills related to telecommunications, finance, electrical engineering and IT are most likely to fare well in the Cypriot job market.
Networking is the best way of finding employment opportunities in Cyprus although the English language newspapers the Cyprus Mail and the Cyprus Weekly are also worth a look. You are also likely to find opportunities online or at the District Labour Offices in the major cities.
Salaries are lower in Cyprus than in many other European countries but the low levels of taxation and slightly lower living costs help balance this out.
Living in Cyprus
Although the warmth of the Cypriot people is undeniable, some expats report a measure of reserve as can be expected in a traditionally conservative society. However, signing up for language classes to develop your communication skills and making the effort to embrace the local community and culture will go a long way when it comes to making connections.
Along with the glorious Mediterranean summers and picturesque landscapes, Cyprus boasts a low crime rate, a high threshold before you start paying tax (and low taxation rates when you do) and as most people speak English, the language barrier may not prove too much of a problem when it comes to getting important tasks done.
If you’re moving to Cyprus, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.
Information correct at time of publication.