Situated between Europe, Asia, and Africa, Cyprus is a stunning island in the Mediterranean. It has sunny beaches, a diverse culture, and a strategic location.
But beyond its beauty lies an economic powerhouse and a lifestyle that merges relaxation with opportunity. If you’re considering moving to Cyprus, here’s an in-depth guide to understanding the ins and outs of the immigration process.
Why Choose Cyprus?
Beyond its picturesque landscapes, Cyprus is a beacon for economic growth and innovation. Its EU membership status makes it a gateway to the vast European market, creating a nexus of opportunities for businesses and professionals alike.
Employment-based Immigration: Cyprus has multiple job opportunities in sectors like ICT, FinTech, and start-ups, making it a good place to find employment. For work visas, employers usually initiate this type of application, giving individuals an opportunity to live and work in Cyprus.
Business and Investment: The Cypriot government rolls out the red carpet for international investors. Investing strategically in areas like real estate or technology can help you gain residency or citizenship quicker.
Study: Cyprus’s universities are gaining global recognition, especially for courses in business, arts, and marine sciences. It should be noted that foreign students from non-EU countries cannot work during their study in Cyprus. However, exceptions may occur for some courses, allowing students to obtain working permits for practical training in the summer.
Family Reunification: If your loved ones call Cyprus home, you can too! Family ties can be your direct route to living in this Mediterranean haven.
Cyprus maintains a transparent and streamlined immigration process. However, ensuring that all paperwork is in order, and understanding the nuances can be challenging.
Select Your Path: Based on your purpose – be it work, business, study, or family – select the appropriate visa category.
Documentation: Gather all necessary documents. This may include passports, proof of income, health insurance, academic records, employment contracts, and more, depending on your visa type.
Application Submission: Apply at the Cyprus embassy or consulate in your home country or, in some cases, directly in Cyprus.
Interview: Some visa categories may require an interview. Prepare to answer questions about your background, intent, and any other relevant details.
Await Approval: Processing times can vary. Ensure you have made accommodation arrangements for your stay while waiting for approval.
The Post-Arrival Checklist
Once you’ve settled in, there are a few key steps to ensure a hassle-free life in Cyprus:
Local Registration: Ensure you’re registered with local authorities and have all the required permits.
Healthcare: Familiarize yourself with the local healthcare system, Gesy, and consider getting health insurance if it’s not already a visa prerequisite.
Financials: Open a local bank account and understand the tax implications of your stay.
Driving: If you plan to drive, which will most likely be the case, check the validity of your license in Cyprus. You might need to get a local one or an international driving permit.
Delving into Cypriot Culture
Harmony of Influences: Cypriot culture is a captivating blend of its Greek and Turkish roots, with traces of Persian, Egyptian, and Roman influences. This melting pot has shaped the island nation’s traditions, festivals, music, and daily life, giving it a distinct identity.
Festive Spirits: Celebrations are a significant part of Cypriot life. From the colorful Carnivals with its parades and masquerade balls leading to Lent, to the flower-filled Anthestiria heralding spring, and the wine festivals in the late summer, there’s always a reason to celebrate. Easter – in particular – is observed with great reverence, marked by church services, family gatherings, and grand feasts.
Culinary Delights: Cypriot cuisine is a gastronomic adventure. Dishes like moussaka, halloumi cheese, and souvlaki are internationally recognized, but there’s much more to discover. ‘Meze’ is a traditional dining experience where a variety of small dishes are shared – a must-try for anyone new to the country. And don’t forget to wash it down with a glass of Commandaria, one of the world’s oldest named wines that hails from Cyprus.
Art and Music: Traditional Cypriot art mainly revolves around pottery and embroidery, with designs that have been passed down through generations. In music, the sounds of the bouzouki (a stringed instrument) are emblematic, often accompanying local dances like the energetic ‘sirtaki’ or the graceful ‘zeibekiko’.
Language and Expression: While Greek and Turkish are the official languages, English is widely spoken due to the country’s colonial history. But, making an effort to pick up local phrases or idioms can be endearing and help in deeper connections with the locals.
Warmth and Hospitality: Cypriots are known for their genuine warmth and friendliness. Philoxenia, which translates to “friend to a stranger,” is deeply embedded in the culture. It’s not uncommon for locals to invite newcomers into their homes for a meal or offer unsolicited help.
Historical Imprints: Cyprus is dotted with historical sites – from ancient Greco-Roman theaters and palaces to Byzantine churches and medieval castles. These relics, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, provide a window into the island’s rich past.
Nature’s Embrace: Apart from its famed beaches, Cyprus offers rugged mountain landscapes, serene forests, and unique geological formations. Outdoor activities, be it hiking in the Troodos Mountains or diving in the crystal-clear waters, also form an integral part of the local lifestyle.
Religion and Traditions: Predominantly Orthodox Christian, the numerous monasteries, and churches play a vital role in Cypriots’ lives, both as places of worship and community gathering. The religious festivals and ceremonies are celebrated with fervor and are a testament to the deep spiritual roots of the locals.
As you immerse yourself in this vibrant culture, you’ll find that Cyprus is not just a geographical relocation but a journey into a world teeming with traditions, emotions, and experiences waiting to be uncovered.
How We Can Help
Transitioning to a new country comes with its fair share of challenges. But with Polycarpos Philippou Law by your side, you have a trusted partner to guide you. From intricate paperwork to understanding local nuances, our seasoned team ensures you feel at home in Cyprus, right from day one.
Dreaming of your new life in Cyprus? Dive in with confidence. Reach out to us, and let’s transform your Mediterranean dreams into reality!