Moving to Cyprus: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigate the requirements and procedures to move to Cyprus. Explore the immigration opportunities in Cyprus: retirement, work, business, and studies.

Benefits of Moving to Cyprus

Mediterranean climate

Cyprus enjoys a Mediterranean climate with long, warm summers and mild winters. With over 300 days of sunshine annually, the island is perfect for outdoor activities and a healthy lifestyle. The favorable weather conditions make it possible to enjoy the beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and outdoor sports throughout the year.

Affordable cost of life

Cyprus offers competitively priced real estate, from seaside villas to modern apartments. Property prices are more affordable than many European destinations while the cost of living, including groceries, dining, and utilities, is also relatively low, ensuring a comfortable lifestyle within budget.

Favorable Tax system

Cyprus boasts a favorable tax regime with low corporate tax rates and numerous double tax treaties. The island is particularly attractive for businesses and individuals looking to minimize their tax burden, with personal income tax rates being progressive and relatively low.

General Safety

Cyprus is one of the safest countries in Europe, with low crime rates and a stable political environment, boasting excellent healthcare and education systems. This makes moving to Cyprus ideal for families and individuals seeking peace of mind.

High-quality healthcare

Cyprus has an excellent healthcare system, with both public and private facilities offering high standards of medical care. The General Healthcare System (GHS or Gesy) provides affordable and comprehensive health coverage to residents.

English speaking country

English is widely spoken in Cyprus, making it easier for expatriates to integrate and navigate daily life, including business and social interactions. Many official documents and services are also available in English.

Read more about Cyprus Residency

Permanent Residence programs available in Cyprus

How to move to Cyprus as a Non-EU national?

Moving to Cyprus as a Non-EU national involves navigating visa requirements, residency permits, and local regulations.

English Nationals arriving in Cyprus after Brexit

Third-country nationals arriving in Cyprus

Choosing a place to live in Cyprus

Buying or renting a property in Cyprus

Different types of Visas

Do you need a Visa to enter Cyprus?

You can arrive to Cyprus through the Paphos International Airport or the Larnaca International Airport. To do so however, in some occasions you may need an entry visa, which depends on your country of nationality. 

UK nationals moving to Cyprus after Brexit do not require a visa to enter the country. If you obtained a residence permit (MEU1, MEU2, MEU3) before December 31, 2020, you can enter Cyprus and stay without restrictions.

If you don’t have a permit to live in Cyprus, you can still apply for a residence permit with an MEU1, MEU2, or MEU3 application. This is the residence permits that existed for English nationals before Brexit. English nationals who wish to reside in Cyprus after Brexit, and who have not obtained a residence permit in Cyprus before the 31st of December 2020, will have 90 days from entering Cyprus, to either leave the country, or apply for residency under the new regime.

You may need a visa when arriving to Cyprus from other countries, such as South Africa. Remember, you can only stay in Cyprus with an entry visa for a maximum of 90 days. Even when a visitor does not require a visa, the maximum 90-day rule still applies.

Once you arrive in Cyprus, you can take the necessary measures to apply for a residency permit. There are two types of residence permits: temporary (called “pink-slip”) for 1 year, and permanent (fast track or long track). For more information on Cyprus, temporary residence permits click here and for permanent residency schemes click here.

Most British expatriates tend to choose living in the Paphos District due to its authentic and peaceful lifestyle.

Limassol on the other hand is a busier, more cosmopolitan place, whereas Nicosia is the island’s capital. Larnaca is also a popular choice for some people who wish to be close to the Larnaca International Airport.

To live in Cyprus, you usually have to buy or rent a house or apartment to get a residence permit. Typically, visitors also do this when they intend to reside in Cyprus and don’t want to stay with friends or family.

As to buying a property, you can read our brief guide here. Timing for completing a purchase of property varies depending on the circumstances.

In some cases, our “Fast Conveyancing Initiative” can complete property purchases or sales in just 15-30 days. This is significantly faster than the usual time frame of 3-6 months. Also, we usually finish our transactions in under 45 days, making us possibly the quickest firm in Cyprus.

For people who want to get temporary or permanent residency, long-term rental is also an option. However, when it comes to permanent residency, only the long track permanent residency (Category F) is an option with a rental. The fast-track permanent residency application requires the purchase of a new property of a minimum value of €300.000 plus VAT. 

Rents vary depending on location. Typically, renting a property will be cheaper in Paphos and Larnaca when compared to Limassol.  

Non-EU/EEA citizens who require a visa to enter Cyprus will be able to choose and obtain (a) a Short-stay Visa or (b) a Long-stay Visa.

Short-stay Visa

The Cyprus short-stay visa, also known as a travel or tourist visa, is typically issued for multiple entries and allows the holder to stay in Cyprus for a total of up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

Additionally, there is multiple-entry short-stay visa for Cyprus that can be issued for up to one year. This is available to foreigners who have a valid reason for frequent travel to Cyprus, such as business trips. In certain circumstances, a short-stay visa for Cyprus may be granted with a validity of up to five years.
However, regardless of the visa’s duration, the maximum stay in Cyprus cannot exceed 90 days within any six-month period.

Long-stay Visa

The Cyprus long-stay visa is granted to foreigners seeking to reside in Cyprus for an extended period (exceeding 90 days). This includes:
1. Work Visa: and
2. Study Visa

Determining whether you need a visa to enter to Cyprus depends on your nationality or country of residency:

Citizens of the EU/EEA or Switzerland do not need a visa to move to Cyprus. They can relocate permanently if they are working, studying, or have a Cypriot family member (not necessary). After three months, they are required obliged to register their stay with the local Cypriot immigration authorities.

• Citizens of all other third countries wishing to enter Cyprus may require a visa tailored to their circumstances. The visa can be obtained from the Cypriot embassy of the country of residence or on arrival, and to obtain it requires that a clear purpose of residence be provided, which may be either through investment, employment or other legitimate means.

To see which countries’ nationals must have a visa to enter the Republic of Cyprus click here.

Moving to Cyprus: A case-by-case Guide

To make the move to Cyprus a smooth transitions, here are a couple of things to consider

Starting a business in Cyprus is simple. However, non-EU citizens without a work permit can only do it by being a shareholder.

They also need to appoint others as directors and secretary. These people can act on some occasions as nominees on your behalf. For our company registration guide click here.

This for example applies to holders of a temporary or permanent residency permit in Cyprus. 

EU citizens can easily obtain a work permit with a simple registration. Non-EU citizens can apply for a work permit under the following schemes:

1. For specialized work in a company, the number of employees from third-party countries cannot exceed 30% of the total number. For more information, see our comprehensive guide here.

2. Under an entrepreneur’s visa for which you can read our guide here; or

3. If you are the director, manager, or specialist of a Cypriot company that received a €200,000 foreign investment. (in which case the family of the work permit holder can get a residence permit too). For more information click for our guide here

When moving to Cyprus, it’s important to register with the country’s National Health System, known as GESY. This is available for holders of permanent residence in Cyprus and people who work in Cyprus. 

Cyprus offers one of the most competitive taxation schemes in Europe. Living in Cyprus allows you to become a tax resident. As a tax resident, you can benefit from various advantages.

These advantages include not having to pay tax on dividends from anywhere. Additionally, you are exempt from capital gains tax, except when selling property in Cyprus. Lastly, there is no inheritance tax in Cyprus.

Expats in Cyprus only pay 5% tax on pensions from abroad, after the first €3,420 which is tax-free.

If you want to buy a property in Cyprus, you should make a will or trust. Cyprus law applies to all your property in Cyprus if you pass away. This means that your English or other country’s will shall be subject to Cypriot law, including forced heirship. 

To prevent future issues with asset distribution, we recommend creating a will or engage in estate planning.

The above information is for information purposes only, accurate only on the date given and should not be relied upon without advice.

What our clients say about us

The team is always extremely helpful, responsive, and is happy to provide ongoing support with all possible questions and issues that might arise. They really give the feeling of caring about the clients and their interests, and I would highly recommend them for any legal support you might need in Cyprus.

MICHAEL BEKOVICH
– Data Analyst

I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for your highly professional and competent services at Polycarpos, provided in both a friendly and accessible manner. Penny took our complex case on board and made the impossible possible for us.

SINEAD LEAHY
– Informational Architect

Professional team dealing with every legal aspect of relocation to Cyprus: Immigration registration, Company setup, Bank account opening, Company financial reports, Etc. I used many of their services. Responses are fast, accurate and clear.

DAVID LEVY
– Company Director

Frequently Asked Questions

The Yellow Slip is for EU/EEA citizens and their family members who are also EU/EEA citizens. It is a registration certificate that is indefinite and grants the right to work in Cyprus. Non-EU/EEA family members receive a five-year registration and must reapply. The Pink Slip, on the other hand, is for third-country nationals with independent means, requiring an income of at least EUR 24,000 per year. It does not grant the right to work and must be renewed annually.

No, the Pink Slip does not grant the right to work in Cyprus. It is meant for visitors with independent means who do not require employment to support themselves.

If you stay in Cyprus longer than you are entitled to under your visa or residence permit, you may be breaking immigration rules and risking sanctions, fines or even deportation. Exceeding the permitted period may have legal consequences and may adversely affect your ability to return to Cyprus or travel to any other EU member state.

If you lose your residence permit, you should report it to the nearest police station and then contact the relevant immigration office to apply for a replacement.

The processing time for a Pink Slip application takes 6 to 7 months from the date of the submission. It is advisable to apply well in advance of your intended stay.

Yes, family members can apply for a Pink Slip along with the primary applicant, provided they meet the necessary requirements and submit the required documents.

3 Steps to prepare for your move to Cyprus

3 Steps to prepare for your move to Cyprus

The quality of living in Cyprus and the low taxes attract many expatriates, digital nomads, owners of holiday homes and retirees.


Moving to Cyprus, however, does come with a few matters to deal with before enjoying your new home and lifestyle in the sun.

Cyprus Pink Slip changes

Latest changes to the Cyprus Pink Slip Permit

The Cyprus Government has come to the decision to implement radical changes to the Pink Slip Temporary Residence Permit (Visitor) which confers to non-EU nationals the right to reside in Cyprus for more than 90 days.

Cyprus Tax Regime

Cyprus Temporary Residency for Non-EU Citizens

Non-EU citizens who come to Cyprus for long-term purposes without employment rights should obtain special temporary permits, commonly referred to as a ‘’Pink Slip’’.

The pink slip can be issued for 1-4 years with a limitation of absence period not more than 3 months per year.

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About the Firm

Greg Small cyprus

Gregoris Philippou

PARTNER

Eleni 2 Small cyprus

Eleni Philippou

PARTNER

Ioannis Small 1 cyprus

Ioannis Pitsillos

SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Rafaela Dimitriadou

Rafaela Dimitriadou

ASSOCIATE

George Kosasvili

George Kosasvili

IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT

Laura Bellamy

Laura Bellamy

IMMIGRATION ADMIN

Maria Filippou

Maria Filippou

PROPERTY ADMIN

Pauline Robinson

Pauline Robinson

PROPERTY ADMIN

Alaa Chehade

Alaa Chehade

GENERAL ADMIN

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