Expatriates in Cyprus Guide

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Are you thinking of moving to Cyprus? We can assist you with all necessary steps in preparing for your move, from arriving to Cyprus, buying or renting a place and settling in. 

Below you will find the basic information you need to know and how to make your dream come true without hassle.

English nationals arriving in Cyprus after Brexit 

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. 

If you are a UK national then you do not need a visa to enter into Cyprus. If you have obtained a residence permit (MEU1, MEU2 and MEU3) before the 31st of December 2020, then you can enter Cyprus and stay without any limitation. If not, but you have evidence that you did reside before you can still apply when you arrive for an MEU1, MEU2 or MEU3, residence permit. This is the residence permits that existed for English nationals before Brexit. 

For English nationals who haven’t obtained a residence permit in Cyprus before the 31st of December 2020, they will have 90 days when entering in Cyprus to either leave or apply for residency under the new regime. For more information click here for our guide: Residence in Cyprus for English nationals after Brexit. 

Third-country nationals arriving in Cyprus 

You may need a visa when arriving to Cyprus from other countries, such as South Africa. In this case, you should bear in mind that the maximum time to stay in Cyprus with an entry visa (and in fact any stay without a residence permit even when a visa is not required) is are 90 days and you should be careful not to stay over the number of days given. 

Once you arrive in Cyprus, you can take the necessary measures to apply for a residency permit. These can be either a temporary residence permit (so-called “pink-slip”) which is typically given for 1 year and a permanent residency (fast track (so-called PR Category 6.2) or long track (so-called Category F). For more information on Cyprus, temporary residence permits click here and for permanent residency schemes click here.

Choosing a place to live in Cyprus

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 choice for some people who may wish to be connected through the Larnaca International Airport.

Buying or renting a property in Cyprus

To obtain a residence permit in Cyprus (whether temporary or permanent) you will typically need to either buy or rent a house or apartment. You may also wish to do this if you intend to reside in Cyprus and wouldn’t like to stay with friends or another 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. The market standard for a typical conveyance is about 3-6 months. However, with our innovative “Fast Conveyancing Initiative”, we can complete a purchase or sale of property in as low as 15-30 days in some circumstances and in any case, we tend to complete most of our transactions in less than 45 days. This means that we are probably the fastest firm in Cyprus.  

Long-term rental is also a possibility for people who want to get a temporary or permanent residency, but 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.  

Starting a business and working in Cyprus 

It is easy to start a business in Cyprus. However, as a non-EU citizen, if you do not have a work permit, then you can only do so as a shareholder of a company and appoint others as director/s 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 whose third country employees will not be more than 30% of its total number of employees for which you can read more details in our guide here; or
  1. Under an entrepreneur’s visa for which you can read our guide here; or
  1. As the director, management executive or specialist staff (such as software developers, AI experts etc) of a Cypriot company in which there was a foreign direct investment of €200.000(in which case the family of the work permit holder can get a residence permit too). For more information click for our guide here

The National Health System of Cyprus (GESY)

One thing you should consider when settling in Cyprus is the registration with the National Health System of Cyprus, referred to as GESY. This is available for holders of permanent residence in Cyprus and people who work in Cyprus. 

Taxation in Cyprus

Cyprus offers one of the most competitive taxation schemes in Europe. If you intend to live in Cyprus you can register as a tax resident which gives you significant benefits such as 0% tax on income from dividends (worldwide), 0% capital gains tax (except when selling land/ property in Cyprus), and 0% inheritance tax.

Importantly for expatriates who become tax residents in Cyprus, tax on pensions received from abroad is only 5% after the amount of €3.420 which is tax-free.

Making future arrangements. 

Lastly, if you intend to buy a property in Cyprus, you should also consider making a will or a trust, as Cyprus law is applicable for all your real property in Cyprus in case of demise. This means that your English or other country’s will shall be subject to the provisions of Cypriot law including for example forced heirship. 

To avoid future problems as to where your assets should be distributed and how it is advisable to prepare a will or make other estate planning. For more information on wills, trusts and probate in Cyprus you can visit our specialized blog here.  

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

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