Are you thinking of moving to Cyprus? We can assist with immigration permits, property rental or purchase, starting a business, or obtaining a tax residency permit in Cyprus.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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 popular choice for some people who wish to be close to the Larnaca International Airport.
Buying or renting a property in Cyprus
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.
Starting a business and working in Cyprus
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:
- 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.
- Under an entrepreneur’s visa for which you can read our guide here; or
- 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;
The National Health System of Cyprus (GESY)
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.
Taxation 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.
Making future arrangements
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.