Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
General Questions about Cyprus
Note that FORLIFY only operates in the European Part of Cyprus.
Northern Cyprus and Cyprus are two different entities that are located on the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is an independent country that is a member of the European Union, while Northern Cyprus is a self-declared state only recognised by Turkey.
The two regions have a complex and disputed history, and the boundary between them is known as the "Green Line" or the "Attila Line". Northern Cyprus covers about one-third of the island, while the rest is under the control of the Cypriot government.
The two regions have different political systems, economies, and cultures, and there are ongoing efforts to reunite the island.
FORLIFY is not taking payment from clients for real estate deals and our client support.
We're getting paid by sellers, as all licensed real estate companies in Cyprus do.
If you're interested in company relocation, tax optimization, or our help with the banking system in the EU, it can be discussed and quoted separately.
Hope to see you as our client soon.
Island life means tranquility, measured pace, absence of anxiety among citizens. The state of Cyprus is rightfully considered to be one of the safest. There are practically no murders, no armed conflicts. Petty thefts happen rarely, and are immediately investigated by the local police. Thousands of foreigners choose this place for permanent residence, where you can leave the doors unlocked, or to leave your phone on the beach unattended – and no one will pay too much attention.
There are no criminal areas here, where dysfunctional families would live. The research of the British newspaper The Guardian confirms that it is the safest island on Earth.
The country has two international airports – Larnaca and Paphos (LCA & PFO), and two major ports (Larnaca and Limassol). Cyprus has one of the best roads in the European Union. High level of regional and global communications is provided by a modern telecommunication system.
Beaches are the pride of the island. They are well equipped, maintained, and suitable for water sports. Most beaches in Cyprus are wide and sandy; there are numerous seafood restaurants, shops and bars nearby.
Cyprus is one of the sunniest Mediterranean islands. The subtropical climate, warm sea, and clean air are perfect for recreation for adults and children. Life in such conditions provides good health and longevity. This is evidenced by the fact that Cyprus is in the TOP-30 countries in the number of centenarians.
Traditional cuisine of Cyprus is one of the attractions of the island, and an entire culture. Throughout the history of island it was influenced by traditions of Greece, Turkey, Italy and Syria.
By moving here, you can forget about harmful additives and chemicals. About the half of the land is used for agriculture. Climatic conditions make it possible to enjoy fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables all year round.
Local people respect traditions and maintain cultural identity of modern Cyprus. The influence of England, Byzantine Empire, of ancient Rome and Greece earlier, left a significant mark in the history and culture of Cypriots. The island has a high standard of living and is characterized by the hospitality of population.
The country regularly hosts music festivals, concerts and other cultural events. In addition to public holidays, everyday life is brightened up by traditional folk festivals. For example, Festival of the Flood, Carnival, Limassol Wine Festival. Every spring Cypriots celebrate flower festival Anthestiria. Its traditions reach back to ancient Greece.
The history of winemaking dates back about 6 thousand years. Cyprus wines are known far beyond the island – a lot of wineries produce red and white wines, famous knight's wine Commandaria. The majority of grapes grow on the mountain slopes in areas of Limassol and Paphos.
The state language is Greek. English is widely spoken as a legacy of British colonization. It's not uncommon to hear Russian language here owing to many immigrants from the CIS who have chosen Cyprus as a place of permanent residence. Many Cypriots learn Russian for comfortable business. For this reason Russian-speaking people move here with children and parents who don’t need to learn Greek for comfortable living.
The majority of the population are Cypriots (800 thousand of people). Russian-speaking community is the third largest in the European part of the island.
The Republic of Cyprus has two international airports – Larnaca and Paphos.
The only way for the transportation of car to Cyprus is by sea. According to the customs service, first of all you need to get a Delivery Order from the shipping company that will be transporting your car.
You can either pay taxes and fees in advance, or schedule payments for the time when the car arrives at the port. Fee amount for the car from the third country is 10% of its price.
At the time of payment of taxes and fees you should provide the following:
- customs declaration (form ΕΔΕ),
- original payment invoice (if any),
- original document on the registration of car in Cyprus,
- certificate on form TOM-119 of the mass of emitted carbon dioxide issued by the Road Transport Department.
If you decided to transport the car from the European Union country – you need to provide only certificate on form TOM-119, car registration document, and to pay VAT.
The easiest and cheapest way is to send boxes with your belongings by postal service. Make a description of shipment, pack it, and send your belongings to Cyprus.
You should better use specialized transport company for the shipping of fragile and oversized items.
When it is better to use international carrier service:
- for the shipping of fragile items and valuables;
- for the shipping of a large quantity of belongings = from 100-150 kg;
- for the shipping of bulky items – furniture, bicycles, appliances, etc.
Please note: if shipment contains a lot of precious metals and stones jewelry, antiquities, works of art, and other such valuables – the cargo is a subject to special customs clearance.
If you need a professional advice on the choice of shipping company – please contact our Support Department, and we will help you to choose the reliable carrier.
The Republic of Cyprus has two international airports – Larnaca and Paphos.
You can also find flights landing at the airport Ercan. Note: it is located in the Turkish territory, so you can't get into the country through this airport.
Collect all necessary documents, find a temporary place to live, and choose several real estate options to view on FORLIFY.
If you have any further questions about the planning of relocation, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our experts. FORLIFY will help you to figure it out.
New companies can obtain Startup Visa with which you can live and work in Cyprus for a minimal period of two years. This program is designed for companies with one owner and team up to five people – all third country citizens, with specialized education, and highly proficient in English or Greek languages.
Such company should have access to seed funding in the amount from 20.000 Euros. Sources may include venture capital, crowdfunding, etc. For more information about Startup Visas and opportunities for IT professionals, please read our article IT-Cyprus.
Pre-issued visa is a document that allows you to obtain a full-fledged singe-entry visa after you cross the border. It can be obtained by following strict rules; entry with it is possible only from your native country strictly through Airports of Paphos or Larnaca.
It is valid for 90 days within six months, and the list of its main advantages includes:
- simplified application procedure;
- minimum of documents required;
- fast registration.
You can get pro-visa one day after the application that is very convenient for those who plan last-minute vacation.
List of rules for entry to the territory of Cyprus with type D or C Schengen visas includes the following requirements:
- in the presence of type C multi-visa the entry is possible from the territory of any State;
- type C single-entry visa gives the opportunity to enter the country only from other States members of the Schengen Area;
- with the type D long-term visa the entry to Cyprus is possible from European Union countries.
This type of document should be issued by the employer on the island. The employer is obliged to make an employment contract that should be provided by the employee in the Embassy of Cyprus.
Company recruiting third-country employees is obliged to prove the State that no similar professionals are found among Cypriots and EU citizens. Vacancy announcement should be placed in the database of the Ministry of Labour and in newspapers published on the island. If no eligible applicants respond to it within 40 days, the Ministry accepts the application for considering the candidacy of foreign worker. Then monthly salary should be approved. The employer should have the means on bank account sufficient for the annual salary payment. Application may be refused if funds are insufficient, if company does not have enough Cypriot employees, or for other reasons.
Visitor visa is issued on the basis of invitation for a private visit.
Processing of visa for the visit of Cyprus by invitation of family and relatives living on the island, as well as friends, acquaintances, and business partners, requires standard package of documents, and doesn’t require charge of visa fee upon provision.
The difference of visitor visa from tourist visa is that instead of hotel voucher or hotel reservation you should include in the package of documents the following:
- copy of the “Statement of responsibility for the guest” (that is called Assumption of Responsibility to Host in Cyprus). The document should contain passport data of the invited person, duration of stay, and address of the place of residence of the traveler. This Statement must be signed personally by the inviter and certified by a notary public or by the consular officer of Cyprus;
- copy of inviter’s passport or copy of the Residence Permit or work (student) visa.
Citizens of the United Kingdom don’t need to apply for additional visa to visit Cyprus for a period up to 90 days.
Citizens of the United States don’t need to apply for additional visa to visit Cyprus for a period up to 90 days.
Citizens of Israel don’t need to apply for visa to stay in Cyprus for a period up to 90 days.
Holders of EU Member States passports don’t need visas to enter Cyprus, but they are required to carry either valid passport or ID card provided that they contain photograph and indication of citizenship.
Ukrainians with biometric passports don’t need visa to travel to Cyprus. Citizens of Ukraine can stay on the territory of Cyprus for 90 days within every six months.
Although Cyprus is a part of the European Union, the Schengen Agreement is not applicable to this country. You should have one of the following types of visas to travel to Cyprus: tourist, visitor, work, transit, or type D or C Schengen visa.
Currently Cyprus is not the part of the Schengen area. Regular Schengen visa is not sufficient for entrance. Visit of Cyprus is only possible with type D or C Schengen visa. Other Cyprus visas are invariably national; they only entitle the holder to enter the territory of the Republic of Cyprus.
You can check the list of countries whose citizens need to apply for a visa to enter the territory of the Republic of Cyprus here:
Holders of biometric passports don’t need visa for a short-term stay in Cyprus. Holders of EU Member States passports don’t need visas to enter Cyprus, but they are required to carry either valid passport or ID card provided that they contain photograph and indication of citizenship.
Please note: if you plan to stay in the Republic of Cyprus for more than 90 days within 180 days period – you should anyway apply for visa.
Work in Cyprus at the official invitation of company is a common practice. Although in addition to the invitation (that is the official reason to apply for Pink Slip) you must also obtain Cyprus work permit. You might need license registration. It depends on the type of business you are planning to do.
We should also mention that the decision on work permit issue is made by the staff of the Ministry of Labour of Cyprus. This procedure is long and complicated (your employer must prove that citizens of Cyprus are not applying for this position).
Life in Cyprus has many advantages: warm climate, well-developed infrastructure, reasonable cost of living. That’s why a lot of wealthy people apply for Residence Permit here without the right to work. This requires confirmation of annual income in the amount of 30.000 € per applicant, and 5.000 € per each family member. However, the best option is to declare income in the amount of 70.000 € per family of three members.
Please note: adult children should not be included in the application for obtaining of Residence Permit – they are considered to be individual applicants.
You must also make a deposit to the Cyprus bank, and rent a property (submit a rental agreement) for a minimum of one year.
Starting of business in Cyprus is not only profitable, but also promising. In recent years the country has big positive changes in tax optimization, establishing of transparent and simple reporting, fight against corruption, implementation of effective pricing mechanisms.
The advantage of this way is that you can act as a founder of the company, as well as take a leadership position with formal employment.
It’s enough to buy a real estate on the island to obtain this type of Residence Permit. The period for obtaining is two months.
Note: This Residence Permit doesn’t allow you to work in Cyprus.
Acquired real estate must be more than 300.000 € + VAT. The property must be newly built.
The procedure for property purchase and Residence Permit registration:
- Buy the property at the price of at least 300.000 € (finance sources must be located outside of Cyprus).
- Verify your official income (the best is 60.000-70.000 € per family per year). Applicant must have an income of 50.000 € per year, plus 10.000 € per family member (spouse and children), and 15.000 € per each parent.
- Provide the Certificate of a criminal record.
- Open a deposit account in a Cyprus bank and deposit 30.000 € in it.
- Apply for a Residence Permit, including documents confirming the property purchase. These documents must be submitted to the Embassy of Cyprus, translated into Greek, and notarized.
FORLIFY takes care of the whole procedure, so you actually don't need all this information.
Residence Permit in Cyprus (Pink Slip) can be of several types. The most common ways of registration are the following:
- Purchase of real estate in Cyprus,
- Start business in Cyprus,
- Residence Permit for financially independent persons,
- Employment in a Cyprus company,
- Studying at a Cyprus university.
There are also other options for obtaining the Residence Permit, buy they are suitable only for a limited number of people. These are repatriation – in the presence of proven Cypriot roots; registration of refugee status (for political/religious reasons).
More popular way of obtaining Pink Slip is family reunification. It assumes that one of spouses already has Cyprus citizenship. Then the second one can apply and obtain the Residence Permit within a short period of time.
Investment immigration and tax residence
Tax residency indicates affiliation of a natural or legal person with country's tax system.
Foreigners who want to move and relocate their company office to Cyprus will benefit from the new concept of low-tax jurisdiction.
The main features of Cyprus tax residency are the following:
- no taxes on inheritance, property, and no gift tax;
- no tax on employment outside of the country;
- in case of employment in Cyprus the tax-free minimum wage is € 19.500 per year;
- no capital gains tax from real estate sales outside of Cyprus;
- full exemption from taxation on dividends and on other passive income from interest paid;
- no taxation on profits from the sale of securities;
- provision of medical services and education at the same price as for indigenous people;
The income tax is 12.5%. Thus, soft taxation is beneficial for businesses and investors.
Cyprus Investment Program is one of the most popular due to the simple process and conditions. There are no age restrictions to apply, no education or language proficiency requirements, and no need to renounce current citizenship. It also does not require permanent stay in the country. Application processing time is not more than two months.
You can move to Cyprus on permanent residence permit for investors or on program of citizenship by investment. The favorites for foreign investors are the major tourist cities: Paphos and Limassol. Today Paphos is considered to be the place with the best price/quality ratio with respect to investments.
Residence Permit is a document that entitles a foreign citizen with rights and privileges of Cyprus resident. It gives you the following opportunities:
- to live in the Republic of Cyprus within a certain period of time;
- to buy property and vehicles;
- to optimize the taxation process;
- to conduct business activities;
- to receive an education and medical services on the territory of the country.
You have to invest in real estate minimum of 300.000 Euros to obtain Cyprus Residence Permit. Residence Permit is issued indefinitely and is valid for the entire investor family. After 7 years you can apply for citizenship.
Purchase of real estate
Housing prices in Cyprus vary depending on the type of real estate, rental period, and city where the property is located. For example, in Paphos city rent is cheaper than in Limassol or Ayia Napa.
Long-term rental of studio apartment (under the contract for at least 1 year) can cost from € 500 per month, of three-bedroom house – from € 1300. Water and electricity are charged separately and paid by meter. Prices for short-term rent are much higher. In the season even small apartments cost from € 60-70 per day.
Real estate agents charge 1 month price for a year's rent, and 30% for daily holiday rental.
No, but it depends on the number of properties, and on the income. If you gain 50.000 from rent per year – you should better register it. If the amount is up to 19.000 – nothing needs to be registered at all.
If you wish, you can get the real estate insurance, but it is not required. For cheaper insurance you can install cameras/safe/alarm in the premises.
From January 1, 2017, Cyprus's annual state real estate tax (immovable property tax IPT) was abolished.
Taxes to be paid when purchasing the real estate in Cyprus:
Probably the first thing to be paid by the future owner of Cyprus real estate is a Stamp duty. It must be delivered within 30 days after signing the sale and purchase agreement; after that, you can submit the contract to the Land Committee. Registration must occur by two months after the conclusion of the contract. 0.15% of the first € 170.800 of the property price, and 0.2% of the amount that exceeds € 170.800, will be charged.
Property Transfer fee
This is a fee for the transfer of title to real estate. Accordingly, you don't have to pay it when buying newly-build property. In the primary market, the buyer is exempted from paying the title fee, i.e., the Property Transfer fee is 0%.
If you buy the real estate on the secondary market, the Property Transfer fee is calculated as follows:
- 3% shall be paid on the first € 85.000;
- 5% - on the amount in the range from € 85.000 to 170.0
- 8% - on the amount exceeding € 170.000.
However, Cyprus laws provide ways to reduce fee.
In FORLIFY, we know all the ways to reduce your taxes as much as possible, and we always provide our clients with the best possible solutions for them.
You can use our advanced search, or contact our office to find the most suitable accommodation for you – apartments, flats, or houses.
We specialize in several types of the real estate for investment, and in obtaining of Residence Permit:
1. Residential property.
2. Office and Commercial property.
3. Contribution to local business or investment fund.
It is also possible to buy a secondary real estate. The constant increase in price and demand for housing in tourist areas also allows you to make a profit from the rental or sale in the future. This type of investment is often an option for capital preservation in case of economic instability in the home country.
FORLIFY clients can make the right choice by accessing a wide range of projects from the companies in Cyprus.
Business in Cyprus
According to Cyprus laws, each company must keep accounting records and transfer data to the register of companies every year. Annual report on form HE32 (annual return) must be submitted along with accounting records. Annual report (HE32) must be signed by the director or secretary of the company. If you delay the submission of documents you will face a fine of up to € 500. If the fine is not paid, the company may be liquidated. The first annual report should be submitted within 18 months after company incorporation, and then annually. If the business has subsidiaries, then in many cases reporting must be consolidated.
Our company carries out the selection of lawyers and accountants for companies who run their business in Cyprus. For more information please contact us, and our managers will help you to choose qualified specialists.
Yes, insurance is issued for employees of the company.
Cyprus companies pay income tax on profit received on or off the island. The standard rate is 12.5%, but it can be reduced with special benefits. For example, IP Box, intellectual property tax relief, allows to you to reduce the rate to 2.5%.
IP Box is a regime that allows you to reduce the tax base: to recognize up to 80% of profit as research and development expenditures. It is often used by IT-companies. Important point: activities must be carried out on the territory of Cyprus. You can’t develop a program in your native country and transfer the rights to the company in Cyprus.
There is also a zero tax rate. For example, shipping companies are not subject to corporation tax.
The VAT in Cyprus is 19%, but it can also be reduced. Benefits depend on the turnover and on the type of business. Rate can be reduced to 9.5% and even to zero: certain goods and services are exempt from VAT.
Service related companies are eligible for 9% and 5% VAT. For example, restaurants, hotels, carriers of people and luggage in Cyprus have 9% rate. Companies that sell food products or supply prepared food and drinks, except for alcohol, pay 5% VAT. There are also benefits for hairdressers, pharmacies, and nursing services.
Some companies may not pay VAT at all. For example, if it is a business engaged in service maintenance of ships and aircraft, residential rental services, education, medicine, dentistry, insurance, sports betting and lotteries.
Substance is a confirmation that the company actually carries out economic activity in the place where it is registered.
In Cyprus substance is confirmed by the following:
- Physical office, place where employees work.
- Local phone number, website and mail on the Cyprus domain.
- Bank account in Cyprus.
- Presence of employees who receive salary and registered with the social insurance authorities.
- Professional director – resident of Cyprus. He/she must be qualified and have relevant experience, not just a figurehead.
- Accounting, operational, financial reports confirming activities.
Substance is usually verified by banks. To open an account or continue working with the bank, the company must provide supporting documents that it actually works, and not just a company on paper. For example, it could be office lease agreement and receipts of its payment, various account statements with the reflection of the movement of funds: salaries, social contributions, documents from social security authorities, and work visas for foreign employees.
There are certified types of businesses for which you must have a license. Among them: pharmacies, sale of weapons, construction, etc. You can register a company without a license, but it won’t be able to operate.
Very few documents are needed to register a business: passport of the owner, certificate from tax authority, certificate of no criminal record.
Note: before taking the next steps, you should contact the Registrar of Companies and obtain confirmation of title for the incorporation of company.
After approval of the company name you need to submit additional documentation: foundation agreement, legal address of the company, director and secretary.
This is an excellent affordable option to enter the EU market. The total cost of a limited liability company established in Cyprus will cost you around 2000-2500 euros. FORLIFY members can ask us to take care of such paperwork.
The following areas are well suited for the establishment of a limited liability company:
- Asset management joint stock company
- International commerce
- Real estate
Due to the tax system, Cyprus is one of the most attractive jurisdictions in Europe for the establishment of limited liability companies. Cyprus holding companies enjoy all the benefits of low-tax jurisdiction, such as full tax exemption for dividends, no withholding tax on dividends paid to non-residents, no capital gains tax, and one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in Europe – only 12.5%. Moreover, it can be reduced to 2.5% if your company works in the IT sector and carries out patent research and development in Cyprus.
English law is also practiced on the island. Its tools enable convenient and safe transfer of intellectual property rights, structuring of incorporation transactions, etc. Moreover, Cyprus has a wide network of Double taxation treaties.
Finance and banking
The concept “offshore”, or carrying out activities outside of the country, is no longer officially used, but you can open a corporate bank account for the company that conducts business outside Cyprus.
To open a company owner account, you need the same package of documents as for opening of an account for a legal entity.
You need to collect the following package of documents to open a corporate account in Cyprus bank:
- Title, legal address of the company, actual address, detailed description of activities, link to the website (if any).
- Certificate of Incumbency, Company solvency certificate (Letter of Good Standing).
- Company registration certificate.
- Certificate of Directorate and Secretariat.
- Documents confirming corporate structure of a legal entity, showing the whole structure up to and including the beneficial owner. This documentation must be provided in a clear and understandable form.
- Financial statements.
- Documents confirming the legal source of funds.
- Letter of Good Standing, and recommendation letter less than three months old.
The same package of documents must be provided to open a personal account for the company owner.
Note: all documents must be in English. If not, the official translation certified by a notary is required.
The natural person needs the following documents to open a bank account in Cyprus:
- photocopy of passport;
- registration or any proof of residence;
- proof of annual income (for example, salary sheet, documents confirming your active or passive income, dividends, copy of tax declaration, etc.);
- letter of recommendation on solvency compiled by employees of a bank or of other financial institution (letter shall be considered valid for three months);
- documents confirming the source of income, value of property, and legal status of property.
Any non-resident can open an account in Cyprus having the required package of documents. It will just take a little longer for third-country residents. Plus, you will need to justify your goals more specifically.
We can help you to open an account in Cyprus bank even without your arrival in the country. You can initiate the procedure remotely from any country. Please contact us to clarify the cost of the service.
- Valid passport.
- Utility bill as proof of your residential address (from last six months).
- Updated Curriculum Vitae (CV).
- Personal bank statement for the last 12 months (please note that this account should be the same with one from which you will transfer money).
- Recommendation letter from the bank.
- Documents confirming the source of funds/income.
- Most recent filed tax return.
- Please note that residents of some regions are prohibited from opening bank accounts (Donetsk, Lugansk, as well as the surrounding areas).
Different banks of Cyprus offer different account types. Usually these are personal, savings, corporate or credit accounts.
Personal and savings accounts are issued to a natural person. Both for residents and non-residents. Most often it is salary or debit account. If the salary is paid by a local Cyprus company, the bank provides preferential terms of service for accounts. The personal account can also be a savings account.
Corporate account is required for company registration in Cyprus. It is needed for the authorized capital and for various transactions in the future.
Trade account for company is a necessary part of functioning of organizations working in the field of e-commerce. Every online company should have such an account. It is important to:
- apply for trade account registration;
- provide Certificate of registration;
- take care of creating of secure web page regarding visitors’ personal information security, in order to connect it to the company account;
- install payment equipment.
Opening of credit account has attractive low interest rate.
For more information about credit system and opening of other accounts in Cyprus, please contact us, and we will advise you.
The Ministry of Finance of Cyprus determined the amount of cash which can be imported to the territory of the Republic of Cyprus without declaring. It is € 10.000 (or its equivalent in another currency). For detailed information on declaration of the imported property, please visit the website of the Ministry of Finance.
Since January 1, 2008, Euro became the national currency of Cyprus, replacing the Cyprus Pound. Now all payments are accepted only in Euros.
Income protection insurance plan is particularly useful for business people and self-employed people, who thus can provide themselves a permanent source of income if they are temporarily out of business.
Despite the presence of public health insurance system (GeSY), only individuals meeting certain requirements are entitled to state-subsidized medical care within this system. Usually beneficiaries of health insurance system are citizens of Cyprus and foreigners officially residing and receiving income in Cyprus, who contribute to the state health insurance fund, and their family members; therefore foreigners who do not meet the system requirements can only rely on paid medical care.
Besides, even if you have state insurance – private health insurance policy will allow you to get necessary medical care in any public or private medical institution, and not only in institutions registered with GeSY.
Health insurance in Cyprus can be of two types:
- basic insurance, covering hospitalization expenses, – Inpatient.
- additional insurance, covering ambulatory expenses, – Outpatient.
Health insurance in Cyprus covers up to 100% of hospitalization costs, private hospital room, and all prescribed procedures, tests, and medications.
To choose the appropriate insurance coverage, please contact us. Our managers will help you to find the most suitable option.
Real estate insurance is not required in Cyprus, but can be done easily.
An important criterion for insurance is your economic interest in safety and security of real estate.
For cheaper insurance you can install cameras, safe, and alarm in the house, that will provide additional security of property.
To choose the appropriate insurance coverage, please contact us. Our managers will help you to find the best and most convenient option.
Auto insurance in Cyprus is obligatory. Basic information required for car insurance is the following – driver's license, proven driving experience, and experience of driving in Cyprus or in other countries with the left-hand traffic, frequency of vehicle use, history of accidents and insurance claims, make and model of car, and engine power to determine car performance.
All details and the final insurance amount are determined individually, on a case-by-case basis. In order to choose the best insurance please contact us, and our managers will help you with this question.
For cheaper insurance you can install cameras, safe, and alarm in the house.
You can get various types of insurance in Cyprus, depending on your needs.
The most common types of private insurance are: real estate, auto, life and health, for immigration services, tourist, and others.
For business: cyber risks, investment, shipping, insurance of employees, director, or business itself, and many more.
Work in Cyprus
Search engines and social media. You can type in the search bar – Job in Cyprus, and the system will display most popular job sites in Cyprus. You can also actively develop your pages in LinkedIn and Facebook, meet recruiters, and join various thematic groups.
EU citizens, volunteers, exchange students, refugees, famous and recognized worldwide scientists and artists.
For official employment and legal work in Cyprus citizens of non-EU countries need to find an employer in advance and to sign an employment contract. On this basis, visa and permission to work in the country will be issued.
According to Cyprus job sites, the most in-demand professions in 2022 are the following: teachers, lawyers, doctors, service industry employees, bank officials, IT specialists, financiers, accountants, and tourism industry staff.
Cyprus for IT professionals
The easiest way to obtain work permit and residence permit is to become an employee of the company with foreign interests located on the island. Such companies have at least 50% of authorized capital owned by foreign beneficiary.
Another option – the amount of direct investment of foreign parent company or natural person should be from 171.000 Euros. It’s easy for companies with foreign investments to obtain work and residence permits for employees in positions of manager, mid-level specialist, and key technical/administrative staff. In this case IT immigration to Cyprus has no time limits for work permits and residence permits. The employment contract should be made by the employer, and you can extent documents according to the dates of work contracts.
By the way, in this way you can easily move to the island with your family. Employees of companies with foreign participation can apply for reunification to obtain residence permit for spouse and minor children. But in this case only company employee has the work permit, family members are only allowed to live in Cyprus, without formal employment opportunities.
The tax burden for IT companies in Cyprus is fairly comfortable.
- corporate tax – 12.5% (one of the lowest rates in Europe).But it can be reduced even to 2.5% if patent research and development were carried out in Cyprus;
- no withholding tax on dividends;
- exemption from income tax;
- no capital gains tax;
- wide network of Double taxation treaties, and application of the EU directive.
It is also important to consider features of PIT calculation – income in excess of 19.500 Euros is subject to 20% tax.
This program is designed for companies with one owner and team up to five people – all third country citizens, with specialized education, and highly proficient in English or Greek languages.
Such company must allocate at least 10% of its operating expenses to research and development for at least one in the last three years.
Also such company should have access to seed funding in the amount from 20.000 Euros. Sources may include venture capital, crowdfunding, etc.
Prerequisites for obtaining a startup visa are location of headquarters on the island and Cyprus tax residence. An application for status is being considered by the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy. If approved, the corresponding certificate is valid for three years.
Startup has two years to develop. If the project launch was successful, the term of work for employees and period of residence for their family members can be extended indefinitely.
The process for obtaining startup visa:
- Submission of an Application by email. You need to attach business plan and documents confirming funding of at least 20.000 Euros to the letter. The application shall be considered within five weeks. If approved, the applicant will receive prior work permit for a period of two years.
- Submission of Visa Application. It shall be considered within three weeks.
New companies can obtain Startup Visa with which you can live and work in Cyprus for a minimal period of two years.
If you want to move, but don’t have a job offer from local company yet, you can use various job sites.
All websites are typical job search engines on the island. They have no significant difference. You can find other portals by yourself, using a search engine. In any case, consideration of candidates and further employment depend on your level of qualification and on relevant skills for a particular vacancy. Mostly offers with high salaries and attractive bonuses are made by headhunters. We recommend you to actively develop your page in LinkedIn, and to make friends with a few experts, in order to be in their sight.
Cars and transport
If you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you can officially buy a car only after obtaining temporary residence permit (pink slip), permanent residence permit, F visa, or passport with multiple visa. In other words, any document which authorizes you to stay on the island for a long time. Read more in the Article - Driving in Cyprus.
Reasons for fines on the island are similar to fines in any other country – speeding, illegal parking, absence of child car seat, etc. Read more about what are the other fines in Cyprus in the Article - Driving Cyprus.
This rule has been in effect since the territory was under control of the British Empire. Right-hand drive cars prevail here. Therefore, at first drivers from other countries should be more careful, because dimensions feel different in these cars, and you need to get used to shift the gearbox with your left hand. To make it easier to adapt you should better choose car with an automatic transmission when buying or renting vehicle.
Learn more about road traffic, car rental and purchase on the island in the Article - Driving in Cyprus.
Marriage in Cyprus
Israel, like most other countries, recognizes the legitimacy of marriage concluded in Cyprus.
Marriages with a wide variety of situations took place on the island, but there are four types of couples for whom the marriage registration in Cyprus is good:
- Both partners have citizenship or permanent resident status in Israel, and are allowed to cross the border of the country.
- One in a couple is Israeli, another is a foreign citizen, but he/she is staying in Israel legally (education, work contract, etc.).
- One in a couple is Israeli, another one is a foreign citizen, living in Israel illegally.
- One in a couple is Israeli, another is a foreign citizen and he/she is staying outside Israel.
Important to remember: if, as in three last options, one of the future spouses is not a citizen of Israel, he/she may face difficulties in entering the country right after the marriage registration. It is necessary to obtain permit for entry immediately after marriage in Misrad Hapnim either with a lawyer in advance, or to wait for permission staying outside of the country. Obtaining such a permit may take from several months to a year.
Note! For marriage registration in Cyprus:
- foreign spouse needs to check conditions of entry into Cyprus, and to get a visa if needed; Israelis don’t need to apply for visa to visit Cyprus;
- take originals of all documents with you;
- after registration get a marriage certificate and check for apostille;
- submit a certified marriage certificate to the Ministry of Interior of Israel to change the marital status.
Bureaucratic component of marriage in Cyprus is minimal. Groom and bride will need:
- original birth certificates;
- non-marriage certificates;
- divorce certificate, if this is not the first marriage for someone.
All documents must be translated into English or Greek and apostilled. The list of documents may be supplemented.
Citizens of any country can get married in Cyprus. There are absolutely no restrictions on citizenship or religion of people getting married. Most countries in the world recognize the legitimacy of marriage concluded on the island.
Cyprus with pets
Though documents for the import of dogs to Cyprus are always the same, rules for transporting animals are different for each airline. Before departure you should study this issue in detail on the official website of the airline, or by calling customer support number. Some of the most common requirements on board the aircraft are the following:
1. You can take into the cabin only those animals whose weight does not exceed 8 kilograms. All other animals will travel in the luggage compartment.
2. Regardless of how much the animal weighs you need to buy a special container to travel with pet. Without it the owner and the animal will not be allowed on board, and tickets will not be refunded.
3. Animal transportation is subject to a separate charge. The cost can be found out at the time of ticket purchase.
1. Animal passport. It can be obtained in the same place where you can get the chip – in public or private veterinary clinics that are licensed to issue passports. It is worth considering that you need a passport of international standard for a trip abroad. It should also include all records of vaccinations given to an animal.
2. Veterinary certificate (Animal Health Certificate). It is also issued in veterinary clinics. To get it, pet must be vaccinated against rabies. This must be done 30 days prior to departure. Test result for the presence of antibodies against the rabies virus must be attached.
1. At the time of booking or purchase of tickets you must notify the air carrier that an animal will fly with the passengers. This information is needed not only for the carrier, but also for Cyprus airport that will be notified by the carrier 48 hours prior to plane landing about date of arrival of passengers with animals.
2. The animal that is imported into the country must have an identifying microchip. In addition to the microchip, documents providing that it is placed in an animal that crosses the border must be attached. It should be noted that the installed microchip must meet international standards ISO 11784 or ISO 11785. Any other device will be a problem when importing pets into Cyprus.
3. It is prohibited to import into Cyprus large dogs such as American Pit Bull Terriers and Dogos Argentinos.
4. After landing animal with owner will be sent to the veterinary inspector. If it will seem to employees that something is wrong with the animal – it may be quarantined.
Utilities and services
At the time of real estate purchase you (or your lawyer) will open an account in a Cyprus bank. All your payments will be linked to it. Money will be automatically debited according to invoices issued. You can fund your account in advance for the required amount. You can check the movement of funds through online banking.
In case of payment delays you will first receive a reminder, and then your communications will be turned off. Reconnection will require payment of debts and penalties.
Leading providers in Cyprus are CYTA, Primetel, EPIC, Cablenet, Nova Cyprus. You can check current tariffs on their websites.
On average, home Internet at a speed of 40-50 Mbps will cost 30-40€ monthly. Package including TV and phone will cost 40-60€.
Building energy efficiency rating is a measure that evaluates the efficiency of thermal and electrical energy consumption in the operation of the building.
There are five ratings of building energy efficiency: A, B, C, D, and E. The less heat and electricity the building consumes compared to baseline average building of a particular region, the higher its energy efficiency rating is. A is the highest rating.
In Cyprus you can get Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of a building or of an apartment issued by an independent appraiser. The Certificate is issued for a period up to 10 years and renewed when reselling or renting to a new tenant. Unfortunately, this procedure is not very popular on the island
Houses with high energy efficiency ratings A and B are in high demand and are sold for at least 10% more expensive price than their counterparts with lower rates
In Cyprus buyers of secondary housing get used to measure the energy efficiency “by eye”. Very few of real estate sellers are really bothered by getting an EPC. But when it comes to new buildings, the energy efficiency rating shall be indicated by the developer mandatory.
Rate A includes completely green and passive buildings (low energy consumption due to the passive energy saving methods), zero-energy buildings (consume only the energy they generate), and active buildings (produce more energy than they consume through engineering technologies installed on buildings).
Rate B includes low energy buildings. Usually these are new houses, or built after 2010 but recently renovated. They require not more than 60 kWh/m2 per year for heating.
Rate C includes buildings developed 15-20 years ago with double glazing and some insulation. They require not more than 150 kWh/m2 per year.
Old buildings with energy efficiency below C rate can consume more than 300 kWh/m2 per year.
Cyprus has no central heating. However, it can be cold for three months of a year. Apartments are heated with electricity (air conditioners, floor heating, electric heaters), houses can use gas fired boilers.
Cyprus has no central gas supply. People buy gas cylinders that cost 20€. On the first purchase sellers charge a deposit of 40€ per cylinder. One cylinder is enough for two-three months or for a year – if nobody lives in the apartment permanently.
Water Development Department is responsible for water supply in Cyprus, and has smaller subordinate branches all over the island. These are the ones that set the final water prices for the managed area.
Water rates are progressive. The more you use, the more expensive each cubic meter is. There is also a small fixed amount to be paid in any case.
In addition, there is a monthly sewer connection fee – 0.56€ per cubic meter used.
If water is used sparingly, water bill for one bedroom apartment should not exceed 30€ monthly. The average water bill in an apartment for a family of three people is 40-60€. Residents of villas with plots that require irrigation pay two or three times more.
Water bill comes quarterly. You can pay it in cash or by credit card in the office of Water Development Department, in a bank branch, via ATM, or online on the website jccsmart.com.
Please note! There is no central hot water supply in Cyprus, every house or apartment address this issue independently: using boilers or solar panels.
The cost of electricity in Cyprus consists of fixed and variable parts. The first is paid in any case, and the second depends on meter readings.
You will receive electricity bills once in two months. If you don't pay in time, you will receive reminder. If there will be no payment after that – electricity will be turned off.
On average, family of three people living in an apartment with one-two bedrooms pays 150-300€ for two months. Owners of spacious houses pay 250-500€. The lion’s share of that money is spent for conditioning.
You can pay the electricity bill in cash, by credit card in the office of EAC, in a bank branch, via ATM, as well as online on the website jccsmart.com.
If your property is located in a complex with swimming pools, children's playgrounds, and other common infrastructure, you will pay for their maintenance. The amount of contributions to Homeowners association depends on the area of housing, complex quality, and variety of accessible infrastructure.
You will have to pay 50-100€ monthly for an apartment of about 70 sq.m. located in middle class residential complex with communal pool and recreation area.
Private houses that are not part of an organized settlement don’t have these expenses. But there owner has to take care of the garden and the pool by himself.
The registered property owner must pay annual sewage tax calculated on the basis of the market value of the property as at 1 January 2013. Usually the tax amount is approximately 100-200€.
Depending on the size of property, local authorities charge between 85€ to 500€ annually for regular garbage collection, street lighting, sewerage, and similar utilities. Payment should be made to the local authorities at the location of the property.
Homeowners are required to pay annual municipal tax. Each municipality sets the rate of this tax independently and notifies taxpayers.
You can pay the tax directly at the municipality, or online on the website JCCsmart.
Terms of payment are set independently by each self- governing body. Usually deadline is linked to the date of relevant notification. Late payment of this tax entails penalties. In Limassol and Larnaka, for example, the penalty is 10% of the unpaid tax amount.
Public Service Offices on the island are open only in the morning. All utility related questions are resolved by phone or in person. Sometimes you could be asked to write to the mail, but it is better to call.
There are two types of insurance policies in Cyprus: inpatient and outpatient coverage. Inpatient treatment involves hospitalization of patient with further treatment; in case of outpatient treatment the patient is reimbursed with funds spent on a doctor's house call, and prescribed medications in addition to hospitalization.
Also, insurance vary in the amount of coverage. The price range is really impressive: from several hundred Euros to 2 million. In the first case, the cost includes outpatient and inpatient treatment; in the latter case – surgical intervention, treatment of chronic diseases in advanced stages, cancer diseases, and others. With insurance coverage, you have the opportunity to receive treatment not only in Cyprus, but in other EU countries as well.
Cyprus has public and private insurance. The public type of insurance is provided by the employer, i.e. the company pays insurance contributions to the Social Insurance Fund, but not the worker. The latter in this case gets access to free medical care in all state institutions.
If you are not a resident of Cyprus, and do not have an EU citizen's passport or permanent formal employment within the Republic, you need to get insurance that provides coverage for treatment only in private clinics. Insurance in Cyprus is publicly available and is issued by private insurance companies. You can buy insurance policy both from island companies, and from international insurance agencies. Usually the latter have significant pricing advantage.
If a family has children, they must be vaccinated; otherwise they won't be accepted to school or kindergarten.
Expectant mothers are undergoing regular checkups and are under the supervision of a gynecologist-obstetrician before childbirth and after, within 10 days, receive consultations from a pediatrician.
It should be noted that such service is available only in private clinics for non-residents of the island. Additionally, you need to take care of insurance, and to pre-register with a gynecologist-obstetrician.
Private medical care in Cyprus is funded by incoming investments and wealthy clients undergoing treatment in private clinics. Just as the public sector of medicine in Cyprus, the private one is governed by the Ministry of Health, but the state funding is excluded. Private hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, diagnostic centers, and independent professionals can get a medical license in Cyprus.
Medical cards that allow you to receive medical services of all kinds in public hospitals are especially prevalent on the island. Depending on the type (color) of the card the patient can get a specific set of medical services only in public clinics in Cyprus.
With medical cards the patient can get outpatient and inpatient treatment, and permission for surgery depending on the severity of treatment.
Cyprus medical cards can be issued both for one person and for all family members, and can be of two types:
Medical card for free use medical services (pink)
This type of card is issued to citizens of Cyprus falling under the following categories:
- Foreigners who received permanent residence permit and have health insurance in their home country. In this case bilateral agreement between his/her country and Cyprus applies to a non-resident.
- If your family has many children (4 or more children).
- Low-income pensioners (the average pension is less than 500€ monthly).
- Families with annual income up to 15.000€ per person, or up to 30.000€ per family. Including a child, in which case 1.700€ is added to the total amount.
- Civil servants.
- People living on government assistance.
It is also worth noting that the free treatment in public hospitals of Cyprus also has some exceptions, and you may be denied service if the condition of the patient under treatment is the result of circumstances when the treatment is covered by a third party (beating, road accident, and others).
Medical card for discounted service (blue)
This kind of card provides the possibility to receive subsidies for treatment in public institutions for families with low annual income. The patient will receive blue card in case if annual income of his/her family is from 15.000 to 38.000€, in the presence of a dependent child.
All types of cards indicate the name of the medical card holder, his/her marital status, and in the presence of spouse and minor children – this information is included in the card, validity period, serial number, and holder’s personal identification number.
Foreigners can also apply for Cyprus medical card. To do this, you need to fill out a certain form according to the specified documents, a list of which can be found out in any medical facility, or on the official website of the Ministry of Health.
GeSy (General Healthcare System) is a system that allows you to receive medical care at reduced cost. This includes the possibility to make an appointment with a doctor, to sign up for a vaccination, and to keep track of your medical records in general.
Only foreigners permanently residing on the island of Cyprus can benefit from the system, regardless of whether they own real estate, or not. There are some restrictions: for example, services are provided only to citizens of the European Union having yellow slip, third-country migrants having permanent residence permit or LTRP, their family members, and official refugees. If you only have a temporary residence permit diagnostic and treatment expenses will be costly, and you have to be prepared for this.
GeSy (General Healthcare System) is a system that allows you to receive medical care at reduced cost. This includes the possibility to make an appointment with a doctor, to sign up for a vaccination, and to keep track of your medical record in general.
Only foreigners permanently residing in Cyprus can benefit from the system. Regardless of whether they own real estate, or not. Also there are some restrictions; for example, services are provided only to citizens of the European Union having yellow slip, third-country migrants having permanent residence permit or LTRP, their family members, and official refugees. If you only have a temporary residence permit diagnostic and treatment expenses will be costly, and you have to be prepared for this.
Public and private medicine in Cyprus is a service of high quality and is available to everyone. Most doctors working on the island were educated at the world's leading medical universities located in the USA, Germany, Great Britain, and Israel. Also Cyprus doctors are fluent in English; some of them can also know Russian, so foreigners and expats have almost no language barriers in health care in Cyprus.
Advantages of language courses in Cyprus:
- British system. Cyprus has been a British colony for many years that had an impact on many areas of the country including education. English is taught according to the British system, and there are many native speakers from Britain, New Zealand, and Ireland among teachers.
- Prices. A week of study is relatively cheap – 234 USD. For comparison: in the USA – 430 USD/week, in Canada – 350 USD/week, in Australia – 296 USD/week.
- Summer and family courses. There are many courses for kids, teenagers and their parents in Cyprus. On family programs groups are divided not by language level, but by age. There are even special kindergartens with English courses for children aged 1-3 years. In the morning they learn language in different groups, but go on excursions and rest together. There are various summer and winter camps with accommodation in residences for teenagers in Cyprus.
- Language courses at universities in Cyprus
Most universities have free language programs, but only as optional courses for already admitted students. For all the others there are not many options. Such courses are offered by the University of Cyprus, Cyprus University of Technology, and only a few others.
Higher education for foreigners in Cyprus is paid in all types of universities.
But there are always a lot of people who want to get an education here. Such interest in country's universities is explained by high quality education and relatively low cost. Besides, there are various scholarships and grants for foreign students that may partially or fully cover the tuition and living expenses. For example, state financial aid program for foreign students allows you to get a tuition discount in the amount from 30 to 50 percent.
All universities of Cyprus provide good practical assistance to every student in finding housing. Most of the universities have their own hostels and campuses, but if there are no more places left the administration of the institution helps student to find the best housing option for him/her. Students from other counties also have a good opportunity to work during the holidays – every student can legally work on the island after six months of residence in the country.
Most educational institutions adhere to the American education system. This system allows students to manage academic workload independently, and to choose subjects they are interested in. This reduces the tuition expenses significantly, because the fewer subjects a student studies the less he/she pays for tuition.
For university admission you need only knowledge of English that can be confirmed by the IELTS certificate (not less than 5.5). If an applicant does not have the required score he/she can take language courses at the university.
Higher education system:
- Bachelor degree – duration of study from 3 to 4 years.
- Master’s degree – duration of study from 1 to 2 years.
- Doctorate degree – 3 years.
Universities in Cyprus offer not only high quality educational program, but interesting leisure too. Excursions around the island and abroad, themed student nights, movie screenings – this is only a small part of leisure activities offered by the university.
Almost all schools of Cyprus provide education on programs similar to European ones. Education in public schools is provided only in Greek language, but there are also a number of private institutions with English or Russian language of instruction.
Like in the most countries in Europe, children in Cyprus go to school at the age of six years, and graduate approximately at the age of 18. The first period of studying takes place in gymnasiums. Those who are preparing for university must continue their studies at the lyceum after graduation from gymnasium. Lyceum curriculum is flexible. Depending on inclinations and interests of students they are offered different specializations. Private lessons that help students to study the subject in depth and to prepare for university are also in demand in Cyprus.
A popular English-style school is The International School of Paphos that accepts children from different countries. Quality schooling in Cyprus for Russians is offered by schools “Pupils of Pythagoras”, “LITC”, “Morfosis” in Limassol, school “Erudit” and Russian School in Paphos.
Pre-school education in Cyprus is optional. Nevertheless, kindergartens are in demand on the island, so you need to apply for a place in a suitable kindergarten in advance. There are three types of kindergartens in Cyprus:
Community kindergartens are only opened if there is a lack of public institutions in a certain area. Funding for community gardens is provided by communities of parents, and the Ministry monitors the quality.
Kindergarten education is predominantly intended for children aged three to six years. There are also nurseries where you can send your child at the age of six months.
Kindergartens in Cyprus are small and take small groups of children. Only one teacher can work in some preschool institutions. The educational program focuses on the development of the emotional intelligence of students, development of thinking, interpersonal skills, and development of creativity. Education in kindergartens is conducted in Greek; British kindergartens are also popular.
It is a unique opportunity to get an education of the European standard, to get a diploma recognized by all EU countries, and to master English at a native speaker level. The education system in Cyprus is of high quality – starting from kindergarten the child gets a good education, necessary knowledge and skills. Moreover, studying in institutions on the island is comfortable not only for indigenous people of Cyprus – kindergartens, schools and universities provide good conditions for foreigners too.
Studying will be especially comfortable for Russian-speaking people, since there are many institutions on the island with Russian language of instruction. Therefore, if you decide to buy property in Cyprus and to move to the island with the whole family, you don't have to worry about education of your children, whatever age they are at the time of moving.