Moving to Cyprus: Where to start and what to expect? How to move to Cyprus? We've gathered the most valuable advice to anyone interested in moving there in 2024. Read on and get ready to pack your bags!
- Why choose the island?
- Tip #1: Find out how much does it cost to move to Cyprus and evaluate your options
- Tip #2: Determine your visa status
- Tip #3: Choose your city
- Tip #4: Organize the shipment of your belongings
- Final thoughts
An area with a Mediterranean climate, affordable living costs and a carefree atmosphere is ideal if you want to spend less time and effort adapting. You can expect over 300 days of sunshine a year, stunning beaches, a rich cultural heritage, and picturesque landscapes combining sea, mountains and countryside. The location is also known with a thriving tourism industry and a growing multinational community.
Is it expensive to live in the area? There is no definitive answer to this question. It's more accurate to compare your options with current prices.
The cost of life in Cyprus is lower than in Western and Northern European countries, the UK, and the USA. The average amount needed to live per one person per month is €1,800-€2,000, including rent. A family of 4 will need at least €4,500.
If you decide to rent, expect to pay €700-€800 per 2-bedroom apartments in Cyprus outside the city center. Similarly sized apartments in developed areas will cost around €900-€1,000.
A 3-bedroom apartment is the best option to accomodate a family of four, and such housing will cost €1,300-€1,500 per month in non-touristic areas and over €1,700 in the city center.
Basic utilities, including electricity, water, heating, and garbage disposal, cost about €200 per month. In addition, you'll need to pay about €35 per month Internet fee and €20 cell phone charges.
Other expenses are difficult to quantify. If you'd like to eat out every day, consider that a dinner in a budget restaurant costs about $15, while a mid-range restaurant costs about $60. A basic basket of groceries, including a liter of milk, a loaf of bread, 12 eggs, rice, locally produced cheese, beef, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and three kinds of fruit, averages about $50 at a regular supermarket.
“Having moved from the UK, friends are always asking “How hard is it to move to Cyprus being a digital designer?” In reality, I didn't find it difficult; I didn't have to cut back on my expenses. I lived in the London suburbs and rented a 1-bedroom apartment at €750 - I pay the same here. By the way, before I moved, I completely switched to working remotely, so transportation costs were reduced. The category of vacation expenses also disappeared of its own accord - the sea is available to me within 10 minutes from home! Now I save that money to trip to North America.”
Do you need a visa to move to Cyprus? It depends on what country you are a citizen of. Citizens of the 27 EU member states, the European Economic Area (Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland) and Switzerland can visit the island without a visa. All they need is a valid passport. Once on the island, you can stay up to 90 days, after which you must report your presence to the immigration authorities. This means going to the nearest immigration office and obtaining a registration certificate (known as a "yellow slip"). Please note that this is only a formality. As an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen you have the right to live anywhere on the island.
How can I move to Cyprus as a citizen of other countries? You must apply a residence permit. You must choose one of the following reasons to obtain a residence permit:
- Independent means (category F)
- Digital Nomads
So, how to move to Cyprus permanently? Obtaining a residence permit is a two-step process. First, you must apply a visa at the Cypriot embassy in your country. After obtaining the visa, you can travel to the island and proceed to the second stage: within seven days of arrival, you must apply a temporary residence permit.
During this process, you must register your arrival at the local Foreigners and Immigration Department or at the central office of the Civil Registry and Migration Department in Nicosia. After obtaining a temporary residence permit, you can apply a permanent residence within five years. Let's find out what is required to obtain the different categories of residence permits.
Employment migration. To obtain a residence employment permit, you must first find an employer in the country who will apply your documents. You can then visit the Consulate and apply a work visa to enter the country. Within seven days of your arrival, you must apply a temporary residence permit.
Education moving. To obtain an educational residence permit, you must first enroll in one of the local universities. Once accepted, the educational institution will apply a student visa on your behalf. Within seven days of your arrival, you must apply a temporary residence permit. This is a 1-year permit and can be renewed as long as you continue your studies.
Investment moving. You can obtain a residence permit by making an investment in the local economy, such as property in Cyprus, business, or funds. You have the right to buy one or several villas in Cyprus, the main condition being a total amount of at least €125,000. Holders of investment residence permits have access to state healthcare facilities. In addition to the investor, the spouse, children and parents are also granted residence permits. This method allows you to obtain citizenship after only five years of living in the area.
Independent means (Category F). If you have a passive income in your home country of not less than €24,000 per year per applicant, you can also go to the island. If there are dependents, an additional income of at least €4,613.22 per dependent is required. According to the government's website, this should be a "guaranteed annual income, sufficiently high to ensure a decent living without having to engage in any business, trade or profession."
Digital nomads. In 2021, authorities joined the European trend and launch its own Digital Nomads Visa. To participate, your income outside the island must be at least €3,500 per month. The visa is issued one year with the possibility of renewal of another two years.
"I was interested in the island as a vacation spot, but I never considered it as a relocation option, even though I always wanted to move to Europe. In 2021, I learned that the area had launched a program for people working in the digital sector, allowing them to easily obtain a residency permit. I work for a European IT company, and we don't have an office; everyone works remotely from different parts of the world. I found out that I met all the requirements and decided to give it a try. I am an active and adaptable person, and the whole process of paperwork and relocation took me three months, including collecting documents. I've been living here for almost two years now and when asked if it's worth relocating in Cyprus, my answer is a resounding yes!”
To answer the question of where is the best place to live in the area, you have to decide on your own. It's best to go on a "scouting trip" to the island before moving permanently, as nothing compares to personal impressions. Studying the atmosphere and lifestyle of each region will help you choose the best place to achieve your goals. Here are some of the most popular towns where living in is ideal:
- Paphos: A coastal town with a mild climate, rich history and a vibrant expatriate community. Popular with retirees and families.
- Limassol: The largest city with a dynamic lifestyle and cosmopolitan atmosphere. It has become home to many migrants working in the business sector or universities.
- Larnaca: A relaxed seaside town with ancient monuments, beaches and palm-lined promenades.
- Nicosia: The capital and cultural center of the island. It offers many urban amenities and proximity to business districts.
- Ayia Napa: A resort town known for its beaches, nightlife and water sports. Popular with young migrants and travelers.
- **Polis: A small city on the northwest coast with recreational areas and a close-knit multinational community. Ideal for nature-loving retirees.
- Protaras: A quieter beach area near Ayia Napa with restaurants and resort facilities. Great for families with kids.
"In 2021, my wife and I vacationed on the island. Perhaps it happens to many travelers in different countries, but for us it was the first time: from the very first days we started thinking of how to move to Cyprus from us. The calm atmosphere, the safety and the openness of the locals amazed us, and when we returned from our vacation, we started thinking about moving. Fortunately, my work is partly remote; I work as a private English teacher, and my wife has her online business, which also doesn't require her to be in a specific city. That's how we decided. And for the move, we chose Ayia Napa, where we were considering relocating.”
How do you move permanently when all your belongings don't fit in one or even two suitcases? When preparing to move, you need to plan how you will transport your personal and household goods to the island. One option is to use an international shipping company that specializes in overseas transportation.
Start by getting quotes from different shipping companies to compare costs. Then choose between sea and air freight: air freight is faster but more expensive. Delivery times are 1-2 months by sea or 1-2 weeks by air, so keep this in mind and bring the essentials with you for the first period or send them to arrive around your arrival. Proper planning and working with a reputable international moving company will ensure the reliable transportation of your belongings to your new home when you move there in 2024.
As a bonus, you'll save on customs duties when sending your belongings. As a resident who has legally registered a place of residence, you have the right to claim duty-free shipping of household goods to the island within 12 months of moving. To participate in this program, you will need to provide documentation such as a residence permit, lease or utility bills. You must also be present at the customs inspection upon arrival of the shipment.
There are some exceptions: all vehicles are subject to taxes and duties. There are also restrictions on certain categories of goods, including electronics more than the allowed amount, tobacco and alcohol. The transportation company you work with can advise you on all customs requirements.
"In early 2023, I received an attractive offer from a local real estate agent. I had been abroad before, but only for two weeks on a package tour to Turkey and Egypt. The unknown scared me, especially the aspect of how to live in Cyprus and bring all my belongings here: I didn't have the financial means to buy everything new right after I arrived. I decided to look for a moving company and was surprised to find so many companies organizing the transfer of things from Eastern Europe. I compared prices, evaluated reviews for different companies and made a choice. I arrived in Larnaca with a large suitcase and a bag and within 1.5 weeks my things were delivered right to my doorstep."
Thanks to the sunny Mediterranean climate, affordable prices and the hospitality of the local people, the island with all the pros and cons of living in Cyprus is an ideal place for foreigners looking to move to Europe. The low cost of real estate makes this location especially attractive to retirees, families, and remote workers ready for international adventures. The island is a promising place to obtain a second passport, as there are no language requirements and the residency period for applying a citizenship is seven years. Whether you want to live peacefully as a family or actively and lavishly is entirely up to you.
Now you know the essential information about moving and living in the area. If you're looking for a new home in Europe, this island is the best place to move abroad.