Moving to Cyprus
A sunny island in the middle of the ocean, Cyprus offers a sunshine lifestyle whether you’re relocating for a new job or retiring. Removals to Cyprus can take some organising though, primarily due to its location. Therefore, you’ll need to get planning way ahead of your move.
Moving overseas is a big decision, and the list of tasks can seem overwhelming. This guide will take you through the essential information you need and prepare you for the adventure that lies ahead.
Moving to Cyprus: About Cyprus
Cyprus is the third biggest island in the Mediterranean, and it has a resident population of approximately 1.17 million.
This beloved island has complicated politics, with Turkey occupying around one-third of the country in the north. The UN and other international organisations do not recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The rest of the country, the Republic of Cyprus has a dominant Greek influence. Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have been unable to reach an agreement; as such, the capital city of Nicosia remains divided with entry points on either side.
Cyprus has the benefit of a Mediterranean climate with long, hot and dry summers that typically last from May to October. Winters are much milder than in northern Europe, and the island only experiences occasional rain.
Move to Cyprus: Language
Cyprus has two official languages: Greek and Turkish which reflects the divided nature of the island. As you might expect, Greek dominates the south while Turkish is the language of the north. If you want to learn a language to fit in with the locals, Greek would be the most useful as this is the language that around 80% of the island speaks, and indeed in all areas covered by the Republic.
However, Cyprus’ link to the UK is strong, as it only gained its independence in the 1960s. Therefore, a wide range of people speak English on the island, and it is also the language of choice for business. Although the Cypriots will appreciate your efforts in learning Greek and it may help you to mix more intimately, practically you may find that you can live comfortably using English.
Other languages commonly spoken in Cyprus include Russian, German and French.
Relocate to Cyprus: Visa Requirements
Moving to Cyprus is somewhat trickier than other countries because of the occupancy of the Turks in the north. This area is not recognised by any other nations. Visa and customs permit only apply to visitors who arrive via a route from the south. Anyone attempting to arrive through the north could find themselves classed as an illegal immigrant and face expulsion, even if they hold the correct documentation.
Like many other European nations, Cyprus allows visitors from the EU and countries such as the US, Australia and Canada to enter for a period of up to 90 days without any visa required.
Those travelling from outside these areas will require a visa to visit the country.
However, EU nationals will require a visa if they want to work or stay longer than 90 days. These work permits will only be granted to individuals with special skills and if they don’t deprive a local of a job. Those who don’t intend to work or are self-employed must demonstrate sufficient funds to be approved for entry.
You will find essential links for British Expats in Cyprus on the UK Govt website
Low-cost moving to Cyprus: Transport system
Cyprus has one of the highest levels of car ownership in the world and driving remains one of the most practical ways to get around on the island. The roads are generally in good condition, although some may be unpaved, congestion is light and petrol stations easily found.
Road users drive on the left-hand side of the road, but the culture is quite different from northern Europe. Drivers can be fast and aggressive, not stopping at roundabouts and other junctions, and failing to use indicators. This takes some getting used to; however, once you’ve been on the road a while, it’s not as intimidating as it may first appear!
Public transport is insufficient. Cyprus has no train services and the buses can be unreliable. Different operators run the various bus services and don’t always run on the weekends or during the evenings. In some quieter areas, the buses only run once or twice a day; They tend to be more frequent in the cities.
Low-cost move to Cyprus: Healthcare
The healthcare system in Cyprus has both private and state provisions, but the standard overall is good. Many of the doctors typically train overseas, and it’s common for them to speak at least a basic level of English. As a general rule of thumb, standards are better in the south of Cyprus than in the north.
The state healthcare is a complicated affair, and it’s divided up into three groups: those who can receive treatment for free, those who pay a low cost and others who pay the full price.
Cypriots and EU nationals are eligible for the first two categories, but their income and number of personal dependants will determine whether they receive treatment free or at a low cost.
Visitors from outside the EU will not qualify for state healthcare and must, therefore, take out private healthcare. Residents who don’t qualify for the free healthcare often also take out a separate cover to top up the treatment they are eligible to receive.
Compulsory contributions from workers, set at a rate of 6.3%, with additional contributions from the employer, fund the healthcare system. Around 83% of people living in Cyprus will qualify for free or low-cost treatment.
The number to call for emergency services in Cyprus is 199. Alternatively, you can call 112 which is the universal emergency services number for all European countries.
Moving to Cyprus: Your removal
As the country has such excellent transport links, moving to Austria is easy by road travel, sea or air. If you are organising a removal to any country overseas, it’s always a good idea to choose an international moving company which has experience in the region.
You can bring personal effects into the country duty-free if you’ve owned them for more than six months. However, you cannot transport food, plants, alcohol, tobacco and offensive material. The other restrictions which apply are those which are typically found in every country such as narcotics, firearms and inflammable goods.
Whether you choose our Load & Go or our EasyMoves solution, European Moving can help you with your removal. We shall be able to help you with the full list of restrictions that apply to removals to Cyprus and also provide advice on a whole range of removal issues you may not have encountered before.