Embarking on a journey to a new country is an adventure filled with excitement and a fair share of uncertainties. Moving to Cyprus from the UK, an island of mythological allure and modern charm, presents a unique opportunity to embrace a lifestyle that blends the best of Mediterranean living with a touch of British familiarity. Cyprus, a jewel in the Mediterranean Sea, offers a compelling mix of stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and a warm, welcoming community.
As you consider this significant life change, this guide aims to illuminate the enchanting allure of Cyprus, making your moving to Cyprus from the UK as smooth and enjoyable as possible. From the sun-kissed beaches to the ancient ruins whispering tales of civilizations past, Cyprus is not just a destination but a new chapter waiting to be written in your life story.
Facts about Cyprus
Geography and Demographics
Cyprus is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. Its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa has shaped its unique cultural heritage.
The island has a complex history, including being part of Alexander the Great’s empire. Cyprus is also known as the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.
Cyprus has a rich and diverse cultural heritage influenced by Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman cultures. The island’s official languages are Greek and English.
Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided into the Greek Cypriot government in the south and the Turkish Cypriot government in the north, separated by the UN-patrolled Green Line. Nicosia, the capital, is the world’s only capital city split between two nations.
Natural Beauty and Climate
The island is renowned for its scenic landscapes, including beautiful beaches, mountains, and a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters, making it a favourite destination for tourists and expatriates.
Cypriot cuisine is a delicious blend of Mediterranean flavours, with specialities like halloumi cheese and souvlaki. The cuisine reflects the island’s Greek and Middle Eastern influences.
Cyprus boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient ruins, and archaeological sites. It also features unique natural phenomena like the “Aphrodite’s Rock” in Paphos, associated with the legend of Aphrodite.
Economy and Currency
As a member of the European Union, Cyprus uses the Euro as its currency. The economy is diverse, with sectors such as tourism, services, and agriculture playing significant roles.
Cities in Cyprus
As the capital, Nicosia presents a dynamic mix of tradition and modernity, uniquely positioned at the intersection of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot areas. UK expatriates will discover a lively commercial center with a deeply historical heart, providing an energetic way of life where the old meets the new in harmony. Ancient fortifications and contemporary retail outlets blend seamlessly. The city’s varied cultural landscape and global community render it a compelling choice for individuals aiming for a cosmopolitan existence in Cyprus.
Offering a laid-back atmosphere, Larnaca is known for its scenic waterfront promenade and historic landmarks, including the Church of Saint Lazarus. It’s an excellent choice for UK expatriates looking for a blend of beach life and cultural experiences. The city’s international airport also makes travelling back to the UK and other destinations convenient.
Limassol, known for its extensive coastline and cosmopolitan flair, is a magnet for those seeking a balance between beach life and urban living. It’s famous for its cultural diversity, vibrant nightlife, and thriving business district. British expats will appreciate the blend of traditional Cypriot charm and modern amenities, making it an ideal spot for families and professionals alike.
Renowned for its historical and mythological significance, Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with roots stretching back to the cult of Aphrodite. It’s a popular choice for UK expats due to its relaxed lifestyle, beautiful beaches, and many archaeological sites. The city offers a quieter life compared to other Cypriot cities, perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat with a strong sense of community and history.
Pros vs Cons of Moving to Cyprus
Below are the most important pros and cons fo moving to Cyprus from the UK.
- Pleasant Climate: Cyprus enjoys a Mediterranean climate with long, warm summers and mild winters, offering a pleasant change from the often cold and wet UK weather.
- Lower Cost of Living: Generally, the cost of living in Cyprus is lower than in the UK, particularly when it comes to property prices, utility costs, and eating out.
- Beautiful Landscapes and Beaches: Cyprus offers stunning natural beauty, from pristine beaches to scenic mountains, providing a great setting for outdoor activities and relaxation.
- Cultural and Historical Richness: With its blend of Greek, Turkish, and British influences, Cyprus has a rich cultural heritage, evident in its historical sites, cuisine, and festivals.
- Tax Benefits for Expats: Cyprus has favourable tax rates and agreements for expats, including a low corporate tax rate and double taxation treaties with many countries, including the UK.
- Economic Stability Concerns: Despite improvements, Cyprus has faced economic challenges in the past, including a banking crisis. It’s important to consider the economic stability and job market, especially if seeking employment.
- Healthcare System Differences: While Cyprus has both public and private healthcare sectors, there might be differences in quality and accessibility compared to the UK’s NHS. Expats often opt for private health insurance for more comprehensive coverage.
- Adjustment to Pace of Life: The pace of life in Cyprus is typically slower and more relaxed than in the UK. This can be an adjustment for those used to a faster, more structured lifestyle.
- Property Ownership Rules: There are specific rules and regulations surrounding property ownership for non-Cypriots, which can complicate the process of buying a home.
- Isolation and Connectivity: While Cyprus is beautiful, its island status can sometimes feel isolating. Travel to and from the island is not as quick as moving within mainland Europe, and this might affect those who plan frequent visits back to the UK or travel to other countries.
Living Costs Breakdown
Rent House | €500 – €1000
Buy House | €1.600 – €4.000 per sq. m
Utility Bills | €150 – €250
Food | €300 – €500
Education | €20 – €500
Personal Transport | €80 – €200
Required steps to move
Moving to Cyprus from the UK is an important process, and we provided you with the required steps for achieving it.
-Decide whether you will rent or buy a house.
-If you intend to work, apply for a work permit before you apply for a work visa and enter the country.
-Apply for a visa if you are a non-EU citizen or have a temporary residency permit (buying a house will grant you permanent residency).
-Get Health Insurance
-Find the place you want to live and the ideal property.
-Ask for a Moving Quotation and take care of the last details, such as opening bank accounts, school registrations etc.
The house closing process
In a world where things can be sold online from anywhere, we are taking a step back. Our team of agents will assist you with making your house a home. We make finding the right property simple and stress-free! Our agents will work with you individually to help guide you through the buying process and get you the best possible deal.
Check out our moving process!
If you are moving to Cyprus from the UK, there are some driving regulations you need to be care of.
- Similar to the UK, people drive on the left side of the road in Cyprus and pass on the right.
- It is required for vehicles to use their lights from thirty minutes after dusk to thirty minutes before dawn. The use of spotlights is forbidden.
- Youngsters under five are not permitted to ride in the front seat. Youngsters under ten and older than five must utilize an appropriate child restraint device.
- It is against the law to smoke in a car when a person under the age of sixteen is present; violators face fines.
- The legal limit for the amount of alcohol in the blood is 0.049 per cent. Authorities may perform a blood test on individuals suspected of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, specifically if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.05 percent or higher.
- The minimum age to drive is 18 years old, and all national driving licenses are accepted. Following Brexit, driving licenses from the UK are still recognized.
- The maximum speed limit on highways is 100 km/h for buses, passenger cars and motorcyclists. The minimum speed limit is 65 Km/h. On the other hand, the maximum speed in residential areas is 50 km/h.
Moving to Cyprus from UK as an EU Citizen
An EU citizen can move to Cyprus for up to 90 days. If an EU citizen wishes to stay longer than 90 days, they need to register for an extended stay at the Civil Registry and Migration Department. People often refer to this Registration Certificate as the Yellow Slip.
As an EU citizen, you enjoy the same rights as Cypriot citizens, including engaging in economic activities such as working and operating companies. This makes it easier to trade, travel, work, and move freely within the EU member states.
Moving to Cyprus from UK as a Non-EU Citizen
Long-Stay Visa: Non-EU citizens must obtain a long-stay visa (national visa) to move to Cyprus. This should be applied at the nearest Cypriot embassy or consulate in your home country.
Temporary Residence Permit: Upon arrival in Cyprus, within seven days, non-EU citizens must apply for a temporary residence permit. This application is made either at the Civil Registry and Migration Department (if residing in the Nicosia District) or a District Immigration Unit (for other districts).
Non-EU citizens can move to Cyprus for work, study, or to join a family member. Each of these categories has specific requirements.
A family member of a non-EU citizen can move to and live in Cyprus under certain conditions. Firstly, the non-EU citizen must already be residing legally in Cyprus. To facilitate this process, the necessary application forms must be filled out, and all supporting documents must be translated and certified properly.
For a family member to be eligible to reside in Cyprus, the non-EU citizen must have been legally living in the country for at least two years, hold a residence permit for a minimum of one year, and have a reasonable prospect of obtaining permanent residency in Cyprus.
To enter Cyprus, the family member needs to secure an entry permit, which is issued following the submission of an application by the residing non-EU citizen. It’s important to note that family members cannot enter Cyprus for reunification purposes on a tourist visa.
Family members of the non-EU resident are eligible for a one-year residence permit, which can be renewed. However, the validity of this permit cannot extend beyond the expiry date of the non-EU resident’s permit.
Studying in Cyprus
If you’re a non-EU citizen planning to study in Cyprus, you need to get a Cyprus student visa and a temporary residence permit. Obtain student visa from your home country before departing for Cyprus. This visa is crucial as it legally allows you to enter and live in Cyprus for up to three months.
In case your study program lasts longer than 90 days, you must apply for a temporary residence permit, often referred to as the “Pink Slip”, once you arrive in Cyprus. This permit allows you to extend your stay in Cyprus for a period of up to four years.
Requirements for Student Visa
The cost of a Cyprus student visa is €20, and the processing time for the application is about one month. You will pay a fee of €70 for a temporary residence permit in Cyprus, and the authorities usually make a decision on your application within three months.
It’s mandatory for all international students to obtain the necessary permit from the Civil Registry and Migration Department. The Cyprus student visa is specific to one academic institution, and regular attendance is required. The Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus approves the programs and subjects eligible for study. If you decide to change your educational institution, you will need to obtain a new permit.
Permanent residency in Cyprus offers non-EU citizens a long-term residence option in the country. To qualify, applicants typically need to make a significant investment in real estate and prove financial stability. This includes showing a steady income from abroad and sufficient funds in a Cypriot bank account. Permanent residency permits are usually for two months of applying and do not require the holder to live in Cyprus, although they must visit at least once every two years. This status grants the right to live in Cyprus indefinitely. After seven years of continuous residence, individuals may apply for citizenship.
For more information about permanent residency, look at our detailed post.
Working in Cyprus
Non-EU citizens looking to work in Cyprus need to obtain a work permit. It typically involves securing a job offer from a Cypriot employer who can justify hiring a non-EU national. The process includes obtaining a visa and a work permit, with the employer often assisting in this process. When a non-EU citizen changes jobs, they must obtain a new work permit, as the permits are usually for specific positions and tied to the employer. The duration of these permits can vary but often align with the length of the employment contract.
For more information about obtaining an employee permit, look at our detailed post.
Residence in Cyprus after Brexit
UK nationals registered in Cyprus before December 31, 2020, are eligible. Their family members qualify too, even non-UK nationals. They can get temporary residence if living in Cyprus before January 1, 2021. This applies if they hadn’t reached five years of residence by 2020’s end. This temporary residence allows them to stay in Cyprus to accumulate the required five-year period for permanent residency. The residency count includes the time they have already spent in Cyprus. This starts from their registration date and covering the transitional period.
UK nationals who had already completed five years of continuous residence in Cyprus by December 31, 2020, are immediately eligible for permanent residence. This status allows them to live in Cyprus indefinitely, acknowledging their established long-term connection with the country.
Moving from the UK to Cyprus offers Mediterranean lifestyle and a relatively straightforward residency process for UK nationals. Cyprus appeals to many for its relaxed pace of life and low cost of living compared to the UK. Whether it’s for retirement, work, or simply a change of scenery, Cyprus provides a welcoming environment. With a strong expat community that makes the transition smoother for those relocating from the UK.