Republic of Cyprus
High Commission of the Republic of Cyprus in London

Consular Information


Living and Working in Cyprus


On this page you can find the following information:

1. Living and Working in Cyprus (for EU nationals)

2. Living and Working in Cyprus (for non EU nationals)

3. Useful documents



1. LIVING AND WORKING IN CYPRUS (for EU nationals)



MIGRATION AND REGISTRATION


Who can Work?

As from the 1st May 2004, nationals from EU member states (including European Economic Area countries and Switzerland) can work in Cyprus without restrictions.

However they will need a residency permit if they intend to stay longer than three months and take up employment in Cyprus. They must apply for such a residence permit to the Civil Registry & Migration Department, as soon as they secure employment and in any case before the expiration of the 3 month period.

EU nationals working in Cyprus have the same rights as Cypriot nationals with regards to pay, working conditions, access to housing, vocational training, social security and trade union membership.

What will you need?

Once in Cyprus, if there is an intention to stay and take up employment one has to:

a) Apply for an Alien Registration Certificate (ARC) at the local Immigration Branch of the Police (issued automatically for monitoring purposes) and at the same time apply for a Residence Permit. This application must be submitted before the expiration of this 3-month period (as previously mentioned) at the local Immigration Branch of the Police (Please note that a fine is imposed in case of non-compliance).

In applying for a residence permit, the EU citizen must appear in person at the Civil Registry and Migration Department (this service is for the time being provided at the local Immigration Branch of the Police in all districts) and submit the following documentation:
  • A duly completed standard form (obtainable from Civil registry & Migration Department or from the local Immigration Branch of the Police) depending on the category of residence permit being applied for (i.e. employed activity, self employment etc.).The standard form for employed activity (Form MEU1) includes the ‘Document of Engagement of Employment’, which has to be completed and signed by the employer and stamped by the Labour Department (at any district Labour Office).
  • Valid Passport or ID Card.
  • Two photographs
  • A fee of C£5
  • If applying for dependants, the applicant must present true copies of marriage certificates, birth certificates of children etc.

b) Apply for a social insurance number upon securing employment in Cyprus.

The residence permit is issued within six months from the date of application and the submission of the required documents by the applicant. It is valid for a five-year period which is renewable.

It should be noted that the conclusion of formalities for acquiring a residence permit is not an obstacle for the immediate commencement of employment.

For further information:
Tel: 00357-22-804401, 00357-22-804405
Email: migration@crmd.moi.gov.cy



FINDING A JOB IN CYPRUS


Public Employment Service

One can visit any District Labour office to register and receive appropriate information, guidance, and assistance in job placement.

A job seeker registering at the Public Employment Service for the first time, must present a valid passport or ID card, plus copies of certificates of academic and/or professional qualifications as well as translation in either Greek or English.

A list of District Labour Offices can be found here


Private Employment Agencies/ Job Databases

Private recruitment agencies (mainly within Consultancy Firms), are an important source for managerial and highly specialized jobs. Also a considerable number of private recruitment services specializing in recruiting skilled and semi-skilled labour from abroad.

More information can be rquested from the Cyprus Human Resources Management Association (www.cyhrma.org) and from the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.ccci.org.cy).

Some private recruitment agencies have job databases with vacancies and CV’s held online.

Please note that on the basis of legislation regulating the operation and registration of these agencies, the services offered to jobseekers are free of charge. Complaints about misconduct of the agencies can be submitted to the Director of the Department of Labour., Tel: 00357-22-400802, Email: director@dl.mlsi.gov.cy.


Newspapers / Websites

Newspapers are considered an important source when looking for a job in Cyprus.

On the Official site of the Republic (www.cyprus.gov.cy) you can find links to the websites of all main newspapers in Cyprus.


Applying for a Job

The application procedure will differ depending on the type of work you are looking for.

Of course an employer will understand that you cannot come to Cyprus just for an interview, so a letter of application will initially do.

The standard procedure, however, for middle and senior personnel is a typed letter of application accompanied by a CV.

There is no standard CV or covering letter. However, it is important to include in the CV, information on academic or professional qualification and experience as well as personal data and information relevant to job preferences. The application letter and CV should be typed and a maximum length of two pages should be satisfactory.

Usually references are not required unless specifically asked in the job advertisement or the application form, if such exists.


Pursuit of professions which are regulated

In the event that you wish to pursue a profession or occupation in Cyprus which is regulated, then a different procedure is followed. Therefore it is wise before coming to Cyprus to find out which are the regulated professions/occupations. These include for example the profession of doctor, architect, nurse, aesthetician, lawyer, estate agent, mechanical engineer, taxi and bus driver, geologist etc.

The Labour Department acts as a National Focus Point for providing information on legislation and procedures with regard to pursuing regulated professions in Cyprus, as well as information on the ‘competent body’ responsible for examining applications submitted for the exercise of a regulated profession. For inquires contact: qualifications@dl.mlsi.gov.cy.


Wages/Collective Agreements
Wages are either agreed with the employer, or are based on collective agreements which apply in various sectors of economic activity.

For the protection of vulnerable groups of employees, who are mainly characterised by their weak bargaining power, an Order is issued annually, providing for a minimum wage for certain occupations like shop assistants, clerks, child-care workers (assistant baby and child minders) and personal care workers (nursing aides). The minimum wage for newly recruited employees is currently CY£362 (~€615) gross per monthe, increased to CY£385 (~€655) after a continuous service of six months.

On the basis of relevant legislation, the employer is obliged – within the period of one month fro the date of commencement of employment – to communicate to the newly recruited employee in writing, the terms of his/her employment. In case of non-compliance, complaints can be submitted to the Director of the Department of Labour, Tel: 00357-22-400802, Email: director@dl.mlsi.gov.cy.

Taxation
An EU citizen has to contact the Department of Inland Revenue in order to get a Taxpayer’s Identification Code. He must present his passport and complete Form I.R.163A.

Tax liability is based on the principle of residence. According to the Income Tax Law, an individual is considered resident in Cyprus for tax purposes if he resides therein for a period or more which, in aggregate exceeds 183 days. Tax residents in Cyprus are taxed in respect of their worldwide income, while non-tax residents are taxed in respect of Cyprus source income only.

Non-tax residence having a permanent establishment in Cyprus may elect, if it is to their benefit, to be taxed in accordance with the provisions applicable to tax residents.

The Income Tax Law provides for various exemptions, on condition that certain criteria are satisfied.

Personal Income Tax:
For an income up CY£10,000 (€17,000)/year0% tax rate
CY£10,001- 15,000 ((€17,000 – 25,000)/year20% tax rate
CY£15,001-20,000 ((€25,001-34,000)/year25%tax rate
over CY£20,000 (€34,001)/year30% tax rate
Tax is deducted monthly from the salary
Tax authorities:

Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue Department
Tel: 00357-22-601921
Fax: 00357-22-661243
Email: svrasida@ird.mof.gov.cy
http://www.mof.gov.cy

Moreover Income Tax Returns can be submitted electronically, using the TAXISNET system, at the following address: http://www.taxisnet.mof.gov.cy

Social Security
In Cyprus there is a General earnings related Social Insurance Scheme, which covers compulsorily, every person gainfully occupied in Cyprus either as an employee or as self-employed. Employed persons include civil servants and apprentices.

Voluntary insurance is allowed to persons who wish to continue their insurance after a prescribed period of compulsory insurance or to persons who work abroad in the service of Cypriot employers.

The scheme is financed by earnings related contributions payable by the insured person, the employer and the State. In the case of employees the contribution is 16.6% on his earnings, 6.3% payable by the employee, 6.3% payable by the employer and 4% by the State. In the case of self employed persons the contribution is 15.6% on the self-employed person’s prescribed income, 11.6% is paid by the self-employed himself and 4% by the State. In the case of voluntary insured persons the contribution is 13.5% on the earnings on which they opt to pay contributions. From the 13.5%, 10% is paid by the voluntary contributor and 3.5% by the State.

Transferring your Social Insurance Benefits
Cyprus, as of 1st May 2004, applies the EC Regulation 1408/71 which coordinates the social security systems of the member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland. The EC Regulation 1408/71 governs the retention and transfer of social security entitlements when a person moves from one member state to another.

Furthermore, Cyprus has concluded reciprocal agreements on social security with 4 countries/areas other the EU members states (Canada, Quebec, Egypt , Australia) for the purpose of maintaining the social security rights of persons who move between Cyprus and these countries.

Kinds of Benefits
The scheme provides for various benefits including marriage benefit, maternity grant, maternity allowance, sickness benefit etc.

In addition, the Scheme provides free medical treatment to victims of industrial accidents and occupational diseases and to invalidity pensioners.

Employed persons are entitled to all the above benefits under certain conditions. Self-employed are not entitled to unemployment benefit and benefits from employment injuries. Voluntary contributors working abroad for Cypriot employers are not entitled to benefits for employment injuries. Other voluntary contributors are entitled only to marriage, maternity and funeral grants and to old age and survivor’s benefits.

For more information:
Department of Social Insurance
Tel: 00357-22-401632
Fax: 00357-22-674982
Email: interrel@sid.mlsi.gov.cy or visit their website at http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/sid


Sickness Benefit
It is payable to employed and self-employed persons between the ages of 16 and 63 who are incapable for work. The age of 63 is extended up to the age of 65 if the insured person is not entitled to old age pension. The period for which sickness benefit is payable cannot exceed 156 days for each period of interruption of employment.

There is a waiting period of 3 days in the case of employed persons and 18 days in the case of self-employed persons for which benefit is not payable. Self-employed persons are treated the same way as employed persons in the case of accident or hospitalization.

Unemployment Benefit
It is payable to employed persons between the age of 16 and 63 for involuntary unemployment.

The period for which unemployment benefit is payable cannot exceed 156 days for each period of interruption of employment.
There is a waiting period of 3 days except in the case of persons working abroad in the service of a Cypriot employer in respect of whom the waiting period is 30 days.

Pensions (Invalidity Pensions; Old Age Pension; Widow’s Pension)
More information on all the above benefits can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Department: http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/sid

How to Establish a Company in Cyprus
All necessary information on how to establish a company in Cyprus can be found on the website of the Registrar of Companies and Official receiver: www.mcit.gov.cy/drcor


CHECKLIST
Before moving to take up employment, ensure that:
  • You have a valid EU passport or Identity Card
  • You fully understand the terms and conditions of employment
  • You have a clear idea of method of payment
  • You are aware of the travel arrangements and whether you or the employer will pay
  • You have accommodation in the area you wil be moving to
  • You have appropriate health cover
  • You have sufficient funds to last until you are paid, or return home if necessary



HEALTH SYSTEM


EU citizens residing in Cyprus, are subject to the same obligations and enjoy the same benefits under legislation of Cyprus as Cypriot nationals.

The medical needs in Cyprus are met through three systems of health services:
  • The governemtn (public) health sector
  • The private health sector
  • A number of schemes covering specific sections of the population.

Public Health Sector:
The right to public health care in Cyprus is subject to an income test i.e.

Free of Charge
Health care is provided free through government facilities to government employees, single persons whose annual income does not exceed CY£9,000 member of families whose annual income does not exceed CY£18, 000 increased by CY£1,000 for each dependant child. Also, it is free among others to members of families with 4 or more children, persons in receipt of public assistance and people suffering from certain chronic diseases.

At Reduced Fare
For persons whose annual income is between CY£9,001 and CY£12,000 or to members of families whose annual income is between CY£18,001 and CY£22,000 increased by CY£1,000 for each dependant child.

Paying Patients
Persons not coming under above categories can make use of the Government medical services against payment of the fees from time to time.

Paying patients may have the fees for costly in-patient treatment reduced, taking into account the level of their income.

Furthermore, medical care free of charge is provided in all cases receiving treatment at the accident and emergency departments irrespective of the economic situation or the nationality of the person involved, including visitors. However, if these cases need hospitalization, subsequent care fees have to be paid.

Government provision of health care is funded out of general taxation.

Private Health Sector:
It is open to all those who can afford to pay for their treatment. Private medicine is dominated by a large number of physicians in individual practices.

Special Schemes:
A number of special schemes cover specific sections of the population. These includes:
  • Medical Services provided by the Trade Unions to employed persons and their dependants.
  • A number of employer-sponsored arrangements, all of which provide free medical care mainly through public health facilities.

Health care free of charge or at reduced fees is provided to those who satisfy the referred income criteria and who are issued with a medical card after submitting an application on the prescribed form. One can get these forms from the public hospitals and deliver them duly completed, either to the same place or directly to the Ministry of Health.

For information: http://www.moh.gov.cy



RELOCATING FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY


Importing cats, dogs or ferrets from an EU Member State

Animals originating from an EU country and accompanied by the relative validated documents and which fulfil the provisions set below, can enter into the territory of the Republic of Cyprus without being subject to quarantine period or the need of an import permit.

The animals should fulfil the following conditions:


1. Identification
  • Have easily readable tattoo or
  • Have an electronic microchip incorporated into their body for verifying animal's identity.

The information which would facilitate the verification of the owner's name, surname and address should also be attainable apart from identity's verification.

In order for the microchip to be easily detected/read and compatible with the radio detective devices which the Veterinary Services own, the microchip should a) have been manufactured in accordance with the provisions set by the International Quality Standard ISO 11784:1996 or b) comply with annex A of ISO 11785:1996.

In case the incorporated microchip does not comply with the aforementioned specifications of the International Quality Standard ISO 11784:1996 or annex A of ISO 11785:1996 and is not readable by the radio detective devices which the Veterinary Services use, the owner or the natural person responsible for the pet animal on behalf of the owner must provide the necessary means for reading the microchip at the time of inspection. The incorporation of the microchip should be proved that it has been calendary done prior one at least vaccination against rabies.

For a period of 8 years and until 1 October 2012, both methods of identification are accepted. After the end of this transition period, only the electronic chip method would be accepted as identification method.

2. Route


They have arrived in Cyprus directly from an EU member country.

3. Accompanying documents


Are accompanied by:

A)
European Passport (Decision 803/2003/EK, Annex, part C) issued by an, by the competent authority, authorized veterinarian substantiating that the animal is under a valid vaccination or re-vaccination against rabies according to vaccine's manufacturer instructions and which (vaccination or re-vaccination) has been administered to the animal using, at least, one unit of inactivated antigen per dose (OIE standard).

The animal should:

  • Have been vaccinated against rabies virus, at the age of not less than 3 months old, with an inactivated rabies strain according to OIE standards, at least one (1) month prior departure for arriving in Cyprus.
  • Have undergone an antiparasitical treatment, 24-48 hours prior departure for arrival into the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, using concoctions which contain:

- the active substance Fipronil against ectoparasites (flies, ticks, lice) and
- the active substance Praziquantel against Echinococcus granulosus (Hydatidosis).

B)
Documents verifying that the animal has arrived into the territory of the Republic of Cyprus from an EU member country.

C)
The records concerning vaccinations have been checked and proved to fulfill the Provisions set forth.

The following breeds cannot be brought into Cyprus:


Pit Bull Terrier (American Pit Bull), Japanese Tosa (Tosa Inu), Argentinian Mastiff (Dogo Argentino), Brazilian Mastiff (Fila Brasileiro).

THE ENTRY OF PET DOGS, CATS OR FERRETS UNDER THE AGE OF THREE MONTHS IS NOT ALLOWED, REGARDLESS OF THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN.


Importing cats, dogs or ferrets from Norway and Iceland

Animals originating from a country mentioned in part A of the Annex (which includes Norway and Iceland) and are accompanied by the relative validated documents and which fulfil the provisions set below, can enter into the territory of the Republic of Cyprus without being subject to quarantine period or the need of an import permit.

The animals should fulfil the following conditions:

  • Microchip or tattoo (as 1 above)
  • Passport (Decision 2003/803/EK) or health certificate properly filled and ratified by an official veterinarian
  • Vaccination against rabies at least 30 days prior to entering Cyprus (as 3A above)
  • Antiparasitical treatment 24-48 hours prior to departing for Cyprus, with concoctions containing the active substances Fipronil and Praziquantel (as 3A above)
  • Document verifying that they have arrived in Cyprus directly from Norway or Iceland respectively or through an EU member country.


Importing animals other than cats, dogs or ferrets


For inquiries concerning animals other than cats, dogs and ferrets, please contact the respective District Veterinary Office of the intended point of residence in Cyprus. Contact information is given below.


Further information:


Lefkosia District Veterinary Office
1417, Lefkosia (Nicosia)
Tel: +357 22 805240/241/235
Fax: +357 22 805174
E-mail:
animal.health@vs.moa.gov.cy

Larnaca District Veterinary Office
Tel:+357 24 304275/276
Fax: +357 24 304270
E-mail:
dvs.larnaca@vs.moa.gov.cy

Larnaka Airport Border Inspection Veterinary Office
Tel:+357 24 304703
Fax:+357 24 304708
E-mail:
biplac@vs.moa.gov.cy

Lemesos (Limassol) District Veterinary Office
Tel:+357 25 305195
Fax: +357 25 305256
E-mail:
dvs.lemesos@vs.moa.gov.cy

Paphos District Veterinary Office
Tel:+357 26 306269
Fax: +357 26 306198
E-mail:
dvs.paphos@vs.moa.gov.cy


Cars
All motor vehicles circulating in Cyprus need a motor vehicle licence issue by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

Drivers of all types of motor vehicles must be holders of driving licences which are issued after relevant tests and are valid until the age of 70. After this age, the licences are renewable every three years on submission of a medical certificate. European citizens importing a motor vehicle temporarily for their personal use, which are accompanied by proper certificates of registration and valid circulation licenses are not obliged to register them. In case the foreign circulation licence of a motor vehicle expires during its stay in Cyprus, the importer must pay to the Department of Road Transport the circulation fees.

A European citizen holding a valid driving licence of his country can drive on the roads of Cyprus.

Before driving on the roads of Cyprus,a third party insurance cover, covering the vehicle to circulate in Cyprus is essential.

All types of motor vehicles have to be inspected if the vehicles are to be registered in Cyprus. In addition, mechanical inspection of motor vehicles is carried out in accordance with national legislation and regulations.

For more information:
Road Transport Department
Tel: 00357-22-807107
Email: kkyprianides@rtd.mcw.gov.cy


Accommodation
The availability of accommodation is good and includes apartments, houses and villas. The rent depends largely on where the flat is situated (town, area) and the amenities/equipment in the house. Roughly speaking, the rent of an average flat could range from CY£250-CY£350 (~€425-€600) per month.

Advertisements on flats to rent (or to buy) are in all newspapers. They are also advertised in specialized newspapers. A great number of estate agencies also operate (they can be found on the internet).

The typical length of contract is usually for one or two years, easily renewable upon expiry. Costs for water, electricity, heating and some other expenses are normally not included when renting a flat.

You will usually be asked to put down a month’s rent as a deposit paid with the first rent (rent is normally prepaid). Normally the only thing needed to rent a flat is to sign a contract (standard form)

If somebody wishes to buy a flat, they should look at the advertisements in the local press and contact real estate agencies.


Education System
In Cyprus, school attendance is compulsory up to the age of 15 (first nine years of education). The same applies to all children who live in Cyprus, regardless of their nationality or faith.

Detailed information on the educational system in Cyprus can be found in the Annual Report of the Ministry of Education and Culture by visiting their website at http://www.moec.gov.cy .

For more information:
Ministry of Education and Culture
Tel: 00357-22-800600
Email: registry@moec.gov.cy


Shops
During the winter period (1 November – 31 March) shops are open until 19.00 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and until 20.00 on Fridays. Wednesdays are open until 14.00 and Saturdays until 15.00. During Sundays all shops are closed.

During the summer period (1 April – 31 October ) shops are open until 20.30 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and until 21.30 on Fridays. Wednesdays are open until 14.00 and Saturdays until 17.00. During Sundays all shops are closed. Furthermore, during the summer afternoon recess (from 15 June – 31 August) all shops are closed between the hours of 14.00 and 17.00.

Special arrangements are also provided during the Christmas and Easter period during which shops can stay open until 20.00.

In addition to the above, periods and closing times of shops in the so called ‘tourist areas’ are from time to time designated by a ministerial order.


Cultural and Social Life
You can find out more about cultural and social life in Cyprus by visiting the website of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (http://www.visitcyprus.org.cy), ‘What’s On’, then go to events.


Transport
Cypriot use their private car a lot for transportation, whether living in towns or villages.

There is also a public transport network in towns, as well as between urban and rural areas.

But the most common way for city travel in Cyprus (apart from private means) is the so-called ‘service taxi’ with which you are picked up from you house and delivered to your destination. It is a relatively cheap way of travelling to another city.

Private taxis are, of course, available upon request. Inter-city fares are fixed, but those for a private service are charged accordingly.

Another important piece of information: In Cyprus, driving is on the left hand side of the road.






2. LIVING AND WORKING IN CYPRUS (for non EU nationals)

PROCESS FOR GRANTING OF IMMIGRATION PERMIT FOR SETTLEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS

Non EU citizens may make an application to obtain an Immigration Permit on the basis of one of the categories referred to in Regulations 5 of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations of 1972. An Immigration Permit will not be granted to anybody unless the Immigration control board recommends to the Minister of lnterior that such a person belongs to one of the following categories:

Category A: Persons who intend to work as self employed in Agriculture, cattle briefing, bird breeding or fish culture in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession adequate land or a permit to acquire some, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of CY250,000 and such an employment should not negatively affect the general economy of the Republic.

Category B: Persons who intend to work as self employed in mining enterprises in the Republic, provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital of CY200,000 and such an employment should not negatively affect the general economy of the Republic.

Category C: Persons who intend to work as self employed in a trade profession in the Republic provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal capital CY200,000 and such an employment should not negatively affect the general economy of the Republic

Category D: Persons who intend to work as self employed in a profession or science in the Republic, provided that they have academic or professional qualifications, for which there is demand in Cyprus. Possession of adequate funds is also necessary.

Category E: Persons who have been offered permanent employment in the Republic, which will not create undue local competition.

Category F: Persons who possess and have fully and freely a disposal and secured annual income, high enough to give them decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession. The annual income required should be at least CY3.800 for a single applicant and moreover at least CY1,800 for every depended person, BUT THE Immigration Control may demand additional amounts as necessary. Most applicants come under this category, the majority of being pensioners or retired persons.

For the granting of an immigration Permit,the application is submitted on form M.67 to the Civil Registry and Migration Department directly or through the District Aliens and Immigration branches of the Police. The application should be accompanied by the appropriate documents, depending on the category of for which it is submitted. Applications for category F which are the most usual should be accompanied by the original documents regarding the income of the applicant. Applicants who are abroad may submit an application directly to Cyprus as shown above or through the local consular authorities of the Republic of Cyprus. The applications are examined by the Immigration Control Board which submits a relevant suggestion to the Minister of the Interior for a decision to be taken.

FEES: The fees for the granting of an Immigration Permit amount to CY50 and are paid against a receipt following the approval of the application and before the issue of the Immigration Permit.

For more information those interested may contact the Immigration department at the Ministry of Interior on the following numbers:
00357-22-804502, 00357-22-804500 and by fax 00357- 22-804587.




3. USEFUL DOCUMENTS


Related Files:

Download file type Acrobat GRANTING OF IMMIGRATION PERMIT TO THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS.pdf
Download file type Acrobat ANNOUNCEMENT PERMANENT RESIDENCY PROGRAMME.pdf
Download file type Acrobat APPLICATION TO ACQUIRE IMMOVABLE PROPERTY GREEK.pdf
Download file type Acrobat APPLICATION TO ACQUIRE IMMOVABLE PROPERTY ENGLISH.pdf



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