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Living and working conditions

Cyprus

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area - 9,251 km2

Population – 1,189,265 (2018)

Official Language – Greek, Turkish

REGISTRATION AND RESIDENCE PERMITS

  1. Ιn order for European citizens to enter and remain in the Republic of Cyprus for a period of less than 3 months they must hold a valid identity card or passport.

          Family members of a citizen of an EU Member State who are not EU Member State nationals and who accompany the citizen or arrive in the Republic of    Cyprus to meet the citizen must hold a valid passport and consular authentication of the passport (save where the said person holds a residence permit or permanent resident permit).

  1. In order to stay in Cyprus for more than 3 months the following are required:

§ A valid identity card or passport

§ Paid or unpaid unemployment (self-employment) in Cyprus, or

§ Registration in a private or public institution for the purpose of pursuing studies, including vocational training courses, or

§ Full sickness insurance cover for yourself and all the members of your family and sufficient financial resources for yourself and all the members of your family so that you are not dependent on the social welfare system of Cyprus.

  1. EU Member State citizens and members of their family who are also citizens of EU Member States shall be obliged to register with the Census Records and Migration Department within four months of arrival.
  2. The members of a family of an EU Member State citizen who accompany the citizen or arrive in Cyprus to meet that citizen must submit an application for a ‘residence permit’ for the member of a family of an EU Member State citizen, within four months of their arrival in Cyprus.

 

LOOKING FOR A JOB

The best way to find work before moving to Cyprus is through the EURES portal. Of course, the great increase in the number of unemployed persons in Cyprus over recent years has made it much harder to find work from a distance.

If you are in Cyprus looking for work you can visit the district labour offices, which are attached to the Department of Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, in order to register, get information and guidance and even placement in a job. You will need to show your passport or identity card on the first visit. You cannot register as being unemployed if you are not a resident of Cyprus. To register as unemployed in search of work you can visit the district labour offices: Nicosia +357 22 403000, Limassol +357 25 827320, Larnaca +357 24 805312 and Paphos +357 26 821666 or the local labour offices in Chrysochus +357 26 821842, Ypsonas +357 25 826900, Lakatameia +357 22 443717, Aglantzia +357 22 874800, Famagusta +357 23 812052, Aradippou +357 24 813295, Agros +257 25 874074, Kakopetria, Aghios Georgios Road, Latsia +357 22 815848 and East Limassol +357 25814923.

Cyprus has many private employment agencies. Some of them focus on finding jobs for workers from abroad. Some allow interested persons to register and submit their CVs on a dedicated webpage.

You can also contact the Cyprus Human Resource Management Association for information about employment agencies, and also the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEBE). Newspapers, which you can find by visiting the official website of the Republic of Cyprus, offer another good way of finding work. The Public Employment Service of the Department of Labour has an Internet system of registration for employment and for job searching through the EURES website. The website of EURES Cyprus has been upgraded and updated. It can now be found on www.eures.gov.cy

Lastly, making a personal approach to companies which may be on the lookout for personnel with particular specialisations can also be worthwhile.

INCOME AND TAXATION

Resident taxpayers in Cyprus are taxed on all income acquired or derived from sources in Cyprus and abroad. A resident taxpayer is a person who lives in Cyprus for a total of more than 183 days in the tax year.

The tax rates for natural persons are:

Taxable income 

Tax coefficient

0 - €19 500

0

€19 501 - 28 000

20%

€28 001 - 36 300

25%

Over 36 301

30%

The calculation of taxable income takes account of deductible and discounted items such as subscriptions to trade unions and professional associations, donations to approved charities, Social Insurance Fund contributions, Pension Fund contributions, Relief Fund contributions and life insurance premiums, etc.

Spouses are taxed separately on the basis of separate annual income tax returns.

The income of a resident of the Republic from a pension in respect of services provided outside the Republic is subject to a tax rate of 5%, with exemption for the first €3417 in each year. You are advised to contact the Inland Revenue Department (+357 22 601919) for the necessary details concerning your own case (the email address of the Inland Revenue Department is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The rates of VAT vary according to the type of product or service on the basis of the legislation. The following rates are applicable:

  • the zero rate (0%) food, medicines, etc.
  • the reduced rate (5%) books, newspapers, water supply, etc.
  • the reduced rate (9%) catering services, taxi fares, rural and tourist buses
  • the standard rate (19%).

The delivery of a house, apartment or business premise, etc. for which planning permission was submitted after 1/5/20

COST OF LIVING

You can find comparative information for all the EU countries on the “Europe in figures” website of the EU. That will enable you to compare the situation in your own country with the situation in Cyprus.

Generally speaking, the cost of living in Cyprus is relatively high, when salaries and prices are taken into account. The large increase in fuel prices in recent years has led to a chain of increases in the prices of all products and services.

You can get an idea of prices from the prices charged in restaurants. The average restaurant charge is from €14 to €25 per person, inclusive of the drink.

Information about rents and the purchase prices of residences can be found in the “Finding accommodation” section of the relevant website.

EDUCATION SYSTEM

Pre-school education is provided by Greek-language state schools and by Greek-language and foreign-language private schools. It is provided for children aged between three years and five years and eight months. Attendance is compulsory for children aged between four years and eight months and five years and eight months. Attendance at a private nursery school costs from €1 500 to €3 500 per child per month; the cost at the state schools is lower. There are also state and private child care centres for children up to three years of age.

Primary education is provided free of charge at state schools for children aged between five years and eight months and eleven years and eight months. Age is the only criterion for the admission of children to primary education. From the 2006-2007 school year proof of pre-school attendance (from four years and eight months to five years and eight months) is a condition for enrolment in primary schools. The school year is divided into three terms of three months, with attendance on five days of the week. Primary education is also provided by English-language, French-language and Russian-language private schools.

Lower secondary education is provided free of charge for children aged between eleven years and eight months and fifteen years of age. Children are admitted to lower secondary education on the criterion of age and subject to possession of a primary school leaving certificate. The school year is divided into three terms of three months, with attendance on five days of the week. Lower secondary education is also provided by English-language and French-language private schools.

There are also 188 private nurseries, 26 private primary and 31 private secondary schools (Greek-language, English-Language, French-language and Russian-language) which operate with Ministry of Education and Culture approval. The cost of attendance is between €4 500 and €6 500 per year.

Upper secondary education is provided free of charge for children aged between 15 and 18 years. At this level, too, the school year is divided into three terms of three months, with five-day attendance. Pupils who wish to be trained in a technical occupation can attend a technical school whose diplomas are equivalent to upper secondary education. There are also private English-language and French-language upper secondary schools.

Children who do not speak Greek are given special lessons in the language to make it easier for them to join state schools at which attendance is compulsory and free.

Cyprus has three state university institutions: the University of Cyprus, the Technology University and the Open University and three private universities, the University of Nicosia, the European University of Cyprus and the Frederick University.  There is also a large number of private tertiary-level colleges. The Ministry of Education and Culture has approved twenty-five private tertiary schools and evaluates and certifies the academic titles of those schools every two years.

Specific information about the above matters can be obtained from the Ministry of Education and Culture by calling +357 22 800 600 and asking to be connected to the Ministry department you need.

RECOGNITION OF DIPLOMAS AND QUALIFICATIONS

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:
- An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
- The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

  1. The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

  1. The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

  1. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

  1. Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

USEFUL LINKS

www.mlsi.gov.cy - Ministry of Labour and Social Security

www.pescps.dl.mlsi.gov.cy National Database with Job Vacancies

www.mfa.gov.cy - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

www.moec.gov.cy - Ministry of Education

www.moh.gov.cy - Ministry of Health

www.cytayellowpages.com.cy - Yellow Pages - Companies

www.cyprusnet.com - General Information about Cyprus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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