Cyprus at a Glance
Expat Admin & Business Info CyprusiStockphoto
Cyprus's ports are important pillars of the national economy.
We have already pointed out the vital role of having a work permit not only for working – obviously – but also for residing on the island in our article on moving to Cyprus. If you are a citizen of an EU country, you are in luck: Not only can you enter Cyprus without having to apply for any kind of visa, but you can also take up employment after taking care of three fairly simple administrative steps:
- Apply for an Alien Registration Certificate at the local Immigration Branch of the police within eight days of arrival. This only applies to stays of more than three months and/or the intent of taking up employment.
- Apply for a social insurance number.
- Apply for a residence permit, again with the Immigration Branch of the police, who will forward your application to the national Migration Department.
The Department of Labour has further in-depth information on this issue.
Citizens of non-EU countries, however, need to take a different route towards employment in Cyprus. The most important fact to consider is that all applications must come from outside of Cyprus. One of the main prerequisites is a signed work contract, stamped by the Department of Labour, which has to examine whether there are any suitable and qualified applicants to be found within Cyprus or the EU.
The Job Search in Cyprus
If you are not in the lucky position of being offered an employment opportunity in Cyprus by the company you work for in your home country, your first option will obviously be looking for jobs online. Luckily, Cyprus definitely has no shortage of job portals that allow you to either browse their database or create a profile and receive notifications for new openings in your trade. Your search engine of choice will direct you to an abundance of suitable sites in no time.
The government also operates its own job portal. The catch is, however, that it is only available in Greek at the moment. If that is no obstacle for you, feel free to give the portal a try.
For obvious reasons, though, the labor market in Cyprus is rather tough. In February 2013, the island registered an unemployment rate of 14.3%.
The groups that are most affected by the lack of available jobs are young workers and employees under 25, high school graduates, construction workers, and service staff in retail stores or restaurants. On the other hand, people with tertiary education and professional experience are somewhat better off.
With a corporate tax rate as low as 10%, Cyprus used to attract many international companies interested in opening up shop there. However, as part of the bailout plan by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF, the government agreed to raise this tax to 12.5% in 2013.
Personal taxation is handled on the basis of whether or not a person is a tax resident of Cyprus. The method of determining this is very straightforward; you might even be familiar with it from many other countries. Everyone who spends at least 183 days of any given tax year in Cyprus is generally considered a tax resident.
Cyprus utilizes a system of four income tax levels to determine the sum of taxes due. The levels are:
- 0€ to 19.500€: tax free
- 19.501€ to 28.000€: 20%
- 28.001€ to 36.300€: 25%
- 36.300€ to 60.000€: 30%
The government of Cyprus has signed double taxation treaties with several dozen countries, most importantly those in the European Union. A full list of countries and the details of the respective treaties can be viewed on the homepage of the Inland Revenue Department.
Both age and status are key parts of everyday life and social etiquette in Cyprus. This also extends to the workplace. Respecting elders and higher-ups in your company is absolutely vital.
When scheduling a meeting, you should make sure to verbally confirm the date in person, even if you have previously set it up in writing. If you are made to wait before a meeting, you should not see this as an invitation to switch to a lax interpretation of punctuality yourself – as a sign of respect towards your counterpart, try to be on time no matter what.
While your professional skills and achievements are important without a doubt, having an extensive and beneficial network of business contacts will prove even more important in Cyprus. Get to know your counterparts and socialize outside the office, as strong, long-term relationships are highly valued here.