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Expat Admin & Business Info for Cyprus

Cyprus might seem like a dream come true for the sun-worshipping expat. But the island nation in the Mediterranean has a lot more in store for its working population. The country has been successful at undertaking measures to make working in Cyprus appealing again.
Cyprus' ports are important pillars of the national economy.

Work Permits for Cyprus

We have already pointed out the vital role of having a work permit not only for working 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 (ARC) at the local Immigration Branch of the police. 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.

For a complete list of prerequisites, forms, and applications, please see the websites of Cyprus Visa and the Embassy of Cyprus in Washington, D.C.

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. Fortunately, 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. Popular portals include Cyprus Jobs, EURAXESS Cyprus and the EURES portal.

The government also operates its own job portal. The website is available in Greek and English. The catch is, however, that most of the job offers are only available in Greek. If that is no obstacle for you, feel free to give the portal a try.

As of April 2017, the unemployment rate in Cyprus is at 11%. The groups that are affected the most 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 have higher chances of finding a job. Chances certainly vary between which level of education you have and in which industry you work.

Taxation in Cyprus

The current corporate tax rate in Cyprus is as low as 12.5%, making it a desirable location for international business. Cyprus is among the countries in Europe with the lowest corporate tax rate.

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.

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 Tax Department of the Republic of Cyprus.  

Business Etiquette in Cyprus

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.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

If there’s something you’re still not sure about, check out the InterNations Forum.

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