As the capital and largest city in Cyprus, Nicosia is also the center of the country's economy, and as such contributes a large amount towards Cyprus' total GDP of 23 billion USD. In 2011, Nicosia was named the tenth wealthiest per capita city in the Eastern Mediterranean. As Limassol, the biggest port in Cyprus, is located close by, Nicosia is an important transportation hub for Cyprus' export products.
There is also a large service sector, and the city is home to the headquarters of many of Cyprus' financial institutions, such as the Hellenic Bank, the Cyprus Popular Bank, and the Bank of Cyprus. The Government of Cyprus is also located in the city. Expatriates working in Nicosia usually do so in banking, tourism, or as English teachers.
Whether or not you will need a permit to work in Nicosia depends on your country of origin. As Cyprus is a member of the European Union, and has been since 2004, citizens of EU or EEA (European Economic Area) countries will not need a permit to work in Nicosia, although they will need a residence permit to do so for more than 90 days (see above). Citizens from non-EU nations working in Nicosia will need a work permit.
In order to protect its economy, Cyprus has introduced a stringent work permit application procedure, and in order to apply you must have already secured work in Nicosia and be able to prove that no Cypriot citizen or EU/EEA citizen can fill the role. There are two levels of work permit available: the first, the Executive permit, is for company directors or partners of companies registered in Cyprus; the second, the Non-Executive permit, is for all other workers. When granted, Cyprian work permits will usually last between three months and a year, after which time they must be renewed.
Taxation in Cyprus has historically been very low, which has stimulated a large amount of foreign investment in the country. As an expatriate working in Nicosia, you will be required to pay income tax. However, the income that you will be taxed on depends on your residency status in Cyprus. As a resident, or someone who is present in Cyprus for more than 183 days in the fiscal year, you will pay tax at Cypriot rates on your worldwide income.
As a non-resident, or someone who is present in Cyprus for less than 183 days in a year, you will pay income tax at the Cypriot rate only on income earned while working in Nicosia. Like much of Europe, income taxation works on a progressive, sliding scale system, where the amount you earn determines the amount of income tax you pay. The rates are currently as follows:
Those earning less than 19,501 EUR do not pay income tax.