Cyprus

Introduction

The Republic of Cyprus is a Greek Island and is the third largest and most populous in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Being an Island in close proximity to so many countries it is a coveted strategic spot and as such has a colourful history with many occupations.  One of those occupations is still in existence today with the Northern part of the Island being territory of Turkey.

Cyprus has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1961 and was a founding member of the Non-aligned Movement until it joined the European Union in 2004.

Cyprus is an advanced high income economy and a popular tourist destination.  Cyprus is one of the most prosperous Islands in the Mediterranean region and has an advanced physical and social infrastructure.  The currency of the Island is the Euro and whilst Greek is the official language English and Russian are widely spoken over the Island.

Cyprus is a perfect mix of a modern commercial society with a large concentration of culture and the stereotypical laid back Mediterranean lifestyle and therefore anyone looking to relocate somewhere with a relaxed and rich culture without having to sacrifice regarding current advantages then Cyprus is the ideal destination.  Chesterfield correctly recognized the Island as a reputable and advantageous jurisdiction some time ago and decided to open an office in 2001.  Therefore as well as being able to assist you with all corporate requirements associated with freelancing on the Island we can also assist with any daily queries relating to settling into and understanding a new culture.  We also have English and Greek speaking employees and so there are no language barriers when it comes to dealing with authorities.

Registry/Registration

Cyprus is a member of the EU and as such EU/EEA nationals are free to live and work in Cyprus without a permit, although you should register with the migration authorities within four months of moving to Cyprus.

If you do not fall into this category then you will need:-

  • A Cyprus work permit.Your employer can apply for this before you leave your country of residence.
  • A Cyprus Work Visa.This allows you to enter the country for the purpose of residence and employment.
  • A Cyprus Residence Permit.You must obtain this if you want to legally live in Cyprus for over ninety days and the process should be initiated within the first seven days of your arrival to the country.

The process for the above is not a straightforward one and there are a lot of requirements, which if you do not have in order can delay the whole process.  Therefore if you are considering contracting in Cyprus we would advise that you first engage with a professional firm such as ourselves who will be able to offer helpful advice and assistance. 

You can apply for a permanent resident permit after five years of continuous stay in Cyprus having held a temporary residence permit the entire time.

Cyprus also offers a residence by investment scheme whereby if you invest €300,000 in property then you can automatically apply for permanent residence and cut past a lot of the red tape.

Income Tax

As per European standard anyone that spends more than 183 days a year in Cyprus is deemed tax resident.  As a tax resident you must submit an annual tax return if you earn over €19,500 a year.

The current income tax rates in Cyprus are as follows:-

0 to €19,500                0%

€19,500 - €28,000       20%

€28,000 - €36,300       25%

€36,300 - €60,000       30%

€60,000 +                    35%

There are various exemptions that can be applicable depending on the type of income and circumstances and therefore it is advisable to get professional advice to ensure that you are paying the correct tax bracket.

Social Security

As a self-employed person contracting in Cyprus you are still liable to register and pay social security.  These are due quarterly at the end of each quarter as follows.

                                                Due date

January – March                     10 May

April – June                             10 August

July – September                    10 November

October – December              10 February

The contribution rates for self-employed is a total of 20.5%, 15.6% of which is paid by the self-employed individual and 4.9% is paid by the State.  It should be noted that there are lower and upper limits, but that these depend on the occupational category.

It should also be noted that self-employed persons are not entitled to unemployment benefit or employment injury benefits.

Employment Rules

In Cyprus employment of non-Cypriots is governed by Alien and Migration law and EU nationals are further governed by the Law on Free Movement and Residence of Nationals of the Member States of the European Union and their Families.  It is for this reason that whether you are EU or Non-EU you should always register with the Civil Registry and Migration Department. 

Cyprus department of labour maintains that The Republic of Cyprus ensures the equal treatment between foreign workers and local persons.  Accordingly any law or protection afforded to locals is also afforded to foreigners, such as the maximum number of hours for work is 48 including overtime. 

Banks

Cyprus has a welcoming attitude towards expats and therefore its banking system is well equipped for your needs.  You have a choice between a couple of local banks or a variety of international ones.  The currency is Euro and therefore exchange between an array of countries is hassle free from currency exchange rates.  The Bank of Cyprus, which is Cyprus’s largest bank also has branches in the UK, and so if you are UK resident you can look to start the process before leaving the UK.

With regards to the actual opening all branches in Cyprus speak English.  In most cases you only require your passport and proof of residential address, although some banks might have some additional requests depending on the circumstances.  If you don’t have proof of residential address then it is possible to open a non-resident account, this is also possible before moving to the country, you merely need to demonstrate the reason for opening the account, such as an employment contract.

Banks close early afternoon in Cyprus and therefore it is advisable to ensure that you schedule any visits accordingly.  However, Cyprus has a modern banking system and online banking and mobile apps are widely available.

Corporate Structures

If you wish to contract in Cyprus we offer Cyprus self-employed services and Cyprus employed payroll services.  We have a team of accountants and an auditor on hand, who speak both English and Greek to handle any reporting and tax requirements.  We also incorporate Cyprus companies and are highly familiar with both the registry and tax offices as well as other government bodies.

Chesterfield and Contracting in Cyprus

Chesterfield opened a small office in Cyprus in 2001 and due to growth of our business had to relocate from this office twice since, and now have a large prominent building in an easily accessible location.  Chesterfield have years of experience with contractors and freelancers working not only in Cyprus, but also in a variety other countries.  We offer a variety of schemes and solutions in order to make life easier. You will be given a dedicated member of staff who is responsible for all your administration and contracts, you will also have access to Greek speaking members of staff if required ensuring that you never have to worry about language gaps or local bureaucracies as this can all be handled for you allowing you to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle.