The Republic of Cyprus has not adopted a transitional agreement, and thus the principle of the freedom of movement of workers between EU countries is applicable in full in Cyprus. Under the Freedom of Movement and Residence of Nationals of the Member States of the European Union and of their Family Members Law of 2003, nationals of other Member States seeking permanent employment in Cyprus must take steps to obtain a residence permit within three months of entering the Republic (except where their employment is seasonal). An application should be submitted to the Population and Migration Archive. Persons who are receiving unemployment benefit in the country from which they come must bring an E303 certificate with them.
Residence & work permits
Cyprus residence permit
Provided the applicant has satisfactory financial standing, and a clean criminal record there should be no hindrance to obtaining a residence permit after applying to the Ministry of Interior. By law, a non-Cypriot in Cyprus is entitled to a temporary residence permit, but is not required to hold a permanent residence permit. However this is easy to obtain once certain criteria have been fulfilled. An application must be provided to prove that you and your family are self-supporting. Pafilia Property Developers can recommend relevant professionals to assist with these matters.
Work permit - working in Cyprus
Provided you hold EU citizenship, when you have been offered and accepted employment in Cyprus, your employer must apply for a work permit for you. Since the EU membership of Cyprus, EU citizens have the freedom to work and open their own businesses in Cyprus. The immigration office in Pafos is responsible for dealing with work permits, visas, pink slips and any other permits required.
Obtaining a work permit
- Step 1: Ministry of Labour (Tel: +357 22 804 414). Go to the Ministry of Labour and request application forms for a work permit.
- Step 2: Go back to the Migration Department with your ARC and have the forms submitted from the Migration Department.
For EU citizens, a work permit is given without question for up to 5 years. Following accession to the EU, the restrictions which formerly applied to citizens of the European Economic Area with regards to employment and residence in Cyprus have been abolished. European citizens who wish to reside in Cyprus are required to register for that purpose with the Department of the Population and Migration Archive or with an office of the Aliens and Migration Service of the police.
EU citizens who work and reside legally in Cyprus have the same rights as citizens of Cyprus with regard to remuneration, working conditions, residence, social insurance, and trade union membership etc. Dependants of European citizens have the same rights. The foregoing applies also to all citizens of the European Economic Area (which consists of the countries of the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Social security agreement - Cyprus & UK
The UK has a social security agreement with Cyprus. The agreement means that you will be treated in the same way as Cypriot nationals, and that you will be able to keep rights to some of the benefits that are based on the insurance you have paid. When you move to Cyprus, you should let your social security office and the Inland Revenue Centre for Non Residents know, and give them your new address: Inland Revenue | Centre for Non Residents, Room BP1301 - Benton Park View, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE98 1ZZ, United Kingdom.
Remember to inform the social security office and the Inland Revenue for Non Residents when you return to the UK, or any benefit you claim might be affected. More information can be found on the Department of Work and Pensions website. The Department for Work and Pensions also have a comprehensive guide (SA12) to the Social Security Agreement between the UK and Cyprus that can be downloaded from their website.
Setting up a business in Cyprus
In most cases you have to register your business in the trade register of the Chamber of Commerce. You will be asked for information on the legal form and the trading name of your company. If you register your business in the trade register of the Chamber of Commerce, a general search will be done to check if there is already a business with that name. Your trade name is protected from the date that your company is operative and becomes known to third parties.
VAT: Most businesses are required to charge VAT. The Inland Revenue will provide a VAT registration number.
Taxation of an employee
The employer is obligated to deduct tax at source from an employee and to make additional contributions to social security.
The employer and employee are required to make equal contributions of 6.8% of the salary. The maximum amount on which national insurance is payable is Euro 4,442.00 per month. Income in excess of the maximum is exempt from national insurance.