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If you are considering emigrating to Cyprus, you can expect not only breathtaking scenery and a relaxed way of life, but also a fascinating cultural diversity. Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, is a melting pot of history, traditions and influences of different cultures. When you choose to live on this beautiful island, you become part of not only a diverse culture, but also a close-knit community ready to welcome you.
Historical roots and influences:
The culture of Cyprus is a reflection of the many civilizations that have shaped the island over the centuries. From the ancient Greeks, Romans and Byzantines to the Ottomans and British colonial rule, numerous cultures have left their mark. This has resulted in a unique blend of traditions, customs and languages that is still visible today.
Cypriot cuisine is a culinary experience composed of Mediterranean, Greek and Middle Eastern influences. You can look forward to fresh seafood, delicious olive oil, halloumi (a local type of cheese) and meze (a selection of small dishes). Food has social significance in the culture of Cyprus and is often used as an opportunity to bring family and friends together.
Religion and festivals:
Most Cypriots are either Greek Orthodox or Muslim. Religion plays an important role in social life, and religious festivals are celebrated extensively. For example, Easter is a significant event with festive processions and traditions that reflect the deep connection to the Orthodox Church.
Hospitality and fellowship:
Cypriots are known for their warm hospitality. New neighbors and friends are often integrated into the community, and it is customary to visit each other and exchange host gifts. This strong emphasis on community can make it easier for emigrants to feel welcome and connected in their new environment.
Cyprus is rich in historical sites and cultural attractions. From ancient ruins to medieval monasteries and picturesque villages, there is much to discover. The capital Nicosia is divided between the Greek and Turkish parts and offers a unique opportunity to experience two different cultures in one city.
The climate in Cyprus is predominantly Mediterranean, which means that the island has mild, humid winters and dry, hot summers. The different seasons offer a variety of weather conditions that make life on the island varied.
Summers in Cyprus are hot and dry. Temperatures can regularly rise above 30 degrees Celsius, especially in the interior. On the coasts it is somewhat milder, but still warm. This is the peak travel season as the weather is ideal for beach activities, water sports and outdoor exploration. Sunshine duration is the longest in this season, and rain is extremely rare.
Autumn is a pleasant season in Cyprus. Temperatures start to cool down, but are still quite warm, especially in September and October. This is a good time to explore the cultural sights, go hiking and enjoy nature. The probability of rain slowly increases, especially towards the end of autumn.
Winters in Cyprus are mild compared to many other European countries. Temperatures are usually between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius, but can drop lower in mountainous regions. Rain is more frequent, and there may also be occasional snowfall in the mountains. In the cities and villages, Christmas and New Year are celebrated festively.
Spring is a popular season in Cyprus. Temperatures are gradually rising, and the landscape is embellished with blooming flowers and plants. The temperatures are pleasant, both during the day and at night. This is an ideal time for outdoor activities, hiking and visiting historical sites.
Several languages are spoken in Cyprus, the main and official languages being Greek and Turkish. However, there are also communities that speak other languages, especially English.
Multilingualism in Cyprus reflects the historical and cultural diversity of the island, which has been shaped by the different civilizations that have existed on the island over the centuries.
There are two separate school systems in Cyprus due to the political division of the island into the Greek Cypriot south and the Turkish Cypriot north. Each part has its own education system with different curricula, languages and administrative structures.
The educational system in the south of the island follows the Greek educational system and is strongly influenced by Greek culture and tradition. Here are some important features:
The education system in the north of the island follows the Turkish education system and is influenced by Turkish culture. Hier sind einige wichtige Merkmale:
It is important to note that the political division of the island has led to differences in the educational systems. More recently, however, there have been efforts to promote exchanges and cooperation between the two communities in the field of education in order to overcome the division.
Homeschooling and online schooling
Homeschooling: Homeschooling is possible in Cyprus, but there are strict requirements and approval procedures that parents must follow. Here is some important information about it:
Online Schooling: Online schooling has gained importance in Cyprus in recent years, especially due to technological advances and the flexibility it offers. Some schools already offer online instruction or hybrid learning models that combine both face-to-face and online instruction. As a result, students can access classroom content and continue their education from home.
However, it is important to note that educational regulations and policies may vary depending on the part of the island (Greek Cypriot south or Turkish Cypriot north). If you are interested in homeschooling or online schooling, I highly recommend contacting your local education authorities for current regulations and requirements.
EU citizens: EU citizens normally have the right of free movement within the EU, which means that they can usually travel to another EU country like Cyprus without any special entry requirements. However, vaccinations or medical certificates might be required in connection with health and safety measures, especially during pandemics.
Non-EU citizens: Non-EU citizens who wish to immigrate to Cyprus usually have to fulfill a number of entry requirements. These could include vaccinations or proof of health, especially if contagious diseases are involved. Cyprus could have certain vaccination requirements depending on the country of origin.
In general, Cyprus wants to maintain certain health and safety standards for immigrants to ensure public health and safety on the island.
The tax system in Cyprus is attractive to many people as it offers comparatively favorable tax rates and a number of tax benefits. Here is some important information about the tax system in Cyprus:
Income tax: The income tax system in Cyprus is progressive, which means that tax rates vary according to income levels. Here are the general income tax rates for individuals (as of September 2021):
There are also special rules for certain types of income and tax benefits that may apply to certain groups.
Corporate Tax: Cyprus has an attractive corporate tax rate of 12.5%, making it a popular destination for businesses. This low rate and the international conventions to avoid double taxation have led to many international companies establishing themselves in Cyprus.
Tax Benefits: Cyprus offers a variety of tax benefits that make it an attractive place for individuals and businesses to reside. These include:
Low VAT: VAT in Cyprus is usually 19%. However, there are reduced VAT rates for certain services and goods, such as 5% on hotels and restaurants.
It is important to note that tax regulations are subject to change and individual circumstances will vary.
The economy of Cyprus is diverse and based on different sectors. Here are the main components that make up the country’s economy:
The economy of Cyprus has evolved from an agrarian economy to a service and service-based economy. The financial sector, tourism and trade play an important role in the country’s economic development. It is important to note that the economic development of Cyprus is influenced by various factors including geopolitical considerations and international economic trends.
Economic development in Cyprus: flattening of growth
In 2023, the Cyprus economy will experience a noticeable decrease in momentum. The European Commission’s spring forecast suggests that real gross domestic product will grow by 2.3 percent, compared with 5.6 percent a year earlier. At the same time, a reduction in inflation is expected: After it was 8 percent in 2022, it is expected to fall to 3.8 percent in 2023. This decline is mainly due to lower energy prices. Cyprus is heavily dependent on oil imports for electricity generation.
The prospects for further economic development depend to a large extent on the subsidies from the EU development fund. These funds must be used between 2023 and 2024 for, among other things, the modernization of Cypriot hospitals and the construction of the EuroAsia Interconnector, a power cable. Conditions for the release of these funds include the simplification of permitting processes for renewable energy, energy storage systems and energy efficiency measures.
Investments: Delays in using EU funds
The EU Commission forecasts a moderate increase in gross fixed capital formation of 0.8 percent for 2023. These are primarily investments in real estate and machinery. The prospect of EU funding gives hope. Cyprus will receive around 1.1 billion euros from the EU recovery and resilience plan 2021 to 2027 and 100 million euros from the REpowerEU plan. So far, Cyprus has only received the first tranche of 85 million euros in December 2022. In contrast, Greece applied for the third tranche as early as May 2023, which is also due to delays in implementing the reforms that Cyprus agreed with the EU Commission.
Around 40 percent of EU funding for Cyprus is earmarked for environmentally-oriented projects, while around 23 percent will go to digital transformation. An additional 1.4 billion euros in private capital are to be mobilized to realize these projects.
Foreign trade: Greece as a key trading partner
Imports and exports of goods and services in Cyprus will increase by 2.1 percent and 2.8 percent respectively in 2023, according to EU forecasts.
About a quarter of Cypriot imports in 2022 were petroleum products as the country relies on oil imports for electricity generation. Around 20 percent is made up of transport equipment, especially watercraft and motor vehicles. Germany mainly supplies Cyprus with motor vehicles, tankers, medical and pharmaceutical products, machinery and dairy products. In 2022, around a fifth of the vehicles registered in Cyprus came from Germany. With a share of around 19 percent, Greece was Cyprus’ most important trading partner in 2022, followed by Italy. Germany was relegated to fifth place due to increased imports of petroleum products from Israel and shipments of ships and machinery from China.
The price level in Cyprus can be considered moderate to slightly above the average of EU countries. However, it is important to note that price developments are influenced by various factors, including inflation, exchange rates and the specific costs of certain goods and services. Here is some information about the price level in Cyprus compared to other EU countries:
Cost of Living: The cost of living in Cyprus can vary by region, city and personal lifestyle. In general, Cyprus is often seen as slightly more expensive compared to some southern and eastern European countries, but cheaper than, for example, northern Europe.
Consumer price index (CPI): The consumer price index (CPI) measures the general price development of goods and services that are bought by private households. According to Eurostat data (as of 2021), the CPI for Cyprus was slightly above average compared to the other EU countries.
Restaurants and Hotels: Prices for restaurants and hotels in Cyprus can also be moderate to slightly above the EU average. This is partly due to the tourism sector, which has an impact on the prices of meals, accommodation and services.
Income Level and Purchasing Power: It is important to look at the price level in relation to income level and purchasing power. In higher-income countries, the higher prices may be more manageable. Cyprus has a medium income level compared to other EU countries.
Comparison with other EU countries: According to Eurostat data, the price level in Cyprus is slightly above the EU-27 average. However, it can vary from year to year and it is advisable to check recent data such as Cost of Living for accurate information.
Property prices in Cyprus can vary depending on location, type of property and other factors. In general it can be said that property prices in Cyprus range from moderate to high, particularly in certain areas and for certain property types. Here is some information about the property price level in Cyprus compared to other EU countries:
Residential Property: Residential property prices in Cyprus can vary widely depending on factors such as location (urban or rural), proximity to the sea, size of the property, condition and features. Property prices can tend to be higher in some popular tourist areas, particularly along the coast. However, compared to some northern European countries, prices can be considered moderate to competitive.
Rental prices: The rental prices for apartments and houses in Cyprus also vary depending on the region and the size of the property. In tourist areas, rental prices can vary depending on the season. Rents in Cyprus can be more moderate compared to some Western European countries, but it also depends on the specific location.
Comparison with other EU countries: According to Eurostat data, property prices in Cyprus were above the EU-27 average. However, it is important to note that real estate prices can change from year to year and are highly dependent on factors such as economic developments, demand, supply and other macroeconomic influences.
It is advisable to do your research and seek professional advice before buying or renting a property in Cyprus. Real estate prices can fluctuate greatly, depending on market trends and individual factors. Local market knowledge and working with local real estate experts can help in decision making.
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Cyprus has become an attractive business start-up destination for both locals and immigrants in recent years. The country offers a favorable economic environment, a tax-friendly regime and a variety of business support measures.
Company Formation in Cyprus: An Overview
The business incorporation environment in Cyprus is friendly and efficient. Businesses can be incorporated in a variety of legal forms, ranging from sole proprietorships to limited liability companies (Ltd.), public limited companies (Plc) and partnerships. Here are some common corporate forms:
Benefits of incorporating a company in Cyprus:
Opportunities for immigrants:
Immigrants have the same opportunities as locals when it comes to starting businesses. Cyprus encourages foreign investors and entrepreneurs by creating a positive business environment. Immigrants can enjoy the same tax and legal advantages as local residents.
Differences between natives and immigrants:
Basically, both locals and immigrants have the same opportunities to start a business in Cyprus. However, there are some differences in terms of residency status and legal requirements. Immigrants are usually required to have legal residency status in order to start and operate a business. This may include a work permit, investor permit, or other form of residency permit.
For EU citizens:
Immigrants from other EU countries have the right to free movement and can, in principle, travel to and settle in Cyprus without a special immigrant visa. You do not need a visa to work, live or start a business in Cyprus. You have the right to stay in Cyprus without a special residence permit for up to 90 days in any six-month period. However, if they stay longer than 90 days or wish to settle permanently, they must register with the Cypriot authorities and apply for a residence permit.
For non-EU citizens:
Non-EU nationals wishing to immigrate to Cyprus usually require a residence permit or visa depending on their purpose of stay. Here are some common situations:
Cyprus is generally considered to be a relatively safe country, both in terms of crime and political stability. However, it is important to learn about certain aspects of security before traveling or emigrating to a new country. Here is some information on the points mentioned:
Crime: Cyprus generally has a low crime rate, especially when compared to many other European countries. Most crimes are petty, such as pickpocketing, petty theft and fraud. The rate of violence is also relatively low. However, as is common practice in any country, one should take basic safety precautions such as keeping valuables safe, looking out for personal belongings and being cautious in busy areas.
Demonstrations and riots: Cyprus is politically stable and rarely experiences political unrest or violent demonstrations. While peaceful protests and gatherings may occasionally take place, such events are usually well controlled and rarely accompanied by violence. Travelers and residents should still keep up to date with the latest news and travel advice, and avoid crowds if necessary.
Tourist Areas: Most of the tourist areas in Cyprus, such as coastal resorts and historical sites, are considered safe for visitors. The Cyprus government has taken measures to ensure the safety of tourists as tourism is an important source of income for the country.
Source: German Federal Foreign Office