Hereinafter, the author of the photo: @nati_kseni
According to Mercer, Limassol enters in the top 100 cities in the 2019 quality of life rating, being located just outside Kuala Lumpur and ahead of, for example, Riga and Greek Athens. In another rating Quality of Life Index from the Numbeo website, Cyprus bypasses not only all the countries of Eastern Europe, but also, for example, Italy:
It is not surprising that for several years now Cyprus became the center post-Soviet IT industry. The companies on the island are actively recruiting engineers from Russia and neighboring countries. Therefore, we decided to put together a small guide for engineers who are thinking of moving to Cyprus.
Introduction: some numbers
You can get a basic impression of what kind of country awaits you using numbers. The population of Cyprus is just over 1.2 million people. Most IT companies are located in Limassol – its population is ~ 235 thousand people – or in Nicosia, which is the capital with a 330 thousand population.
The island is very compact: its size is only 3.5 times the size of Moscow. The distance between Limassol and Nicosia is 83 km, and between Limassol and Larnaca is even less – 68 km. For all its small size, the island has two international airports – in Larnaca and Paphos.
How to move to work in a Cyprus company
The relocation procedure for engineers who have received an offer from a Cypriot company is quite simple. After receiving a job offer, you need to prepare a small package of documents and go to Cyprus. Here’s what to bring with you:
- Passport valid for at least another 2 years.
- Internal passport with registration.
- Certificate of no criminal record.
- Diploma of Higher / Secondary Special Education
- Resume in English.
How to get an offer from a local company? You can search for a job on your own, or you can subscribe to vacancies with relocation in our bot @g_jobbot… It is easy and quick to set up: scope, salary, relocation location. The options that suit you will be sent to Telegram.
Upon arrival in Cyprus, you will need to open a bank account – usually an employer helps to do this – and rent an apartment. A confirmation from the bank and a lease agreement must be attached to the package of documents and all this must be submitted to the migration service.
After that, the applicant will receive a so-called pink slip – this is a work visa that gives the right to work in a specific company. Family members are given non-work visas. Before quarantine, the terms for consideration of documents were 1-3 months, at the moment they can be extended.
Officially, the European Blue Card program operates in Cyprus, but in practice the quotas for it are currently zero, so in fact it will not be possible to move in this way.
In case of termination of the employment contract, the employee is given 1 month to leave Cyprus or find another job – this must be remembered and a career should be built accordingly.
As a rule, companies hiring foreigners help them with the move – they incur expenses, purchase insurance, pay for meals for employees. In some cases, you can even count on temporary housing and car rental for the first time on the island.
Salary, taxes and cost of living
Cyprus has regulations that protect the internal labor market. This means that a company that wants to hire a foreigner must ensure that there is no competition with local specialists. If an employee with certain skills can be found in Cyprus, they will not be allowed to hire a foreigner. In addition, there is also a minimum salary for expats – 2,000 € per month.
All this leads to the fact that mainly experienced specialists are transported to Cyprus: engineers, middle and senior developers for an average salary of 3,000 €, although there may be offers with both higher and lower amounts of compensation. Interestingly, Cyprus is one of the few places where companies are gathered that are ready to transport not only technical specialists, but also, for example, marketers.
Here are some real developer jobs in Cyprus that are available right now:
- Senior iOS Developer, Limassol, 250,000 – 350,000₽ per month
- Senior PHP Developer Limassol, 300,000 – 400,000₽ per month
- Senior QA Automation Engineer (PHP), Limassol, 300,000 – 350,000₽ per month
Cyprus taxes are average. With a salary of 2,000-3,000 € per month, the rate will be 20-25%. The level of expenses will depend on the city. For example, for Limassol, it can be like this:
800 € – one-bedroom apartment (bedroom + living room), a nice two-bedroom apartment with a fresh renovation will cost 1,200 € *;
150 € – electricity, water, internet
600 € – food for two per month on average.
* Here you need to take into account also the security deposit. Usually, when renting, you will be asked to pay for the first and last month of your stay, plus 1-2 of the rent as a deposit.
Analogue “Cyan” and “Avito” in Cyprus – service Bazaraki.com… Conveniently, it also has an English version:
After five years of uninterrupted residence in Cyprus, you can take out a mortgage on preferential terms – many expats use this option. For a Cypriot bank to consider you a resident, you need to live on the island for 5 years. In this case, the first payment for housing will be 20%, and the rate will be 2.5%. Those who have not yet become a resident can also buy an apartment, but they will need to deposit up to 40% immediately, and the rate will rise to 4.5–5%.
In addition, most likely you will need a car – you can buy a used car starting from 3,000 €. It will be difficult in Cyprus without its “wheels”, because public transport on the island is not very developed.
Paid medical insurance in Cyprus works specifically: as a rule, after a visit to the doctor, you will have to pay for it yourself, and then fill out a special document (claim form) and send it to the insurance company for compensation. After reviewing the request, the company’s specialists will determine whether it was really an insured event – it can take from a week to a couple of months from the application to the approval of the compensation.
At the same time, since March 2019, a system similar to compulsory health insurance in Russia has appeared in Cyprus. Legal residents of the island, including expats, can now receive virtually free medical care. You will have to cover some part of the bill yourself, but the amount of surcharges per year cannot exceed 300 €.
Weather, food and entertainment
The climate of Cyprus is quite specific. In winter it can get quite cold here: there is no central heating on the island, you have to use air conditioners for heating – with corresponding electricity costs. Therefore, apartments with underfloor heating are appreciated. A common life hack is an electric blanket. In summer, it is hot on the island – in August at 7 am it is already 30 degrees and humidity is 60 percent.
Cyprus is a great gourmet destination. Mediterranean cuisine is very diverse, plus on the island there is anything you want – sushi, rolls, burgers, pizza, Mexican, Turkish, Iranian cuisine. You can find anything from pubs to Georgian restaurants here.
Cyprus has many beautiful beaches and, accordingly, a wide range of water sports: kitesurfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, etc.
Another popular entertainment is hiking, as there are many interesting and scenic routes in the mountains of the island. Also in the mountains, near rivers and in parks there are special picnic places where you can come with a company – these are barbecue areas with gazebos and tables.
In addition to nature, there are many other interesting places in Cyprus, for example, historical buildings and architectural monuments.
Another important fact – Cyprus is a hub for airlines, among which, for example, the low-cost airline Wiz Air. From the airport in Larnaca, you can get to any part of Europe in a couple of hours, so many expats are actively traveling. True, this requires a Schengen visa.
If you like the sun, the sea, a measured lifestyle – you will love Cyprus. Also, in recent years, the island is an excellent place to start a European career as an engineer, there are many good companies, a powerful IT crowd, a large number of compatriots, and all the opportunities for growth.
Use the g-mate bot (@g_jobbot) to receive vacancies according to your profile with the possibility of relocation to the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain and dozens of other countries directly in Telegram. Companies can post the first 3 vacancies for free – go link…
More links about relocation and job search in different countries:
- Some nuances of moving to Cyprus
- How to move a programmer to Cyprus
- Working at Uber in Amsterdam: how development works, career growth, preparation for an interview
- Engineer relocation to the Netherlands: Rouhling, Kennismigrants, cost of living
- How I moved to Australia with just two years of development experience
- Applicant to Employer: Product Advice on How to Get Interviewed in the USA
- Engineer moved to Shanghai: jiaban, fapyao, mysterious Chinese
- Moving an engineer to Germany: “Blue Card”, taxes, children
- Moving an engineer to Budapest: work, money and cost of living
- Amazon vs Microsoft: how the interview process is different in large IT companies