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Moving to Cyprus


    Moving to Cyprus from the UK

    Nestled on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Cyprus has been renowned for its natural beauty, mineral wealth, and vibrant agricultural produce since ancient times. Expats across the globe seek its coastal shores offering a relaxed pace of life, affordable living costs, and incredible weather. For Brits, Brexit has not deterred a move to Cyprus as UK nationals can still stay in the country visa-free for 90 days, and obtain permanent residency.


    Standing between Europe and Asia, Cyprus is geographically a part of Asia, although its cultural ties and geopolitics are predominantly European. The country’s history has been fraught with conflict owing to differences between its ethnic communities. Following independence from the British in the 1960s, the island was split into the Turkish Republic in the north and the Republic of Cyprus in the south. 


    Despite its past internal conflict, to this day, Cyprus remains a “golden-green leaf thrown into the Sea” as the Greek poet, Leonidas Malenis, had described it. With its European and Asian influences, the country has a rich culture and was home to Aphrodite herself. The island is dotted with towering mountains, fertile valleys, and sandy beaches drawing migratory birds and people alike. For people moving to Cyprus from the UK, the time difference is only two hours since Cyprus is in the Eastern European Time Zone (EET) and also observes daylight savings.

    Kyrenia Castle in Northern Cyprus

    Learning the Language

    Cyprus has two official languages, Greek and Turkish. For individuals looking to move to Cyprus, having basic proficiency in these languages is highly recommended. You’ll have time to master the local languages since English is also widely spoken in the country. Owing to its former British occupation, English is still taught in schools and is a second language for most natives. To encourage learning the local languages, the State Institutes of Further Education have been providing user-friendly and cost-effective language training since 1960.


    Visa regulations for UK nationals moving to Cyprus have changed since Brexit. If you haven’t lived in Cyprus before 1st January 2021, you will need a visa to move here. Cyprus offers both short-term (up to 90 days) and long-term visas (over 90 days) for British citizens. If you’re thinking of putting down roots in the country, you will need to get a residence permit. Cyprus also offers temporary residence permits which are valid for a year and can be renewed annually if you’re moving for a shorter period. The Cyprus High Commission is your best point of contact if you’re unsure of any entry requirements.

    Calgary Centre bridge at a sunset viewed from the riverbank


    You must always carry your passport when travelling outside the country. If you’re moving to Northern Cyprus from the UK, your passport must be valid for at least six months from your date of arrival.


    Following Brexit, UK nationals residing in Cyprus can register with the General Health System. You’ll get a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to avail medical services. You can apply for the card through the NHS. If you were living in Cyprus before 1st January 2021, and have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can still access healthcare services in the country. While state healthcare is available to all legal residents, having private medical insurance is highly recommended.


    Affordable housing is one of the biggest pros of living in Cyprus. Property rentals and purchase costs are approximately 25% lower than in the UK. Paphos is highly sought-after by Brits with 50% of the expat community residing there. Limassol is equally popular and just as expensive, but compared to London, housing costs are still relatively cheaper.

    Limassol Marina, Cyprus

    Moving with Pets

    It can be emotionally challenging to leave your pet behind if you’re moving to Cyprus for a long period. Fortunately, you can bring your pet with you, although you must obtain an Animal Health Certificate from a Government-approved vet between 48 hours and 10 days before travel. They must also be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel if they are over 12 weeks old.

    Driving Regulations

    A UK driver’s licence is recognised in Cyprus, although you cannot renew or replace it while residing there. You can apply for a Cyprus-issued driver’s licence without having to pass a test again. You must do so after six months of being a legal resident in the country.

    You can bring your car from the UK to Cyprus, and you don’t have to pay tax for it. However, you must be aware of any customs clearance and import regulations before doing so. At Gerson, we take care of the aspects involved in international shipping so your move is seamless and straightforward.

    Social Life

    People in Cyprus are warm and welcoming. Locals often try to take foreigners out sightseeing as part of socialising. There are plenty of recreational pursuits to enjoy with outdoor activities such as windsurfing and scuba-diving being particularly popular. Cyprus also hosts a lot of cultural events throughout the year such as the Limassol Carnival, Larnaca Flower Parada, and the Shakespeare Festival to name a few.


    Cyprus is known for its outstanding freedom of worship. Most Greek Cypriots adhere to Greek Orthodox Christianity, but the island is also home to Armenians, Maronites, and Roman Catholics. Turkish Cypriots, on the other hand, are mostly Muslims. Given the diverse faiths of its residents as well as the freedom of worship they enjoy, it’s easy to find one’s community here. 

    Church of Saint Lazarus in Larnaca, Cyprus

    The largest island on the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is one of the most breathtaking locations in the world. Its coastal scenery, laidback lifestyle, tropical climate, and vibrant cultural traditions draw visitors and expats from all over the world. 

    If you’re considering a move, Gerson’s international removal services can help you transition effortlessly to your new home. From an initial pre-move survey right down to getting settled, Gerson’s professional services have got you covered at every step of your international move.

    Interested in information on another country? Take a look at our other International Relocation guides.

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