Buying a home overseas is a dream come true for many. After enjoying a vacation in Cyrpus, many Americans envision a future where they get to revel in the magnificent scenery, lounge by the water, and enjoy the fantastic culture long-term.
Fortunately, moving to Cyprus from the US isn’t as challenging as you’d expect. However, before you start searching for available properties, there are a few things you should know about the journey ahead. If you’re thinking, “I want to move to Cyprus,” here’s what you need to know.
What to Know Before Moving to Cyprus
There are plenty of reasons why Cyprus is becoming a go-to destination for expats. One of the biggest draws is the country’s pristine beaches. Lounging in the sun, playing in the sand, and swimming in the brilliant blue waters are hard to beat.
Plus, Cyprus has outstanding mountains, creating ample hiking opportunities. Wineries are also plentiful, as well as fruit tree groves that are as beautiful to see as the fruit is to eat. Couple that with a relaxed lifestyle and expat-friendly financial policies, and this island nation is hard to beat.
Cyprus also has an intriguing history, culture, and vibrant economy. Plus, as a member of the European Union (EU), exploring much of the rest of Europe is easy for citizens. This also allows Cyprus to be part of a broader community, giving it support and a steady stream of tourists to boost the local economy.
The population in Cyprus is also incredibly diverse. In the North, many people are of Turkish descent, bringing aspects of that culture with them. In the South, a Greek population thrives, maintaining much of that culture.
As one would expect, traditional food in Cyprus can feature Greek and Turkish inspirations. If you’re curious about the national dish of Cyprus, there are several potential contenders. Halloumi, fasolada, souvla, magarina bulli, and kolokasi are just some of the examples of what many feel are national dishes.
The climate is another reason more Americans are living in Cyprus. So, what’s the weather like in Cyprus? Generally speaking, it falls into a subtropical climate, mainly in line with what people expect in the Mediterranean, though with some semi-arid areas.
When it comes to temperatures, winters are on the mild side, particularly on the coast. However, it can get humid, as winter is the rainier season. Summers tend to be hot, though they are usually drier. As for snow, you’d have to head into the Troodos Mountains.
During the hottest part of the year, average temperatures usually fall in the 75 to 86°F range, though they may peak closer to 100°F. When it gets into winter, you might see temperatures closer to 38 to 50°F on average, though it can reach freezing in some parts of the country.
American expats in Cyprus usually have an easier time acclimating if they speak the local language. Since there are large Greek and Turkish populations, Cyprus has two official languages: Greek and Turkish.
However, other languages are also well represented. There is a sizeable Armenian population, so many people do speak Armenian. A variant of Arabic known as Cypriot Arabic is also reasonably common.
Many Cypriots also speak English, and their proficiency is often high. Additionally, many signs feature English. Partially, this is due to the country being under British colonial rule for a period, though its function in business and supporting tourism is also a factor.
As a member of the EU, the euro is currently the official currency. It replaced the Cyprus pound as legal tender when Cyprus was accepted as an EU member in 2008.
Cyprus using the euro is beneficial for several reasons. First, the value of the US dollar and euro are currently nearly identical, though that isn’t always the case. Second, the euro is reasonably stable. Third, it makes traveling to other EU member nations after emigrating to Cyprus easier, as you won’t have to deal with currency exchanges.
Cost of Living
If you’re wondering, “From a financial perspective, what is it like living in Cyprus?” most Americans are pleasantly surprised about the overall affordability. Generally, the Cyprus living cost is about 42 percent lower than what you find in the US, depending on the city.
In essentially every cost area, the cost of living in Cyprus is lower. Whether it’s groceries, housing, or public transportation, you’ll find prices below the US national average in nearly all cases. Of course, there are a few items that are exceptions. One primary example is gasoline, which sits higher than the US on average. However, since exceptions are relatively rare, it usually doesn’t offset any savings.
Additionally, the standard of living in Cyprus is quite high, even though it’s more affordable for most Americans. In some cases, Cyprus outperforms other European nations in this regard, including popular destinations for expats like Italy and Greece. Crime rates are also low, often below the majority of Europe.
Another thing Americans need to know before they worry about how to move to Cyprus is the contact information for the local US Embassy. The office can offer support during various emergencies, including medical-related events, crime, arrests, or death while you’re in Cyprus.
If you’re in Cyprus, you can reach the Embassy in Nicosia by phone at 22-393939. If you need to call from the US, dial 011-357 before dialing the rest of the number.
If you need assistance in person, you can head to the Embassy during regular business hours. The office is located at:
Metochiou & Ploutarchou Street
Legal Resident and Immigration Requirements
Since Americans aren’t EU citizens, they don’t have automatic rights to move to Cyprus. If you have a US passport, you have the ability to remain in the country for up to 90 days. For stays beyond that, you’ll need to apply for residency.
Within the first eight days of your arrival in the country, you’ll need to head to an immigration office to complete an application and pay the associated fee. Generally, the odds of things going smoothly are reasonably high. However, the process is complex and potentially lengthy if you don’t use a specialized program, such as the one outlined below. As a result, you may want to consult with an immigration attorney to get formal assistance and reduce the odds of issues.
Buying a Home in Cyprus
Buying a house in Cyprus as an American isn’t as challenging as most people would expect if you use the right approach. Even the typical immigration process – without the intention to buy a home – isn’t outside of what’s expected when you’re moving to a new country, though it can be time-consuming and, on occasion, complex.
Fortunately, there’s a way to streamline your move. There’s a new, exciting opportunity for Americans looking to buy a house in Cyprus. Today, Americans can take advantage of a unique program. The Cyprus Residency by Investment Programme allows applicants and select family members to get an immigration permit in Cyprus without any duration limitations. After a two-month processing period, you’re able to remain in Cyprus indefinitely. Plus, after five years of residency, you can apply for citizenship.
Through the program, you can enter and remain in Cyprus and gain access to healthcare through the General Healthcare System. Qualified applicants will need to invest a minimum of €300,000 in one of the following areas:
- Brand-new residential property, including homes or apartments
- Commercial properties
- Local company’s shared capital
- Units of Cyprus Investment Organization of Collective
Additionally, you (and an eligible spouse, if applicable) need an annual income of at least €30,000, plus an extra €5,000 per dependent family member and €8,000 for every dependent parent joining you. All qualifying earnings and investment funds must be from sources abroad.
Ultimately, it’s one of the best deals around. If you’re interested in exploring options, check out the homes for sale in Cyprus available through Global Property Systems today.