Living as a Digital Nomad in Cyprus
If you are a digital nomad looking for a place to settle in that covers all your needs and meets your expectations, then Cyprus is a great option to consider. The island combines beautiful landscapes and a strategic geographical location with a stable economic climate, straightforward immigration laws, an attractive taxation system, and a welcoming society.
Cyprus invites people from all over the world to discover every aspect of its culture, traditions, and sights. It has an economic and political system designed to welcome and encourage foreigners to settle in and reside as long as they want.
From this article, you will learn what Cyprus has to offer to digital nomads and how the people’s openness and hospitality towards new residents will make you feel at home.
But before that, let’s take a closer look at what a digital nomad is and why this lifestyle can be so appealing to travellers.
What is a Digital Nomad?
Digital nomads are people who travel to different parts of the world while working. They are “location independent” and take advantage of technology to do their jobs. This kind of work is possible thanks to an Internet connection, smartphones, laptops plus the possibility of working remotely.
Nowadays, most digital nomads work in industries such as marketing, writing, consulting or tutoring, IT, design or web development, to name a few. Some of them have a variety of clients and can make a living combining jobs. Others might have formal (or semi-formal) agreements with clients for hourly tasks or a certain amount of work. Likewise, professional YouTubers, Instagrammers, Amazon FBAs and people who do drop-shipping, e-commerce or receive passive income through websites with advertisements find Cyprus an ideal place to develop their activities.
In fact, there are so many types of digital nomads that it might be quite tricky to think of just one description. But, in general, they look for a good quality of life for less money while travelling the world and working online.
Digital nomads come from different backgrounds and different countries. Each one has their unique preferences for landscapes, weather conditions or languages. However, they all share the same needs when it comes to remote work: a high-speed Internet connection, convenient access to international currencies with favourable exchange rates to local currency, a modern banking system and extensive ATM infrastructure, reliable healthcare, and access to good coffee!
A digital nomad researches their prospective new location carefully. By doing so, they can make a clear difference in leverage currency. In other words, the money they earn yields more because they reduce the amount they need for their everyday expenses. Usually, they take into account the cost of living and taxation as a starting point to decide where to settle next.
Why is Cyprus a Good Location for Digital Nomads?
Cyprus is considered "one of the easiest places to relocate to," due to its economy, immigration laws , its culture, and geographical advantages. What is more, it offers an attractive combination of a favourable taxation system, the ease of setting up a business , a wonderful climate, great food, cheap living, and beautiful natural landscapes.
Many expats find a second home on this island and relocate here permanently; others spend here just a few months. In any case, any digital nomad will no doubt discover that Cyprus has everything they need to enjoy themselves, be productive at work, and have an interesting social life.
In the sections below, you will find the 5 most important reasons why Cyprus is an ideal location for digital nomads.
1. Stable Economic Climate
Economic and political stability are critical concepts that you might have in mind when looking for a place to settle in. Cyprus is a European Union member, so many remote workers and entrepreneurs from other EU countries chose the island for their permanent residence place as the costs of living here are lower than elsewhere in Europe (especially for expats).
As a part of this necessary stability to live and work, Cyprus provides practical and affordable solutions to vital matters which a digital nomad should take care of when settling in a new destination. These may include:
- Health care: there are both public and private medical clinics in Cyprus. Healthcare standards are high, and services are considered to be both cheap and effective. Public medical care is inexpensive or free, and the private one, while more costly, is still affordable.
- Connectivity: there are great mobile and Internet service providers offering convenient service bundles that include the Internet, mobile phone coverage, and cable TV for a competitive price.
- Bank account: the process of
opening a bank account
is simple. Foreigners can easily open an individual bank account, and most banks offer clients several services and benefits such as:
- Submission of documents by email
- No minimum start-up deposit
- Low fees
- Online banking solutions
- Access to foreign currency
- ATMs in a large number of locations
2. Favourable and Straightforward Immigration Laws
As the immigration laws are unified within the European Union regulations, it is relatively uncomplicated to settle and work in Cyprus if you are an EU resident. After filing a little paperwork,any EU citizen can stay and work here legally.
In case you are a non-EU resident or citizen, you will have to get a temporary residence permit. But again, this isn't a complicated procedure, and you can obtain this permit in any immigration office.
If you are an EU citizen, you can enter and stay in Cyprus for 3 months without a visa. If you are planning to stay for a longer period, you will have to apply for a yellow slip (Registration Certificate for EU Nationals) to live and work in Cyprus legally.
This certificate gives you access to several essential services, for instance:
- Medical card
- Car registration
- School enrolment for children
If you are Non-EU citizens planning to stay for a long term, you will have to apply for a pink slip (Temporary Residence Permit). Cyprus law defines 6 categories of non-EU migrants who are allowed to apply for this kind of permit:
- Categories A-D: for individuals who intend to work as self-employed in specific industries such as agriculture, cattle breeding, mining or science
- Category E: for individuals who received a permanent employment offer
- Category F: for individuals invested at least €100.000 in real estate and have a stable income of at least €9,568.17 a year.
3. Taxation Scheme
Cyprus has one of the most attractive tax regimes in Europe. In order to be subject to this system, you should be a tax resident. You can become a Cyprus tax resident by:
- Spending more than 183 days a year in Cyprus
- Spending at least 60 days in Cyprus (without being taxed in other countries), and have a permanent home on the island, carry out a business or be an employer in the country
It is important to highlight that Cyprus laws make a clear distinction between a resident and domiciled person. A domiciled person is someone who was born on the island or have lived in Cyprus for more than 17 years.
Many digital nomads are interested in Cyprus specifically because of the country’s advantageous taxation scheme. To foreigners, Cyprus offers a corporate tax of just 12.5%. Individual income taxes are low as well. The only requirement is that you must be an established tax resident which means that all your income worldwide must be subject to the Cyprus taxation scheme.
Here are the key advantages the Cyprus tax system offers to individuals:
- It is progressive which means that it will vary according to your income. The more you earn, the higher percentage of taxation you will have to pay.
- Certain kinds of income are subject to exemptions. These include: dividend income, interest income, and profits from the sales of securities.
- As an individual, you can benefit from tax deductions which include: current year financial losses and losses from the previous five years, donations to approved charities, social insurance, medical fund, and life insurance premiums, among many others.
To find out more about tax exemptions and deductions, click here .
As a digital nomad, you can enjoy the tax benefits as long as you are non-domiciled and reside in the country for at least 60 days in any given year. This makes Cyprus a good base for any digital nomad as it practically allows you to travel the world for almost 10 months a year while still providing a good base for your income in a stable economy with low taxation.
4. Interesting and Welcoming Culture
Cypriots are well-known for their hospitality and the warm welcome they give to the visitors. Life in Cyprus is meant to be enjoyed. Their lifestyle is based on the idea of working to live (not living to work) and most of the businesses and social encounters take place over a frappe (iced coffee), cappuccino or Americano in some lovely café.
The people of Cyprus are multilingual. Even though the official languages are Greek and Turkish, English is widely spoken and written (Cyprus used to be a British colony). English is also in a business setting. Russian, German, and French are also used in commerce and trade.
Learning just a few words in Greek is both expected and well-received as a sign of interest towards the culture and people of Cyprus. Besides, it will help you make the most of your stay in the country and have a deeper understanding of Cypriots' way of life.
To make it even more multicultural, many religions coexist peacefully, creating a respectful environment for locals and visitors. The official religion is Greek Orthodox but, as freedom of religion is enshrined in Cyprus' constitution, you can find Jews, Catholics, Armenian Christians, and Maronites living here.
Another important part of the local culture is food. Enjoying good food is an essential part of every meeting with family and friends. As a Mediterranean culture, they love their food and they take it seriously. One of the greatest things about Cyprus cuisine is its variety and flavours. You will be able to experience a mixture of Greek and Turkish traditions, with a dash of a Middle Eastern influence combined with their preference for olive oil and natural ingredients.
Some of the most popular dishes include:
- Halloumi - it is a kind of cheese produced from a mixture of goat and sheep milk. Its relatively high melting temperature makes it easier to fry, grill or serve cold with a fresh slice of watermelon.
- Souvlakia and sheftalia - it is a very popular meal which consists of pitta bread stuffed with chunks of charcoal-grilled meat (pork or chicken) on a skewer and a large amount of fresh salad filling, accompanied with some spiced sausage with herbs, minced pork or lamb called sheftalia or mushroom and halloumi.
- Souvla - it is quite similar to souvlaki but has a slightly different flavour. It is made from large chunks of meat (neck or shoulder of pork, lamb or chicken) slow-cooked in a large skewer over a charcoal barbeque.
People are always willing to receive visitors from all over the world and invite them to relax, enjoy, and experience their culture and traditions.
5. Geographical Advantages.
Cyprus is considered a jewel of the Mediterranean Sea not only for its history and culture but also for its landscapes. It combines mountains and beaches, warm weather and a great variety of outdoor activities such as annual festivals, hiking and water sports You are never bored here!
Additionally, its landscape covers incredible beaches for people who are looking for an adventure or just want to relax and enjoy a pleasant sunset. And for those who like to go sightseeing, hiking treks or being in contact with nature, Cyprus also has incredible mountains.
Cyprus strategic position make it attractive to businesspeople and multinationals. The island is conveniently located near Europe, Africa and Asia. It is close to the shipping routes that connect the Arab world and the Far East with Europe. Consequently, it brings about significant and favourable economic opportunities.
Travelling to and from the island, as well as to get around it, is easy. The Republic of Cyprus has two international airports: Larnaca International Airport is located 4 km from Larnaca city, and it's operated more than 30 airlines (including low costs). Likewise, Paphos International Airport is operated by lots of European airlines like British Airline and Lufthansa and some low-cost such as EasyJet and Ryanair.
Moving around the island is possible due to the fantastic network of roads and highways. You might desire to rent a car to travel around as the costs per day are low. A rented car can give you the mobility you need to explore the island in-depth and not to miss any spot.
6. Cyprus: Welcoming and Favourable Country for Digital Nomads
When settling in Cyprus as a digital nomad, you will be able to work, enjoy and relax. This beautiful country provides everything you need to work without any inconvenience.
A stable economic and political climate brings lots of remote workers and entrepreneurs to settle and gather in expat communities on the island. They are attracted by the good conditions Cyprus offers for working online. You will find a high-speed internet connection and telephone services which allow you to work remotely and connect with your clients no matter where they are. In Cyprus, you will have guaranteed access to good insurance services, whether public or private, and uncomplicated processes to open a bank account or use the ATMs to receive the money you earn.
Furthermore, Cyprus favourable and straightforward immigration laws will make it easy for you to settle quickly. Whether you are an EU resident or citizen or a non-EU resident, you can reside and work legally here. Plus, Cyprus law allows you to take advantage of an advantageous taxation scheme if you stay for at least 60 days a year on the island.
When talking about culture and society, Cypriots show great appreciation of traditions and exhibit a sense of comradery. They are hospitable, open and festive. People on this island enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and delicious food shared with family and friends. Always willing to receive new visitors, the locals enjoy their wide variety of outdoor activities as part of their welcoming culture.
Lastly, as the island is placed in the crossword of Europe, Africa and Asia, it not only has influenced Cyprus’ traditions and culture because of their proximity but it also gives Cyprus a strategic position for international companies to settle which brings about economic development to the country making this multicultural society even more cosmopolitan.
If you are a digital nomad looking for a place to establish your business without losing the ability to travel, Cyprus should definitely be on your short list of go-to locations!