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Making An Overseas Move To Cyprus – Your Complete Guide!

Posted on November 24, 2018

Making An Overseas Move To Cyprus - Your Complete Guide!

Cyprus is a small, island country in the Mediterranean - and with historic cities, gorgeous weather, delicious food and an affordable cost of living, it's a popular destination for expatriates from all over the globe.

But if you're planning on moving to Cyprus, you'll want to make sure you're prepared. From obtaining the proper permits and visa, as well as a temporary residence or permanent residence permit, to planning the transportation of your household goods, car, and other such possessions, moving to Cyprus will require a lot of logistics.

Don't stress, though. In this article, we'll break down what you need to do before you move to Cyprus - to ensure that your move goes smoothly, and with minimum problems related to paperwork, taxes and fees, and other such issues. Let's get started!

Making An Overseas Move To Cyprus – Your Complete Guide!

Step 1 - Getting A Residence Permit

While you can visit Cyprus without a visa, for up to 90 days, you will not be able to stay in the country permanently without a permanent or temporary residence permit, or a visa.

To obtain a permanent residence permit, there are a few different things you can do, in accordance with Cypriot law. The easiest way to get permanent residence in Cyprus is through the "Fast-Track Procedure." To qualify under this procedure, you must perform the following steps

        Send a title of ownership or purchase contract for a property in Cyprus which is worth at least 300,000 Euro (net of Value-Added Tax, or VAT)

        The property must be new and purchased from a developer

        You must have paid at least 200,000 Euro towards the purchase of the property

        You must provide evidence (bank statements, etc.) that these funds were obtained from sources of income that were outside Cyprus

        In addition, your annual income must be at least 30,000 Euro from sources located outside of Cyprus. This includes all salary, dividends, rental revenue, pensions, and bank interest. You must have 5,000 Euro additional income for any dependent family member, such as a spouse or child

        You must deposit at least 30,000 Euro into a Cypriot bank, for at least 3 years

        You must submit a certificate that proves you have no criminal record, and are not under investigation for any criminal charges in your home country

 

This allows you to get a permanent residence permit within 2 months. There will be no restrictions on how long you can stay in Cyprus, but you must visit the country at least once every 2 years to maintain good standing. After living in Cyprus for 7 years, or 5 years with Cypriot children, you can apply to become a naturalized citizen.

If you wish to become a Cyprus resident temporarily, you can get a "Pink Slip" permit, which allows you to stay in the country for up to 365 days. This slip can be extended for an unlimited number of times. Documents to renew the Pink Slip must be submitted before it expires, and may take 1-3 months to be considered. During this time, you can still legally stay in the country. The requirements for a Pink Slip are:

 

        Property documents showing a rental agreement, purchase contract, or ownership certificate in Cyprus

        Bank documents proving your source of income is abroad, while your expenditures are in Cyprus. Balances should be 15,000 Euro for each adult family member, and 10,000 per minor

        A bank guarantee for at least 1 year, made by depositing 512 Euro in an account, per person

        A certificate from a school vouching that your child will attend it in Cyprus (if applicable)

        Proof of medical insurance

 

For more information about Cypriot residence permits, consult the following link.

Step 2 - Make Sure Your Finances Are In Order

Depending on whether you plan on working in Cyprus, starting a business, working as a self-employed individual, or working for a multinational organization in Cyprus, you'll need to make sure your finances are in order.

You will likely need to juggle both Cypriot and US bank accounts, and you will also need to understand the tax implications of moving to Cyprus, as they apply to taxation in your home country.

It may be worth your while to hire a professional tax lawyer or accountant with experience working in Cyprus, to help you make sure that your income and assets will be protected, and you understand your tax liabilities - both to Cyprus, and your home country.

Step 3 - Importing Your Household Goods To Cyprus

The next step of your move will likely be importing your household goods to Cyprus. It's best to consult with a team of experienced, international movers for this step - and to start the process early. Your goods will likely be sent in a container ship, and will take several weeks or even more than a month to arrive in Cyprus.

When shipping your household goods to Cyprus, you will need to present the customs officials with:

 

        A copy of a property purchase contract agreement or renting contract, to prove that they are for household use

        An accurate cargo manifest, outlining all of the possessions which you are bringing into the country

        A valid passport, complete with a visa, if necessary

        A letter from an employer confirming their employment (if working for a Cypriot company)

        A letter from a children's school confirming the registration of school-aged children in a Cypriot school (if applicable)

 

In addition, there will be no VAT, import excise, or other duties and fees for importing your household goods, as long as they meet the following requirements:

 

        You must have lived outside of the EU for at least 12 months, continuously

        Your household goods must be imported within 12 months of your transfer of residency

        You must have owned and used these goods in your former place of residence, for a time period of at least 6 months.

 

You must be personally present to clear your items from customs in Cyprus, and the following exceptions apply to the Personal Relief of duties and taxes:

 

        Your goods are not to be hired out, lent, sold, or pledged for donation for 12 months following the import

        Alcohol and tobacco products and items/articles used for a trade or a profession (tools etc.) are not eligible for this exemption

        Your items may be examined by Customs at their discretion

 

You can consult this document from Cyprus to learn more about the process of importing a car and avoiding taxes and duties.

Now that you know what you'll need to do to send your goods to Cyprus, you'll need to hire a company with expertise in moving household goods to Cyprus, to ensure that your goods get there on time, and clear inspections.

Step 4 - Importing Your Car To Cyprus

Importing a car to Cyprus from the US is possible, as is importing a car from the EU. It's important to note, though, that Cyprus drives on the left-hand side of the road, rather than the right.

In some conditions, you may be able to transport your car to Cyprus without paying any duties, excise tax, or any other kinds of taxes, if you are importing a car from the US or another non-EU country, as part of your personal property. If you are a resident in a "third country" (non-EU state) you may be able to avoid paying taxes, duties and VAT on your car.

In addition, under Cyprus form C.104O, you may be allowed to temporarily register and drive your vehicle, until you get an answer about your application for tax relief.

To make use of this tax relief program, you must submit an application for tax relief to a Customs Office or to Customs Headquarters. If you are eligible for the program, you will have to complete form SAD, either on your own or with the help of a clearing agent. Then, you will present form SAD and Form C.104O to the Regional Customs Office, and will be responsible for paying no import and excise duties, or VAT.

If you do not meet the criteria for tax relief, you have four options:

 

1.      Immediately pay import and excise duties and VAT

2.      Place your car in a customs warehouse

3.      Send it to another EU member state

4.      Export it to a third country (Non-EU state)

 

A reputable automotive transport company can help you navigate the complexities of transferring your car, registering it, and ensuring that you are able to drive it as soon as you arrive in Cyprus.

Step 5 - Make Your Move, And Learn About The Local Languages And Culture

Cyprus is a unique, highly-developed country with a unique culture - and after you've made your move, and begun living in the country, you'll want to do everything you can to learn more about the country. You may also want to learn the language - while many Cypriots speak English, the official languages of the country are Greek and Turkish.

You're sure to love your life in Cyprus - and by transferring all of your home goods and your vehicle with an established international moving company, you'll be able to enjoy all of the comforts and convenience of home!

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