Moving to Cyprus from the UK – Moving Guide

Moving to Cyprus from the UK - Moving Guide

Dreaming of a Mediterranean escape? Moving to Cyprus from the UK can be a reality! This comprehensive guide unlocks everything you need to know about moving to Cyprus. Find information from visas, costs, finding a home, healthcare, and more. Enjoy lower living expenses, stunning beaches, and a rich culture. Start planning your move to Cyprus today!

Cyprus – A Brief History

The island of Cyprus stands as a cultural and logistical crossroads between Europe and Asia. The history of the island is fraught with conflict issues with the southwestern corner remaining a strategic airbase to this day. 

After becoming independent from Britain in the 1960s, Cyprus was split in two in 1974 with the Turkish Republic taking the northern territory and the Republic of Cyprus taking the south, this remains in place today with a harmonious soft border in place between the two territories. 

Why Is Cyprus A Great Place for UK Expats? 

English Speakers

Cyprus is a majorly English speaking country making it very easy for English ex-pats to adapt to life in the Mediterranean. The south of the island has more English speakers than you may find in the northern areas, however, as a whole approximately 75% of the nation speak English. 

Relaxed Lifestyle 

 As with most islands in the Mediterranean culture, the pace of life is much slower than in western Europe. Whether it is for a Cypriot national or a British Expat, day-to-day life will be much slower paced and more laid back than you will likely experience elsewhere. 

Appealing Climate

Cyprus has one of the best climates in Europe, boasting very limited rainfall and warm temperatures year-round. Average rainfall in the summer months comes at 0mm with temperatures between May and October averaging in excess of 30 degrees Celsius. 

Winter months also experience very pleasant temperatures with the coldest months of January and February averaging between 16-17 degrees Celsius. 

While most ex-pats congregate in communities around the coastal areas of the island those moving inland will notice temperatures slightly lower than the stated averages due to the increased altitude of the mountainous regions and vineyards. 

Where do British Expats Live in Cyprus?

Cyprus, with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and rich history, is a popular destination for British expats. Despite the UK no longer holding EU member status the island remains a popular destination for both tourists and immigrating Brits. The southwestern areas of Paphos and Limassol are favoured by Brits for their warm year-round climate and social scene with a vast range of bars and restaurants available across both towns.

Current estimates are there are around 30 to 50,000.00 UK expats living in Cyprus with the UK Government statistics showing 30,000 UK nationals have registered to vote whilst living in Cyprus. These figures are really just estimates, it could be more as Cyprus does not maintain a central registry of foreign national making it difficult to tract the exact numbers.

OK, but where exactly do most of them set up camp? Here’s a breakdown of popular locations with some statistics and links for further exploration:


Paphos, Cyprus - Moving to Cyprus
  • Top Spot: Paphos holds the crown as the most popular destination for British expats in Cyprus. Estimates suggest over 50% of British residents in Cyprus choose Paphos, particularly the Paphos Town area.
  • Why Paphos? This charming coastal city offers a relaxed lifestyle, stunning beaches, historical sites, and a vibrant expat community. Paphos caters well to English speakers, making it an easy transition for Brits.
  • Resources:

2. Limassol:

  • Lively Hub: Limassol is the second most popular choice, offering a more cosmopolitan vibe compared to Paphos.
  • The Draw: Limassol boasts a bustling city center, excellent cultural attractions, and a thriving nightlife scene. It’s also a major commercial center, attracting professionals seeking job opportunities.
  • Resources:

3. Larnaca & Other Areas:

  • Beyond the Big Two: While Paphos and Limassol dominate, other areas attract British expats seeking a quieter life.
  • Alternative Options: Larnaca, a coastal town with a relaxed atmosphere and a large international airport, is a popular choice. Smaller villages scattered across the island also offer a slower pace of life and a chance to immerse yourself in Cypriot culture.

The majority of British Expats live in the southern region of Cyprus with the hotspots of Paphos and Limassol being the most populated areas by Brits immigrating to the island. According to the latest estimates, there are around 50,000 British nationals currently living in Cyprus. 

The Cost of Living in Cyprus 

Sunshine and Savings: Unveiling the Cost of Living Gap Between UK and Cyprus

Living in the UK and dreaming of a life bathed in Mediterranean sunshine? You might be surprised to learn that Cyprus offers not just a change of scenery, but potentially a significant reduction in your living costs.

While the exact figures vary, numerous sources point to Cyprus boasting a lower cost of living compared to the UK. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand the potential financial benefits and differences between the UK and Cyprus.

Lower Overall Expenses: According to Numbeo, a popular cost-of-living comparison website, Cyprus can be up to 57% cheaper than the UK. This considers various factors like groceries, restaurants, rent, and utilities.

Affordable Housing: Finding a place to live is a significant expense. Reports suggest that property rentals and purchases in Cyprus can be 10-20% lower than in the UK. Rental costs are more expensive in the capital Limassol but still provide huge savings when compared to London with rents on a 3 bed property on average 35% lower than London. Outside of the main cities the savings are still around 30% lower with an average 3 bed apartment in Cyprus at £ £1825.00 whilst in the UK is up to £ 2400.00

Utilities: Basic utilities like electricity, gas, water and garbage removal are on average 37% cheaper in Cyprus however your electricity costs might be higher if you keep that air-con on too long.

Transportation: Buses, taxis, petrol costs and car hire expect to save around 40% over similar services in the UK

Childcare. Well Cyprus wins hands down on this one with Preschool (Or Kindergarten) childcare with costs saving of 70% over the UK. Availability is netter and the current average full day, private costs for childcare are certainly more favourable than in the UK with monthly costs in Cyprus at £ 358.00. over the UK’s £1451.00.

Private schooling in the primary years are also much cheaper in Cyprus with yearly costs currently at around £ 6135.00 over the UK costs of £17,093.00

Dining Out: Living the dream you will probably be dining out more in Cyprus than you would in the UK, the good news is you can expect to make large savings on beers, wines and meals. An average 3 course meal in a mid range restaurant will set you back £55.00 over the same meal in the UK at £ 95.00.

Dining out in Cyprus

Treat the kids to a Big Mac meal at £7.27 over £9.25 in the UK and if you fancy a beer, or 2 with your meal then that’ll set you back £2.71 over a UK pint at £5.90

Do I need a Visa to Move to Cyprus?

Any foreign national wishing to live in Cyprus needs to obtain a residence permit, this allows no-natives to live on the island for longer than a three month period. 

Before being granted a residence permit you must also gain an entry permit or visa. This will be different depending on your reason for residency with student and work visas available. 

The exception to this is if you were a resident of Cyprus prior to the 1st of January 2021, in which case you will be able to remain. Residents from before this date will have a MEU document which can be exchanged to a new MUKW document agreed as part of the UK withdrawal agreement. 

Temporary Visa in Cyprus

More generally known as a tourist or travel visa, these allow limited stay in Cyprus over a period, normally 90 days in any 180-day period, although these can be extended to a year or even 5 years in some circumstances. 

Anyone travelling to Cyprus for work on a temporary basis must note that a temporary visa does not automatically grant the holder the ability to work on the island. Prior to travelling to Cyprus, the individual must obtain a work permit and a work visa. 

Permanent Visa In Cyprus

Any individual looking to reside in Cyprus on a more permanent basis, longer than 90 days, will require a permanent residence visa. Permanent residence visas are valid for up to 5 years and can be renewed before they expire. There are two main ways to get permanent residence in Cyprus:

Five Years of Residence

Any individual who has held a temporary residence permit for a minimum of five years can be eligible for a permanent residence visa on the following conditions. 

  • Did not leave Cyprus for a period longer than three months over the 5 year period. 
  • Have an open-ended working contract or have a minimum remaining term of 18 months on a current contract. 

Purchase Property in Cyprus

The second route to a permanent Cyprus visa is to purchase a property on the island at a value of a minimum of €300,000. This can be known as the “fast-track” option with the process usually taking around 2 months from start to finish. 

For this option, there are certain criteria which must be met in order for your application to be successful. 

  • Ability to prove you have purchased the property with funds acquired outside Cyprus
  • A deposit of €30,000 is to be made to a Cypriot bank account, this money is frozen for a period of three years. After the 36 month period, all monies are made available again. 
  • Have an annual income of at least €30,000, which you receive from sources outside of the island. 
  • If you have dependents moving with you, additional annual income is required to support them. This starts at around €5,000 per annum and can go higher for different types of dependent

Healthcare in Cyprus

Healthcare in Cyprus is a multi-level system which is split between public and privatised healthcare. State-funded and private medical facilities can be found in major cities across the island, although healthcare is thought to be better in the southern regions of the island than in the northern Turkish territory. 

The quality and availability of the healthcare facilities in Cyprus count as an additional reason British ex-pats choose the island as a permanent destination. 

Public funded healthcare is administered by the Ministry of Health in Cyprus with funds collected through taxes and other social levy funds, much like the UK system. Access to the General Healthcare System (GHS) is available to anyone holding residency status where you will need to have lived on the island a minimum of three months to qualify. 

Privatised healthcare packages are often a preference of ex-pats who wish to have the security of more instant access to healthcare. Prices for this are generally considered to be affordable for ex-pats with a number of local providers offering cheaper rates compared with international cover.

How much does private healthcare cost in Cyprus

Healthcare in Cyprus

The cost of private healthcare in Cyprus can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Type of treatment: Consultations with specialists, surgeries, and diagnostic tests will have different costs.
  • Location: Private hospitals and clinics in major cities like Limassol and Paphos might be more expensive than those in smaller towns.
  • Doctor’s experience and reputation: More experienced or renowned doctors may charge higher fees.

Here’s a general breakdown Private Healthcare costs in Cyprus and what you can expect to pay.

  • Doctor visit: €50-€150
  • Specialist visit: €150-€300
  • Hospital stay (per day): €1000-€5000
  • Diagnostic tests: €300-€800
  • Common surgeries: €2000-€5000

Find out more about Private Healthcare in in Cyprus

Further information for UK expats looking to move and live in Cyprus please visit
the Government of Cyprus portal here.

Driving in Cyprus

  • In Cyprus you drive on the left-hand side of the road, just like the UK.
  • Seatbelt use is mandatory for all occupants in the vehicle.
  • Speed limits vary depending on the location, so be mindful of posted signage.
    Generally, they are lower than those in the UK, with highways reaching a maximum of 100 km/h (62 mph) and urban areas around 50 km/h (31 mph).
  • Mobile Phones: Using a handheld mobile phone while driving is strictly prohibited. Utilise hands-free options if needed.
  • Car Insurance: Ensure you have valid car insurance that covers you in Cyprus.
  • Road Signs: While many signs are in English, some are in Greek. Familiarise yourself with international road signs or consider having a translation guide handy.
  • Beware of Motorcyclists: Motorcycles are a common mode of transportation in Cyprus. Stay extra vigilant when sharing the road.

Can I drive in Cyprus with a UK Licence?

The good news is that you can drive in Cyprus for up to 6 months with your UK licence. After that you will need to apply to convert your UK licence to a Cypriot licence.

You can find more information from Cyprus Road Transport Dept here.

Can I ship my own UK car to Cyprus.

Yes you can ship your car to Cyprus and our sister company, AutoShippers, provides information on weekly shipping services to Cyprus with costs starting at around £740.00

You need to understand the customs, duties, and import regulations before you ship your car to Cyprus so, please visit Autoshippers Cyprus for more information.

Moving Your Belongings to Cyprus

1st Move International are experts in international removals of belongings and personal effects from the UK to the next chapter of your life. 

Each week we help individuals and families to move their lives across the world, with international removals to Cyprus a common route for British nationals moving abroad. Our team utilise connections we have established with some of the world’s largest shipping lines to offer industry-leading speed and unrivalled packing and protection, ensuring your possessions reach Cyprus damage-free and affordably.

How much are moving costs from the UK to Cyprus? We provide information on moving costs from the UK to Cyprus here.  For more information on how 1st Move international can help your move to Cyprus, get a free quote or contact a member of our team who can talk you through the process.

About 1st Move International

1st Move International are a specialist international moving and shipping company offering packing, shipping and insurance for shipping household goods and personal effects overseas. We have a global reach covering over 80 countries and 6500 worldwide destinations. You can get an international removals quote here or find more information on our international removals UK to Cyprus service here.

Avatar for Mike Harvey
As the Managing Director of 1st Move International, Mike Harvey brings more than two decades of logistics expertise and three years of specialised experience in international relocations to his role. His comprehensive knowledge spans the intricacies of overseas shipping, secondary yet crucial areas such as visa application processes and immigration requirements, and the wider topic of moving abroad including topics such as comparative analyses of cost of living, healthcare and educational systems worldwide. This expertise allows 1st Move International to equip people with the information they need to not just move overseas, but to make informed decisions about whether, and where, to relocate.