A little about Cyprus…
A country with a population of almost 1.2 million, Cyprus is not the largest country in Europe, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in atmosphere. With Greek and Turkish as the two official languages, it seems to combine the fun-loving spirit of both countries. It covers about 9250 square kilometers, much of which is either iconic coastline or breathtaking vineyards. Cyprus has long been a destination for offshore businesses on account of the low tax costs, which offers enormous economic opportunity for its' inhabitants and so it’s no wonder that their financial services and tourism make up considerable portions of the economy. It seems an ideal place to set up a business, with access to labour as well as the European market and all with very low taxation rates.
So, there is some information about the place and some of its highlights. Now, let’s unpack the healthcare system for you.
“A singer in a smokey room…”It’s estimated that between 20-30% of its' population are smokers, despite the country having a smoking ban.
The best way to save money in CyprusTaxi drivers in Cyprus do not give change, instead they keep it as a tip. So, the best way to save money in Cyprus is to tender exact change to your taxi driver.
One country?Cyprus is divided into the northern (Turkish) section and the southern (Greek) section. This includes the only divided capital in the world, Nicosia.
The Healthcare System in Cyprus
As expected of most EU countries, Cyprus’s healthcare system is of an extremely high standard. The system offers both Private cover and Public cover and the majority of Cypriot healthcare is provided by the government and often free of charge to those that meet its' criteria. Even Private healthcare costs are relatively affordable when comparing it to other countries, making it a very popular spot for expats. Both types of hospitals can be found in any of the major cities around the island, however as a general rule, they are better in the southern (Greek) part of the island than the northern (Turkish) part.
Government-funded healthcare is only available to government employees, households with three or more children and households that fall within a certain wage bracket. You can apply for the Cypriot health insurance regardless of how long you have been in the country as long as you have a job. After applying, you will receive one of two healthcare cards that offer different benefits depending on how much you earn. If you earn more than €37,590 a year, then you will have to pay for your own medical costs. Holders of an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) are eligible for free health insurance at state hospitals, however only in the south of the island. Although the level of care is fantastic, on account of everything having to be processed through multiple governmental departments, provision of these services can often take a long time. Having said all that, a new public health insurance system is currently being implemented by the government. The implementation started in March 2019 and full implementation is expected to be finalized by June 1, 2020. We will keep you updated, as new changes unfold.
If you earn over this €37,590 cap, then you have to pay your own medical costs. On account of medical costs being very expensive (despite strict government regulations), almost all who fall into this category opt to take out Private medical insurance. Furthermore, if you are a holder of an EHIC card, you only have access to free health care in the south, for the north you will require Private medical insurance. This insurance allows for you to access any hospital on the island without the extensive waiting lists. So, there is an introduction to the world of health insurance for your time in Cyprus, now we turn our gaze to the issue of VISAs and finding the VISA that best suits your needs. Below are some of the most common types of VISA that people use:
If you are an EU citizen and you intend to work or stay more than 3 months, you will need to: apply for an Alien Registration Certificate (ARC) within 8 days, apply for a social insurance number and apply for a residence permit. Non-EU citizens must apply for this VISA before entering the country. You will need a clean criminal record, medical certificates, proof of financial sufficiency and an official work contract. The VISA costs CYP20 (€35) and lasts for 4 years, with the option to renew.
If you are an EU citizen and intend to study in Cyprus, you can enter the country as a visitor and then apply once you have arrived. To apply you need: copies of academic qualifications, proficiency in English and a certificate from the police confirming good behaviour. If you are not an EU citizen, you will need all of the above as well as a financial guarantee of sufficiency and you need permission to work outside of your studies. Both cost between CYP15-30 depending on how long you plan to study.