Some nuances of moving to Cyprus
It's no secret that many of our brothers in the IT workshop live in warm countries. And some of us think: “I do not want dullness, cold and crush in the subway! I want to lie on the beach with a laptop all year round! ” And probably many read and heard that, in one such paradise, in Cyprus, the crisis has already passed, a bunch of IT companies have opened, and HRs are inviting IT people there, promising paradise. So what awaits them (IT specialists) there?
I’ll make a reservation right away that I’m not going to get into political discussions, I just want to tell you some details as of 2017-2018 to help make a decision if someone is seriously thinking about moving to Cyprus. It will be about South Cyprus, mainly about the Russian city of Limassol itself.
I’ll compare expensively / cheaply with Moscow, so don’t write in comments like “Is medicine expensive?” Yes, look at the prices in the USA! ”
So, the offer . Many companies offer a relocation bonus - the amount of money that you are paid almost immediately upon arrival (as soon as the contract is signed). The amount depends on the company, position, a lot of what. But, quite possibly, it will be comparable to the monthly salary (plus or minus). But, most likely, the contract will contain a clause stating that you must work for a certain period of time, otherwise you will have to return the amount. Perhaps not all, for example, after working for a year - only half, etc. This will be indicated in the contract, and it is better to check with HR in advance.
Taxes . Tax in Cyprus is progressive:
0 - 19 500 euros per year - 0%
19 501 - 28 000 euros per year - 20%
28 001 - 36 300 euros per year - 25%
36 301 - 60 000 euros per year - 30%
over 60 000 euros per year - 35%
There is also social insurance 7.8% which you pay anyway.
There is a nuance - the first 5 years, 20% of your income is exempt from taxes.
That is, the formula is approximately the following: Gross per month x 12 months x 0.922 (social insurance) x 0.8 (tax discount for the first 5 years) = taxable amount. Of this amount, you pay only starting at 19501. That is, if, for example, you have a taxable amount of 40,000 per year, then you will pay the state:
(40000-36301) x0.3 + (36300-28001) x0.25 + (28000-19501) x0.2 = 4885 euros per year + social insurance, of course.
There is a life hack: if you come, for example, in the second half of the year, and your taxable income in Cyprus before the end of the year will be less than 19,500 euros, then you will not pay taxes. Till. Of course, this does not apply to social insurance.
As I said, there are a lot of Russian IT specialists, usually IT companies here are opened by Russians, and they bring programmers with them. So, in English, most likely, you will have to communicate a little. But it all depends on the company.
The company draws up documents for you. If you come with your family, you need to leave a deposit-deposit at the bank for everyone (in general, all kinds of deposits are very fond of here, at first a lot of money will be spent on them) in the amount of 560-580 euros (the so-called bank guarantee). This deposit can be returned a few months after you leave Cyprus. Plus a family visa. If you are traveling alone, the company will pay for everything. If with his wife - for her a guarantee in the bank 560-580 euros + approx. 300 euros for registration. If with wife and child - 1100-1200 Euro deposit + approx. 500 euro clearance. With a wife and two children - you can count yourself.
With housing in Limassol, it has recently become difficult. Many programmers from the post-Soviet space arrived, they all need to live somewhere, and the salaries of IT people are higher than the average salary in Cyprus. The result - rent has risen in price, it is difficult to find normal apartments, and long-term rent is no longer dependent on the season. In winter there are no free apartments either. How to search? Real estate agencies, Facebook groups and bazaraki.com. About prices: an euro-room (apartments with a living room combined with a kitchen + one small bedroom) will cost 600-800 euros per month. Moreover, 600 is either somewhere on the outskirts, or with very old furniture. Eurodvushka - 700-1000. Over time, prices only rise. In the winter of 2017-2018, out of season, prices are even higher than in the summer of 2017. The data on the numbeo website is already a bit outdated.
Plus utility bills: electricity + water. It depends on how you use it, but on average - 50-100 euros per month. But in winter, by the way, if you want to live in a warm apartment, you can go broke on electricity. You do not pay agents, the landlord pays for their services. But at the same time, the contract is concluded for a year, and you leave a security deposit in the amount of 1-2 monthly payments to the landlord, and this security deposit will not be returned to you if you have lived less than a year. Electricity and water are usually written in the name of the tenant, i.e. they will conclude a contract with you, and again you will need to leave a deposit. For electricity - 350 euros, for water - 250.
What to look for when choosing an apartment (from the unobvious):
- Glass. There should be double glazing. It will be warmer with them on cold winter evenings (especially at night).
- Solar water heating. This feature is in almost all houses and apartments, but ... Almost. And this feature will greatly save money on electricity.
- If you are lucky, and you find an apartment where the windows are on different sides - in the summer you can open them all, and you will not have the stuffiness and unbearable heat in the summer. Even the air conditioning can not be turned on.
- Ceiling. If the ceiling is not perfectly white, and there are yellowish stains or spots on it, it is likely that mold will grow on this ceiling in winter. I’m not exaggerating, it’ll zakolositsya. If this muck has appeared, in conditions of 100% humidity it can grow very quickly. You can fight it, but not easy. And this process is not pleasant. Yes, if you pay 700 euros per month for an unfortunate odnushka, this does not give you a guarantee that you will live with a mold-black ceiling. Not necessarily, of course, but there is a chance.
Of course, we can hope that all the construction projects that are currently underway in Limassol will be completed sometime, there will be a lot of free housing, and rental prices will drop again. But only when it will be - it is not clear, and if all this housing is populated, the roads here will pave. Roads can barely cope with the flow during rush hours.
car here is a must have. Public transport is very poorly developed. There are several bus routes throughout the city. You are likely to get to work on foot, as the city is small, but how to deny yourself the pleasure of traveling in Cyprus on the weekend? In general, a big plus of life in Cyprus is that you can take a car, and in half an hour or an hour you will be in some picturesque place admiring the sea or mountain scenery.
If you intend to live here for more than one year, you must definitely buy a car. The car can be found through colleagues, or at the same bazaraki.com. Of course, it’s better to check the car before buying, because Cypriots do not particularly follow the cars.
Driver's license. It is quite possible to ride on the latest Russian version of the license, but if you don’t have one, it’s okay, six months after your arrival, you can start to learn driving and take it here. But, they say that in Russia it is cheaper to buy rights than to study here and honestly surrender. But I was not particularly interested in prices, so I won’t say the exact numbers.
If you came to Cyprus in the summer as a tourist, then you can imagine how hot it is in the summer. If not, let me give you a small example: at the end of July I went swimming in the sea before work, at 8 in the morning. The thermometer showed +30. It is better not to go out at noon at noon; there is a risk of getting a sunstroke. It’s hot at night too.
The best time is in spring and autumn: April-May, and October-November. Not hot, but not cold yet.
It’s cold in winter. If on the street the temperature during the day can be +16 - +18, then at home the cold penetrates to the bones. Sleep better in a hat and under the electric blanket. So stock up on fleece jackets, fleece pants, and warm pajamas. Fleece, by the way, also dries easily, and this is an important quality in conditions of 100% humidity.
According to my subjective feelings, here products are about one and a half times more expensive than in Russia.
Expensive and to the European level is still far away. The question is holistic, so I’ll just voice my opinion: the medical system in Moscow is built an order of magnitude better than in Cyprus.
About insurance: the medical insurance system is not like in Russia - you come to a paid clinic with a card and get free treatment as part of the covered services - here you pay the doctor in cash, he fills out a special form, which you then refer to the insurance, and after a few months you return the money.
When I was about to move to Cyprus, I read on the Internet that Cyprus is the country with the lowest crime in Europe. Those who have been living here for many years say that it used to be. This has not been the case recently. In the summer of 2017, almost every week there were explosions in stores and pharmacies at night, periodically there were reports of arson of cars, recently, in the Russian groups on Facebook almost every day (!!!) there were reports of thefts. Moreover, thieves are completely insolent, and climb into homes even when they know that someone is at home. I don’t want to scare anyone, it’s quite safe to walk here in the evening, many even do not lock cars. But, if you are going to move here for a long time and buy real estate, this issue needs to be studied more carefully.
Where to get information from
The most reliable way to disseminate and receive information in Cyprus is word of mouth. Add to all kinds of thematic groups on facebook, vkontakte, chats on skype, telegram, etc. All announcements are on bazaraki.com and facebook.
What to do
As I said, there is a definite plus in life in Cyprus: you don’t need to take a vacation to go to a beautiful place, you can get in a car and in an hour you will be on a gorgeous beach (or in the mountains - whoever likes it). Vacation can be spent on going to the mainland, visiting relatives. Or to Europe. But you will have to get a Schengen visa, despite the fact that Cyprus is a member of the European Union.
Periodically, Russian celebrities visit Cyprus. Moreover, some Russians who in Russia would never go to a concert of the Leningrad group, nor to a concert of Polina Gagarina, are happy to attend this and that.
IT communities are starting to appear, but so far everything is in its infancy, not a single normal IT event has been here yet.
Children need a good environment, quality medical care, and education. The ecology is, of course, good - there is no industry, sea air, but medical care is likely to be needed, because the common belief that children do not get sick in Cyprus is, alas, a myth. They also get sick, because 100% humidity with a temperature of 15-18 degrees is the ideal environment for the spread of infections. Especially in kindergartens. All this, of course, concerns mainly the cold season. Kindergarten, by the way, costs approx. 350 euros. Plus or minus. You can consider the options - Russian, Greek, English. A school costs something around 5,000 euros per year.
If you are a lonely IT specialist or a young couple without children, living in Cyprus for a year or two is quite an interesting prospect. Why without children? Because medicine / education is expensive here.
If you are accustomed to the big city, then most likely Cyprus will bore you. But, if you like the rural way of life, maybe you will like Cyprus and you want to stay here for life, who knows. I know people who live here for many years and they like everything, I know those who left here in a week. And, if you decide or not, I hope I have outlined an approximate picture of what awaits you here. I tried to be objective.
Nearby there is still an interesting article about Cyprus.
Completely late Update:
Thanks to Vasidzius forOld realtors