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When one thinks of top EU countries that expats choose to settle in, peoples’ thoughts immediately turn to Germany, France, Sweden and many other countries. Cyprus is not a country that immediately tops the list, but as a low tax destination with a spectacular Mediterranean climate, it has some very attractive benefits for expats looking to settle in the EU.

Cyprus is strategically located

Cyprus is positioned at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia with shipping routes linking Europe to the Arab world and the Far East. For this reason many large multinational companies have their bases in the capital of Nicosia – offering plenty of lucrative job opportunities for expats looking to further their careers.

A low tax regime

Nicosia is an idea city if you have a business you wish to manage within the EU. A competitive corporate income tax rate of 12.5% helps keep taxation low and there are also individual tax incentives that appeal to expats who have been relocated to Cyprus by their companies – and retirees who have their own independent income.

A low cost of living

Despite Nicosia being a well-regarded business and financial centre with an excellent infrastructure and home to many international companies, the city’s property and rental purchase prices are much lower than in other European capitals. Here expats enjoy all the perks of living in an international capital city for less money.

Full EU membership

As a resident of Cyprus, you can live, work, establish a business and move your capital and goods freely within the EU. As a fully-fledged member of the EU, Nicosia is an easy city to relocate to, find employment, start a business or retire – provided you already have EU membership.

Easy employment

Even in today’s tough economic climate, it’s relatively easy to find work in Nicosia and as a truly cosmopolitan city, you are not at a disadvantage if you don’t speak Greek. While wages might not be on a par with some EU countries, it is important to note the low cost of real estate and living, combined with its excellent infrastructure and low crime rate, all make up for the reduction in salary.

Plentiful accommodation

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation with options ranging from self-contained developments with every facility you could need including pools and gyms to luxurious villa-style homes in residential neighbourhoods to modern apartments centrally located in the city.

Not a tourist destination

Ironically most people who head to Cyprus tend to head to the beach resorts in the south and never make it inland to Nicosia. This has helped protect the capital city from being overrun by tourists and the resulting high prices that seem to follow the sun seekers. The expats who live in Nicosia have done their research and have chosen the city based on the fact that it provides excellent opportunities for employment and uniquely combines the chance to enjoy a sophisticated European lifestyle with a low cost of living.

If you’re thinking of moving abroad, contact FinGlobal for more information about transferring South African retirement savings, foreign exchange services and claiming tax refunds.