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The Realities Of Retiring To North Cyprus – Your Questions Answered By An Expert

Considering North Cyprus as a retirement destination? Find the answers to the most common questions you as an expat might have when moving to North Cyprus.

A North Cyprus expert Kate Smith from Ian Smith Estate Agency, the leading property agent in North Cyprus, answers all your questions about moving to and settling down in North Cyprus. 

The Q&As are updated regularly. If you cannot find an answer to a particular question, please, contact us with your query and we will add the answer to the next update.

Ian Smith estate agency is a family-owned business. It’s the first British estate agency established in North Cyprus.

Back in 1986, Ian Smith came to North Cyprus on a government tender to build social houses for the locals and fell in love so much with the island that he moved the whole family to Cyprus. Now Ian’s daughter Kate and son-in-law Osman continue to run the business.

Kate Smith knows the local property market from the inside out. She also has a deep understanding of the norms, rules and regulations of the country. She is also very familiar with questions and worries you may have when relocating to North Cyprus and is in a perfect position to help you. 

Retire to North Cyprus
Kyrenia Harbour, a favourite place for a stroll and an al-fresco lunch for both expats and locals alike

Is North Cyprus safe?

North Cyprus is one of the safest destinations in the Mediterranean. Crime levels are very low. It is safe to walk around even at night, people are very friendly and helpful.  

Is North Cyprus a member of the EU?

On May 1st, 2004, the Republic of Cyprus became a full member of the European Union (EU) on behalf of the whole island. It means that the whole island is considered to be part of the EU. However, the application of EU law is suspended in the northern part of the island.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is not recognized as a member state, is within the European Union borders but it is outside the territory of the internal market.

What are the benefits of moving to North Cyprus?

  • Great base to travel the world
  • Super climate
  • Very low level of crime
  • Extremely friendly locals who generally speak English
  • Very cheap cost of living (meze and kebab dinner around £10-£15)
  • Tasty produce at rock-bottom prices
  • No tax on pension incomes
  • Property transactions in GBP
  • Property procedure follows the British legal system
  • Cheap education 

How can I find friends and integrate into the community?

There is a strong expat community scattered across the area with bowling teams, a superb golf course in Esentepe, darts teams, gyms, badminton etc. 

The Foreign Residents Society can help you integrate quicker and find friends. They host and organise various social events and gatherings, just follow the updates on their website. 

Can I use public hospitals in North Cyprus?

Yes, if you have residency you are entitled to use public hospitals. In fact, when you apply for residency, you have to have health insurance in place. 

You can apply for the North Cyprus state health insurance via the Koop Bank in Nicosia and it will cost you around £45 per year. It covers the use of a State ambulance (112 Emergency Ambulance Service) and gives you a 20% discount on treatments.

Are private hospitals good enough in North Cyprus?

North Cyprus private hospitals are very well equipped and staffed with highly-trained doctors and nurses. 

Near East University Hospital in Nicosia has state-of-the-art equipment, a cutting-edge diagnostic imaging centre, and English-speaking staff.

There are also excellent dentists trained in Turkey, Europe and the States at very reasonable prices. 

Can I use South Cyprus hospitals if I live in North Cyprus?

Yes, you have an option to use hospitals in South Cyprus if you choose to do so. 

How much will private healthcare cost me?

Health insurance is available from various local agencies. Depending on your age and health, a middle-tier plan with nil excess can cost you around £1,000 per year and will increase from the age of 55 upwards. 

The pay-as-you-go option is also available and regular “maintenance” visits to a doctor won’t break your bank. As an example, a consultation with a GP can cost you £20-30.

Do I need a visa to visit North Cyprus?

No, there’s no visa required for citizens of most European countries including the UK.

How do I get my residency permit?

A short-term residency is given on entering the country. It usually covers 30 or 90 days. 

To apply for long-term residency, the system is now automated and online. You can find up-to-date information in the Foreign Residents Society group on Facebook and on the website.

How easy is it to rent a property in North Cyprus? 

Renting in North Cyprus is a straightforward system; 2 deposits and one month’s rent are usually asked for upfront plus a reference from a previous landlord or employer.

Rent can be paid into the UK or local bank.

How much will it cost me to rent a property in North Cyprus?

Monthly costs are considerably lower than in the UK  and so are electricity, water and gas (if central heating is available).

Rental prices range from around £300 for a 2-bed apartment to £500+ for a 3-bed villa with a pool. 

Can foreigners buy a property in North Cyprus?

Yes, foreigners can buy a property in North Cyprus. It’s a straightforward process, which will include providing a clean police check and receiving permission from the Council of Ministers

What is the process of purchasing a property in North Cyprus like? 

All properties are priced in GBP. Transfer fee 3% and legal fees around £1250. 

Most conveyancing lawyers are trained in the UK and speak fluent English. 

 A clean criminal record is required to apply for your permission to buy and once this is granted, the deeds are transferred into your name. 

Please check our website for the legalities.

Ian Smith Estate Agents – Expatra’s trusted property partner in Northern Cyprus

If you are looking for a reputable and reliable property specialist in North Cyprus, we recommend Ian Smith Estate Agents. This is why:

  • Vast knowledge of property transactions  with over 30 years of experience;
  • 1000s of satisfied customers;
  • Qualified and long-standing staff. Kate is the only agent in North Cyprus with a UK diploma in Residential Estate Agency;
  • Family-run business;
  • NO hard sell;
  • Experts in all there is to know about North Cyprus;
  • Bilingual staff.

If you have more questions about moving to North Cyprus, please, contact Expatra and we will include the answers in our next update. 

If you have questions about renting or buying a property in North Cyprus,  contact Ian Smith Estate Agents directly or drop us an email and we will introduce you to Kate personally. 

You might find useful:

Hazel Ibrahim

Monday 28th of November 2022


My husband and I are going to relocate in the next few months and are trying to get to grips with the documentation side. My husband is of Turkish Cypriot origin, but born in the UK and his father lives in TRNC, so we eventually wish to take citizenship. We are a tad confused with the paperwork requirements. Even with his family's good intent to help us, we are struggling. Is there an agency who could assist us with the process of timely documentation, before arrival?

Many thanks in advance


kate l ozikiz

Tuesday 29th of November 2022

@Hazel Ibrahim, Hi Hazel, thanks for your enquiry. There are a couple of agencies who can assist with this but I think they will say that its easier to get it started once you are on the island. Funda at Fias Consultancy, email and Havva at Expats Consultancy, email They should be able to help! Regards Kate

Vicky bramley

Wednesday 9th of November 2022

Looking to move to North Cyprus. Im 57 my partner 67. I'm a teacher but looking to retire. Thanks

kate l ozikiz

Friday 11th of November 2022

Hi Vicky, great idea! A lot of Brits and Europeans are currently looking to move to North Cyprus due to the cheaper prices, slower pace of lifestyle, lack of crime and wonderful weather. Let me know if you have any queries on Regards


Ola Degteva (Editor)

Wednesday 9th of November 2022

Hi Vicky, thanks for your comment. If you have any questions about your move, you can ask here or reach Kate directly through her website:

kate l ozikiz

Monday 31st of October 2022

HI Tara, thanks for your message. As a Turkish citizen you wont need a retirement visa. Regarding your insurance it will depend which insurance company it is as to whether the hospitals here will accept it. Please feel free to email me on the above email if you have any other queries


Wednesday 26th of October 2022

I am a citizen of Turkiye, how can I have the retirement visa for Northern Cyprus? Also, can I use my medical insurance that I have from the government of Turkiye there?

Thank you

Annette Ryan

Tuesday 25th of October 2022

We are thinking of retiring to Northern Cyprus. My partner is 74 and I am 66. Is the si form necessary and valid in NC.

Thank you.

Ola Degteva (Editor)

Tuesday 25th of October 2022

Hi Annette, thank you for the comment. No, the S1 form doesn't work in Northern Cyprus. It will be necessary to sort out some kind of private arrangement for your healthcare or have state health insurance and use state hospitals. Hope this helps