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.
Our 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 get in touch with 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.
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 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 organize various social events and gatherings and 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. When you apply for residency, you must have health insurance.
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 center, 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 the 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; regular “maintenance” visits to a doctor won’t break the bank. For example, a GP consultation can cost you £20-30.
Do I need a visa to visit North Cyprus?
No visa is required for North American citizens and 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 Expatra’s Living In North Cyprus guide.
How easy is it to rent a property in North Cyprus?
Renting in North Cyprus is straightforward; 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 a 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 £400 for a two-bedroom apartment to £700+ for a three-bedroom 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. The transfer fee is 3%, and legal fees are 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, www.iansmithestate.com, 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 get in touch with 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.