EU citizens wishing to work in Cyprus will not need to fill out much paperwork, as they can simply enter the country with their passport or national identity card and search for jobs for a period of up to 90 days. Keep in mind however, that only the areas of Cyprus under Greek control count as part of the European Economic Area and allow easy work access to EU citizens.
For non-EU citizens, working in Cyprus is a little tougher, as they need to obtain a work permit before arrival from the Ministry of Labour. To give a foreigner a work permit, the Cypriot government must certify that a Cypriot or an EU citizen isn't available to do the job.
There is plenty of seasonal work in Cyprus, and foreigners can find jobs or start businesses in tourism and IT, two booming industries in the island. However, be aware that you will be competing with highly educated and qualified Cypriots for work, about 90% of who speak English. Refer to our section on Seasonal Work for more information.
Lastly, some jobs in Cyprus will be closed off to non-Greek speakers, and specialized professions such as law, engineering and accountancy require foreigners to pass specialist exams in the Greek language. Without a working knowledge of Greek, you will be relegated to seasonal and lower-paying jobs.
For further information read our article, "CV versus Résumé?".
In Cyprus, a CV is always preferred, as is generally the case in Europe.
A cover letter is usually required along with a CV for a job application. Its primary purpose is to grab the employer's interest in order to land an interview, and give a better idea of your interest in a specific job.
Looking for work in Cyprus is not that different from job-hunting in the rest of the Western world. You should, however, start your job search before leaving for Cyprus and get a good idea of the job opportunities available for foreigners that fit your skill sets.
When you arrive in Cyprus, contact the Public Employment Offices that are located in all major Cypriot cities in order to get assistance with your job-hunt.
There are plenty of English language sites to help you look for jobs in Cyprus. On many sites you can also narrow down your search by certain criteria, depending on your level of experience and desired career field.
You can also browse jobs on EasyExpat in Cyprus and post your resume. Search by industry and browse the latest jobs.
Networking is a very important part of the job search in Cyprus, as personally approaching companies and managers may lead to learning about job opportunities that are not publicly listed. It can also be helpful to network with other expats who have settled into life and work in Cyprus in order to find out about more opportunities as well.
Expat and social forums are another resource for job seekers. Easy Expat's Cyprus forum is a great resource for connecting with expats and opportunities in your area.
Newspapers are an important source for job listings in Cyprus. Check the career section of the following high-profile Cypriot newspapers, which always include listings from local and international employers as well as private recruitment agencies.
Cyprus has many private recruitment agencies that work with local and international companies, as well as many big audit/accounting/consulting companies that offer executive recruitment services. They all have websites with current vacancies listed. One of the largest and most well-known recruitment agencies specializing in jobs in Cyprus is Global Recruitment Solutions (GRS).
Foreigners can also use the Public Employment Service in Cyprus by visiting any District Labour Office to register and receive relevant information and tips for finding a job.
However, job vacancies published on Department of Labour website are only for expats with Cypriot or European citizenship, or those who have already obtained a work permit for Cyprus. If you are an EU citizen and want to use the Public Employment Service, you will need a valid passport or ID card and copies of certificates of academic and professional qualifications translated into Greek/English. You can find a list of local labour offices in Cyprus here.
If your job application is accepted, employers in Cyprus will usually conduct an interview process that lasts through 2 or 3 stages. Besides speaking with potential employers, these interviews may include various written tests (personality or skills tests), in order for the company to get a better sense of your skills, knowledge and personality. Your interviewer will likely tell you what to expect before your first meeting.
Visit the website of the potential employer to get a good grasp of the company's work and history, and try to pick up what the work environment and office culture may be like. Also be ready with any potential questions of your own about the position and company, in order to demonstrate that you have done your research.
Make sure you are dressed in a professional manner and always arrive on time; this means leaving plenty of time for potential traffic and road problems that you may not be aware of due to your unfamiliarity with the country and environment. In the summer months, arrive a little earlier to the interview to give yourself time to cool off from the intense heat. This may seem like a minute point, but walking into an interview sweaty and with questionable hygiene is not the best first impression to make.
Lastly, even if your interview is conducted in English, it is a sign of courtesy and interest for you to learn some basic phrases like “Hello, how are you” and “goodbye” in Greek in order to make a better impression.
It is extremely difficult to find an agency for temporary work in Cyprus. Most office temp jobs will go to locals, and the other “temporary” jobs are usually season jobs in retail and service that are not filled through agencies, but rather directly through the employer.
One of the few agencies that does fill hotel, bar and restaurant position for temporary work is Pro-staff.
The ease of getting visas and permits for Cyprus depends mostly on your status as an EU or non-EU citizen.
EU citizens can simply enter the Greek-held part of Cyprus on their passport and look for work within a 90-day period. If you find permanent employment, you will need to apply for a work permit and temporary residence permit. You will receive the temporary residence permit within 6 months of submitting said application, as long as you have an EU passport and a document certifying Engagement of Employment, which shows the code of economic activity of the employer.
If, as an EU national, your work is seasonal and lasting less than 90 days, you have to report that to the Immigration Department within the first eight days of your arrival on form 2DECL, and apply for an Alien Registration Certificate (ARC).
Non-EU citizens must obtain a work permit to work in Cyprus before even arriving in the country, which can be valid for between three months to a year. Executive work permits are issued to directors or partners of companies registered on Cyprus' Registrar of Companies, while non-executive work permits are issued to other managerial, professional, administrative, technical and clerical staff.
If you have secured employment with a company in Cyprus, they will submit applications for entry and work permits to the Civil Registry and Migration Department while you are abroad, along with a work contract. The work contract must be stamped by the Department of Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, who will judge whether there are no available or adequately qualified Cypriots for the job, and make a recommendation for employment of aliens.
The only money required for a personal application for a work visa is about 35 Euros, along with a bank letter of guarantee for 200 to 500 Euros to cover possible repatriation expenses.
Most opportunities to teach English in Cyprus will be found in private and international schools rather than the public education system, which tends to favor local Cypriot teachers. The best way to find an English-teaching position is to contact private schools directly, or browse teach abroad programs that already work with such schools in Cyprus and can place you.
Classes in international schools are in English, but the curriculum usually follows the local state's guidelines.
Foreign teachers looking to find a position in Cyprus should apply to a teaching program that can match you up with local schools, or match with teacher recruitment agencies.
Make sure you get your timing right, as most hiring takes place before the start of the school year in September, with most contracts ending in late June, and application deadlines are often way before the start of fall. Alternatively, it is possible to get summer positions at English language camps that start in late June or early July.
Even if you are matched to a school through an agency, an in-person interview is expected when you arrive in Cyprus, and most teachers cover their own airfare and housing while on the island. Finding housing should not be a problem, as most teachers stay in the former homes of previous teachers or room with other co-workers.
The best places to look for English teaching jobs are in the major city centers of Nicosia and Limassol, as well as Larnaca.
At the bare minimum, schools in Cyprus require a BA or BS from English teachers as well as a TEFL certification. Certain teaching placement programs can help you get your TEFL training and certification before placing you, but not all programs offer those perks.
Since most English teachers in Cyprus work for private schools, the rest of the required qualifications and skills employers may ask for vary from school to school, as the educational institutions are not standardized. However, many do require some form of in-service training courses for professional development.
Many English teachers make around 1,000 Euros a month at language centers, but high-tier International School English teachers can occasionally make up to 2,000 Euros a month. If you are better educated or can also take on harder subjects in international schools, you will have a slightly higher salary.
The salary of most English teachers is just enough to allow them to break even while being able to do some exploring on the island, but many teachers supplement their steady income with private English lessons or by working in “afternoon institutes” that tutor children after school, and thus make a quite comfortable living.
For EU nationals it is quite easy to apply for a work permit and teach English in Cyprus, but for non-EU nationals there is a significant amount of paperwork and red tape to get through.
Non-EU nationals will have a very hard time legally teaching English in Cyprus, as their application for a work permit for this job will be rejected, due to the high number of Cypriot and EU citizens that are qualified for such positions.
Once you have made a few contacts in Cyprus, either by settling into the local community or through your primary teaching job, giving private English lessons should be easy. Plenty of parents in Cyprus want their child to be fluent in English and thus are constantly looking for tutors.
For private lessons, teachers usually charge the equivalent of 15 Euros an hour.
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