How to find a job in Northern Cyprus

Modern kitchen interior with marble countertops and stainless steel appliances

Как найти работу на Северном Кипре

In recent years, the northern part of Cyprus has become an increasingly attractive place to work and live. Against the background of recent reports of huge inflation in the country, analysts predict the stabilization of the economy from the influx of foreign investment. 

All this is due to the fact that the government has begun to develop the tourism and gambling industry, as well as invest in the construction of real estate and the development of related infrastructure. This has created a demand for a wide range of vacancies and jobs, which we will discuss in detail in our article. We will also figure out how to find a job in this unusual part of the island.

The specifics of working in Northern Cyprus

Due to the complex legal status of Northern Cyprus, it is quite difficult to find a job remotely, there are quite a few vacancies on the Internet. It is best to carry out searches on the spot or through friends. 

Some agencies offer to buy real estate to obtain a residence permit, opaquely hinting that this will also give the opportunity to work in the TRNC. It is indeed possible to obtain a residence permit (residence permit) in this way, but not to work. A work visa is required for legal work.

Employers are not always ready to deal with bureaucratic procedures, and therefore offer to apply for a work visa after starting work. Such a promise is not always fulfilled. 

The sphere of production and agriculture is poorly developed in Northern Cyprus. The main income of the country is tourism and the service sector. Recently, despite international sanctions, the real estate construction industry has been developing. A large number of educational institutions create vacancies for teachers. However, in the case of education, the requirements for knowledge of the Turkish language are stricter than in other industries.

Speaking of languages, Turkish is the official language here. His knowledge greatly facilitates employment and daily life. English is widely spoken in the tourism and educational sectors and in a few international companies, where it can be one of the working languages. 

Popular vacancies and sought-after specialties in Northern Cyprus

The most promising area of Northern Cyprus is tourism. The authorities are starting to develop the tourist destination through the renovation of existing real estate. The most striking example is the restoration of activity in Varosha and the opening of its beaches to tourists.

For reference: before the division of Cyprus, Varosha was the largest resort city in Cyprus. It attracted celebrities of that period and was built up with high-level hotels. However, after the split, Varosha became a ghost town for the next 48 years with limited opportunity to visit.

The gambling industry is actively developing as a related industry. Casinos and other establishments are being built, which also need maintenance staff. It is here that it is easiest for a foreigner with knowledge of English to find a job. Employers provide employees with a number of bonuses, including housing, uniforms and others. 

The next promising area is real estate construction. Tourism attracts investments in the construction of real estate and infrastructure, and in the case of Varosha, in the renovation of existing structures. Therefore, there is an increase in workers and construction specialties in the labor market of Northern Cyprus.

Sought-after specialties in Northern Cyprus:

  • hotel managers;
  • guides;
  • guides;
  • The maids;
  • waiters;
  • sales consultants;
  • bartenders;
  • administrators;
  • teachers;
  • professors;
  • Administrative staff; 
  • construction workers;
  • masons;
  • carpenters;
  • electricians;
  • plumbers;
  • doctors;
  • nurses;
  • therapists;
  • pharmacists;
  • Software developers;
  • system administrators.

Highly qualified specialists are in high demand. In the field of medicine, these are dentists, surgeons, diagnostic specialists and specialists in the development and production of medicines. In construction, these are engineers and architects. In education, there are specialists with high academic degrees, as well as researchers and senior researchers.

Highly specialized employees are required in the financial and legal field, where there is a shortage of analysts, accountants, specialists in international and corporate law, as well as managers and senior managers.

Without special knowledge, you can get a job in a hotel or casino, where vacancies are open for kitchen staff, laundries, hotel rooms and other things. You can also find vacancies for warehouse workers, movers, packers, packers, sorters and others. Construction can only offer vacancies for workers, since other positions require secondary special education with a specific specialization.

Northern Cyprus: vacancies for Russians

Despite the fact that Northern Cyprus received official recognition only from Turkey, the Russian Federation has its own consulate there. First of all, this is due to the large Russian-speaking community and the increasing flow of CIS citizens to this country.

A job in Northern Cyprus for Russian speakers is available without knowledge of Turkish and English, if it was possible to find a Russian-speaking employer. Under the conditions of sanctions pressure, companies from the CIS are opening or moving their representative offices to Northern Cyprus. Of course, such companies do not lift sanctions, but the pressure is easing.

Work in Northern Cyprus for Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians is found in only a few industries. Such specialists in the field of tourism are especially in demand, since Russian-speaking tourists make up a significant part of the island’s visitors. There are also jobs in Northern Cyprus at hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and sightseeing sites.

How to officially find a job in Northern Cyprus

It is better to start looking for a job through local contacts, job fairs or by contacting the employer directly. The remote job search system is not very developed and only a small part of the vacancies get to the sites.

It is also a good option to search among members of your country’s community. A job in Northern Cyprus for Russians can be found precisely through the Russian-speaking community. Moreover, compatriots can help you get better settled in an unfamiliar environment.

In case of readiness to accept a new employee, the employer checks whether the quotas for hiring foreign employees in his field of activity have not been exceeded. If everything is fine, he draws up an employment contract-an invitation. After that, the employer can request other documents from the potential employee, including a valid passport, proof of qualifications and medical insurance. In some cases, you may need a criminal record certificate or proof of residence in Northern Cyprus.

The employer is sent to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. There he draws up an application for a work permit. At the same time, the employer must prove that there are no specialists in the local labor market for this position. The Ministry publishes this vacancy on internal resources, and if local residents do not respond to it within two weeks, the employee is given a work permit.

An official invitation from the employer is the basis for applying for a work visa at the Consulate of Turkey or Northern Cyprus in the country of residence. It is necessary to provide an invitation from the employer and other required documents (passport, photos, medical insurance, etc.).

The last step is to arrive to complete the work visa and work permit, register with local authorities and obtain a residence permit. However, entry to Northern Cyprus and the conditions for such have their own specifics.

There are two ways to enter Northern Cyprus. The first is through the southern part of the island, but for this you will need to apply for a tourist or Schengen visa. After arrival, you can go to Nicosia to one of the checkpoints.There, a foreigner will be issued a 90-day tourist visa to Northern Cyprus.

The second way is to travel to Cyprus via Turkey. This can be done by plane or ferry. Departure from Turkey’s main airports to Ercan Airport in Northern Cyprus is the only official air flight to this country. 

Ferries sail from the Turkish coast and allow you to transport not only luggage, but also vehicles, for example, a car. The official authorities of the Republic of Cyprus consider entry through the airports and ports of the northern part illegal, although in practice this rarely causes problems.

General requirements for applicants

The main and most important requirement, in addition to appropriate qualifications, is knowledge of the language. Since Northern Cyprus is economically and politically heavily dependent on Turkey, the position of this language is much stronger than English. Even in the areas of services directly related to foreigners, such as tourism, gambling establishments and others, basic knowledge of Turkish is often required. Mainly for everyday life and communication with Turkish Cypriots. That is why a good knowledge of Turkish opens up more opportunities than knowledge of English.

An important element of preparing documents for work is their nostrification. Foreign diplomas must be nostrified by the Ministry of Education of the TRNC. This process confirms the compliance of foreign diplomas with local educational standards. For nostrification, it is necessary to provide the originals of educational documents translated into Turkish or English, as well as their certified copies.

Other requirements:

  • The minimum age is at least 18 years old.
  • Documents confirming qualifications and passing professional exams (for doctors, lawyers, and others).
  • Knowledge of the history and culture of Cyprus for positions related to educational and cultural activities.
  • Passing a medical examination to confirm the absence of serious and chronic diseases.
  • Confirmed lack of criminal record.
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to stay in the country and return to their homeland.
  • Confirmation of hotel reservation or availability of accommodation (receipts, rental agreement, etc.).

Wages in Northern Cyprus

Before talking about the level of wages, it is necessary to talk about the level of inflation. The Statistical Institute of Northern Cyprus reported that in March 2024, inflation increased by 6.9% compared to the previous month. If we compare with the end of 2023, the inflation rate has already increased by 16.1%. The annual inflation rate reached 94.5%.

Minimum wage.Since May 1, 2024, Northern Cyprus has established the following levels: net – 29,640 Turkish lira (about $920), gross — 34,070 Turkish lira (about $1,060). This is the second increase in the minimum wage since the beginning of the year — the first increase was in January, when the minimum wage was raised to 24,000 Turkish lira net. In January 2023, the minimum wage was 11,800 Turkish liras net per month, which is 2.5 times less than now. Such frequent changes in the minimum wage are explained by high inflation in the country.

The Statistical Institute of Northern Cyprus practically does not publish up-to-date information on the level of wages in the country, but shares information about the structure of the labor market. It is worth considering that the last labor market study was conducted in 2023, however, given that the socio-demographic situation in Northern Cyprus has not undergone major changes since that period, it can be considered relevant today.

Thus, of the population employed in the country’s economy, 76% works in the service sector, 11.5% is employed in construction, 9.5% in industry, and another 3% works in agriculture.

Employment by sector:

Как найти работу на Северном Кипре

The gender composition of the population employed in the economy:

Как найти работу на Северном Кипре

Distribution of the population employed in the economy by city:

Как найти работу на Северном Кипре

The level of remuneration in various fields:

The public sector



Civil servant with higher education


Civil servant without higher education




from $2870

The Auditor




Office Assistant

from $620


A doctor with a specialization


General Practitioner






The service sector

The hotel manager









from $580

The chef


The deliverers

from $780


Public transport driver


Taxi driver


Manufacturing and industry






from $700




Taxes in the TRNC

Taxes in Northern Cyprus are quite democratic and are not beaten out by large deductions. Income tax is quite flexible and ranges from 10 to 40%. The progressive taxation system assumes an increase in the tax burden depending on the amount of annual income. And considering that the average salary in Northern Cyprus is about 27,000 Turkish lira (TRY), taxes for most workers are very sparing.

Tax intervals as of January 1, 2024:

Interval in Turkish Lira (TRY)

Income tax rate

up to 30,000










over 420,000


The standard corporate tax rate is 20%. It applies to profits for all companies registered in the TRNC, including foreign corporations. For enterprises and companies engaged in the fields of education and healthcare, a discount of up to 10% is provided. 

Income received from international projects financed by foreign States or international organizations is exempt from taxation if the conditions of financing and project use are met.


Unlike most countries in the world, the value added tax in Northern Cyprus is heterogeneous. It includes five rates from 0 to 20% and varies depending on the product or service.

VAT rates as of April 2024:

VAT rate

Category of goods and services


Basic food items such as milk, bread and wheat products.

Educational materials and some medical supplies.


Dairy products, some agricultural products and medical equipment.

Basic household items such as some types of soap and detergents.


Ready-made food items such as pizza and baked goods.

Household appliances and building materials.


The standard VAT rate applies to goods and services of general consumption, real estate transactions.


Luxury goods such as alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

High-end cars and some entertainment services.

Enterprises must necessarily register as a VAT payer if the annual turnover exceeds 100,000 Turkish liras.

Consequences of illegal employment

The main consequence for an illegal worker is deportation. First of all, it concerns workers who entered the country without proper documents, as well as those who have expired or violated the terms of a work permit. Students who work without the necessary permits can also be deported.

In exceptional cases, illegal immigrants can legalize their status by paying fines. For example, the immigration amnesty program, which was in effect until January 2023, allowed such workers to pay a fine in the amount of the minimum monthly salary. After that, they were issued a 60-day tourist visa, according to which they could either legalize their stay or leave the country. 

It’s a different story with unscrupulous employers. Most often, instead of punishment, they receive a preventive conversation. Less often — fines, and in exceptional cases — business closure. It is precisely because of the soft policy towards such employers that they often offer to apply for a visa on arrival, or in the process of work. 

Pension in Northern Cyprus

The Government of Northern Cyprus does not differentiate pension recipients by nationality or belonging to any nation. Therefore, it is enough to meet the required criteria. At the same time, the legislation does not prohibit pensioners from working and receiving double income, especially when a skill or profession is in demand on the island.

Employees usually deduct about 9% of their salary before taxes. The employer pays 14% of the employee’s total salary. The self-employed deduct about 20-23% of the amount of declared income.

Basic requirements:

  • Experience. The minimum length of service, that is, the time when a person worked and deducted part of the income to the treasury, is 20-25 years. Public sector employees can work for 20 years and then apply for early retirement. People with at least 14 years of work experience can expect to retire. However, in this case, the pension will be reduced, and the retirement age will rise to 63 years.
  • Age. Officially, the pension begins at the age of 60. However, if an employee has already worked out the necessary 25 years of experience, he can apply for early retirement upon reaching 55 years of age.

Frequently Asked Questions about job search in Northern Cyprus

EU citizens can enter the territory of Northern Cyprus without a visa for up to 90 days. Most citizens of other countries can also enter without a visa for up to 90 days, but it is better to clarify the requirements for a specific country.

Vacancies in Northern Cyprus are often distributed through word of mouth, so it is important to establish contacts on the spot or contact acquaintances with knowledge of the matter. Job advertisements are published in local media — you can’t do without knowledge of Turkish here. There are also agencies that help you find a job, although there are not many of them.

The island is experiencing a shortage of workers and maintenance staff. The most in demand are administrators, hotel managers, guides, waiters in the tourism sector, teachers in educational and construction workers in the field of infrastructure project development and construction.

Nicosia (Lefkosha) has the most vacancies to offer. It houses the main government institutions and universities. Next comes Kyrenia (Girne), a popular tourist destination with many hotels, restaurants and travel agencies. Famagusta (Gazimagusa), an important port city with universities and developing infrastructure, closes the top three.

Work in Northern Cyprus is available for Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians if there is an employer willing to hire foreigners. A contract is drawn up on the basis of which a work visa is issued. Northern Cyprus also requires nostrified documents, medical examination and no criminal record.


Как найти работу на Северном Кипре

Mikhail Konon is a copywriter

I write informative articles about real estate, investments, job search and taxes.


Как найти работу на Северном Кипре

Roman Tomashevich Analyst

I show the situation on the real estate market in graphs and figures.


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