Living and buying a property in Northern Cyprus. A big interview with the director of VELES Property & Enterprises

Жизнь и покупка недвижимости на Северном Кипре. Большое интервью с директором VELES Property & Enterprises

Partner material

Both good and bad things have been said about Northern Cyprus for a long time. It’s time to dot all the “and” and figure it out: What kind of country is this and how do people live there? How much does the property cost? What attracts Aphrodite Island? What ways of moving are available in 2024? Read about all this in our big interview with the director of VELES Property & Enterprises Julia Ozerdzhe. 

“Interest-free installments are available in Northern Cyprus without cost increases for as long as 7 years”

— Why are people moving to Northern Cyprus more and more often, and not to European countries or the USA?

Жизнь и покупка недвижимости на Северном Кипре. Большое интервью с директором VELES Property & Enterprises

— Our clients move to Northern Cyprus for several reasons:

1) Firstly, there are affordable real estate prices (from 80,000 euros), as well as long installments without price increases (up to 7 years), which is rare for other countries. You can move into an apartment or house and continue payments under the contract, or rent out the property and close the payments with rental income. 

2) Secondly, it is the ease of purchase. In Northern Cyprus, they do not ask for a certificate about the source of income, and when buying a property, you only need a passport.

3) Plus, we add to all this an environmentally friendly climate (there is no industrial production on the island), year-round access to fresh vegetables and fruits, 330 sunny days a year, the British education system and favorable conditions for business development (we will talk about this in more detail).

Regarding the comparison of Northern Cyprus with Europe and the USA, I will share with you the words of our clients: “We moved to Europe first. After obtaining a visa to the United States, without hesitation, we decided to move to the West.” Then I asked why You are currently purchasing real estate in Northern Cyprus at the VELES office and received the answer: “You have a calm country where it is not scary to walk down the street even at night, where I am not afraid to let my child go to school by bus; there are no beggars and homeless people on the street, and the inhabitants of the island are emotionally open and friendly.” Since then, the couple has been living with a child in Northern Cyprus.

“There are no analogues for real estate projects in Northern Cyprus either in the CIS countries or in America, not in Europe”.

— Tell us more about the northern part of the island. What do you need to know about Northern Cyprus before moving?

— Of course! The island is located in the northeast of the Mediterranean Sea. 57.6% of the island’s total territory belongs to the Republic of Cyprus, 36% to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Northern Cyprus). After the division of the island in 1974, the majority of Greek Cypriots live in the Republic of Cyprus. And Turkish Cypriots live on the territory of Northern Cyprus. There are no exact population statistics for the beginning of 2024, but the number of residents has already reached about half a million.

If you do not go into history, then since Cyprus was previously colonized by Britain, left-hand traffic, British-style electrical outlets and English legislation have been preserved here to this day. The main language here is Turkish, but English, Russian and Arabic are also common.

However, Northern Cyprus is not suitable for everyone. There are no large shopping malls, very high-speed Internet, people are much slower than in mainland countries and do not sort garbage. But! It is important to remember that Northern Cyprus is a sunny island in the Mediterranean, which lives at its own pace and according to its own rules — this is what the island captivates.

Жизнь и покупка недвижимости на Северном Кипре. Большое интервью с директором VELES Property & Enterprises

— What ways of relocation can a foreigner consider in 2024?

— There are many options. Consider each one:

  • Student visa

The easiest way to move to Northern Cyprus is with a student visa for the purpose of studying. VELES cooperates with the language course school: you will be able to live legally on the island and learn your chosen language. An alternative is thematic schools where you can learn a skill (beauty school, for example) or universities (bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees). 

Northern Cyprus operates according to the British education system. Major universities such as Eastern Mediterranean University, Near East University, Girne American University, Final University have dozens of faculties ranging from management to medicine and aviation. The ARUCAD University of Art and Design also opened on the island about five years ago.

Note: A student visa does not give the right to employment, but can be reissued by the employer into a student-work visa.

The procedure for obtaining a student visa can be found here.

  • Employment opportunities

Jobs in Northern Cyprus are usually sought by contacting companies directly — as such, there are no recruitment sites here. Obtaining a work visa is an additional cost for the employer. Therefore, as a rule, an official work permit is issued after successful completion of the probation period.

Most jobs require knowledge of English or Turkish, but it all depends on your perseverance and desire to work. 

The minimum wage at the beginning of 2024 is 770 euros per month. Students can legally work 20 hours a week, or for 3 months on vacation.

Note: Employment gives you the opportunity to use free public medicine.

  • Residence permit for high income

This type of residence permit is suitable for the self-employed and those who work online. If you are not sure that you are ready to move for permanent residence, in Northern Cyprus there is an option to obtain a residence permit for a period of six months or more. You provide a document about your income level and issue a residence permit for up to a year with the possibility of extension. 

On average, after a year on the island, our clients decide whether to stay in Northern Cyprus or not. Some of them purchase real estate for living and move, the other part rents out the acquired property and comes to the island for 2-3 months a year to relax.

Note: To get a residence permit for a high rental income, you need to have $33,000/person in your account.

The procedure for obtaining a residence permit can be found here.

In Northern Cyprus, when buying residential property for any amount, your family receives a residence permit for a period of one year with the possibility of extension. For example, in Turkey, the cost of real estate for obtaining a residence permit should be 200 thousand euros and above, in Southern Cyprus 300 thousand euros and above, in Spain — from 500 thousand euros.

There is no minimum level in Northern Cyprus, but the property should be residential, not commercial. Children under the age of 18 should not apply for a residence permit, and for citizens over 60, the rules are more loyal. By the way, after six years of residence with a residence permit, you can apply for permanent residence.

Note: To get a residence permit, having a property in the property, you need to have $11,000/person in the account. A residence permit in Northern Cyprus does not give the right to work, so a work visa must be issued separately.

The procedure for obtaining a residence permit can be found here.

  • Starting a business

There are several types of companies in Northern Cyprus. But when coming to a foreign country, it is important to talk with a lawyer about local laws and rules of legalization. VELES advises on both the opening of new companies and in cases where you want to move your existing business. Let’s analyze 3 types of companies in the UK:

  • Local. It has restrictions on the types of company’s activities: foreigners cannot open construction, travel and legal companies. And in some areas, a Cypriot founder is required, who will own 51% of the shares. Specialists in the medical field (including massage therapists) must obtain a permit to conduct business by legalizing their diploma.
  • Offshore.This is a company that is used to transit money, has no right to operate inside Cyprus and is subject to 1% income tax. This is a company in which all founders must be foreigners and must not have a residence permit.
  • A private entrepreneur. However, this option is only available to Cypriots.

Note: Consult with a VELES lawyer before making an important decision.

Жизнь и покупка недвижимости на Северном Кипре. Большое интервью с директором VELES Property & Enterprises

Northern Cyprus took 1st place in the Forbes Top countries for investment in 2024

— And yet, is real estate in the country more often bought for investment or for moving and living?

— Everyone, in fact, is guided by their goals. Investors are more likely to buy for resale after completion of construction or for leasing (short-term and long-term). But most still buy a place to live, moving to the island with the whole family, or as a “vacation home”, coming here for 2-3 months a year. Someone buys real estate as a gift for a child (after enrolling in university, it is more comfortable and profitable to live in their own, non-rented apartments).

— How stable is the real estate market in Northern Cyprus? How much does an apartment or house cost in 2024?

The island has changed a lot in the post-bubble period. Northern Cyprus took 1st place in the The Forbes top countries for investment three years ago — in 2021 — and now again in 2024!

Over these three years, more and more investors have been paying attention to the northern part of the island. In addition to the existing construction companies, Turkish and German companies have entered Northern Cyprus, and many businesses have opened in the beauty and tourism sectors. If someone says that the island is not developing, then most likely they have not been to the island. Real estate prices have increased by 2 times or more from 2021 to the current moment (beginning of 2024).

— What do they buy more often: ready-made housing or at the construction stage?

— The advantages of buying a property at the construction stage are the potential for price growth of 30-40%. By investing in construction, you really get a price increase of almost 50%, as companies raise real estate prices as construction progresses: the closer to the end, the higher the price. Plus, it is possible to pay in stages, choose finishes and even make small changes to the project.

But we recommend buying in construction if you have at least 2 years left and you are planning to move, but not right now and, last but not least, you are buying with an agency (agent) that analyzes the market and works with a lawyer ‑ such is VELES.

Our lawyer always checks the documents for the site and permits for the project, and the manager accompanies the client not only before the transaction, but also after, on all adaptation issues.

Жизнь и покупка недвижимости на Северном Кипре. Большое интервью с директором VELES Property & Enterprises

— Residents of which countries live on the island and move to it, except for the locals?

— It all depends on the region. For example, the northern coast (the area of Esentepe and Tatlysu) was very much loved by the inhabitants of northern Europe: Norwegians, Finns, Swedes, Germans; residents from the CIS countries settled most of the eastern coast (the area of Iskele, Yeni Bogazici). In larger cities such as Girne (or Kyrenia), Gazimagusa (or Famagusta), residents of different countries of the world live.

Many people believe that if Northern Cyprus enchants your heart at least once, it will not let you go anymore. Maybe it’s Aphrodite’s charm, but we’re noticing this trend.

— And where is the best place to live on the island?

— Northern Cyprus is divided into 5 regions: Kyrenia (Girne), Famagusta (Gazimagusa), Nicosia (Lefkosha), Guzelyurt, Iskele. Everyone has their own characteristics and lifestyle.

In Lefkosi, the cost of living is lower, there are a large number of local Turkish Cypriots and there is no access to the coastline. By the way, the new Ercan Airport is located there, with a passenger capacity of up to 10 million people.

Girne is considered one of the most “lively” cities. There is a place for urban life (bars, restaurants of various cuisines, cinema, clubs, offices, etc.), and for recreation (sandy beaches, golf club, promenade). Schools, colleges and universities are also located in Girna.

Guzelyurt is an eco—friendly area surrounded by orange groves. It is there that residents of different countries come to try different water sports. Real estate is being built there “zero to the sea”. The region is quiet with insanely beautiful nature.

Famagusta is considered a student town. One of the largest EMU universities is located there and various events for young people are often held. There is a shopping mall in the city center.

Iskele is a region with resort properties along the coastline. Since 2010, Iskele has been gaining popularity among the Russian-speaking population. There is still a lot of undeveloped land, but most of it has already been bought and is being prepared for development.

Despite such a difference in regions, there are no analogues in real estate projects in Northern Cyprus, especially in the resort area, either in the CIS countries or in America, not in Europe.

When I moved to the island in the early 2000s, as a foreigner, I faced a lot of problems. Now, the mission of my company VELES is a high—quality solution to all the problems that foreigners may face in Northern Cyprus.


Жизнь и покупка недвижимости на Северном Кипре. Большое интервью с директором VELES Property & Enterprises

Yulia Yanukovych Editor-in-Chief

I am responsible for the work of the editorial office. I write expert interviews and guides.

Information provided by Veles Enterprises

Жизнь и покупка недвижимости на Северном Кипре. Большое интервью с директором VELES Property & Enterprises

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