What does it feel like being a resident of North Cyprus?
The biggest advantage of living in North Cyprus is that you may enjoy all of the benefits of a Mediterranean lifestyle at a very reasonable price. Your money will go a lot farther in North Cyprus than it will in most other popular retirement destinations.
Because the northern part of the island is solely recognized by Turkey, its economy is not as strong as that of South Cyprus, and it continues to face embargoes. North Cyprus, on the other hand, has substantially cheaper living and property costs than other European countries. Many ex-pat retirees take advantage of this and relocate to the northern part of Cyprus in order to maximize their pension income. The northern part of Cyprus is undoubtedly the most picturesque area of the island, with magnificent Crusader castles, white colonial towns, and miles of untouched sandy beaches.
North Cyprus is definitely one of the most affordable countries along the Mediterranean coast. It is a great bargain when compared to the cost of living in the UK, although it is progressively growing due to the inflow of visitors and expatriate residents. Buying and renting a home is far less expensive than anywhere else in the Mediterranean. You will be amazed how far your pounds can stretch if you buy at local markets for fruits and veggies. Imported goods, on the other hand, are costly since they can only be delivered through Turkey and are subject to high tariffs. Eating out is very cheap, especially if you can find small local bars outside of tourist areas.
On the island, you can live almost any kind of lifestyle you desire, depending on how much spare cash you have. For example, if you have a lot of money, you can have everything from a personal gym to a movie theater in your home – not to mention the ever-present pool in the backyard, which you can use comfortably for at least 8 months of the year. For those who live in North Cyprus, there are theatres, clubs, pubs, and an astounding selection of restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets. Casinos, discos, societies, sports clubs, public gyms, spas, and beach clubs are all available.
Furthermore, because local average earnings are relatively low, the cost of living in North Cyprus can be fairly affordable. In North Cyprus, you can see English-speaking, internationally qualified physicians, and dentists, and private costs for seeing the best are not excessively expensive.
You can send your children to an international school, however, they are fee-paying institutions. For example, the English School of Kyrenia is recognized to the same standards as United Kingdom schools and courses.
You can shop at a supermarket with foreign products lining the shelves – or, of course, you can save a lot of money by shopping at one of the country’s weekly markets. You can sunbathe for free for nine months of the year, never getting tired of the gorgeous sky and beaches. Your Cypriot neighbors will make you feel very welcome, and there are many ex-pats who have already made North Cyprus their home.
While entering North Cyprus, you are granted a 90-day stay visa. If you want to stay longer, you must apply for a temporary residency permit right away. All residence permits are classified as “temporary” until a Permanent Residency is obtained. Applications for residency are now available on the web. A photocopy of your home sale contract (kocan – deed) or rental contract in your name, as well as a local bank statement with a minimum balance of £10,000 or Turkish lira equivalent per person, will be required. You will also need a valid passport, passport-sized photos, and proof of address in the form of an original letter from your local Muhktar (the head of a local community, usually found running a corner shop or in a local community center). Temporary permits are only valid for a year and must be renewed every year. Married couples should bring a photocopy of their marriage certificate. Before your permission can be approved, you must also pass a health check. You do not need to apply for an annual residency stamp in your passport if you are 60 or older. You have complete freedom to enter and depart North Cyprus as frequently as you want and to remain as long as you want.
Cyprus is a beautiful island. It is sunny, welcoming, and offers fantastic value for money as a retirement destination. In Expatra’s Best Places To Retire Abroad index, both the North and the South are ranked highly as the best retirement destinations for financial benefits. In comparison to the UK, the tax rates and cost of living are less harsh on your wallet.
However, just like any other retirement destination, you should try living in Cyprus to see whether it is a suitable match for you. So, rent a place and spend some time in one of the most popular areas or one of the ex-pat hotspots in North Cyprus over the summer and winter to see whether you can call it home.
Finally, if you are seeking a less expensive area to live overseas, North Cyprus is reasonable for many of your daily necessities, and you can live like a local while lowering your expenses. As soon as you start putting on extras, such as expensive white goods for your house or a television, garden furniture, or dining out every night, the expense of living in North Cyprus will rack up. Whether you are on a tight budget, try ‘holidaying’ on the island for a few months before committing to it to see if it is really affordable for you.