With a lush Mediterranean environment and a governmental push to make it a financial and technological hotspot in Europe, Cyprus is the best place to live as a digital nomad. After all, the Covid-19 pandemic has left many individuals with a renewed optimism to find work beyond the office and the country makes it easy to establish and grow an online business. For those who are already self-employed, the country offers a dynamic, fresh culture when travels elsewhere are so limited and provides the financial policies and high-quality infrastructure that keeps digital businesses running smoothly.
The Aspen Trust Group highlights the attractiveness of Cyprus as the best place to live as a digital nomad, for those just starting or those looking to make positive improvements for online business across any field. In addition, foreign nationals can learn how to take advantage of the new Digital Nomad Visa rolled out earlier this year.
Right Time, Right Place
The rising appeal of digital nomadism has come at a time when telework has become a way of life from the last year and a half of the global pandemic. Where many foreign nationals were already finding the joy of transforming their own entrepreneurial endeavors and seeking lifestyles more compatible with life goals, the new age of remote working has encouraged more workers to consider making the switch for good.
Cyprus, even before the pandemic, is the best place to live as a digital nomad for its quality of life and the business start-up and taxation advantages. In recent weeks, the government of Cyprus has announced plans to continue to push the country as one of the top digital nomad destinations.
Many of the initiatives aim to make the country ideal for location-independent work, with top internet speeds and investment in technological advancements to add to the growing number of benefits for non-domiciled individuals who live and work in Cyprus.
Alongside these public initiatives, Cyprus Economy and Competitiveness Council (Ecompet) has prepared to make Cyprus one of the most ideal “places to live, work, and do business” using long-term sustainability and interconnected policies that continue to grow the country’s reputation as a financial and technology hub in Europe. Vision 2035 combines the talents of governmental policy and private sector action to transform Cyprus’ cities into the top ranking high-tech capital cities in the region.
Joining the campaign to solidify Cyprus as the best place to live as a digital nomad is the Tech Island Association. Launched in April 2021, 65 tech companies in Cyprus came together to become a clear voice among policymakers and stakeholders for the tech industry. Hoping to showcase Cyprus as a leader for the expat community in the role of expanding a digital economy. The association is currently already working in partnership with the Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy on new programs promoting the country as a global tech hub.
Cyprus Edition: Why It’s the Best Place to Live as a Digital Nomad
Many aspects make Cyprus the best place to live as a digital nomad—from doing business to living the ideal nomadic lifestyle.
Quality of Life to Living Expenses
Cyprus boasts a colorful, Mediterranean lifestyle that combines the cultural, historical, and natural blend of the best Europe has to offer in addition to the influences of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. For digital nomads, this means ample ways to enjoy the country despite the current limit on travel restrictions in other parts of the globe.
Compared with other countries in Western Europe, Cyprus is much more affordable for digital nomads without sacrificing quality in healthcare, education, or housing. The ability to operate in English and other major languages also makes living and working in Cyprus a stress-free transition. In fact, more than 100,000 foreign residents have already found Cyprus their ideal home. Limassol, a big city in Cyprus, is one of the most suggested cities for digital nomads.
Non-Dom Taxation Policy
The ’60 Day Rule’ for non-domiciled individuals ensures that most digital nomads qualify as tax residents of the country, one of the shortest amounts of time to achieve tax residency status anywhere in the world. When looking for the best place to live as a digital nomad, the amount of taxes due can have a serious impact on the financial sustainability of their online business.
Luckily, low tax rates and an extensive network of double tax treaties make Cyprus an attractive jurisdiction for keeping the financial burden of being self-employed to manageable and competitive levels. Digital nomads can enjoy the freedom to be tax-free for income up to 19,500 Euros.
Relaxed, But Productive Work Environment
While Cyprus is known for its picturesque lifestyle, it is also a major finance and technology hub as well as a growing foreign investment hotspot. Part of the reason is the large network of professional services offered across several major industries.
Moreover, vast investments in infrastructure make it simple and effective to work remotely. Fast WiFi internet speeds and access to quality working spaces make Cyprus more ideal than found in other digital nomad destinations such as those in Southeast Asia. The city of Ho Chi Minh City or even Bangkok can pose problems for finding a reliable coworking space or access to important resources that digital nomads rely on to complete their work.
Ease of Setting Up and Doing Business
Setting up a business in Cyprus is relatively straightforward and comes with additional financial incentives, from a sole proprietorship to limited liability (Ltd.) company structures.
Each comes with their own financial benefits, although establishing an Ltd. provides digital nomads greater reputation and fewer liability risks in their business operations. Most businesses can be set up in a matter of a few days and working with a consulting agency such as The Aspen Trust Group can optimize your business and financial rewards.
Further, Cyprus is well-known for its reputable service industry that helps companies achieve their international business visions. Services include finding the perfect office space, dealing with important internal and external paperwork and accounting, and even immigration solutions for relocating families and businesses to a new jurisdiction.
Start-Up and Technology Hub
As Cyprus continues to incorporate modern initiatives for Start-Ups and the IT industry, digital nomads have access to the latest innovative digital services and opportunities. Aside from the joint ventures already mentioned, Limassol Marina is making big strides in pushing the city into the top position for technology leadership, hoping to expand the project into the next ‘Technology Wall Street.’
Invest Cyprus adds another layer of specialized conditions for tech support by partnering with local businesses and governmental agencies to enrich the technological environment of Cyprus. One such push is to further develop the jurisdiction, especially in domestic locales emerging on the technological scene, beyond just a place of financial incentives. A large portion of the focus has gone to ensuring that residents and employees in this field are able to access the market and resources as well as provide quality areas of life for family members.
With these rapid developments, it is clear that Cyprus is the best place to live as a digital nomad in the next few years as the landscape of the workplace continues to reimagine itself for the modern, globalized world.
The IP Box Scheme
The Intellectual Property Law of Cyprus makes the jurisdiction an attractive destination for start-ups and technology-driven digital nomads. Introduced in 2012 and enhanced in 2016, the Cyprus IP Box regime not only complies with the guidelines set forth by the EU and the OECD but also sets the jurisdiction apart from others with its large-scale IP protections and advantageous financial incentives.
One of the strongest features of the IP Box regime is a deduction of 80% on the revenue earned from the use of intangible assets, thus making only 20% of income from IP taxable at the low corporate tax rate of 12.5%. Effectively, resident companies see a tax rate at a low threshold of only 2.5%. Eligible IP assets include patents and copyrights software programs, among others. Innovative IP is also calculated into the nexus fraction of the Cyprus IP Box regime. In terms of taxation, Cyprus is one of the best places to live as a digital nomad, especially for those interested in technology and online entrepreneurship.
The Arrival of the Digital Nomad Visa Scheme
Rolled out at the beginning of the year, the Cypriot government’s ‘Digital Nomad Visa Scheme’ is one more reason Cyprus is the best place to live as a digital nomad. In the announcement, the government committed to issuing 500 residence permits to foreign entrepreneurs and digital nomads to further strengthen the island’s technology and business industries. The Scheme is integrated into the Strategy for Attracting Businesses for Activities or/and Expansion of the Activities initiatives in Cyprus
Those who are can perform their work remotely may relocate with their families and perform work duties for an employer registered in another country. In addition, for self-employed individuals, work may be done in Cyprus for clients or companies outside Cyprus.
Foreign nationals may apply for the Digital Nomad Visa if:
- Hold a passport other than an EU or EEA member state
- Work can be performed remotely with the aid of telecommunications technology
- Be self-employed with foreign clients or companies OR be employed by a registered foreign company outside the jurisdiction but capable of working remotely
- Provide proof of a stable, minimum monthly net income of €3,500
Digital nomads granted a residence permit through the Scheme are able to reside in Cyprus for a year, including the possibility of a renewal of the visa for two additional years. If these individuals reside in Cyprus for a period of 183 days or greater, the government will grant them tax residency in accordance with the 183-Day Rule and provided that they are not deemed tax residents of other jurisdictions.
Moreover, the Scheme allows for family members of the digital nomads under this visa program to also reside in Cyprus for the same period of stay as the applicant. However, family members will waive their right to work or perform economic activities in Cyprus. Applicable family members are the spouse or civil union partner as well as underage children. Each member of the family will also need to complete the procedure to obtain a temporary residence permit.
The professionals at The Aspen Trust Group can help you discover why Cyprus is the best place to live as a digital nomad and then help you prepare all the documents necessary to start the application process. Foreign nationals can expect a straightforward procedure and an application time of about 5 to 7 weeks.
To start, review some of the steps necessary for completing the application:
- New foreign nationals should arrive in Cyprus under a valid tourist visa, if applicable.
- Within the first 3 months upon arrival, an application for a temporary residence permit through the Digital Nomad Visa program and relevant documents should be submitted to the Offices of the Department in Nicosia. An appointment time may be arranged through the Department’s online platform.
- For foreign nationals residing currently in the jurisdiction under a different status, individuals may submit an application and documentation to change to a Digital Nomad temporary residence permit at the Civil Registry and Migration Department in Nicosia.
- Either at the time of the appointment or soon afterward, the applicant and family members should work with the Department to obtain relevant biometric data.
- Applicants must then pay the required fees.
- Finally, applicants will receive a letter after the examination period of 5 to 7 weeks indicating how to receive their temporary residence permit or the reasons for rejection of the application.
Other Important Points
- Applications may be submitted in person or by an authorized representative. Further, any data changes once the application is submitted should be immediately notified to the Department.
- All applications and documents must be officially translated as well as duly certified. Missing documents will disqualify applications.
- Renewals of the Digital Nomad Visa should be completed at least one month before the permit’s expiration date, fees paid, and contain necessary documents at t
Find the Perfect Fit and Get Set Up Today
With much of the world still navigating the challenges of the pandemic, there is no better time to expand your ability to work remotely and implement smart financial solutions to growing your own business. Cyprus continues to pave the way forward for digital nomads and their interests, making the country the best place to live as a digital nomad and find freedom in life and work.
The Aspen Trust Group has the necessary experience in consulting with a wide range of clients and their businesses. Contact our professionals to find out how to make the transition to the best place to live as a digital nomad as well as the most optimal company structure for you, getting the best in financial tools to make being self-employed the best decision you have ever made!