The main provider is state-owned and run, providing all modern telecommunications and associated internet and mobile technologies. Furthermore, various well-known European and Global competitors assure all standards are kept high.
With a modern, well equipped structure following the British banking system, a network of international banks support all corporate and personal banking requirements. All major global payment solutions are accepted island-wide such as Visa and Europay. As of 2008, there were four local and 38 international banks, contributing to the 900 branches and 12,400 employees in the sector, which contributed to 8% of the GPD. Loans are available for property, land, holiday homes, renovation/restoration and professional property.
Like the banking system, the legal system is again based on the British legal system. With more than 162 limited liability law firms and more than 1968 registered advocates as of 2008, Cyprus provides a complete range of legal services. Furthermore, The Cyprus Land Registry is considered one of the most reliable and established in the world, providing security regarding title deed issues etc. Finally, legal costs are considered very reasonable compared with other European countries.
Education of all levels and international standards is provided island wide by both state run schools and private institutions with languages including English, French, Russian, Armenian and Arabic to name a few. There are also private English speaking universities and the Greek speaking Cyprus University with a complete selection of subjects covered. As of 2007, 58% of Cypriot university students completed degrees in subjects such as accounting, engineering, business administration and law, mostly in the UK and the United States.
Health care in Cyprus is provided by state run General Hospitals and also a large concentration of private clinics and hospitals. The main medical centres are found in urban areas in the main towns and also small subcentres are available in most rural areas. All government hospitals provide emergency services and so do most major private clinics. Any emergency medical treatment or assistance required is offered without charge to all international tourists through the Accident and Emergency Department of all government hospitals. Any in patient or out patient care required may involve payment of fees depending on the country of origin of the person.
CRIME IN CYPRUS
Cyprus is known to be a relatively safe place to live in. A crime rate of only 6.44 crimes per 1,000 inhabitants shows a low incidence of crime in Cyprus especially when compared to most European countries.
SAFETY OF FOOD & DRINKING WATER
Cyprus offers a high level of quality and safety with regards to food and water, with water pollution at negligible levels and fresh tap water supplies to every home, hotel, restaurant and public premise, which is safe to drink. Safety levels of all food and the quality of drinking water in Cyprus is controlled and regulated by the government Ministry of Health in conjunction with local authorities.
ELECTRICITY AND ENERGY SUPPLY
Electricity is supplied in Cyprus at 240 volts and A.C. 50 Hz. square 3-pin sockets are provided in most buildings, usually at 13 amps. Most households and commercial buildings use solar energy for water heating and renewable energy sources are currently being promoted and funded by the government.
RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR NON EU CITIZENS
Non EU citizens who purchase property and wish to retire in Cyprus can apply for a residence permit. All applications are considered based on income to include pension or investment income. An annual income of € 20,000 is normally deemed sufficient for 2 retirees to obtain the permit. After 7 years a foreign resident can apply for a Cyprus passport according to EU Directives.
EU- RESIDENTS ACQUISITION OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY
As a popular destination for retirement and purchase of holiday homes, Cyprus continues to see growth in interest from buyers from many European countries. This increase in foreign interest in Cyprus property is attributed to the high standard and quality of properties available and the low cost of living on the island. The attractive climate, hospitable locals and important family considerations of favourable safety and low crime have also contributed to this growth. Local prices remain lower than European counterparts with many good quality properties and resales available across the island.
The warm climate, beautiful natural environment of the island, an abundance of art and cultural interests, and the laid-back nature of locals make living in Cyprus very pleasant. On a professional level, low stress and hardworking yet hospitable friendly people make business and working in Cyprus far easier than in many other countries. For families, a safe and secure country with low crime rates makes it an easy choice.