This post was most recently updated on March 19th, 2020
I came to Cyprus on 19th May 2019. 13 hours of flight and finally I was at Larnaca. My relatives (cousin and his wife) were there to pick me up so things were easier for me. We rode a cab and headed towards my room. The room was pre-booked.
I was super tired so I slept as soon as I reached my apartment. Cut to the next morning, around 8 am I got a phone call from my cousin.
Cousin: Hey, you want to go to work today?
It hadn’t even been 12 hours since I landed in Cyprus and there was a job for me? Wow, right?
Even though I was tired, I said: “Yes, I will go”.
I mean why not? The ultimate goal of coming to Cyprus was to earn money so, I was ready.
It was a gardening job. Even though I didn’t have any previous experience I went to work.
I worked for 5 hours and came back to my room. I was happy and I got even more excited when I was called again to work for the next day too.
I went to work, worked for 4 hours, earned some money and came back to my room.
At this point, I was very happy.
The only thought running in my mind was, “Why were people saying there is no work in Cyprus? I mean, I got work as soon as I came here. Don’t go to Cyprus, you will regret, bla bla bla …. Why were they saying it? I think they were just saying that to me because they were jealous and they didn’t want me to succeed. They are just a bunch of idiots and leg pullers.”
Or, were they?
No, they weren’t. I was the one who was an idiot.
But Aashish, you were making money and you were happy, so why would you say that?
Often, the reality is far different than what you assume. Keep reading the article to know more.
Today, in this article I will tell you or even guide you on how much can an international student earn in Cyprus and the situation of international students here. After reading the article, you could be the judge.
How many hours can an international student work in Cyprus?
Legally, an international student can only work 20 hours a week and that also after 6 months of arriving in Cyprus.
Let me explain it to you.
When you come to Cyprus on a student visa, the first thing you have to do is visit your college. The college will set you an appointment date with the Migration & Labour office. When the Migration Office will process your documents, then only you will be considered as a legal student in Cyprus.
Read here about what to do after coming to Cyprus on a student visa. The article has step by step guide, and I am sure it will be very helpful for you.
Since the day you are registered in the Migration office, your 6 months will be counted.
After 6 months, you will get a work letter from your college, and with that work letter, you can look for a job.
The law has changed now. You don’t need to wait for six months to work. You can work with your pink card now. It might take up to 3 months for your pink card to arrive. When you have your pink card, you can ask your college to give you a work letter.
Can international students work full time in Cyprus?
No, they cannot. You need to understand that you are a full-time student in Cyprus, not a full-time worker. You can work full time only when you come here on a working visa.
As I previously said, you cannot work for more than 20 hours a week. During holiday seasons, you can work up to 36 – 40 hours a week. That’s it. Legally, as a student, you can’t work full time.
How much is per hour wage for international students in Cyprus?
Usually, the per hour wage for international students in Cyprus is 5 Euro but it depends. If you are a European you might earn more than that.
Mostly for Asians and Africans, 5 Euro is the average salary. Sometimes they don’t even give 5 Euro. It depends upon your work.
What are the fields an International student could work in Cyprus?
According to the Ministry of Labor, the employment of foreign students is allowed in the following sectors:
- Health and Social Care
- Household Activities
- Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Fishery
- Food Industry
- Restaurants, Recreational Centres
What are the documents required to look for a job in Cyprus?
The main documents necessary for a part-time job in Cyprus for International students are as below.
- A valid Residence Permit of Cyprus (Pink Slip)
- Work Letter from College. (College won’t give you a work letter until you have your pink slip.)
- A time table of your studies/class. (Your college will provide you the time table.)
What about those who are working full time?
There are students who are working for 10-12 hours a day. They are only supposed to work for 20 hours a week, i.e. 3 hours a day. But they are working for more than that.
Yes, there are many International students who are doing that. I don’t deny that. Not only are a few but there are thousands of them.
- Without a doubt, they are doing it illegally.
- Don’t forget that they are violating the law and when they get caught there will be punishment.
- Not only the students but the one who has given them the job, will also either have to pay the fine or face imprisonment.
Now, you may say, “I know a guy who is working in Cyprus for full time, even if he is a student. Nobody has caught him or told him to pay the fine. So what’s the problem?”
People are doing it for ages. If they even get caught, corruption is always there to save them. Going against the law is breaking the law. For once or twice they might give you a warning, but if they catch you again, you will either have to pay fine or they will deport you.
You know a guy who is working full time, right? I know a lot of guys who were fined, imprisoned and deported. The owner had to shut down the restaurant because all his employees were international students and they were working for more than 8 hours a day. So yeah, think about it.
If you are a skilled professional in your field, you can earn up to 800 Euro per month and even more than that just by working for 20 hours a week. Yes, that can happen but as I said, you need to be too good in your field.
So, there are jobs in Cyprus for International Students, right?
Well, here is an interesting fact. A law-abiding company or organization will never hire a student for a full-time job. They follow the law and would never want to get into illegal cases.
They want their employees to work for at least 8 hours a day. But as a student, you are barely allowed to work for 4 hours a day.
Suppose there are 2 people looking for a job in a reputed company. One is you and another one is a Cypriot or a European.
The European guy could work for as long as he wants in the company and on the other hand you have to go to college to attend the class every day.
Suppose both of you have the same knowledge in the field. Let’s say you are even better than the guy, but at the end of the day, you are just a student with only 20 hrs per week’s work schedule.
The company wouldn’t want to hire you not because you are unworthy, but because you have boundaries and that guy doesn’t.
If any company or organization is hiring students on a full-time basis, then they are certainly breaking the law.
As an international student, would I be able to pay the tuition fee with just a part-time job?
With just a part-time job you would be able to earn around 400-600 Euro per month. Now, with that much money, you can pay the college fee but it depends upon how you use the money.
If you are living in an apartment where you would have to pay around 300 Euro for your room rent + electricity charge + water + WiFi charge + extra stuff, you won’t be able to save for the college fee.
But if you stay in a room with a less fare + you closely monitor your expenses, I guess you can save the money for the tuition fee.
I am talking about college, not a University. The fee structure of Universities is much higher than that of colleges.
There is no way you can pay for the University fee just by doing a part-time job.
If there is no work, then how are students surviving?
Before giving you the answer to this question, here is something that you should know.
- You have to bring 2000 Euro in Cash with you to show at the Immigration at Larnaca Airport.
- You have to pre-pay the college fee for 1 year before coming to Cyprus.
Now, for a year you don’t need to pay the tuition fee in college and as you have 2000 Euro with you, you can easily survive for at least 6-7 months.
This is how most of the students are surviving.
What after the money is finished, you said?
They ask their parents to send money from home.
What a pathetic condition that would be.
If your parents can send you the money, then you can do totally fine, but what if they don’t have any money to send?
What if the money that you have used for Cyprus Student Visa processing was all debt and your parents are in no condition to support you further?
Hoping to earn a lot of money and support your family, you apply to Cyprus without doing any research. Eventually, you come here and you regret.
Don’t come to Cyprus if your intention is just to earn money
Do you remember in the beginning I was saying that I was an idiot? Here is why:
When I got work for 2 days, I thought I would be getting works like these on a daily basis. I thought my life is set in Cyprus now. I started daydreaming.
Unfortunately, after that work, I didn’t get any work for the next 3 months. If the police would have caught me while I was working, I might be in Jail now because I was working illegally. Worst of all, I didn’t even know I was illegally working.
I started looking for jobs. They said, “come when you have a pink slip”. After I got my pink slip, people started saying, “come when you are here for more than 6 months“.
I waited for 6 months and then I again re-tried. This time, they said, “you are a student so we cannot give you a full-time job, and we already have a lot of people for part-time, so SORRY!”
Can you imagine?
I blindly trusted the information I was given. I should have looked on the internet properly before coming to Cyprus. But I didn’t and that was my greatest idiotic mistake.
I was told that I could easily go to other European countries from Cyprus and even if I didn’t want to go, I could make a pretty good amount of money in Cyprus itself.
Here is the truth: That statement was a total lie.
- Going to other countries from Cyprus is very hard.
- After reading this article you know now that earning a lot of money in Cyprus is just a myth.
So, Aashish, what do you suggest we do?
Dear everyone, don’t come to Cyprus on a student visa if your aim is to earn a lot of money.
Don’t make the mistakes that I have made.
- You cannot be a billionaire in here just by working 20 hours a week.
- The reality is totally different here than what you are being told by your agents.
- You can barely pay the room rent, let alone earning a big amount of money.
If you want to study, Cyprus is a very good country with a lot of good colleges and Universities.
But, if you think you can study + work + send money home to pay the debt + live a European life, that would just be a dream.
- Agents will say that you can work as long as you want, don’t trust them.
- Your own friends and relatives will say “you can go to other countries”, don’t trust them.
If your parents can afford to send you the college fee every year, then it’s ok to come here. In fact, Cyprus would be a great country to choose for your higher studies.
Otherwise, don’t waste your parent’s lifetime saving for false hope. Please.
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