Cyprus has been a member state of the European Union (EU) since 2004, which means that the citizens of other EU countries can easily live here under the law of free movement of people. However, the United Kingdom (UK) has decided on leaving the EU and the country has completed the withdrawal procedure from the EU.
In this situation, it must be noted that relocating to Cyprus as a UK citizen will imply new legal steps, but these are to be applied only after 31st of December 2020, which is the date at which the withdrawal period ended, as per the regulations of the Withdrawal Agreement. Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can present the current applicable laws for those who want to move to Cyprus from UK.
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How to immigrate to Cyprus from UK until 31st of December 2020
Although the UK is no longer an EU member state from a legal point of view, British citizens benefited from the same rights they used to have as EU citizens, given the fact that the new procedures that refer to the movement of persons from the UK to EU and from the EU to the UK were still applied by the end of 31st of December 2020.
Thus, those who want to move to Cyprus from UK until the end of 2020 were able to do so following the regulations addressed to EU citizens, which entitles them to the free movement laws. In other words, UK citizens moving to Cyprus benefited from the same rights the Cypriot citizens have.
|Visas for short-term immigration from
UK to Cyprus
UK nationals are not required to apply for a visa for short-term stays in Cyprus (any stays of maximum 90 days in a period of 180 days).
Visas for long-term immigration from
|Work visas, study visas, family reunification visas.|
|UK nationals can move to Cyprus from UK without any visa requirements for short-term stays.|
|Electronic visas available||
No (there is the electronic Pro Visa, but it is available only for Russian citizens traveling to Cyprus).
|Main reasons to immigrate from
US to Cyprus
|A person can move to Cyprus from UK for the following purposes: travel and visit, family reunification, employment opportunities, opening a business or investing in a business, self-employment, employment transfers to Cyprus, study, conducting research, etc.|
|Institution in charge with the issuance of the visa||
Civil Registry and the Migration Department
|Fee system available for the processing
of the visa (yes/no)
|Fees charged for the issuance of short-term/long-term visas||EUR 20 is charged for
short stay visa/EUR 60 for long stay visa
|Special rules for citizens of UK||With the exception of the visa waiver rule for short stays, persons who move to Cyprus from UK do not benefit from any different rules compared to those applied to other foreigners.|
|The procedure for permanent residency
|In most cases, foreigners must be residents of Cyprus for a period of 5 years in order to be able to apply
for permanent residency.
|Documents required for permanent residency application||
The documents vary depending on the visa pathway followed by the applicant (purchased property for permanent residency, worked in Cyprus for 5 years, enrolled in long-term study, etc).
|Reasons for which permanent residency can be granted in Cyprus||Purchasing property with a value of minimum EUR 300,000, being a close family member of EU citizen residing in Cyprus, being employed or self-employed in Cyprus, being the family member of a non-EU citizen who has acquired permanent residency in Cyprus.|
|Right to permanent residency for refugees/asylum seekers (yes/no)||Yes|
|Immigration pathways for highly skilled persons||Category D (scientific, academic, professional qualifications required) and Cateogry E (for foreigners who received permanent employment offers) permits|
|Legal pathways to citizenship||Naturalization by residency in Cyprus, marriage to a Cypriot national, Cypriot origins.|
This means that any British citizen was entitled to immigrate to Cyprus and work here without obtaining specific documents that are addressed to persons living outside the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA). British persons can also request the issuance of a Cyprus permanent residence permit, if they consider relocating here on a permanent basis.
However, even in this situation, any person living for a period of more than 90 days on the Cypriot territory will have to apply for a Registration Certificate for EU Nationals, which is commonly referred to as the Yellow Slip. British citizens who want to immigrate to Cyprus from UK will have to apply for this document, and this is also necessary in the case of other family members they relocate here with.
The obligation to apply for a Registration Certificate is maintained for all citizens and the foreigner should apply for this document at the Civil Registry and Migration Department working under the Ministry of Interior in Cyprus; our immigration lawyers in Cyprus can present more information on how to apply for a registration certificate.
UK citizens must know that the procedure which grants them the right to move to Cyprus from UK following the EU laws can be extended for a period of one to two years after the end of 2020, as per the regulations of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, which mentions this aspect for the purpose of creating a sustainable transition for all EU and UK citizens.
What are the residency rules for UK nationals starting with 2021?
Persons interested to immigrate to Cyprus after 1st of January 2021, the official date when the Withdrawal Agreement no longer applies and which was created to protect the interests of British citizens living in EU member states, have now to comply with third party immigration rules.
In the case of British nationals who registered with the local immigration authorities during the Withdrawal Agreement it must be noted that their rights are still protected and that they can easily live in Cyprus without any immediate threat regarding their residency in Cyprus.
For those who want to immigrate to Cyprus from UK after 1st of January 2021 new immigration rules have to be respected. In this sense, the Cypriot authorities created the Cyprus immigration rules after Brexit, which prescribe three different types of residence permits.
These residence permits are now required for both British citizens who lived in Cyprus during the transition period (under the Withdrawal Agreement), as well as for those who want to relocate here for a long/permanent stay. Thus, those who want to apply for the Cyprus residence after Brexit must obtain a designated residence permit.
Please mind that UK nationals who were the holders of specific residency documents issued in Cyprus during the transition period are not obligated to apply for the new residency documents prescribed for Cyprus residence after Brexit. They can obtain the new documents, but this is an optional procedure, as long as they are the holders of any of the following documents: the Certificate of Registration (MEU1), the Residence Card (MEU2) or the Card of Permanent Residence (MEU3).
British persons can apply for the MUKW1 document, which is a residence permit that grants the right to reside in Cyprus for a period of 5 years and which is issued to British nationals and their close family members who are also British nationals; another option is to apply for the MUKW2 document, a residence permit that must be obtained by the family members of the UK nationals, as long as the said family members are non-UK nationals.
The MUKW2 document grants the right to move to Cyprus for a period of 5 years as well. According to the new rules for Cyprus residence after Brexit, UK nationals can also obtain a residence permit with a validity of 10 years, the MUKW3 document, available for UK nationals and for their close family members, who can have British nationality or other nationalities.
Thus, starting with 2021, British nationals who want to apply for a residence permit in Cyprus that is issued on a permanent basis have these 3 new documents – the MUKW1, the MUKW2 and the MUKW3.
Application regulations are done as per the rules of the Directive 2004/38/EC; our lawyers can present the main conditions British nationals must respect (as well as their family members).
Under the new Cyprus immigration rules after Brexit, the Cypriot government guarantees that the UK nationals will be protected on the Cypriot territory and that the right to live, study and work here will be maintained. A small difference is now applicable when traveling to and from Cyprus, in the sense that the identity document is no longer recognized as the main traveling document.
Thus, British nationals have to present their passport, which will simply be shown to the Cyprus immigration authorities, without the need to add stamps. This is, of course, applied for those who live in Cyprus under a residence permit. In the case of those who will want to arrive here for a given purpose which implies staying in Cyprus for a longer period of 90 days, then the visa formalities can be imposed.
What are the steps of becoming a resident in Cyprus?
UK citizens can become residents of Cyprus if they spend at least three months on the Cypriot territory. The Cyprus immigration law stipulates that foreigners are also entitled to obtain permanent residency here, to which a person can apply after having lived at least 5 years in this country. Persons planning to immigrate to Cyprus from UK on a permanent basis can also apply for Cypriot citizenship.
Cypriot citizenship can be obtained by foreigners through a process that is known as naturalization, which requires them to live in this country for a period of at least 7 years. Cypriot citizenship can be obtained by persons who make significant investments in the local economy as well, and our Cyprus immigration lawyers can present the process.
Citizenship in Cyprus can also be obtained through marriage. If a foreigner is interested in acquiring citizenship and the spouse is a Cypriot national, then the person will have this right, in certain circumstances.
Thus, one needs to observe the rules concerning the duration of the marriage and the duration of the residency in Cyprus at the moment when the application is made.
For Cypriot citizenship by marriage, the foreigner must be able to prove that he or she has been married with a Cypriot national for minimum 3 years at the moment when the application is initiated.
For this particular way of acquiring citizenship, the foreign applicant can either be in the country or in his or her country of origin. For the latter, the applicant must present a reasons as to why he or she did not relocate here.
For applicants who are in the country, it is necessary to be the holder of a residency permit in Cyprus. In fact, it is required to provide evidence on the 3 years marriage out of which, 2 must be spend as a resident of this country.
Our immigration lawyers in Cyprus can offer in-depth information concerning other minimum requirements imposed for this type of citizenship.
Why do British citizens move to Cyprus from UK?
British citizens that relocated from their home country can be found in all the EU member states, as well as in other European countries that are not part of the EU. Some of the common reasons to relocate to Cyprus refer to the quality of life, the cost of living, employment purposes or the decision to relocate for marriage purposes. An important reason is also given by the weather conditions, sunny countries being preferred by Britons. Considering this, we present the following:
• the largest number of British persons relocated to another country is of 284,990 persons, living in Spain;
• Cyprus is among the top 10 European countries where British prefer to relocate;
• currently, more than 70,000 persons decided to move to Cyprus from UK;
• the cost of living can be mentioned as an important reason for this decision – for example, living in Nicosia is 47% cheaper compared to living in London;
• the costs of living in Cyprus are cheaper compared to UK for matters as housing (66% cheaper) or transportation (61% cheaper).
What are the basic Cyprus immigration rules after Brexit?
Currently, UK nationals or UK permanent residents that want to travel to Cyprus have to comply with more complex immigration rules. If before Brexit such persons were entitled to relocate to Cyprus without any immigration formalities (except for obtaining a residence permit for permanent stays), since 1st of January 2021, this category of foreigners will be required to apply for a visa.
The visa is necessary for stays longer than 90 days. The Cyprus immigration law can require third party nationals to apply for a visa regardless of the duration of the stay or it can stipulate that a foreigner can arrive here without a visa if the person will stay in this country for maximum 90 days in a period of 180 days, and the second option was established at a EU level for UK nationals.
Through this, UK nationals will only have to start various immigration procedures for long stays and that includes the Cyprus residency after Brexit, as, after stays longer of 90 days, the UK nationals are obligated to start the residency formalities. In the case in which they will relocate to Cyprus for a period longer than 90 days and they are aware that the stay will be longer than 90 days, visa formalities have to be started before the arrival in Cyprus.
If you need to apply for Cyprus residency after Brexit and you are interested in the visa options, our Cyprus immigration lawyer is ready to provide in-depth information on all the immigration formalities that have to be completed. Those interested to relocate to Cyprus can receive more details from our lawyers. You can contact our Cyprus immigration lawyers who can offer full legal representation in numerous cases related to the immigration law (Cyprus permanent residence permits, visas, citizenship, relocating with family members, relocating for employment and other relevant matters).