UK National Living in Cyprus: What Next as Brexit Approaches?
According to the British High Commission, UK residents living in Cyprus will soon have more information on how their post-Brexit rights in the UK will be affected. However for now, only the Cyprus Government have disclosed vague information on what documentation residents will need in order to retain their rights on the island.
According to the terms of a final withdrawal agreement, the UK will formally leave the EU in March 2019 with an exemption period extending to December 2020. Expats will have until June 2021 to make the necessary preparations, the extent of which are currently unknown.
UK residents in Cyprus currently have the option to apply for three residency statuses, depending on the length of stay on the island:
- MEU1: for residents that have been or want to live in Cyprus for over 3 months.
- MEU3: for residents who have lived in Cyprus for more than 5 years.
- Citizenship: for residents who lived in Cyprus for over 7 years.
We would encourage anyone who have been living in Cyprus for more than 90 days to register with the island’s authorities as soon as possible to legalise their status. Most UK expats are currently in possession of a Yellowslip registration certificate – officially known as an MEU1. A list of all of the necessary paperwork to obtain an MEU1 is available at the civil registry and migration department’s website.
However, UK nationals who have been residing in Cyprus for a minimum of five years should apply for an MEU3. According to the civil registry and migration department, there is a list of documents required when applying for an MEU3; applicants should obtain this documentation along with an application form and make an appointment at their nearest immigration office.
The immigration offices are currently receiving bookings for 2 to 3 months in advance depending on the area and the immigration office, Limassol and Paphos being two of the busiest. In order to be eligible, applicants must have lived continuously in the Republic of Cyprus for five years to get an MEU3 and there are recommended documents which may be submitted for the application of a certificate of permanent residence.
The list of documentation required to apply for the MEU3 form is as follows:
- A residence card or certificate of registration (Yellowslip or equivalent).
- A rental agreement or property sale contract or title deed, for the last five years.
- Utility bills or statements of accounts for the previous five years of a Cyprus property.
- Bank statements dating back five years and month by month social insurance certificate from the citizen’s advice bureau or collected from employers for the previous 5 years contributions.
- Any other documentation proving the completion of a continuous period of five years on the island may also be helpful.