Brexit- the position of the Republic of Cyprus
The Withdrawal Agreement
In line with the revised Withdrawal Agreement published Officially on 31 January 2020, its implementation will mean that:
1) UK nationals and their family members who, by 31 December 2020, have been continuously resident in Cyprus for five years will be eligible for permanent residence.
2) UK nationals and their family members who already reside in Cyprus or arrive by 31 December 2020, but will not yet have been continuously resident in Cyprus for five years, will be eligible for residence, enabling them to stay until they have reached the five-year threshold, allowing them to apply for permanent residence.
3) UK nationals and their family members, who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, will be able to continue their lives in Cyprus, with the same access to work, study, benefits and public services that they enjoy now, subject to the specific provisions provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement.
How it works for UK nationals:
I. UK nationals and their family members including family members who are non-UK nationals, who have already exercised or will exercise free movement in Cyprus before 1 January 2021 but, until 31 December 2020 will not have completed continuous residence of five years, will be eligible for a temporary residence.
II. UK nationals will have completed five years of continuous residence in Cyprus before 31 December 2020, will be eligible to acquire permanent residence.
III. UK nationals will not have completed five years of continuous residence in Cyprus, will be able to remain in Cyprus to build-up five years continuous residence. Commencement of this five-year period for both cases starts at the moment of exercising free movement rights, which may be at any time before and during the transitional period.
IV. UK citizens who want to come to Cyprus after the 31 December 2020, end of the transitional period and whose rights do not fall within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, will need to meet Cyprus immigration rules.
How it works for UK nationals’ family members:
I. Existing family members of UK nationals covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, who are living in a country other than Cyprus on 31 December 2020 (end of the transition period), will be able to reunite in Cyprus with the UK national as a family member at any time in the future. They will then be eligible to qualify for permanent residence, after completing five years of continuous residence.
II. Children born or adopted after the transition period by UK nationals or their spouse/civil union partner, who are within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, will enjoy the same rights as pre-existing family members.
III. Future spouses and partners of UK citizens who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and wish to come to Cyprus after the 31 December 2020 (end of the transition period), will need to meet Cyprus immigration rules.
In reference to Article 18(4) of the Withdrawal Agreement, Cyprus has decided that UK nationals and their family members will not be obligated to replace their pre-existing residence documents (MEU1, MEU2, MEU3 ) in order to obtain the new residence document which will be issued as of 1.1.2021.
After the end of the transitional period, eligible persons whose residency rights are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, who have not applied for residence documents by the end of the transition period, will continue to have the right to apply for residence documents, provided they can submit documentary evidence of their residency prior to the end of the transitional period.
Residence documents issued to eligible persons after the end of the transition period will include a statement that the document has been issued in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement.
Family members of a UK national include:
• A spouse
• A civil partner
• Direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependents (including of those of the spouse or civil partner).
• Dependent direct relatives in the ascending line (including of those of the spouse or civil partner).
• Children born or adopted after the transitional period by a UK national or their spouse/ partner covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.
UK nationals and their family members, who will exercise their right to free movement and enter the Republic of Cyprus with the intention to reside before the withdrawal date and/or until the end of the transitional period, will continue to retain the same rights of residence as those under the current EU rules on free movement. In doing so, the Government aims to protect UK citizens and their family members who have already established their life in Cyprus at the time of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, under the Withdrawal Agreement.
The Government of the Republic of Cyprus greatly appreciates that UK citizens have been undoubtedly contributing to Cypriot society. Taking this valued contribution into consideration, and in addition to the fact that these UK citizens have been residing in the Republic of Cyprus in their capacity as EU citizens, the Government’s clear priority is to ensure that the rights of UK citizens are safeguarded.