Brexit update: Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021.

As the UK’s second largest trading partner, Cyprus is aiming to maintain excellent and warm relations for the large number of UK expats living, working and studying in the country.

According to the last agreement signed between the UK and EU Commission, British nationals will be able to carry on living in Cyprus during the implementation period (31/1/2020- 31/12/2020)  – in the same way as a Cypriot does.

We recommend that UK nationals who have been residing in Cyprus for more than three months (and wish to continue living there) obtain the MEU1. This is a registration document for UK nationals in Cyprus – and you apply for it via the Cypriot Authorities (Ministry of Interior, Civil Registry and Migration Department).

Additionally, we advise you do this now, while we await further details about possible changes to the system.

It will be up to the EU and its member states to decide how to implement the deal for UK nationals – i.e. whether they will adopt a similar approach and require applications or continue with the current declaratory system.

So far there are no changes in your rights and status while UK remains in the EU – but ongoing negotiations will reveal any further actions that UK nationals should take.

Join in our free forum to make sure you get all the latest on the Cyprus status and negotiations.

Official information for UK nationals moving to and living in Cyprus, including Brexit guidance, residency, healthcare and driving.

The Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in Cyprus at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Cyprus.

Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information.

In the meantime, make sure you are registered as a resident in Cyprus. We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.

You should also read the guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Cyprus.

Residency
If you are resident in Cyprus before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to continue to live, work and access services as you do now.

You must register as a Cypriot resident if you plan to stay in Cyprus for more than 3 months. You will get a registration certificate from the Ministry of the Interior, Civil Registry and Migration Department.

After living in Cyprus for more than 5 years, you can apply for permanent residence (MEU3).

If there are changes to residency registration processes, we will update this guidance as soon as information is available.

Read the guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

UK Nationals Support Fund
The government has announced funding for organisations to provide practical support to UK nationals who may have difficulty completing their residency application or registration.

This support is available only to those who need additional help. This may include pensioners, disabled people, people living in remote areas or who have mobility difficulties.

The services available for people who need this additional support include:

  • answering questions about residency applications, such as the documents required and application procedure
  • guiding individuals through the process, if necessary
  • supporting people facing language barriers or difficulty accessing technology

In Cyprus, this support is being provided by two organisations: SSAFA (specifically for armed forces veterans) and Cyprus Residency Planning Group (CRPG). If you or someone you know may have difficulty completing the paperwork, you can contact them using the details below to discuss how they may be able to help you.

SSAFA: The Armed Forces Charity
Visit the SSAFA website

Hotline: 800 77058 (freephone), available Mon – Fri 09.00 – 17.30

Email: ukvie.support@ssafa.org.uk

CRPG: 800 09009 (freephone)
Mon – Fri 09.00-13.00

contactus@cyprus-crpg.org

Passports and travel

The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.

Check your passport is valid before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay in Cyprus. However, if you’re travelling to the north of Cyprus, their administration advises that your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry to the north.

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Cyprus.

Passports from 1 January 2021
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip.

From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Cyprus, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may need to show a return or onward ticket and that you have enough money for your stay. You may also have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped for visits to these countries.

Entry requirements
From 1 January 2021, you will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.

To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel, you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the country to which you are travelling. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You may also need to get a visa if your visit would take you over the 90 days in 180 days limit.

Periods of stay authorised under a visa or permit will not count against the 90-day limit. Travel to the UK and Ireland will not change.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen Area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Healthcare

If you are living in Cyprus or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Cyprus as you do now, provided you remain legally resident.

You must be properly registered for healthcare as a resident in Cyprus, as well as registering, where necessary, with a health insurer.

Once you are registered as resident, you may be entitled to state healthcare. You should check with the Ministry of Health or at your local citizen service centre to see if you are covered.

You can find information about the new Cypriot state healthcare system GESY on their website. We strongly advise you to take out private medical insurance if you are not eligible for state healthcare.

State healthcare: S1
If you live in Cyprus and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

Read the guidance on how to get an S1 form.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you are resident in Cyprus, you must not use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from the UK to access healthcare in Cyprus.

When you travel from Cyprus for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state- provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:

  • the EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home
  • an EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance
  • for more information read the travel advice pages and advice on foreign travel insurance

There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC, as you did before, during this time.

If you are travelling, make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance. The existing EHIC arrangements are not an alternative to travel insurance, as some health-related costs, including for medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment are not covered. The EHIC is also not valid in north Cyprus.

You should also read guidance on:

Working in Cyprus

Read the guidance on working in an EU country.

To apply for a job you may need to provide a UK police certificate.

If you are resident in Cyprus on or before 31 December 2020, your right to work will stay the same, as long as you remain resident in Cyprus.

Education and professional qualifications

If you are legally resident in Cyprus on or before 31 December 2020, your right to study in Cyprus will stay the same, as long as you remain a resident in Cyprus.

Read the guidance on continuing your studies in EU countries.

Professional qualifications
If you have already been recognised by an EU country as holding valid professional qualifications, this will remain valid after 31 January 2020.

If you have not had your professional qualifications recognised, you can submit an application under the current rules until 31 December 2020.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Cyprus to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Cyprus have not changed.

You should read the guidance on:

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Cyprus. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Cyprus.

National Insurance
Find out if you can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU or EEA and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Pensions

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire in Cyprus, you can claim:

Life certificates for UK State Pensions
If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must fill it in promptly, otherwise your payments may be suspended.

Pensions after 31 December 2020
There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.

If you are living in Cyprus by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Cyprus, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Cypriot pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

If you are considering moving to Cyprus on or after 1 January 2021 and you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the rules depend on negotiations with the EU and may change. Check the guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.

Benefits

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in Cyprus.

If you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks, many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit cannot be paid to you.

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Cypriot benefits
You may be able to claim some Cyprus social security benefits. When you are checking whether you are eligible for benefits in Cyprus you should make sure you declare any National Insurance contributions you made in the UK.

Benefits after 31 December 2020
There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Cyprus, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Cypriot contribution-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

If you are considering moving to Cyprus on or after 1 January 2021 and you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the rules depend on negotiations with the EU and may change. Check the guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Driving in Cyprus

Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you are resident in Cyprus, you should exchange your UK licence for a Cypriot one. You can still use your Cypriot licence in the UK for short visits, or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

For information on driving in Cyprus, read the guidance on:

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Cyprus
You cannot import vehicles through the northern part of Cyprus. The authorities may seize your vehicle.

Read the guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK and the Cypriot government webpage on importing a vehicle into Cyprus.

You should read the European Union’s guidance on car registration and taxes in Cyprus.

You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.

Voting

After 31 January 2020, UK nationals are no longer eligible to vote in local and European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in Cyprus, you will need to register a birth abroad.

If someone dies in Cyprus, you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Cyprus.

You may also need:

Pets

Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you must visit your vet to get a pet passport.

Read guidance on bringing your pet to the UK.

Emergencies

You can dial the European emergency number on 112, or Cyprus also has 199.

If you’re the victim of crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact the British High Commission Nicosia.

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on buying a property abroad.

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and Cypriot authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

If you get healthcare in Cyprus through the S1 certificate, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, access to services and bringing family members.

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Cypriot authorities.

Source: gov.uk

Join the BD Forum

The BD Forum provides members with access to discussions on the topics that matter to you. Whether you are an EU national wishing to discuss matters within a country specific area of the forum or with the wider community you will find answers to questions and be able to access other members’ experiences and knowledge.

Join the BD Forum