Brexit update: Read updated guidance for Implementation Period until 31 December 2020

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.

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

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Cyprus.

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).

Read the guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency after Brexit
If you are resident in Cyprus before the implementation period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay.

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

Read the Cypriot government guidance on Brexit and residency in Cyprus.

If you are a resident in Cyprus, you are advised to carry your Republic of Cyprus-issued residency documents when entering/exiting the Republic of Cyprus. If you are not a resident in the Republic of Cyprus and cannot show that you hold a residency document, you will likely be subject to the 90-day limit rule.

Passports and travel

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

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay in Cyprus; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. 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.

Read the travel advice for Cyprus and sign up to email alerts for up-to-date travel information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

Passports and travel after Brexit
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

The rules on travel will stay the same until the implementation 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.

We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available.

Healthcare

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.

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.

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

If you are a student, read the NHS guidance on healthcare and studying abroad.

You can find English-speaking doctors in Cyprus.

You should check your prescriptions are legal in Cyprus.

Healthcare after Brexit
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 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 resident.

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.

Working in Cyprus

If you are registered as a resident in Cyprus, you have the right to work in Cyprus. Read the guidance on working in another EU country.

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

Working in Cyprus after Brexit
Your right to work will stay the same, as long as you remain resident in Cyprus.

Education and professional qualifications

Studying in Cyprus
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 after Brexit.

Professional qualifications
The European Commission has published guidance on professional qualifications.

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

If you have not had your professional qualifications recognised, you will have until the implementation period ends on 31 December 2020 to submit an application under the current rules.

Money and tax

The UK has a double-taxation agreement with Cyprus to make sure that people do not pay tax on the same income in both countries.

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 and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Money and tax after Brexit
Brexit will not change existing double-taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Cyprus. You should send questions about double taxation to the relevant tax authority.

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.

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 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 Brexit
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.

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.

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 the implementation period ends.

Benefits

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.

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 Brexit
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 the implementation period ends.

Driving in Cyprus

If you are resident in Cyprus, you should exchange your UK licence for a Cypriot one before Brexit. 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:

You cannot import vehicles through the northern part of Cyprus. The authorities may seize your vehicle.

Bringing a vehicle from the UK 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.

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

Read the guidance on driving in the EU after Brexit.

Voting

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

If you’re resident in Cyprus, you can vote in local municipal and European Parliamentary elections.

Voting after Brexit
After Brexit you will no longer be eligible to vote in local and European Parliament elections.

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child in 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 pet travel.

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

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