Current Conditions and Requirements for Cyprus
Currently British nationals enjoy full EU rights to free movement and establishment. We are now in a transition period until the end of December 2020 for the implementation of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
Under the Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals who are eligible for residence rights as well as their family members, including family members that are third country nationals, can continue to live, work or study in Cyprus. This means that British nationals can apply through the relevant migration authority of the Republic of Cyprus before 31st December 2020 for EU residency status and provided the criteria are satisfied, will be eligible for residency in Cyprus.
Residence documents of British nationals issued under the directive 2004/38/EC will continue to be valid throughout the transitional period in Cyprus.
In reference to Article 18(4) of the Withdrawal Agreement Cyprus has decided that UK nationals and their family members and other persons residing in its territory will not be obligated to apply to replace their pre-existing residency documents in order to obtain any new residence documents that will be issued in future.
Currently UK nationals intending to live or reside in Cyprus can apply for the EU Residency permit and below we set out the documents that need to be gathered and submitted to the relevant migration authority in Cyprus.
Documents and fees currently required for the Residency application (MEU1 application)
Documents required for the application for residency of EU national (other than employment or study) in the Republic of Cyprus.
- Personal documents
- Valid passport
- 2 passport sized photographs
- Proof of fixed or adequate income from employment outside the Republic; or
- Proof of fixed or adequate income from other legal sources; or
- Adequate savings/ deposits in financial institutions in the Republic or abroad; and
- Proof of comprehensive health insurance in the Republic.
- For the issue of a Registration Certificate to family members the following documents must be submitted:
(a) Valid Passport or identity card and copies of the same.
(b) A document attesting to the existence of a family relationship.
(c) Where appropriate, the registration certificate of the Union citizen whom they are accompanying or joining.
(d) In the case of a spouse of a Union citizen and direct dependants under 21 or who are dependants of the citizen and those of the spouse, proof of existence of a family relation and that said family members are dependants.
(e) In the case of any other family member of the Union citizen not falling under the definition in paragraph 2(d), a document issued by the relevant authority in the country of origin or country from which they are arriving certifying that they are dependants or members of the household of the Union citizen, or proof on the existence of serious health grounds which render the personal care of the family member by the Union citizen absolutely necessary.
(f) Proof of the existence of a consistent relationship with the Union citizen.
(g) Two Passport-sized photographs. – It is noted that photographs are now captured during the application submission process
- The application fees payable are €20 for the Union citizen and €20 for each family member citizen of a Member.
All public documents issued abroad which are to be submitted as part of the application process must be legalised by ‘apostille’ if the country is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 1961. This means that you would need to take secure a true copy of the public document by the issuing authorities and arrange with a notary or solicitor to have the document sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth office in the UK to be apostilled.
Residency after the transition period
UK nationals who wish to apply for Cyprus residency after the transition period will not be able to apply for an MEU1 residency. After the transition period UK nationals, for residency purposes will be classed as ‘non-EU third country nationals’ and so will have to secure a valid residency permit issued by the Republic of Cyprus based on their immigration needs. This would mean that any UK national wishing to live in Cyprus would have to consider the grounds for their residency application.
- Employment for those applying for residency after the transition period.
After the transition period if a UK national wishes to take up employment in Cyprus then that individual would have to apply for a work permit. Work permits are issued ordinarily on an annual basis and must be renewed before the expiry date. Ordinarily temporary residency permits are revoked if the applicant or any such permit holder remains outside Cyprus for any length of time longer than 3 months.
- Permanent residency programmes of the Republic of Cyprus.
Cyprus additionally has numerous permanent residency programmes designed for retirees and investors. One example is the Cyprus Fast Track Residency Programme. Holders of permanent residency permits need not reapply or renew their permits and are not ordinarily subject to revocation.
Dependent family members of the applicant for residency are also entitled to apply and be afforded the same residency rights as the applicant so long as the applicant’s residency permit is valid and in force.
UK Nationals and Tax
Cyprus has a transparent and easy to understand tax regime. Businesses and individuals considering relocating to the EU either before or after the transition period will look to countries within the EU that have relatively lower tax rates than in the UK, Cyprus is therefore considered a good fit. The UK has a double taxation agreement with Cyprus to ensure that UK nationals not pay tax on the same income in both countries and Cyprus employs double tax relief and existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Cyprus have not changed.
Below we set out guidance for UK nationals on issues central to relocation to Cyprus with the help of www.gov.uk.com
- tax if you leave the UK to live abroad
- tax on your UK income if you live abroad
- paying income tax in Cyprus
The UK government provides as much advice on those considering moving or retiring in Cyprus. It is advisable if you are intending to move or retire to Cyprus to inform 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:
- your UK State Pension or new UK State Pension. Please contact the International Pensions Centre to claim
- your Cypriot and UK state pension through your local citizen service centre if you have worked in Cyprus
- pensions from abroad, if you have worked in other EU countries
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 our 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.
Email us on email@example.com or call on +357 22 33 61 00 for an initial consultation on Cyprus residency.