By: George Georgiou
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UK nationals living in Cyprus. What happens to your residence rights in case of a no-deal scenario with Brexit?
Citizens of the European Union have the right to move freely work and reside in any Member State of the EU under the DIRECTIVE 2004/38/EC (thereto ‘Citizenship Directive’)
In the scenario of a no deal situation between the European Union and the United Kingdom then the Citizenship Directive will not be in force. The critical date according to the government of the UK and the EU is the 31th of December 2020, in case you have a residency document issued under the Citizenship Directive. After 31/12/2020, you will have to apply for a new residence permit, according to the new specific rules that will be in place by that time.
The case for Cyprus
If you do not have a residence document, you will have to apply for a residence permit. Applications are possible for the UK nationals legally residing in Cyprus until 31/10/2019 with the CIVIL REGISTRY AND MIGRATION DEPARTMENT or at the Local Immigration Offices.
You will receive a residence permit under EU law. This will be considered as your temporary residence permit until 31/12/2020. After 31/12/2020, you will have to apply for a new residence permit, according to the new specific rules that will be in place by that time.
Rights in Cyprus:
With your temporary residence permit, you will keep most of the rights you had as an EU citizen. This means you will be able to continue to reside in the territory of Cyprus, to work, to look for a job, or to study.
Can I still travel in the EU with only my ID document?
No, you will have to carry your passport and your temporary residence permit.
If you have resided in Cyprus for more than five years and wish to obtain EU long-term residence status:
After Brexit date, your will keep your rights indefinitely, but you can already apply in parallel for an EU long-term residence permit. This permit will grant you a permanent status and allow you to enjoy the same treatment as nationals regarding access to employment, education, and core social benefits. This will also allow you, under certain conditions, to acquire the right to reside in another EU Member State.
In case where family members (children, spouses) are citizens of a third country (neither EU nor UK), how do they keep their residence rights?
If you already have a residence card issued under the Citizenship Directive, this will be considered as their temporary residence permit until 31/12/2020. After 31/12/2020, you will have to apply for a new residence permit, according to the law that will be applicable at that time.
If you do not have a residence card, you will have to apply for a residence permit. Applications are possible until 31/10/2019 with the Civil Registry and Migration Department or at the Local Immigration Offices.
How can we help?
Our law firm can offer advice and assistance as regards any aspect of your residency status in Cyprus. For more information please contact us by clicking here.