By Stephen Lillie, the British High Commissioner
This autumn is an important period in the ongoing Brexit negotiations. I know many of you, particularly British nationals, in Cyprus are concerned about how Brexit may affect you and we want to help answer those questions with the information available to us to date. Some issues may only be clarified once the negotiations progress further, but in this column we will be able to make that clear too.
From this week therefore, we encourage you to send in your questions to the Cyprus Mail (send queries to [email protected]) and I will personally answer the most frequently asked ones in this column.
This week we start with a focus on residency.
I have been in Cyprus for six months and have not yet applied for residency. Do I need to do anything before Brexit?
It is a requirement to register with the Cypriot authorities if you have been here for more than 90 days and are intending to make Cyprus your home. The new guidance issued by the Ministry of Interior Civil Registry and Migration Department gives you all the information you need on what you need to do. You can read it here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-cyprus. It is important that you regularise your status on island as soon as possible to be ready for Brexit and post-implementation period requirements. Applications can be made up to December 2020.
I have been a resident of Cyprus since 2007. I already have an MEU1 registration form. Do I need to apply for permanent residency?
If you have lived in Cyprus for five years or more, we recommend you apply for permanent residency (MEU3). Information on the documentation required to do this is available through the Civil Registry and Migration Offices in each town or in the following guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-cyprus.
I have been living in Cyprus since before Cyprus joined the EU. I have an old ARC stamp with a category F status. Do I need to do anything?
If you have an old brown book or a stamp in an old passport, this will not be valid in the withdrawal agreement. You will need to convert this into an MEU3 permanent residency permit. As there will be no electronic records of you in the Cypriot system, you may be required to produce the documentation that is needed for an MEU1 registration. More information is available at your local Civil Registry and Migration Office and through our Living in Cyprus guide: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-cyprus
I have been living in Cyprus since before 1960. Is my status here secure?
There is special provision for those that were registered on the island before Cyprus gained independence to apply for citizenship directly. Information is available through our Living in Cyprus guide: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-cyprus
What happens if there is no deal? Can I remain living in Cyprus?
The UK government is confident we will have a deal. UK, Cyprus and all EU partners are working towards this. We don’t want or expect a no deal outcome and it is in no one’s interests that this is the outcome. The British prime minister has given an assurance to EU nationals in the UK that they are welcome to stay no matter what happens with Brexit. We hope Cyprus will be similarly welcoming to UK nationals. As soon as we have more information on this issue, we will communicate that.
The Nicosia British High Commission and Brexit
The British High Commission will continue to post important updates on Brexit in the Living in Cyprus guide (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-cyprus), which also contains the latest from the Ministry of Interior on residency, and on the UK in Cyprus Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can also sign up for Brexit related alerts https://www.gov.uk/email-signup to get the most important Brexit updates direct to your inbox.
The High Commission will be conducting a series of outreach events for British nationals in Cyprus across the island in the coming weeks. Dates confirmed to date include 12 Nov (Paralimni), 15 Nov (Limassol, 27 Nov (Peyia and Pano Paphos) and 3 Dec (Nicosia). Details on venues and timings are available on our UK in Cyprus social media channels.
Send your queries to [email protected]. The High Commission’s Brexit column will appear every Sunday in the Cyprus Mail’s print and online edition