‘Weary expat’ Clive Turner (opinion SM Feb 17) asks what is the essential difference between the MEU1 and the MEU3 residence permit. The answer can be found with a cursory glance at the website of the Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department. An MEU3 is a permanent residence certificate, so the clue is in the name!
The procedure in Cyprus is no different to that which applies in most EU countries. If you stay more than three months you should apply for residency, then after five years of residency, you can apply for permanent resident status. All countries require production of evidence to show continuous residence, and in most cases, there is a small charge as in Cyprus. The cost of administration needs to be covered, yet Mr Turner considers a small fee of €20 excessive!
Any administrative procedure will by definition involve some bureaucracy, but the paperwork in Cyprus is far less onerous than that imposed by the UK for those seeking residence in Britain.
Mr Turner seems to have a poor impression of public services in Cyprus, but I disagree. I have used the Citizen Service Centres on a few occasions since moving here and am impressed by the range of services they can offer. There is no equivalent ‘one stop shop’ offering such a full range of functions in the UK.
I do not subscribe to the view that too many seem to hold, that being a UK national makes me somehow exceptional, or superior to others. I chose to move here, and if I want to stay here then I have to follow the laws and rules of Cyprus.
I am very concerned about the negative impact of the UK’s 52 to 48% vote to leave the European Union, but highly relieved at last week’s announcement that UK Citizens already here can keep the same residency rights as EU Citizens. We immigrants should be thanking the government of Cyprus for this concession, not carping and moaning about a little bit of paperwork.
Steve Comer, Larnaca