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Moving To Cyprus from the UK

With a magnificent climate, affordable living costs, a laid-back way of life, and numerous opportunities in the job market, Cyprus is currently one of the most popular destinations for UK citizens looking to move abroad. However, the process of emigrating can be daunting for those unfamiliar with the process.

Our lawyers are here to help. For more information, get in touch today on 0333 305 9375.

How to immigrate to Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus is an island country located in the Eastern Mediterranean and boasts a lot of history and has a lot to offer as well. But depending on your nationality, if you are looking to take a trip to this beautiful island, you may need a Cyprus visa.

As a British resident and not a citizen, your immigration to Cyprus depends on the country for which you are a citizen. If you are an EU citizen, for example, you can move to Cyprus without needing to obtain a visa. However, if you are from a visa required country, you must obtain a Cyprus visa to move to the country.

Cyprus immigration rules allow certain British citizens to live in the country without a visa. if you are a British citizen, your immigration to Cyprus will depend on if you have lived there before January 1st 2021 or are just wanting to move there for the first time. We will look at both as well as the various visas on this page. For immediate advice or assistance with Cyprus immigration, please call our immigration lawyers on 0333 305 9375 today.

If You Have Lived in Cyprus Before January 1st 2021 

If you were lawfully resident in Cyprus before January 1st 2021, your rights to continue to live on the island are protected by the EU/Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. You will have the same rights to live, work, study, and enjoy benefits and services as you had before Brexit happened. However, to actually enjoy this, you must meet the following:

  • Have actually been lawfully resident in Cyprus before that date
  • You were registered as a resident before January 1st 2021 with a MEU1 or MEU3 residence document, and can exchange the MEU residence document for the MUKW biometric Withdrawal Agreement residence document

If you did not register as a resident before January 1st 2021 and do not have the MEU residence document, you will need to request the MUKW biometric Withdrawal Agreement residence document. In addition to the above, you can consider the following:

  • If you have been legally resident in Cyprus for over five years, you can apply for permanent residence and a renewable residency document (MUKW3).
  • If you have been legally resident in Cyprus for less than five years, you can apply for a residence document (MUKW1) that is valid for five years

If You Haven’t Lived in Cyprus Before January 1st 2021

If you were not legally resident in Cyprus before January 1st 2021, you may need to apply for a Cyprus visa.

As with most countries, some of the main routes to moving to Cyprus are based on work visas, business development visas, family visas, refugee as well as humanitarian protection immigration visas, among others. Below are the Cypriot visas available for British citizens include:

Cyprus short-stay visa:

Also referred to as tourist or travel visas, Cyprus short-stay visas are usually issued for multiple entries. They allow you to stay in Cyprus for up to 90 days overall in a 180-day period.

It is worth noting that there are also several multiple-entry short-stay visas for Cyprus which are issued for up to 12 months. However, these are only issued to foreigners who can provide a valid reason to travel to Cyprus so often. In some circumstances though, you may be issued with a short-stay visa for Cyprus, which is valid for up to 5 years.

Cyprus long-stay visa:

A Cyprus long-stay visa is only available for non-EU nationals who want to enter Cyprus with the sole purpose of settling long-term, usually for a duration of 90 days and above.

For you to stay in Cyprus for more than three months (90 days), all foreign nationals must obtain a residence permit, recommended by the Immigration Control Board and issued by the Cypriot Interior Minister.

Cyprus residence permit.

It is imperative to note that any foreign national, including British citizens who want to live in Cyprus from the UK, have to obtain a Cyprus residence permit.

This important document is what allows you to legally reside in Cyprus for longer than 90 days. Before you are issued a residence permit, you must acquire an entry visa depending on the purpose of your travel, such as a work visa or student visa.

It is worth noting that you must first get the visa in your country of residence and after arriving in Cyprus, make an application for the residence permit. There are different types of residence permit.

Cyprus temporary residence permit

The temporary residence permit is often issued for one of the following reasons:

  • For employment.
  • For studying.
  • For family reunification.

The residence permit is only valid for 12 months or one year but is renewable annually.

Cyprus temporary residence permit for employment:

All UK nationals who go to Cyprus to work must first acquire a residence permit upon arrival. However, the temporary residence document does automatically allow the holder to work in Cyprus from the UK. Before travelling to Cyprus and obtaining the residence permit, you must equally acquire a Cyprus work visa and work permit.

Cyprus temporary student residency permit:

UK nationals who come to Cyprus on a study visa must register their stay and obtain a temporary residence permit upon their arrival. However, they are not allowed to work full-time!

if you are a holder of a Cypriot study visa, you can renew your temporary visa for the duration of your studies.

It is imperative to note that if your residency application is rejected for whatever reason, you may be able to apply for long-term residence as a third-country national.

Cyprus family reunification temporary residence permit:

Non-EU family members of either legal residents or Cyprus citizens who make an application for family reunification will be offered a temporary residence permit upon arriving in Cyprus.

They must travel to Cyprus and then make an application as your family member. Citizens of some non-EU countries may require a visa prior to travelling to Cyprus. The Cypriot authorities are bound to provide family reunion visas free of charge. Your family members will automatically qualify for permanent residence after five years of continuous stay in Cyprus. Kids that are either adopted or born after 1st Jan 2021 will benefit from the same residence rights as their family members already residing in Cyprus.

Passports and travel

It is worth noting that COVID-19 travel restrictions can affect how you travel to and from Cyprus.

If you are looking to travel to Northern Cyprus from the UK, their administration advises that you must have a valid passport for at least six months from the date of your arrival to the state of Cyprus.

You are highly advised to always carry your passport when travelling to EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries EU countries. If you are a citizen of either an EFTA or EU country, besides your British citizenship, you’ll be free to enter and leave Cyprus using your valid EFTA OR EU passport.

An important point to note is that Cyprus is not part of the Schengen area, so if you live in the country on a Cypriot residence permit or long-stay visa, this duration won’t count towards the 90-day in 180 days visa-free limit in either the Schengen area or the Republic of Cyprus.

If you travel to a country in the Schengen territory, ensure you don’t exceed the visa-free days in any 180-day time span. Interestingly though, you are responsible for tracking how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must adhere to the conditions!

If you were residing in Cyprus before 1 Jan 2021

When travelling, always carry your MEU or MUKW residence document or frontier worker permit, besides your valid passport.

If in any case you are required to provide your passport at border control, you must show either your residence document or any other proof of residence status. In this regard, other proof of residence could be the latest utility bill that features your name or your tenancy agreement.

If you have rights under the withdrawal agreement, you are free to enter and equally exit Cyprus using a valid passport.

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with moving to Cyprus.

Working in Cyprus

Cyprus is arguably the fastest growing economy in Europe, and residing and working can guarantee lots of benefits. By living and working there, you would be enjoying an international working environment as well as one of the most appealing tax benefits in the European Union. The cultural background of the Mediterranean island coupled with the charming year-round weather is just a bonus!

If you are looking to relocate and work in Cyprus, you will require:

  • A Cyprus work permit: Your potential employer will have to make an early application for this particular permit while you are still in your country of residence.
  • A Cyprus work visa: This document permits you to enter Cyprus from the UK with the sole purpose of extended stay and employment.
  • A Cyprus residence permit: As already mentioned, you will be issued a Cyprus residence permit if you are looking to stay in Cyprus for more than 90 days.

How do you get a Cyprus work permit?

For British nationals to be issued a Cyprus work permit, they must first have a work contract with a Cypriot organization. As already explained, it is your employer who is responsible for getting a work permit on your behalf. You can acquire the work permit via two routes, including:

  • Getting approval from the Cyprus Department of Labour: After finding a potential employer and signing a work contract with the firm, the employer will then apply for approval from the Cyprus labour department. If successful, the labour department will grant your employer a letter of recommendation, which they will use to process your work permit.
  • Making an application for the Cyprus work permit at the Migration Department and civil registry: After your potential employer has been issued the recommendation letter, the employer will then lodge an application for your work permit from the Migration department and civil registry.

For assistance with obtaining work permits and visas for Cyprus, please call our expert immigration lawyers on 0333 305 9375 today. You can also reach us by filling out a contact form.

Other categories of working in Cyprus as a foreigner

It is imperative to note that you can also find employment in Cyprus if you fall under any of the below immigration permit classes:

  • Category A: You are a foreigner who will be self-employed in the cultural, agriculture, cattle/bird breeding, or fish sectors of Cyprus, and has land or any other ways to acquire land in Cyprus. Your activities should also not impact the Cyprus economy in a bad way.
  • Category B: You are a foreign national who will become self-employed in the Cypriot mining sector, boasts enough financial muscle, and whose perceived activities will not impact the Cyprus economy negatively.
  • Category C: You are a foreigner who will become self-employed in either a particular profession or trade, has enough finances, and whose activities won’t impact the Cyprus economy.
  • Category D: You are a foreign national who will get a job in either a scientific sector or a profession that is in high demand in Cyprus, and boasts the required professional qualifications and sufficient financial means.
  • Category E: You are a foreigner who has been provided with a permanent work vacancy in Cyprus and whose presence does not result in an unwanted local competition.
  • Category F: You are a foreigner with an independent annual income that is enough to sustain a comfortable living in Cyprus from the UK without having to work.

If you have any questions about moving to Cyprus from the UK, our team is happy to assist.

Accessing healthcare as a foreign national in Cyprus

Your health is paramount and that’s why you want to ensure you are correctly registered for your circumstances while living in Cyprus. You are highly encouraged to look for private medical insurance in case you aren’t eligible for Cypriot state healthcare.

In general, you can access healthcare in Cyprus in any of the following ways:

  • As a UK national legally working in Cyprus.
  • Using a Cypriot permanent residence resident’s medical card.
  • Using a European Health insurance Card, or United Kingdom Global Health Insurance Card for temporary residency while studying, or as a detached employee
  • Registering a legally-issued S1 form with the General Healthcare System. It is crucial to note that if you are entitled to an S1 form as a dependent of a state pensioner, your healthcare cover will become null once you start claiming your UK state pension.

In absence of that, you must obtain private health insurance.

Driving regulations in Cyprus

It is worth noting that you can neither replace nor renew your UK driving license while residing in Cyprus. However, you can exchange your driver’s license without having to undergo a test. You must exchange your UK driving license within six months after becoming a legal resident in Cyprus.

Cyprus is an amazing nation with a thriving ex-pat community. The third-largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus not only boasts a pleasant year-round climate but also offers unique cultural traditions as well as a host of breathtaking places to visit. Perhaps this partly explains why there are many ex-pats from the UK living in Cyprus.

Whether you are looking to go to Cyprus on holiday or would want to make a permanent switch to this beautiful country, we have provided you with everything you need to smoothly relocate to Cyprus from the U.K.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

No. It is important to note that the Cypriot government has a double taxation agreement with the UK government that ensures you don’t pay tax on the same income in both nations. To enhance your knowledge of taxation, we strongly advise that you seek professional advice on paying taxes while in Cyprus.

Yes, some of the residence permits allow you to bring dependents with you. If you have a MUKW1, your family members can apply to obtain a MUKW2. Depending on the visa you have, your family members may need to apply for their own visas in their own right and not just because they are your dependent.

If your child is born or adopted while in Cyprus, they will get the same residence right as any other dependent living in Cyprus.

Reach out to us by calling 0333 305 9375 for advice and/or assistance with moving with your family to Cyprus from the UK. You can also use any other contact details on this page.

British expats may be able to obtain permanent residency and even citizenship in Cyprus. As mentioned above, you can apply for permanent residence status in Cyprus. There are specific requirements for that including that you must have continuous residence in Cyprus for five years prior to your application. Your family members can as well.

Concerning Cyprus citizenship, you can apply after you have had seven years of legal residence in Cyprus (2555 days) and at least one year of continuous residence prior to the date you submit your application. For further details on this, contact us today.

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