All nationals of the Member States of the European Union have the right to move freely within the European Union and to enter and reside in any EU Member State. This right to freedom of movement is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).
EU and EEA Citizens entering Cyprus to work or stay or remain as visitors for more than 3 months on the island need to register for a residence permit for EU citizens. The Registration certificate they get is commonly known as Yellow Slip, as it is printed on yellow paper.
The Application type and forms are different for European Union citizens and their family members who are not European.
Yellow Slip certificates offer the following categories:
Yellow Slip MEU1
Citizens of the European Union and their family members who are also citizens of the European Union apply with the MEU1 form.
Processing time – The Yellow Slip MEU1 is issued immediately or within a maximum of 5 days. It is issued directly from the Immigration City Unit that the applicant resides.
Validity – The Yellow Slip MEU1 is issued once and does not expire. After a period of 5 continuing years living in Cyprus, European citizens can apply for their permanent residence permit through the MEU3 form as below.
Yellow Slip MEU2
Family members of the EU citizen who are not European apply with the MEU2 form.
Although the Yellow Slip MEU1 is submitted and issued directly from the Immigration City Unit, the application of Non-EU family members MEU2 is submitted to the Immigration City Unit and it is further forwarded and examined by the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) in Nicosia.
Processing time- The Yellow Slip MEU2 is issued by the Civil Registry and Migration Department in Nicosia, and it is mailed to the applicant’s address. The examination takes around 6-7 months.
Validity – The certificate MEU2 for non-EU family members has a validity of 5 years. On expiry, the applicant can apply for renewal.
Once applied, the applicant is allowed to stay, and re-enter Cyprus if he travels with the Receipt of Submission of the application.
Family members of the EU citizen have the right to exercise an employment or self-employed activity in Cyprus. In this case, they should update their permit by applying again to inform the Immigration Authorities.
Yellow Slip MEU3
This is the permanent residence form for the EU citizen and their family members.
EU citizens living in Cyprus for a continuous period of 5 years are eligible to apply for a permanent residence certificate, which will confirm their right to permanently live in the country.
The EU Citizen family members who are not citizens of a Member state will need to apply within one month after the expiration of the validity of their Yellow Slip MEU2 which is 5 years, to obtain a permanent residence.
Processing time – The application for MEU3 is submitted to the Immigration City Unit, and it is further forwarded and examined by the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) in Nicosia. The Yellow Slip MEU3 is issued by the Civil Registry and Migration Department in Nicosia and is mailed to the applicant’s address. The examination takes around 6-7 months.
Validity – The validity of the yellow Slip MEU3 can be affected by absences longer than six months in a year. However, military services, maximum 12 consecutive months of absence for important reasons such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training will not affect the validity of the Yellow Slip. In case of absence of more than two consecutive years, the right of permanent residence will be lost.
In all the above cases, the applicants’ physical presence is required for the Migration Department to receive their biometric features (fingerprints and/or photographs) and their signatures before submitting applications.
*This guide contains information for general guidance and does not substitute professional advice which must be sought prior to taking any actions.