UK Nationals: Travelling- Relocating and Working in Cyprus after 31/12/20

As of 01/01/2021 UK ceased to be an EU member country and UK nationals who are not either holders of Yellow slips (MEU1, MEU2, MEU3) or holders of residence documents (MUKW1, MUKW2, MUKW3), will still be able to visit Cyprus but their arrival will be subject to immigration rules. Specifically, UK nationals can legally enter and stay in Cyprus visa-free with a 90-day limitation period, and their passports will be stamped during the entry/exit border checks. 

In the event that UK nationals wish to extend their stay in Cyprus for more than 90 days, they can apply either for temporary residency or permanent residency offered to non-EU nationals. 

TEMPORARY RESIDENCE

Non-EU nationals who come to Cyprus for long-term purposes without employment rights can apply for a temporary residence permit, commonly referred to as a ‘’Pink Slip’’ which allow non-EU nationals to extend their stay in Cyprus for more than 90 days. Applicants need to apply before their visas expire. It is valid for one year and can be renewed on an annual basis with a limitation of absence period out of the country, not more than 3 months continuously as the permit will be cancelled. 

When applying, the physical presence of the applicant and his dependent spouse and minor children is required in order for the Migration Department to receive their biometric features (fingerprints and photographs) as well as their signatures prior to the submission of the temporary residence applications.

PERMANENT RESIDENCE

Non-EU nationals and their family members who wish to relocate permanently to Cyprus can apply under any of the permanent residency types offered to non-EU nationals with the most famous of them being the ‘Fast Track’’-permanent residency scheme which concerns property purchase in Cyprus and which was recently amended by the government authorities to include new types of investments. Please see our guide for Permanent residency 

Non-EU nationals can also apply for permanent residency on the basis of one of the Categories referred to in the Aliens and Immigration Regulations. The below immigration permits are granted for an unlimited duration to non-EU nationals who comply with the requirements of applying under each Category:

Category A: Persons who intend to work as self-employed in agriculture, cattle breeding, bird breeding or fish culture in the Republic: provided that they have in their possession adequate land or a permit to acquire same, they have fully and freely at their disposal necessary capital as provided for in the regulations and such an employment should not negatively affect the general economy of the Republic.

Category B: Persons who intend to work as self-employed in mining enterprises in the Republic: provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal the necessary capital and such an employment should not negatively affect the general economy of the Republic.

Category C: Persons who intend to work as self-employed in a trade or profession in the Republic: provided that they have in their possession a relative permit, they have fully and freely at their disposal the required capital and that such an employment should not affect negatively the general economy of the Republic.

Category D: Persons who intend to work as self-employed in a profession or science in the Republic: provided that they have academic or professional qualifications for which there is a demand in Cyprus. Possession of adequate funds is also necessary.

Category E: Persons who have been offered permanent employment in the country which will not create undue local competition.

Category F – Also known as the ‘Slow Track’ permanent residency: Persons who have fully and freely at their disposal a secure and regular annual income, which is high enough to provide a decent living in Cyprus without having to engage in any business, trade or profession in Cyprus. The annual income required should be at least €10.000 for a single applicant and moreover at least €5.000 for every dependent person, but the Immigration Control Board may demand additional amounts as necessary.  This category is suitable for non-EU nationals who have savings from lawful sources from abroad (salary, rentals, dividends, pensions etc.) and it is considered to be the most favourite choice for pensioners or retirees. Purchasing a property in Cyprus under this category counts positively towards the examination of the application but it is also possible to qualify merely with a rental agreement. Each application is examined on its merits.

All of the abovementioned categories of applications are reviewed by the Immigration Control Board, and the Minister of the Interior will grant final approval. Examination and processing of applications takes around 12-18 months. If the applicants wish to stay in Cyprus during the examination of their application, then they must apply for a temporary residence permit.

WORK PERMITS

Non-EU nationals who wish to work in Cyprus can apply for residency permits that are available to non-EU nationals who wish to reside and work in Cyprus.

Subject to certain requirements, it is possible to apply for a temporary residence and employment permit as an employee of existing and new company of foreign interests registered in Cyprus (majority of the company’s shares must be owned by third-country nationals) as well as companies that have joined the Fast-Track Business Activation Mechanism.

Please see our guide Business in Cyprus: Work permits for foreign investors

In addition, subject to certain requirements, it is possible, for Non-EU Nationals to be employed by a Cypriot company and for them to obtain a work permit. The application would be submitted to the District Labour Offices that will investigate and confirm that the criteria for the employment of foreigners are being met, and that there is no availability of adequately qualified Cypriot or European citizens. 

This guide contains information for general guidance and does not substitute professional advice which must be sought prior to taking any actions. For further information or advice, please contact Rafaela Dimitriadou, Associate at Telephone: +357 26 822122 or via email at: [email protected] or [email protected].

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