Brexit: Res­i­dence rights of UK na­tion­als in Cyprus

Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the agree­ment on the with­drawal of the United King­dom from the EU

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - OPINION -

On 23 June 2016, the ma­jor­ity of the UK’s elec­torate voted to leave the Eu­ro­pean Union. As a re­sult, “Brexit” is ex­pected to be­come ef­fec­tive on 29 March 2019 af­ter the ne­go­ti­a­tions on the terms of the With­drawal Agree­ment be­tween EU and UK are fi­nalised.

In Cyprus, the Civil Registry and Migration De­part­ment is­sued a de­tailed in­for­ma­tive doc­u­ment in Septem­ber ex­plain­ing how Cyprus in­tends to prac­ti­cally im­ple­ment the pro­vi­sions of the With­drawal Agree­ment be­tween EU and UK, con­cern­ing res­i­dence rights of UK na­tion­als and their fam­ily mem­bers, in view of the UK leav­ing the EU.

This Agree­ment will pro­tect the UK na­tion­als and their fam­i­lies who have al­ready ex­er­cised or will ex­er­cise their free move­ment rights in Cyprus be­fore the tran­si­tion pe­riod, which starts on 30 March 2019 and lasts un­til 31 De­cem­ber 2020.

Be­fore the end of the tran­si­tion pe­riod, no ac­tion has to be taken, since cur­rent free move­ment rules ap­ply, even if the UK na­tion­als and their fam­i­lies, who re­side in Cyprus are not hold­ers of any res­i­dence doc­u­ment. How­ever, upon ap­pli­ca­tion, one of the cur­rent res­i­dence doc­u­ments (ME01, ME02, ME03), can be is­sued if re­quire­ments are met.

In ad­di­tion, fam­ily mem­bers re­sid­ing over­seas on 31 De­cem­ber 2020 and who wish to join a UK na­tional cov­ered by the With­drawal Agree­ment af­ter this date, given that the re­la­tion­ship ex­isted at or be­fore that date and it con­tin­ues to ex­ist when the per­son wishes to come to Cyprus, are also cov­ered by this Agree­ment.

Af­ter the end of the tran­si­tion pe­riod, hold­ers of cur­rent res­i­dence doc­u­ments, also known as ‘yel­low slips’, will re­ceive a cur­rent res­i­dence doc­u­ment within the tran­si­tion pe­riod.

Non-hold­ers

of

cur­rent

res­i­dence doc­u­ments who re­side in Cyprus and are cov­ered by the With­drawal Agree­ment and per­sons cov­ered by the Agree­ment ar­riv­ing and re­sid­ing in Cyprus af­ter the end of the tran­si­tion pe­riod, will have the right to re­ceive if they wish to, a new res­i­dence doc­u­ment, which will in­clude a state­ment that it has been is­sued in ac­cor­dance with the With­drawal Agree­ment.

In other words, hold­ers of res­i­dence doc­u­ments may not ap­ply for the new res­i­dence doc­u­ment since this is not manda­tory, how­ever af­ter the tran­si­tion pe­riod, only the new res­i­dence doc­u­ment will be is­sued for non-hold­ers of a cur­rent per­mit and who are cov­ered by the With­drawal Agree­ment.

The Cypriot gov­ern­ment is aim­ing to im­ple­ment a sim­ple and straight for­ward pro­ce­dure for the is­suance of the new res­i­dence doc­u­ment. The process will be par­tic­u­larly straight for­ward for those UK na­tion­als and their fam­ily mem­bers who are hold­ers of a cer­tifi­cate of regis­tra­tion, res­i­dence card or cer­tifi­cate/card of per­ma­nent res­i­dence. Hold­ers of these doc­u­ments should they choose to ap­ply for the new res­i­dence doc­u­ment, will not need to sub­mit any­thing else with their ap­pli­ca­tion other than a valid pass­port as proof of iden­tity.

Per­sons who are not hold­ers of any of the afore­men­tioned res­i­dence doc­u­ments, will be able to sub­mit doc­u­men­tary ev­i­dence of their res­i­dence e.g. rental agree­ment or prop­erty sale con­tract, util­ity bills, bank state­ments or, any other doc­u­ments prov­ing these per­sons have al­ready ex­er­cised their free move­ment rights in or­der to re­side in Cyprus prior the tran­si­tion pe­riod.

Con­se­quently, non-hold­ers of cur­rent res­i­dence doc­u­ments are en­cour­aged to ap­ply for them as soon as pos­si­ble in or­der to avoid po­ten­tial de­lays or is­sues dur­ing the sub­mis­sion of their ap­pli­ca­tion. Theodoros Man­tis is Head of Peo­ple Ad­vi­sory, Cor­po­rate Im­mi­gra­tion & Pay­roll Ser­vices at El­li­nas Fi­nance PCL

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