Approximately 15,000 UK citizens have applied to get residence permits in Cyprus since the 2016 UK EU membership referendum. Currently a total of 32,281 residence permits for UK citizens are in force.
According to figures provided to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) by the Civil Registry and Migration Department, as of 1 July 2016, 7,801 UK citizens applied for a registration certificate (MEU1) and 6,946 for a certificate of permanent residency (MEU3). According to the legislation, within four months from their entry to the country, EU citizens must submit an application for a residence certificate, while EU nationals who have been living in Cyprus for a continuous period of 5 years are eligible to apply for a permanent residence certificate.
The majority of UK citizens who applied for these certificates are over 55 years old. More specifically, 330 people from 18 to 24 years old, 1,777 people from 25 to 39 years old, 1,711 people from 40 to 54 years old and 4,009 people over 55 years old applied for MEU1, while 47 people from 18 to 24 years old, 101 people from 25 to 39 years old, 479 people from 40 to 54 years old and 6,195 people over 55 years old applied for MEU3.
Currently, there are approximately 400 applications pending for registration certificates and 150 for certificates of permanent residency. One to 30 days are required on average for issuing an MEU1 and one to six months for an MEU3.
Most of the applications were filed in Paphos district. More specifically, 1071 applications were made in Famagusta district, 812 in Nicosia district, 1,030 in Larnaca district, 1,250 in Limassol district and 3,638 in Paphos district for MEU1, while 1,134 applications were made in Famagusta district, 262 in Nicosia district, 808 in Larnaca district, 1,248 in Limassol district and 3,494 in Paphos district for MEU3.
The Civil Registry and Migration Department has announced that UK nationals and their family members who have resided in Cyprus prior to 31 October 2019 or as per date decided by the EU, they retain the right to continue to submit applications after 31 October 2019 and obtain the relevant residence permits until 31 December 2020.
Currently 25,945 registration certificates and 6,336 certificates of permanent residency are in force for UK citizens.
The data provided by the department do not concern people working at the British bases in Cyprus, who do not need a residence certificate by the Republic of Cyprus.
It is estimated that currently 70,000 UK citizens, including those working in the British bases, live in the areas of Cyprus which are not under the occupation of Turkey, which invaded the island in 1974.
The UK High Commission to Cyprus has called on UK citizens to get their residency status in order, noting that getting their MEU1/MEU3 documents will enable them to register for Cyprus’ healthcare system (GESY).