RESIDENCE RIGHTS AND RESIDENCE DOCUMENTS IN THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS
Brexit with a Withdrawal Agreement
The EU has reached an Agreement with the UK on citizens’ rights, ahead of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 or as otherwise decided by EU. Under the Agreement, UK nationals who are eligible for residence rights along with their family members (including family members that are third country nationals), will be able to stay and continue their lives in Cyprus.
Cyprus is already taking steps to implement this Agreement reached. The Civil registry and Migration Department has published a detailed paper on how it intends to practically implement the Agreement.
If the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved, the UK will leave the EU without an agreement (the no deal-scenario). This means that after the exit day, UK citizens by default will be considered as third country nationals. The possibility of a continued right of residence in Cyprus will therefore in principle depend on national law applicable to third country nationals, unless it is decided otherwise.
Cyprus intends to protect, even in case of a No Deal Brexit the residence rights of UK nationals and their family members, including family members who are third country nationals, by unilaterally implementing, to the extent possible, the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement. The relevant law applies to UK nationals and their family members, who reside in Cyprus until the exit day, in accordance with EU rules on free movement. This will protect UK citizens and their family members who have already established their life in Cyprus at the time of UK’s withdrawal.
Residence documents under the Directive 2004/38/EC will continue to be valid until 31/12/2020. New applications for people covered by the new legislation will be accepted from 1/1/2021.
The Government of the Republic of Cyprus greatly appreciates that UK citizens have been undoubtedly contributing to Cyprus society. In this sense, Cyprus wants to avoid the case where UK citizens and their family members who have been residing in Cyprus will have to fall back on rules applying to third country nationals. In considering this, the fact that these UK citizens have been residing in Cyprus in their capacity of EU citizens is much taken into account. Therefore, the Government’s clear priority is to ensure that UK citizens are treated fairly.