Residence Rights and Residence documents in the Republic of Cyprus under the Withdrawal Agreement
The UK is going to Withdraw from the EU on 31/1/2020. The implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, which is legally binding for all Member States will start on 1/2/2020.
Under the Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals who are eligible for residence rights as well as their family members, including family members that are third country nationals, can continue to live, work or study in Cyprus.
Further to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on 31/1/2020, the Withdrawal Agreement has a provision for a transitional period, which will be enforced from 1/2/2020 until 31/12/2020. During the transitional period, current EU Law on Free movement will continue to apply and the residence rights of UK nationals and their family members will continue to be subject to the same conditions as those under the EU Law on free movement. UK nationals covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will have the right to take up employment or to carry out economic activity as a self-employed person. They will keep all their workers’ rights based on EU law.
Residence documents issued under the directive 2004/38/EC will continue to be valid throughout the transitional period, and these documents may voluntarily be replaced with the new residence document to be issued in the future. The same conditions are valid for the submission of residency applications and will continue to apply during the transitional period under EU Law. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, applications under a new system will be accepted starting as of the 1/1/2021, onwards.
In reference to Article 18(4) of the Withdrawal Agreement, Cyprus has decided that UK nationals and their family members residing in its territory will not be obligated to apply to replace their pre-existing residency documents, in order to obtain the new residence documents that will be issued in the future.
Those UK nationals and their family members, who have residence rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, but will not have applied for residence documents by the end of the transitional period i.e.31/12/2020, will continue to have the right to apply within a new procedure that will be initiated as of 1/1/2021; provided they can submit documentary evidence of their residency prior to the end of the transitional period. Residence documents issued within this new process will include a statement that the document has been issued in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement.
For those UK nationals who will be in scope, and can provide documentary evidence of their residency in Cyprus prior to the end of the transitional period, there will be no deadline for the submission of residency applications within the new process that will be initiated from 1/1/2021.
Further information about the aforementioned new application procedure will be announced during the transitional period.
The Government of the Republic of Cyprus greatly appreciates that UK citizens have been undoubtedly contributing to Cypriot society. Taking this valued contribution into consideration, and in addition to the fact that these UK citizens have been residing in Cyprus in their capacity as EU citizens, the Government’s clear priority is to ensure that the rights of UK citizens are safeguarded.
The Government protects the residence rights of United Kingdom nationals and their family members, including family members who are third country nationals, by implementing all the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement on Citizens Rights. UK nationals and their family members, who will exercise their right to free movement and enter Cyprus with the intention to reside before the withdrawal date and/or until the end of the transitional period, will continue to retain the same rights of residence as those under the current EU rules on free movement. In doing so, the Government aims to protect UK citizens and their family members who have already established their life in Cyprus at the time of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, under the Withdrawal Agreement.