Britons living in Cyprus have been given a grace period until December 31, 2020 to apply for legal status on the island in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government announced on Wednesday.
Britain is due to leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal and the residency permit applications were supposed to have been made by that date.
“In the case of a NO deal Brexit, UK nationals and their family members who have resided in Cyprus prior to October 31, 2019, retain the right to continue to submit applications for MEU1, MEU2, and MEU3 after this date and obtain the relevant residence permits until December 31, 2020,”an announcement posted on the website of the migration department said.
There are three main residency statuses that British expats are entitled to: an MEU1 (registration for residents living in Cyprus for more than three months) and the MEU3 (for residents who have lived in Cyprus for more than five years). The MEU 2 is for family members who are not EU citizens. Residents who have lived in Cyprus for more than seven years can apply for citizenship.
The British High Commission in Cyprus welcomed the government’s move, noting that “this will ensure our citizens
The law establishes the legislative framework for the safeguarding of the right of UK nationals to remain in the Republic of Cyprus should the UK leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.
The purpose of the law is to institutionalise the procedure whereby UK nationals can obtain residence documents.
A reciprocity principle was included for the implementation of the law, which would mean that should a no-deal Brexit come about and the cabinet can move to implement the legislation, they should take into consideration whether similar measures are taken by the UK government for the benefit of Cypriot nationals.