Guidance

Living in Cyprus

Official information for UK nationals living in and moving to Cyprus, including guidance on residency, healthcare and driving.

What you should do

You should:

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Cyprus Government and your local authority. You can also read our Cyprus travel advice for our latest guidance.

Stay up to date

You should:

You can also:

The Withdrawal Agreement

If you were legally resident in Cyprus before 1 January 2021, your rights will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

You should check that you are correctly registered and should get a new residence document to evidence your rights.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

You must register as a Cypriot resident if you plan to stay in Cyprus for more than 3 months.

You can apply for temporary residency status from the Ministry of the Interior, Civil Registry and Migration Department.

After living in Cyprus for more than 5 years, can apply for permanent residency status.

Read the Cypriot government guidance residency in Cyprus.

If there are changes to residency registration processes, we will update this guidance as soon as information is available. You should sign up for email alerts .

Additional support

UK nationals who are resident in Cyprus and need help to complete their residence application or registration, can get support from organisations funded by the UK Nationals Support Fund.

This support is only available to people who need additional help to secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. They may include pensioners, disabled people, people living in remote areas or people who have mobility difficulties. Support available includes:

  • answering questions about residence applications, such as the documents you need and how the application process works
  • guiding you through the process, if necessary
  • support if you experience language barriers or difficulty accessing online information and services

If you, or someone you know, are having difficulty completing residence paperwork or have any questions, contact the organisation that covers the region where you, or they, live.

SSAFA: The Armed Forces Charity contact details:

CRPG: 800 09009 (freephone)

hotline available contact details:

Moving to Cyprus

Check the entry requirements for Cyprus and the Cypriot government guidance on visas.

Passports and travel

You should carry your residence document, as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your document, carry your certificate of application.

If you have not yet applied for a residence document, you should carry evidence that you are resident in Cyprus. This could include a tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.

If you cannot show that you are resident in Cyprus, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in Cyprus.

Passports

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You can apply for or renew your British passport from Cyprus.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Cyprus, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

Renew your passport before booking your travel. if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. You may also need to show a return or onward ticket.

If you’re travelling to the north of Cyprus, their administration advises that your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry to the north.

Entry requirements

You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism.

To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, or for business travel, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.

Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Travel to the UK and Ireland has not changed.

Healthcare

You must be properly registered for healthcare as a resident in Cyprus, as well as registering, where necessary, with a health insurer.

Once you are registered as resident, you may be entitled to state healthcare. You should check with the Ministry of Health or at your local citizen service centre to see if you are covered.

You can find information about the new Cypriot state healthcare system GESY on their website. We strongly advise you to take out private medical insurance if you are not eligible for state healthcare.

Read our guidance on who can access healthcare in Cyprus and make sure you are correctly registered.

If your UK employer has sent you to Cyprus temporarily, your access to healthcare is different. Find out how to access healthcare as a posted worker.

State healthcare: S1

If you have a registered S1 form and were living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same if you are either:

  • receiving a UK State Pension
  • receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
  • a frontier worker who lives in Cyprus and commutes to work in the UK

Read our guidance on using an S1 form in Cyprus to ensure you are correctly registered for healthcare.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in Cyprus, you must not use your UK-issued EHIC for healthcare in Cyprus.

If you were living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021, you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC if you’re:

  • a UK student in Cyprus
  • a UK State Pensioner with a registered S1
  • a frontier worker with a registered S1

Apply now for a new UK EHIC

An EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance, as some health-related costs, including for medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment are not covered. The EHIC is also not valid in north Cyprus.

For more information read our guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe and advice on foreign travel insurance.

You should also read guidance on:

Working in Cyprus

If you were legally resident in Cyprus before 1 January 2021, you have the right to work, as long as you remain legally resident.

If you are planning to come to Cyprus to work, you may need a visa. Read the Cypriot government’s guidance on how to get a visa.

To apply for a job you may need to provide a UK police certificate.

Frontier workers

If you live in Cyprus and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country, before 1 January 2021 you may need a permit to show that you are a frontier worker.

Education and professional qualifications

You will be eligible for broadly the same support as Cypriot nationals, as long as you were legally resident in Cyprus before 1 January 2021. Check that you are correctly registered for residency. Read our guidance on:

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Cyprus. When doing this, you will be subject to the third country regulations.

If your qualification was officially recognised by the relevant regulator in Cyprus before 1 January 2021, make sure you understand the terms of your recognition decision by checking with that regulator.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Cyprus to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Cyprus have not changed.

You should read the guidance on:

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Cyprus. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Cyprus.

National Insurance

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Cyprus.

Banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA is a matter of local law and regulation. Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on banking, insurance and financial services changes for more information on cross-border banking.

Pensions

Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Cyprus.

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire in Cyprus, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on pension and retirement changes for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must fill it in promptly, otherwise your payments may be suspended.

Benefits

Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Cyprus.

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

If you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks, many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit cannot be paid to you.

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Cypriot benefits

You may be able to claim some Cyprus social security benefits. When you are checking whether you are eligible for benefits in Cyprus you should make sure you declare any National Insurance contributions you made in the UK.

Driving in Cyprus

If you are resident in Cyprus, you should exchange your UK licence for a Cypriot one.

For information on driving in Cyprus, read the guidance on:

Driving in the UK with a Cypriot licence

You can use your Cypriot licence in the UK for short visits, or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test. We will update these pages if there are any changes to the rules, as soon as information is available.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Cyprus

You cannot import vehicles through the northern part of Cyprus. The authorities may seize your vehicle.

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK and the Cypriot government webpage on importing a vehicle into Cyprus.

You should read the European Union’s guidance on car registration and taxes in Cyprus.

You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.

Voting

You cannot vote in elections in Cyprus or European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in Cyprus, you will need to register a birth abroad.

If someone dies in Cyprus, you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Cyprus.

You may also need:

Pets

If you have a pet passport issued by Cyprus or another EU member state, you can use it to travel with your pet to Great Britain and elsewhere in the EU.

A GB-issued EU pet passport is not valid for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland. You should speak to your vet before you travel to get the necessary pet travel documents and ensure you’re compliant with the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Read guidance on:

Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.

Emergencies

You can dial the European emergency number on 112, or Cyprus also has 199.

If you’re the victim of crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact the British High Commission Nicosia.

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on buying a property abroad.

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and Cypriot authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

If you get healthcare in Cyprus through the S1 certificate, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, access to services and bringing family members.

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Cypriot authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 22 March 2013
Last updated 31 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on pet travel and moving to Cyprus

  2. Passports and travel section updated on carrying proof of residence when travelling.

  3. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers

  4. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  5. Visas and residency section updated to include information about how to access the UK National Support Fund for those who may find it harder to complete their residency applications.

  6. Read updated guidance for Implementation Period until 31 December 2020

  7. Update on Education and professional qualifications

  8. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  9. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  10. EU Exit updates: Important update on Passport Validity and EU Visa-free Travel in ´passports and travel´ section

  11. Link to GESY updated.

  12. EU Exit update: important update on passport validity rules added to passport section

  13. EU Exit update: latest EU Exit information for UK nationals in the visas and residency, driving licences, healthcare and voting sections

  14. EU Exit update: added new information on residency rights in a No Deal scenario in the EU Exit section

  15. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  16. EU Exit update: updated information on access to healthcare

  17. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving

  18. EU exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section

  19. Added information about the citizens outreach events in Cyprus

  20. EU exit - added link to guidance from the Cyprus government on residency

  21. Added link to information on new double taxation agreement.

  22. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  23. Information added on changes to EHIC rules and health cover for early retirees.

  24. Update information on life certificates for UK state pensions and added link to Living in Cyprus leaflet.

  25. First published.