Guidance

Living in Cyprus

Official information for British people moving to and living in Cyprus, including Brexit guidance, residency, healthcare and driving.

Brexit: what you should do

You should:

Stay up to date

The UK is leaving the EU. This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit and will be updated if anything changes. You should:

You can also:

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Cyprus.

You must register as a Cypriot resident if you plan to stay in Cyprus for more than 3 months. You will get a registration certificate from the Ministry of the Interior, Civil Registry and Migration Department. Contact details are available here.

After living in Cyprus for more than 5 years, you can apply for permanent residence (MEU3).

Read our guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency after Brexit

Read the Cypriot government guidance on Brexit and residency in Cyprus in both a deal and no deal scenario.

If the UK leaves with a deal, travel to the EU will remain the same as now until the end of the implementation period. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change.

If there’s no deal, the European Commission has proposed that British citizens would not need a visa for short stays in the EU, including Cyprus. You would be able to stay in Cyprus for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Visits to Cyprus within the previous 180 days before your date of travel will count against the 90-day limit. As Cyprus is not in the Schengen area, visits to other EU countries will not count against this total.

On arrival, you may be asked to confirm that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your stay. As non-EEA nationals, different border control checks will apply, and you may also be asked to show a return or onward ticket. UK nationals would not have an ongoing right to use the separate lanes provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.

The Republic of Cyprus does not recognise the self-declared ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ in the north of Cyprus, nor residence permits issued by the administration there. After Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus intends to treat UK visitors, including those travelling to or from the north, as other non-EU nationals for visa purposes, unless they are registered as resident in the Republic.

The current practice in the Republic is for non-EU nationals who do not require a visa to be admitted for 90 days, and for passports to be stamped accordingly. If that happens, the Republic of Cyprus authorities may count time spent in the north of Cyprus towards the 90 day visa free total. If you overstay, you may potentially face difficulties at the airport on exit or re-entry.

If you’re intending to stay for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over the 90 days in the 180-day limit, you may need to get a visa before you travel.

The 90-day visa-free period does not entitle you to work. You should check with the Republic of Cyprus High Commission in London what type of visa, if any, you will need.

If you are a resident in Cyprus, you are advised to carry your Republic of Cyprus-issued residency documents when entering/exiting the Republic of Cyprus. If you are not a resident in the Republic of Cyprus and cannot show that you hold a residency document, you will likely be subject to the 90-day limit rule.

If you’re planning a stay of longer than 3 months, see our Living in Cyprus guide and contact the Republic of Cyprus High Commission in London if you have further questions.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Cyprus.

Read our travel advice for Cyprus and sign up to email alerts for up-to-date travel information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

Passports and travel after Brexit

After Brexit, the rules on travel will change. Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay in Cyprus; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. However, 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.

If there’s a deal, nothing will change until the end of 2020. In this time you can continue to travel freely in the Schengen area with your UK passport. What happens after 2020 will form the next part of negotiations.

If there’s no deal, new travel rules will apply. You should have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).

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.

If there’s no deal, UK nationals will not need visas for short stays elsewhere in the EU. You will be able to stay up to 90 days in another EU, EEA or EFTA country, within a 180 day period. You should retain evidence of travel (e.g. train and plane tickets), in case these are requested by national authorities. If you hold a residence permit from an EU, EEA or EFTA country, you will be able to transit through other EU, EEA or EFTA countries to reach your country of residence. We will update this guidance as more information becomes available.

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 the guidance on who is able to access healthcare in Cyprus and how to register.

If you live in Cyprus and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

If you are resident in Cyprus, you must not use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from the UK to access healthcare in Cyprus.

When you travel from Cyprus for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state- provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:

  • the EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home
  • an EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance
  • for more information read our travel advice pages and advice on foreign travel insurance

If you are a student, read the NHS guidance on healthcare and studying abroad.

You can find English-speaking doctors in Cyprus.

You should check your prescriptions are legal in Cyprus.

Healthcare after Brexit

If there is a deal, your current rights on access to healthcare in Cyprus will remain the same until the end of the implementation period, as long as you remain a resident in Cyprus.

If there’s no deal, access to healthcare for British nationals travelling or living in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland is likely to change. You must confirm your residency status and decide how you will ensure access to healthcare.

If you currently have your healthcare costs paid for by the UK government, we can help if you are asked to pay for treatment during the first 6 months after Brexit. To organise a payment, you must give your healthcare provider’s details to the NHS Business Services Authority’s Overseas Healthcare Services.

Read the guidance on healthcare for UK nationals living in Cyprus and how it may change after Brexit.

The UK government has offered to continue paying the country you live in for your healthcare if there’s no deal, as it does now. The government has proposed maintaining current healthcare cooperation and health insurance provided by EHICs and S1 forms with EU member states, including Cyprus, until the end of December 2020. If there’s no deal, and there is no arrangement with Cyprus to continue reciprocal healthcare, health insurance provided by EHICs and SI pensioner enrolment in the local health system may stop on the day the UK leaves the EU.

If you are travelling, make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance. The existing EHIC arrangements are 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.

Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.

Working in Cyprus

If you are registered as a resident in Cyprus, you have the right to work in Cyprus. Read our guidance on working in another EU country.

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

Working in Cyprus after Brexit

If there is a deal, your right to work will stay the same until the end of the implementation period.

Read the guidance on providing services after Brexit if you’re planning to start a business, provide a service, or do a job in a regulated profession after Brexit.

Education and professional qualifications

Studying in Cyprus

If there’s no deal and you are a UK student already registered on a course, you will be able to continue to receive education grants or scholarships for the duration of your studies. If you applied after Brexit, you will only receive this funding if you or your relatives have permanent residence.

The Cypriot Parliament has announced that existing UK education franchises in Cyprus and those currently in negotiation will be protected after Brexit.

Read the guidance on continuing your studies in EU countries after Brexit.

Professional qualifications

The European Commission has published guidance on professional qualifications. If you have already been recognised by an EU country as holding valid professional qualifications, this will remain valid after Brexit. If you hold qualifications gained in the UK, you should obtain recognition before the UK leaves the EU.

Money and tax

The UK has a double-taxation agreement with Cyprus to make sure that people do not pay tax on the same income in both countries.

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 can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

If there’s no deal and the end date on your form is after the day the UK leaves the EU, you should contact the relevant EU or EEA authority. They will confirm whether you need to start paying social security contributions in that country after Brexit, as well as UK National Insurance contributions.

Find out more about social security contributions after a no-deal Brexit.

Money and tax after Brexit

If there’s no deal, it may become more expensive to use your UK bank card in the EU. Read more about using a bank card, insurance or other financial service in the EU.

Brexit will not change existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Cyprus. You should send questions about double taxation to the relevant tax authority.

Pensions

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

The UK government will uprate your UK state pension for the fiscal year 2019/2020 in all Brexit scenarios.

If you retire in Cyprus, you can claim:

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.

Pensions after Brexit

The UK government will continue to pay a State Pension to those eligible in the EU after Brexit. Your UK State Pension will be uprated in April 2020, 2021 and 2022 if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland.

If there is a deal and you work and pay social security contributions in Cyprus, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Cypriot pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after the end of the implementation period.

Read our guidance on pensions if there’s no deal.

Benefits

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in Cyprus.

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.

Benefits after Brexit

The UK government will continue to pay the UK State Pension, child benefits, and disability benefits to those eligible in the EU after Brexit.

If there is a deal and you work and pay social security contributions in Cyprus, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Cypriot contribution-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim your pension after the end of the implementation period.

If there’s no deal, read our guidance on benefits and pensions in a no deal scenario.

Driving in Cyprus

If you are resident in Cyprus, you should exchange your UK licence for a Cypriot one before Brexit. You can still use your Cypriot licence in the UK for short visits, or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

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

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

Bringing a vehicle from the UK to Cyprus

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.

Driving after Brexit

If there is a deal, driving licence rules will stay the same during the implementation period.

Read our guidance on driving in the EU after Brexit.

Voting

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

If you’re resident in Cyprus, you can vote in local municipal and European Parliamentary elections.

Voting after Brexit

Once the UK leaves the EU, UK nationals will no longer be eligible to vote in local and European Parliament elections. We are pursuing a bilateral arrangement with Cyprus to secure the right to vote for UK nationals living in Cyprus for local administration elections.

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child in 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

When the UK leaves the EU, you will still be able to travel to and from the UK with a cat, dog or ferret, but the rules will change. Read guidance on pet travel to Europe after Brexit.

While the UK is still an EU Member State you’ll be able to travel with your pet to the EU under the current pet travel rules using your current EU pet passport.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you must visit your vet to get a pet passport.

Read guidance on returning your cat, dog or ferret to the UK.

For moving pet horses and other equines read guidance on export horses and ponies: special rules.

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 and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 22 March 2013
Last updated 4 November 2019 + show all updates
  1. Update on Education and professional qualifications
  2. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement
  3. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.
  4. EU Exit updates: Important update on Passport Validity and EU Visa-free Travel in ´passports and travel´ section
  5. Link to GESY updated.
  6. EU Exit update: important update on passport validity rules added to passport section
  7. EU Exit update: latest EU Exit information for UK nationals in the visas and residency, driving licences, healthcare and voting sections
  8. EU Exit update: added new information on residency rights in a No Deal scenario in the EU Exit section
  9. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.
  10. EU Exit update: updated information on access to healthcare
  11. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving
  12. 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
  13. Added information about the citizens outreach events in Cyprus
  14. EU exit - added link to guidance from the Cyprus government on residency
  15. Added link to information on new double taxation agreement.
  16. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  17. Information added on changes to EHIC rules and health cover for early retirees.
  18. Update information on life certificates for UK state pensions and added link to Living in Cyprus leaflet.
  19. First published.