Living in Cyprus

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Cyprus, including guidance on residency, healthcare and driving.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Cyprus. Read about how our high commission in Nicosia can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should obtain definitive information from the Cypriot authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Cyprus since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

You can also read the Cypriot government guidance on the Withdrawal Agreement


Follow the advice of the Cypriot government and your local authority. You should also read the Cyprus travel advice.

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in Cyprus read coronavirus travel advice.

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad. If you were legally resident in Cyprus and you can prove that you arrived in Cyprus before 1 January 2021, you will be able to stay.

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

If you want to stay longer than 90 days as a visitor, you need to apply for residency as a third country national. A third country national is someone who does not have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.

Visas and residency if you were living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021

If you have lived in Cyprus since before 1 January 2021, you and your family members have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you have a MEU residence document

If you registered as a resident before 1 January 2021, you will have a MEU1 or MEU3 residence document. Your non-EU family members will have a MEU2. You can exchange your MEU residence document for the MUKW biometric Withdrawal Agreement residence document.

If you do not have a MEU residence document

If you did not register before 1 January 2021, you should request the MUKW biometric Withdrawal Agreement residence document for yourself and your family. You can replace your EU residence document (the MEU) with the MUKW residence document.

If you have been legally resident in Cyprus for:

  • over 5 years: you are eligible for permanent residency and a renewable residency document (MUKW3), initially valid for 10 years
  • less than 5 years: you are eligible for a residence document valid for 5 years (MUKW1)
  • non-EU family members are eligible for a MUKW2 document

We strongly recommend that you request the MUKW residence document. While MEU documents remain valid until their expiry date, the MUKW residence document shows that you have the rights defined in the Withdrawal Agreement. The biometric card is more durable and it will simplify administrative processes. It shows your right to enter Cyprus exempts you from the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and visa requirements. You can use also the biometric channel at border crossings.

Read the Cypriot government guidance residency in Cyprus. If you need further help on how to secure your residency, you may find the Cyprus Residency Planning Group website useful.

You can obtain the MUKW residence document for a fee from:

You must book an appointment online, so you can submit your documents and have your biometric data taken. You will be contacted when your MUKW residence document is approved. You collect your MUKW residence document from the office where you applied.

If you have not had a reply to your request for a MUKW residence document, contact the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

If your application is pending, you will be contacted for additional documents.

Appeal process

If your residency application is refused, the refusal letter will explain how to appeal. If you need legal advice, read our list of English-speaking lawyers in cyprus. If your appeal is rejected, you may be able to apply for long term residence as a third country national.

Family members

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Cyprus at any time in the future. Read more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance.

They must travel to Cyprus and then apply as your family member. Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Cypriot authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge. Your family members will qualify for permanent residence after 5 years of continuous residence in Cyprus. Children born or adopted after 1 January 2021 will get the same residence rights as their family members already living in Cyprus.

Passports and travel

Coronavirus travel restrictions may affect travel to and from Cyprus.

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

Check Cyprus travel advice for passport validity requirements.

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.

Always carry your passport when travelling to other EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. If you have citizenship of an EU or EFTA country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Cyprus using your EU or EFTA passport.

Cyprus is not part of the Schengen area. If you stay in Cyprus with a Cypriot residence permit or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day in 180 days visa-free limit in Cyprus or for the Schengen area.

If you visit countries in the Schengen area, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply if you are travelling to other EU and Schengen countries as a resident of Cyprus. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

If you were living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your MEU or MUKW residence document or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your residence document, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. Other evidence may be your tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your residence document, show your certificate of registration.

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Cyprus, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit Cyprus with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.


Read our guidance on healthcare in Cyprus and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances. We strongly advise you take out private medical insurance if you are not eligible for state healthcare.

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

Read the Cypriot government guidance on the healthcare system (in Greek).

You should also read guidance on:

Working in Cyprus

If you are planning to move to Cyprus and work, you may need a visa. Read the Cyprus government’s guidance on working in Cyprus as a foreign national and how to get a visa.

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


If you were living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement, if you have a MEU or MUKW residence document, or have applied for one.

If you live in Cyprus and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Cyprus.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Cyprus officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Cyprus

If you plan to study in Cyprus, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Cyprus to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes information if you were already living in Cyprus before 1 January 2021.


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

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

Read the guidance on:

National insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Cyprus. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Cyprus.

You can request proof from HMRC of the time you’ve worked in the UK and your UK National Insurance record.

Read guidance on:


UK benefits

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

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

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Cypriot benefits

You may be able to claim some Cypriot 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.


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

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Cyprus, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on pension and retirement 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 respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended, if you do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation.

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

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on buying a property abroad.

Driving in Cyprus

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in Cyprus. Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in Cyprus:

Exchanging your UK licence

If you live in Cyprus, you must exchange your UK licence for a Cypriot one within 6 months of becoming resident. You do not need to take a driving test. You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Exchanging your Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man licence

If you have a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need to take a test.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Cyprus, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Cypriot disabled parking card. Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

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 guidance on importing a vehicle into Cyprus.

Driving outside Cyprus with a Cypriot licence

You can use your Cypriot licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Cypriot licence for a UK one without taking a test. To drive in another country, in addition to your Cypriot licence, contact the Citizens Service centre as you may need to apply for an IDP.

Read the EU guidance on:


You cannot vote or stand as a candidate in national, local government, or European Parliament elections in Cyprus.

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

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Cyprus, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Cyprus, read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad. You can register a civil partnership in Cyprus.

You may also need:


If you’re moving to Cyprus with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:


Dial the European emergency number 112 in Cyprus for the police, ambulance or fire brigade, or dial 199.

If your child is at risk of, or has been abducted need information on child abduction, read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the Cyprus Social Welfare Services information for families and children; the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

Read our information if you are a victim of rape or sexual assault in Cyprus.

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

Returning to the UK

Check the COVID-19 travel guidance for entering the UK.

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

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.

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

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

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

Published 22 March 2013
Last updated 17 January 2022 + show all updates
  1. Guidance reviewed and updated with new information, including in the visas and residency, and driving sections.

  2. Visas and residency section updated: If you need support with your residency application, contact the relevant UK Nationals Support Fund organisation before 31 December 2021.

  3. Guidance reviewed for money, tax and banking, benefits, births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, and useful information sections.

  4. Guidance reviewed for Passports and travel, Healthcare, Working in Cyprus, Studying in Cyprus, Emergencies, and Returning to the UK sections.

  5. Professional qualifications section updated for British citizens who are moving or moved to Cyprus after 1 January 2021 and those living there since before 1 January 2021.

  6. Working in Cyprus section updated: new guidance for frontier workers

  7. Driving section updated with deadline for exchanging UK driving licence and information on driving tests

  8. Additional support section updated with link to guidance on UK Nationals Support Fund, healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; education section updated with information on studying in Cyprus and funding eligibility for students, and link to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on recognition of professional qualifications; working in Cyprus section updated with link to DIT guidance on working or providing services.

  9. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines

  10. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on pet travel and moving to Cyprus

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

  12. 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

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

  14. 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.

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

  16. Update on Education and professional qualifications

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

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

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

  20. Link to GESY updated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  27. 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

  28. Added information about the citizens outreach events in Cyprus

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

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

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

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

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

  34. First published.