Addressing a packed audience of British expats at the Kama Lifestyle in Pernera, Mathew Kidd, British High Commissioner of Cyprus, explained the Phase 1 agreement reached in December. Assisting him were Christina Smith, the Vice Consul and James McLamley, Consular Officer.
The High Commissioner explained how the British and EU negotiating teams had been seeking to reach agreement on three main issues: The cost of the divorce settlement, the rights of EU citizens and the Northern Ireland Question.
The cost of the divorce has now been agreed in principle. Although an exact figure has not been announced, the method of calculation has been agreed and should lead to a cost of 35 to 39 billion pounds.
As far as EU rights are concerned, what has been agreed is that in principle EU citizens who have already chosen to live in a different EU country will maintain the same rights (health, residency, work) that they have now in that country, but not necessarily the right to move freely between other EU countries and go to live in another European Country.
The question of the border between with Northern Ireland has not been worked out with specifics. The UK does not want a hard border. The detail of how this will happen has not advanced far.
Mathew Kidd pointed out that Britons resident in Cyprus do not currently have the right to use the NHS with an E111 card, and the British government is cracking down on Britons residing abroad and trying to use the NHS. The situation is a bit different for pensioners who have been granted a European Health card (EHIC). The continued acceptance throughout Europe of this Pan-European Health card is one of the points on the wish list of the British negotiators.
The High Commissioner pointed out that the EU negotiating team had expressed the feeling that the British had shown sufficient good faith for the negotiations to be able to advance to the second stage of negotiations and work on the detail of the precise contract to be drawn over Britain’s exit ramifications.
The commissioner and his team discussed the registration of British residents in Cyprus with the document commonly known as the yellow slip and permanent residence five years after that through the application of form MEU3. A form easily downloadable from the internet that has to be submitted with a €20 payment. A member of the audience queried the point of this since the maintenance of existing rights of residence had already been agreed. The High Commissioner’s response was “Why would one not apply if one qualified?” It was an additional measure of security. Both Cyprus and the UK allow dual nationality and after seven years legal residence in Cyprus it is also possible to apply for a Cyprus passport.
If you wish to apply for permanent residency, to make life easy for you, we provide the following link to the relevant Cyprus Government Web Page: http://www.moi.gov.cy/moi/crmd/crmd.nsf/All/D1D71A1CD6E43223C2257D2C00459524?OpenDocument Scroll to the bottom of the page and you can download the application form and notes on the documents you may need to support your application.