Brit expats in Cyprus still in quandary over Brexit rights

Published:  2 Jul at 6 PM
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The British High Commission is urging Cypriot immigration authorities to work with it in clarifying British expats’ post Brexit status.

Britons living in the Mediterranean island are still confused about their status post-Brexit, even although the two negotiating teams have been reported as agreeing on reciprocal protection of expat rights both in the UK and EU member states. Concern is growing about the likelihood of a hard Brexit, after which any agreements made would be invalid.

The Commission’s concern arose as a result of reports from British expats about conflicting information as regards their future status being given to them by staff at various Cypriot immigration offices. It’s aiming at a close relationship with immigration officials, based on sharing the recently announced plan for EU nationals living and working in the UK. It would seem there’s a veiled reference by British diplomats to the fact that the status issue post-Brexit should work in favour of both sets of expats, not just for EU nationals in the UK. A large number of Cypriot nationals are living and working in the UK within long-established communities, all of whom are now promised the right to remain on a permanent basis.

The confusion amongst British citizens seems to have arisen over the forms necessary for permanent residency. Those who’ve lived in Cyprus for over five years are entitled to permanent residency via the MEU3 form, but immigration officials are now telling them they can only have the MEU1 form normally given as a registration formality to expatriates who’ve stayed for just three months. Applicants are being incorrectly told they’ll only be able to get the MEU3 form after Brexit is finalised. Reporters from a British newspaper attempted to interview a senior immigration officer without success, with the High Commission representative saying when questioned that individual EU member states can add their own requirements for foreigners wishing to stay longer than 90 days. Two crucial issues still waiting to be ewsolved are the post-Brexit recognition of qualifications and the right to free movement.
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