Refugee rights


Non-refoulement

Non-refoulement is the fundamental right of all refugees and asylum-seekers. You cannot be deported or sent back to a country in which your life or freedom may be in danger on account of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.


Employment

According to the Cyprus Refugee Law, once you are recognised as a refugee or granted subsidiary protection, you will have immediate access to employment from the date your status is granted. You should receive equal treatment as Cypriot citizens regarding wage-earning employment or independent professional activity according to the regulations of the particular profession and of public administration. There are no restrictions to working in a particular sector or occupation. There is no need for the Department of Labour to approve and stamp a contract of employment between an employer and a recognised refugee or a person with subsidiary protection status. If you are a recognised refugee or person with subsidiary protection status, you have the same rights as citizens to remuneration, access to social security benefits, and other conditions of employment.

For further details about employee rights of asylum-seekers and refugees, click here.

General information about employee rights, including equal rights of men and women in the workplace, maternity law, and laws regarding young persons at work can be found on the Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Welfare website, as well as on the Department of Labour’s website and on the Web Portal of the Republic of Cyprus.

Additional informational leaflets are also available from the Department of Labour.

Additionally, the Department of Labour has also issued a guide on employment rights, which is available online. Click here to download.

For further assistance with your employment rights, contact the NGO Future Worlds Center (FWC).


Social Assistance: Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI)

As soon as you have been granted refugee status or subsidiary protection, and if you are registered as unemployed, you will be entitled to apply for Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI). You must be registered as unemployed with your district Labour Office, or be able to prove that you are medically unable to work.

The GMI allowance provides for a basic income to the applicant of EUR480 per month. In addition to this amount, there is an allowance for spouses (EUR240) and for children under age 14 (EUR144) or for children over age 14 and up to age 28 (240), as well as a rental allowance, which is calculated based on various criteria, and according to a specific formula.

If you are legally employed and registered with the social insurance, but are earning less than what you and your family would be entitled to receive under the GMI, you can still apply for the GMI, which will be supplementary to your existing income, according to specific calculations. In case you are offered legal employment after being approved for the GMI, but your salary is less than what you receive from the GMI, then you are still entitled to continue receiving your GMI benefits, which are re-calculated according to your earnings and social insurance contributions. Once you begin working, do register with the Social Insurance Office, and inform the GMI office; you will continue to receive GMI as a supplement to your family’s income, in addition to your salary, if your salary is below the total you are already receiving under GMI.

In order to apply for the GMI, you will need to fill out the orange application form, which is available from the dedicated GMI office located at Themistokli Dervi 46 in Nicosia. Click here to download the application form for Guaranteed Minimum Income.

Your completed application form must be accompanied by copies of the following documents:

  • Your Aliens Registration Card
  • Your Residence Permit, or the receipt showing you applied for the residence permit
  • Your IBAN details from your bank
  • Unemployment registration documents from the Labour Office
  • Your Rental Agreement, if you are living in rented accommodation

When filling out your form, be sure to include details of all unmarried children under the age of 28, whether or not they are living under the same roof with you. Those of your children who are either married, or over the age of 28 will have to fill out their own application for GMI.

Note: At the back of the orange application form, there is a space for certification by the area officer (Koinotarhis), which in fact is not required.

If you are living outside of Nicosia, you can submit your GMI application packet to any Citizen’s Advice Centre in your district, or at the Citizen’s Advice Centre desk at a post office near you. If you are in Nicosia, it is recommended that you submit your GMI application packet to the GMI office located at Themistokli Dervi 46, in the centre of Nicosia.

It can take up to 5-6 months for GMI applications to be evaluated and approved. If you are in urgent need of financial assistance while your application is being reviewed, you can apply at your district Welfare Office for emergency assistance. Each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and the social worker will determine the amount you are entitled to receive. You can request the application form at the Welfare Office, or download it here.

If after you submit your GMI application any of the information included changes, such as, for example, your address, or the number of people in your family, you must inform the GMI office immediately, and fill in and submit the relevant form, which you can download here.

These forms are also available online on the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance website.

For further assistance you can contact Future Worlds Center (FWC).

You may also inquire at the Migrant Information Centers (Mi-HUB) located in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos for information regarding welfare: www.mihub.eu or telephone: 22 080 350. Mi-HUB offices are located in the four main cities in Cyprus as follows:

20 Aischylou & Platonos St., 1503 Nicosia

8 Apollonos St., Christodoulides Court, 6016 Larnaca

230 Agiou Andrea and Katsounotou St., 3036 Limassol

39 Eleftheriou Venizelou Ave., Cronos Center, Shop. 1, 8021 Paphos


Allowance for Disability

According to the Law of the Republic of Cyprus,“‘disability’, in relation to a person, shall mean any kind of insufficiency or impairment which cause permanent or long lasting bodily or intellectual or mental restriction to the person and, taking into consideration his history and other personal elements of the person, substantially reduce or exclude the possibility to perform one or more activities or functions which are considered natural and substantial for the quality of life of each person of the same age, who does not experience such insufficiency or impairment.

Under Cypriot law, refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries are eligible for the same disability schemes available to citizens and EU nationals. The schemes include, but are not limited to, Severe Motor Disability Allowance, Care Allowance for Quadriplegic Persons, and Financial Assistance for the provision of Technical Means, Instruments and other Aids.

For more information about the disability schemes available, visit the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities website.

If you or a member of your family is disabled, you must declare this in your GMI application form. Following the procedures of the Department for the Social Inclusion of Disabled Persons you will receive a letter requesting a formal application for Disability Allowance. After this application is filed, you will be contacted and given an appointment for assessment by the responsible medical board. Upon the decision of the medical board, a disability allowance separate from the GMI is granted.

For more information, click here.

Address:
Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
67 Archbishop Makarios III Avenue, 2220 Latsia, Nicosia

Telephone number: +357-22815015
Fax: +357-22482310
E-mail: info@dsid.mlsi.gov.cy


Housing

There are no social housing schemes or special government housing programmes or services for refugees by the state that can assist you to find appropriate rental accommodation.

As a refugee or subsidiary protection beneficiary you have the right to reside at any city or other area of your preference in the areas controlled by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. You will need to rent a house or flat, depending on your and your family’s needs. If you are a GMI recipient, then you will receive a housing supplement, in accordance with the formal calculations and the assessment of your application, and according to the district where you are living (see section above on Social assistance: GMI). You may also be eligible for a reduced deposit for electricity supply; you will need to enquire and apply at the Electricity Authority of Cyprus for details.

In general it is relatively easy to find and rent a place to live in Cyprus. Housing in Cyprus can vary significantly from very basic or low standards, to luxury villas. Some properties are available furnished, and usually have a fitted kitchen. It can often be easier to find a place in the winter months, as Cyprus is a tourist destination and more places are in demand in during the summer. The cost of renting a place depends on the location and the quality and standards of the building and the equipment contained inside, such as furniture, washing machine, refrigerator, heating and air-conditioning. Prices may be negotiable with landlords willing to offer a discount on the advertised price.

Apartments and houses are typically rented on the basis of a renewable contract. Besides approaching agents who can help you with your search for a suitable place, you can also check daily and weekly newspapers for adverts from landlords themselves.  Some websites with property adverts include:

It is important to see a property before you commit to a rental contract, to make sure you are satisfied with the facilities, location and terms offered. It is often possible to negotiate the price and the terms with the landlord.

Housing in metropolitan areas is usually more expensive than in suburbs and smaller towns and villages. However, the further away you are from the centre, the less access you may have to employment, schools, and other amenities. For example, Larnaca is cheaper than Nicosia and Limassol, in general, but certain areas of Nicosia may be quite affordable, so it is worth doing your research. It is important to choose a location that gives you access to other facilities and services that you and your family will require, as well as the possibility to look for suitable work.

You can contact any private agent for assistance to help you find suitable housing. You will specify your needs and your budget, and the agent will make an appointment with you to show you a suitable rental property. Many agents also advertise available properties for rent on their websites. These include:

You will typically be required to pay a deposit and/or 1-2 months’ rent when signing your rental agreement.

Note: You should not be asked to pay a commission to the agent – only landlords pay this fee to the agent for finding tenants on their behalf. You will need to pay EUR 350 to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus and EUR 125 to the Water Board for transferring the accounts onto your name, unless you have made another agreement with your landlord that is stipulated in your rental contract.

For further assistance

For advice and further assistance on your housing needs, you can contact Future Worlds Center (FWC).

You may inquire at Mi-HUB for information regarding housing or telephone: 22 080 350. Mi-HUB offices are located in the four main cities in Cyprus as follows:

20 Aischylou & Platonos St., 1503 Nicosia

230 Agiou Andrea and Katsounotou St., 3036 Limassol

8 Apollonos St., Christodoulides Court, 6016 Larnaca

39 Eleftheriou Venizelou Ave., Cronos Center, Shop. 1, 8021 Paphos


Healthcare and Medical Card

Upon recognition as a refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection you are entitled to healthcare upon the same conditions as Cypriot nationals.

If you are receiving GMI or are in a low-income bracket (i.e. Persons without dependants whose annual income does not exceed €15,400.00), you are entitled to subsidised healthcare. Following the changes to the law in 2013 the subsidised costs for healthcare charges include €10 for Accidents and Emergency, €3 for a visit to a general practitioner, €6 for a visit to a specialist, and €0.50 for each prescribed medication.

If you are unemployed and registered with your local district Labour Office, you can apply for a state Medical Card from the Ministry of Health or at the General Hospital in your district. Download the application form here. The form includes explanatory notes, instructions, and details about required documents.

You will need to provide the following:

  • Aliens Registration Card
  • Residence Permit
  • Confirmation of Unemployment Letter from the Labour Office or Employer’s certificate showing the amount of earnings, or a work contract.
  • Certified copy of the last tax statement or Income Tax certificate, if applicable.
  • Copy of Social Insurance Account from the Department of Social Insurance Services or a Citizen Service Centre (for all family members except from children below the age of 18 who are not employed).

If you are not entitled to a subsidised healthcare card, for example if you are employed and are earning above the low-income bracket specified above, then you can still receive treatment at the hospital, and will be required to pay the associated fees.

For Disability Allowance, please refer to the above section Allowance for Disability for more information.


Education

Pre-school education

All children, independent of their country of origin or nationality, who reside permanently or temporarily in Cyprus, are entitled to be registered in a public nursery school. To be registered in a public nursery school, or in a private nursery school that is certified by the Ministry to offer pre-primary preparation, children must have reached the age of four years and eight months by September 1 of the year they will enter the kindergarten. If available places exist in public nursery schools, these are offered to children who have reached the age of three years by September 1 of each new school year, and on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are a GMI recipient, you can enquire about the availability of places for your child at your local nursery school.

Primary and secondary education

Primary and secondary education are mandatory in Cyprus. Attendance in the public school system is free for all classes, and compulsory from age 5 until the age of 15 years; upon completion of secondary school at age 18 a graduation diploma is awarded. Tuition in the state school system is done in the Greek language. Additional language support is available to non-native Greek speakers. For additional information about language classes and programmes, see our section on Integration Support > Language Programmes.

The Ministry of Education and Culture implements a programme of transitional classes for children with a migrant profile – that includes asylum-seeker and refugee children – within specific gymnasiums around the island. This programme offers additional Greek language learning within the school day for children with an A1 Level of Greek language, while those with B1 and above are included in the mainstream classes.

See the Ministry of Education and Culture’s website for a Guide to Education in Cyprus in Cyprus or click below to download in:

Higher education

There are a number of state and private universities across the island offering undergraduate and post-graduate study programmes in a wide range of subjects. There are also a number of scholarships that are offered.

For more information about higher education in Cyprus, and the opportunities and scholarships available, visit our section on Integration support > Higher Education.


Vocational Training

The Republic of Cyprus currently implements government-led schemes through the Human Resources Development Authority for the co-financing of employment positions in order to enable individuals to gain work experience and increase their employability. These include schemes that benefit Guaranteed Minimum Income recipients.

The government also implements vocational training programmes for specialised manual labour (welding, plumbing, automation, car repairs and others) through the Cyprus Productivity Centre.

The vocational training programmes provided by the state are also open to refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries. They are taught in Greek. Vocational training in English is sometimes provided through local municipalities and non-governmental organisations.

For additionaly information on vocational training, see our section on Integration Support > Vocational Training.


Family Reunification

If you have refugee status, the Cyprus Refugee Law grants you the right to apply for family reunification with members of your family that you had to leave behind in your country of origin.

Unfortunately, the Law does not extend this right to persons granted subsidiary protection.

From the date that you receive refugee status, you have the right to apply for family reunification. If you apply within three months from the recognition of your refugee status, you are exempted from some of the standard requirements. In case you apply more than three months after the date you receive refugee status, you will be required to provide additional supporting documents to substantiate your claims, and to demonstrate you can support your family members. These include proof of sufficient resources to maintain the family, sickness insurance, and adequate standards of housing.

NOTE: In order to apply for family reunification, you do not require the services of a lawyer. However, if you require legal counsel or assistance, you can seek free legal advice at the Future Worlds Center.

You are entitled to apply for reunification with the following members of your family:

  • Spouse (husband or wife)
  • Unmarried children under the age of 18
  • Parents or legal guardians, if you are under the age of 18

How do I apply for family reunification?

To apply for family reunification, you will need to submit a letter to the Civil Registry and Migration Department of the Ministry of Interior stating your request, and including the details of the members of your family with whom you would like to be reunited, including, full name, date of birth, gender. There is no application form or official format for the letter. Along with your letter, you will be required to submit the following documents:

  • Certified copies of birth certificates, identification cards, marriage certificates and any other supporting documents that show you are related with the people named in your letter
  • Copies of passports. In case passports are not available, you must state this in your application letter.
  • Copy of your recognition letter granting you refugee status in Cyprus

How long does the process take?

According to the Refugee Law of the Republic of Cyprus, the initial examination of your application may take up to nine months. During this period you may be called for an interview. The interview is a face-to-face meeting with a migration officer who will discuss your application with you.

Following your interview, you may be required to provide additional supporting documents.

Note: In case any of your personal or contact details change, e.g. you change address, after you submit your application for family reunification, you must inform the Migration Department immediately.

Following the interview and your submission of all documents requested, you will have to wait for a response from the Migration Department about your application.

Which steps do I follow if I receive a positive answer?

If you receive a positive answer, you can proceed with the arrangements for bringing your family members to be reunited with you in Cyprus right away. Depending on the country where your family members are currently residing, this process will include providing a copy of the official decision approving your application for family reunification, as well as visa procedures with the appropriate embassy. A visa for family reunification purposes will need to be obtained from the embassy of Cyprus. The cost of this visa is approximately EUR35. It is only possible to obtain this visa at an Embassy or Consulate of Cyprus; no other embassy is authorised to issue this visa. For details on the procedure, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Cyprus. For a list of Embassies of Cyprus by country click here.

The applicant and family members are responsible for the cost of travel to Cyprus.

Family members joining a refugee in Cyprus receive the same legal status as their sponsor and are subject to the same requirements for long-term residence.

In case you receive a negative answer, you have the right to make an appeal to the Administrative Court.

Note: For this procedure you will need a lawyer to represent you.

In case your family members are already in another country, and you want to join them there, it is the responsibility of your family members to follow the legal procedures of the country where they are residing, and initiate the process of family reunification from there.

Click here to download our Factsheet on Family Reunification in Cyprus.


Unaccompanied Children

If you are a child (under 18 years of age) and have applied for asylum in Cyprus, are without your parents or legal guardian and want to go and live with a family member or close relative who is legally staying in another European country, refer to our section: If you are under 18.

The Question & Answer format explains both the legal rules and the procedures to be followed when pursuing family reunification.


Freedom of movement

According to the Refugee Law of Cyprus, if you have been granted refugee status, you can apply for a residence permit, which will be valid for three years and renewable for three-year periods.

As a refugee you can apply for the issuance of a Convention Travel Document (CTD) enabling you to undertake international travel.

For specific visa requirements for travel abroad, you must enquire at the embassy of the country you wish to travel to in advance of your travel arrangements. To travel to an EU country, no visa is required for a stay of up to three months.

You are not permitted to travel back to your country of origin with refugee travel documents.

Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection status can apply for a renewable residence permit of one year. This permit is renewable for two-year periods, for the duration of the status.

For the purposes of travelling outside Cyprus, subsidiary protection beneficiaries are issued with a laissez-passer comprising of a one-page A4 document for a single journey. This document however does not meet the international and EU standards and as such you will most likely be unable to travel with this document. The Government is in the process of preparing an internationally recognised travel document for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection.

According to the Refugee Law, residence permits for both refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection provide the right to move freely in the areas under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus.


Citizenship

According to Article 34 of the 1951 Refugee Convention:

“The Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalisation of refugees. They shall in particular make every effort to expedite naturalisation proceedings and to reduce as far as possible the charges and costs of such proceedings.”

As a recognised refugee or a subsidiary protection beneficiary, you can apply to the Civil Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior for naturalisation to become a Cypriot citizen after completing at least five years of residence in Cyprus, as well as an uninterrupted stay of 12 months before the date of application. The other stipulated statutory requirements for citizenship include being a person of good character, and having an intention to live in the Republic of Cyprus.

When your application is to be considered, you will be called by the Ministry of Interior for an interview, where you may be asked various questions about your background and time in Cyprus, as well as your intention to remain in the Republic.

Required documents in order to apply for Cypriot citizenship:

i. Application form M.127 provided by the Civil Registry and Migration Department, or
through the website of the Ministry of Interior. You can download the M.127 form here.

ii. Signature before a Judge or a Registrar of a Cypriot Court of Justice of the third page of the application form.

iii. The application must be signed by three referees, Cypriot citizens (by birth) attesting the good character of the applicant (page 4).

iv. Publication in a daily Cypriot newspaper for two consecutive days of the applicant’s intention to apply for naturalisation. The applicant pays for this and arranges it directly with the daily newspaper. The cost is approximately EUR30. The wording is standard and provided by the law as follows:

v. A “good character” certificate indicating a clean criminal record issued by the police.

vi. Two photographs, certified by the area officer (Koinotarchis) in the neighbourhood or district where the applicant resides.

vii. Birth certificate, and if relevant marriage certificate, of the applicant must be complete with Apostile stamp, if issued by a country signatory to the Hague Convention of 1961).

viii. If the maiden name of the applicant’s mother is not mentioned on the Birth Certificate, then it must be declared with an affidavit (before a court).

ix. In case any of the above documents need to be translated, the translations must be prepared officially by the Press and Information Office of the Republic of Cyprus (P.I.O), or the Embassy/Consulate of the applicant’s country in Cyprus, or a government department in the applicant’s country of origin.

x. Copies of passport(s) of the applicant, displaying his/her personal details and all arrivals and departures to and from Cyprus during the 7 years preceding the application date.

xi. Statement of stay in Cyprus according to passport (separate form is provided).

xii. Copy of the applicant’s valid residence permit.

Fees:

1. €500 submission fee for M.127 application.

2. Stamp from the court: €8.54

3. Issuance of a clear criminal record: €20.00

4. The cost of publication in the daily newspaper of intention to apply for naturalisation: approximately €30.

Note: In case of approval of the application for naturalisation, another €500 is payable for the issuance of the naturalisation certificate.

Other: The applicant will be informed in writing of the decision.

In case of a negative decision, the applicant may challenge the decision by way of judicial review at the Administrative Court, if the applicant believes there has been a legal error.

The naturalisation certificate must be received in person by the applicant.

Citizenship application documents:

For requirements and documents for your citizenship application, refer to the Ministry of Interior’s website.


Long-Term Residency

Recognised refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries who meet the relevant criteria can apply for long-term residency in the Republic of Cyprus. Long-term residency gives them equal treatment with Cypriot citizens with regards to certain rights, as well as the right of residence in other EU member countries under certain circumstances.

Criteria

Specifically, the relevant criteria for applying for long-term residency are:

  • Five-years legal and continuous residence in the government controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus prior to the submission of the application. The basic rule is that half of the period between the date on which the application for international protection was lodged and the date on which it is granted should be taken into account. But in cases where the asylum procedure takes more than 18 months, the whole period should be taken into account. Provided that the periods of absence do not exceed the 6 consecutive months and the 10 months in total within the last 5 year period. However, where (a) the absence exceeds the 10-month period for serious health reasons or (b) the absence is longer than 10-months but shorter than 2 years for the purpose of working abroad on behalf of an employer based in the Republic; the periods of absence may interrupt the calculation of the 5 year period.
  • Stable and regular resources sufficient to live without recourse to the social assistance system of the Republic of Cyprus. In assessing the resources the following factors shall be taken into account:

(i) the remuneration resulting by a wage-earning full time employment;
(ii) the remuneration resulting by other stable and lawful sources;
(iii) the cost of living, including the rent that applies in the current market;
(iv) the contact of employment of at least 18 month duration or of an indefinite duration;
(v) the availability of shelter for themselves and their dependent family members, which is considered adequate for a corresponding family residing in the same area and meets the general standards of safety and health and generally ensures a dignified living;
(vi) in case of intention to become self-employed, the financial sustainability of the business or activity, including skills and experience in the related field.

  • Adequate knowledge of the Greek language and of basic data and information about the contemporary political and social reality of Cyprus. 
  • Adequate health insurance covering the risks that are usually covered in insurance contracts of Cypriot citizens. A valid medical card issued by the Ministry of Health could be considered as adequate health insurance.
  • Not constituting a threat to public security or public order. An application for long-term residency may be refused on these grounds.
  • Residence in the areas controlled by the Republic has been secured not as a result of fraud or misrepresentations.

Benefits

In the Republic of Cyprus, beneficiaries of international protection who are granted long-term residence status, as all other third-country nationals with long-term residence status, enjoy equal treatment with Cypriot citizens with regard to:

  • access to an economic activity in an employed or self-employed capacity; activities relating to public services are exempted
  • education and vocational training, recognition of qualifications and study grants;
  • rights of social insurance benefits (e.g. family allowances, retirement pensions, etc.) in accordance with the related laws
  • social benefits, tax relief and access to goods and services that are available to the public, including access to housing programmes;
  • freedom of association and union membership and freedom to represent a union or association;
  • freedom of movement in the entire territory of the Republic, except for purposes of residence and work in the areas not controlled by the Government of Cyprus.

Additionally, a long-term resident may exercise the right of residence in another EU country for a period exceeding three months, subject to compliance with the conditions prescribed by the laws of the country of destination, including:

  • exercise of an economic activity in an employed or self-employed capacity;
  • pursuit of studies or vocational training;
  • other purposes.

 Procedure

If you are a recognised refugee or a subsidiary protection beneficiary residing in the government controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus legally and continuously for five years, you can submit an application to the Director of Civil Registry and Migration Department for long-term residency status. The procedure is as follows:

  • Submit your application and a corresponding fee of EUR30 to the Director of the Civil Registry and Migration Department who shall then transmit to the Migration Control Committee, which is the competent body for the examination of applications for the long-term residency status submitted by third country nationals, including international protection beneficiaries.
  • The application must be supported by the following official documents:
  • A valid passport or other travel document which is in force for at least two years and certified copies of the aforementioned that include the pages of arrivals to and departures from the Government controlled areas of the Republic.
  • A valid resident permit with an address in the areas controlled by the Republic
  • An employment contract
  • Certificates of academic and professional qualifications, including professional licenses
  • Tax statements of the previous five years and a certificate of settlement of any pending tax obligation
  • A statement of social insurance contributions made at the Social Insurance Fund for the last five years where the payment of the social insurance is mandatory
  • VAT statements of the last five years and a certificate of settlement of pending tax obligations
  • Statement of bank deposits
  • Receipts of income derived from sources other than employment
  • Property Titles or a lease with a description of the shelter and utility bills
  • Health insurance contract
  • Certificate of a criminal record
  • Greek language certificate issued by the Ministry of Education further to an oral examination meeting the level of language requirement or an equivalent certificate recognised by the Ministry of Education. For purposes of taking the oral exams, a fee of EUR25 together with an application for taking the exams must be submitted to the Examination Service of the Ministry of Education.

The Committee of Migration Control shall notify its decision in writing to the applicant within six months from the date of submission of the application. In exceptional circumstances relating to the complicated nature of the examination of the application, the six-month deadline may be extended and the Committee must notify the applicant accordingly.

Where the decision is negative, both the reasons and the right to appeal within a specified deadline will be stated in the notification letter. If your application for long-term residency is unsuccessful, your status as a refugee or subsidiary protection beneficiary will not be affected.

The permit is of five years’ duration and will be automatically renewed upon an application for renewal. The application for renewal needs to be submitted 3 months prior to its expiry and with the payment of a EUR30 renewal fee.

In certain specific circumstances, the status can be withdrawn or revoked. For example, if the refugee or subsidiary protection status is revoked, the long-term residency status, which had been acquired on the basis of the aforementioned statuses, will be revoked as well.

Click here to download the Long-Term Residence Application from the Ministry of Interior.

For other documents relating to the process of applying for long-term residence, see here.


Long-term Residency in a second EU Member State

If you are granted long-term residency in Cyprus, and you wish to take up residence in another EU Member State, you will need to apply as soon as possible, and not later than three months after entering the second Member State, to the competent national authorities of that country. You will need to fulfil the criteria of the second EU Member State, and submit the appropriate application to the competent authorities of that country. The second EU Member State may require you to provide evidence of stable and regular resources, proof of employment, sickness insurance, and appropriate accommodation, as well as documents proving you meet the relevant conditions and criteria, that you comply with integration measures in line with the national law of that Member State, and you may be required to attend language courses.

For details of the specific requirements of other EU Member States, you should enquire at the Embassy/Consulate of the particular country you are interested to take up residency in.

The second EU country may refuse applications for residence only where there is an actual threat to public policy, public security or public health. In the case of public health, the directive allows EU countries to require a medical examination in order to certify that the persons in question do not suffer from any diseases that are the subject of protective provisions in the host country. The directive also provides for a series of procedural guarantees, such as the statutory period for examining applications for residence permits, the arrangements for notifying interested parties, redress procedures and the conditions governing expulsion.

As soon as they enter the second EU country, long-term residents enjoy all the benefits that they enjoyed in the first EU country under the same conditions as nationals.

Long-term residents living in the second EU country will retain their status in the first EU country (Cyprus) until they have acquired the same status in the second EU country.

The family members of the long-term resident may accompany him/her to the second EU country or join him/her there on condition that they already formed a family in the EU country which granted him/her the status (hereinafter “first EU country”). If this is not the case, Directive 2003/86/EC on the right to family reunification applies.

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