Advice for new British expats in Cyprus
Updated: Mar 15
Since 1 January 2021, those individuals planning to spend more than 90 days in each 180 days in a year should be looking at applying for Cypriot residence, now known as form MUKW. This is only if you have proof that you were residing in Cyprus before the transition date 31 December 2020.
Applying for temporary residency in Cyprus
The MUKW1 (temporary residency) application process is somewhat tortuous, requiring the provision of documents such as:
Birth and marriage certificates, which require to be apostilled in the UK (yes, I had never heard of that word either before applying for residency myself)
Signed copy of purchase contract of property or lease of same
Certificates of utility bills such as electricity showing 3 months stay
Copy bank statements highlighting sufficient income (salary, rentals, pension). If using a UK bank account as proof, you also have to provide a copy of the front of your bank card
Medical insurance policy
Permanent residency (MUKW3) may be applied for after 5 years.
Recent changes to residency applications for British expats in Cyprus
Historically, certificates of residency were referred to as a “yellow slip”, basically because they were printed on yellow paper, but Cyprus is now moving into the 21st century and certificates are issued by way of a plastic card with all your biometrics. Addresses are no longer visible on the MUKW cards.
Appointments to apply for a MUKW documentation are often being booked months in advance of the actual appointment but since June 2021 appointments are to be booked online only with available appointment times so you no longer have to wait around for hours for your immigration appointment.
We at Maplebrook Services limited are personally able to accommodate those residents that are wishing to change from MEU to MUKW residency documentation as recommended by the UK Government. We also work with a business that takes all the stress and waiting off your shoulders if applying for brand new residency, for a very reasonable fee.
UK driving licences and Cypriot Wills must also be considered
Spending more than 6 months in Cyprus requires the surrendering of your UK driving licence for a Cypriot equivalent with similar issues to applying for residency.
Once you have acquired assets, especially property, in Cyprus you should have a Cypriot Will. Cyprus, in common with a lot of European countries, operates a forced heirship regime where assets on death are distributed in a specific fixed order.
Fortunately, it is possible within a Cypriot Will to opt out of such a system by claiming rights as a British citizen to be able to take advantage of the British system of making bequests to whomever (with certain exceptions) you wish.
Whilst it is relatively easy to change one’s country of residence, domicile is a totally different matter. The majority of people do not fully understand the concept of domicile and bereaved families are often surprised to learn that the estate of a non-British resident is still liable to UK inheritance tax.
We assist and advise British expats in Cyprus with our range of services
Maplebrook Services Limited is the no.1 UK Will Writer and Legacy Planner in Cyprus, offering expert advice, both legal and fiscal, to the British expat community. We also provide advice and assistance in preparing UK Lasting Powers of Attorney in respect of property and financial affairs as well as health and welfare.
In addition, Maplebrook Services Limited provides a pre-paid funeral plan for burial either in Cyprus or back in the UK using a repatriation service if required, taking away the financial and emotional burden of arranging a funeral where the family may be 2000 miles away. Cyprus does not allow cremation, so arrangements can also be made for repatriation and cremation in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.
For further information, please contact Wayne Barnett, FCA, MIPW, STEP Affiliate, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +357 99 147650 or +357 26 600780. Alternatively, please submit the contact form below and we will be in touch with you promptly.