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Immigration Issues

1. When will the new immigration law come into action? What changes will be involved for third-country nationals in comparison with the existing law?

The new immigration bill has been submitted before the Parliament in July 2006.

 

It introduces the following changes for third-country nationals:

  • Granting the status of long-term residence to third country nationals subject to specific criteria (i.e legal and constant residence for the past five years).
  • Third country nationals acquiring the status of long-term residents will have simmilar benefits to EU citizens in Cyprus and in other European countries.
  • Under certain conditions, the third country nationals will have the right to reunite with their family in Cyprus.
  • Under certain conditions, the third country national's family will have the right to Cyprus education, employment and professional training.

 

2. Application process for a residence permit (step by step) and the list of the necessary documents to be submitted to the UK citizens and third-party nationals. How long does it take to get a residence permit? Is it such a complicated procedure, as most Russians think?

(a) Residence permit for EU nationals

The procedure for application is as follows:

An application must be submitted within three months from the date that the individual came to Cyprus, at the local immigration Branch of the Police (the fees are Euro 9,0).

The application forms are MEU1-MEU7, MEU1DECL and MEU2DECL, depending on which category the EU citizen belongs to. EU citizens who come to Cyprus as visitors submit forms MEU4, MEU6 and MEU7.

 

The application form must be accompanied by:

  • a valid passport or ID card (and a photocopy)
  • the Employment Contract stamped by the Labour Department
  • two recent passport sized photographs

The residence permit is issued within six months from the date of application.

(b) Residence permit for non-EU nationals

Third country nationals are divided into two categories, executive and non-executive staff.

The first temporary residence permit is issued within one month, unless the case warrants further consideration.

Executive Staff: The application for the first temporary residence permit is made to the Civil Registry and Nigration Department. The fee is Euro 35,00 and the documents required are:

  • Contract of employment
  • Forms M61 (application for Temporary Residence Permit) and M64 (application for employment permit) fully completed and signed
  • Copy of applicant's CV
  • Copy of passport's data pages
  • Certificate of criminal record
  • Bank gurantee from the employer
  • Medical certificate
  • Medical insurance certificate

Non-executive staff: The application is made to the District Aliens and Immigration Police Branch by the employer in form M58 (please see paragraph B6 below). The fee is Euro 35,00 and the required documents are the same as those required above for executive staff.

 

3. How long is the residence permit issued for? How to renew it?

(a) Residence permits for EU nationals are valid for 5 years and are renewable upon the request of the person concerned.

Renewal can be restricted for one year if the person concerned is unemployed, and after the expiration of this one year the permit cannot be renewed if the holder is still unemployed.

A temporary residence permit for employment purposes, can be limited to the expected period of employment for 3-12 months.

 

(b) As regards residence permits for non-EU nationals:

The temporary residence permit is valid up to three months. For the renewal of the permit the procedure is the same as that set out in paragraph B2(b) above. The applications are submitted in form M61 (pink slip), and the documents required are the same (exept for certificate of criminal record). The renewal is valid for one year.

The permits can be issued only up to 4 accumulated years of residence.

 

4. How to get the status of a permanent resident in Cyprus? What are the requirements? What benefits does one get?

Permanent residence of EU and non-EU nationals

EU or non-EU nationals must submit an application form (form M67), which lists six categories of persons (A-F). The most popular category is E-for employment and category F- for pensioners / applicants of independent means.

The documents required are:

  • Proof of good economic status (bank accounts, sources of income etc.)
  • A privately owned residence in Cyprus
  • A certificate of good character issued by the Police Authorities in Cyprus
  • Interview by the District Officer
  • A certificate of good character issued by the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Commerce in Cyprus (required only for the category E)

 

Permanent residence is granted to European citizens who exercise a self-employed activity within Cyprus and who:

  • At the time of termination of his/her activity has reached the age for entitlement to a pension in accordance with the laws of Cyprus
  • Has been employed in Cyprus for at least 12 months
  • Has resided in Cyprus for at least 3 years

 

The benefits of such a permit are:

  • There is no need to renew this permit
  • It allows for freedom of movement to the rest of Europe

 

5. How to become citizen of Cyprus now, when Cyprus is in the EU? What are the requirements?

Citizen of Cyprus

To become a citizen of Cyprus, the procedure is the same for both Europeans and third-country nationals.

(a) Registration as a result of marriage to a Cypriot citizen:

Submit an application form (form M125), in duplicate, after 3 years of marriage and harmonious cohabitation with the Cypriot spouse. (not applicable where foreigners enter or remain illegally in Cyprus).

The following documents, duly certified, are required:

  • A marriage certificate
  • A certificate of cohabitation of the two spouses
  • A birth certificate of the applicant
  • A certificate of good character issued by the Police Authorities in Cyprus on which particulars of the Cypriot spouse are attached

(b) Acquisition of Cypriot Citizenship by Naturalisation

An application on form M127 may be submitted by an adult applicant, legally residing in Cyprus for 8 years, of which the last year he/she has been constantly residing in Cyprus.

The following documents, duly certified, are required:

  • A birth certificate
  • Passport
  • A certificate of good character issued by the Police Authorities in Cyprus
  • 2 photographs
  • The publication in a Cypriot newspaper for 2 consecutive days of the person's intension to apply for naturalisation

(c) Renunciation of Cypriot Citizenship

Applications for renunciation of Cypriot Citizenship are submitted on form M130 (in duplicate) and a certificate or affirmation that the applicants are holders of any foreign nationality that is attached.

 

6. How to get a job in Cyprus? The necessary steps to be taken.

(a) Employment of EU nationals in Cyprus, including citizens of all member states of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

  • EU citizens have a right to enter Cyprus by simply showing a valid EU passport or ID Card
  • Whithin eight days of arrival the individual must apply for an Alien Registration Certificate at the local Immigration Branch of the police, which is issued automatically. There is a fee of Euro 35,00 for the issue of the certificate (form MEU2DECL).
  • Upon securing employment in Cyprus the individual must apply for a social insurance number.

or,

  • If the individual intends to stay longer than tree months and take up employment in Cyprus, he/she must apply for a residence permit (please see paragraph B2 above).

 

The applicant does not need to wait for the residence permit to be issued in order to commerce employment. The members of the family of an EU national also have the right to exercise an employed or self-employed activity in Cyprus.

 

(b) Employment of non-EU nationals in Cyprus

As regards the employment of non EU citizens in Cyprus, the Department of Labour examines applications from employers for the employment of non-EU nationals, if there is no availability of suitability qualified local personel (Cypriot or other EU national)

Work permits are granted by the Director of Civil Registry & Migration Department.

The procedure for the employment of non EU citizens in Cyprus is as follows:

  • The employer submits the application at the District Labour Office
  • The employer is then called to publish in the daily newspapers the available possition via the Employment Services of the District Labour Offices, and if after 3 months no Cypriot or European citizens respond, the employer submits the special application form for employment of foreign workers together with all the necessary documents
  • Employers who receive a positive recommendation submit the employment contracts duly stamped to the Civil Registry and Migration Department of the Ministry of Interior for the issue of work permits

 

 

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