The rights of entry and residence of third country nationals who are family members of citizens of the E.U., E.E.A. and Switzerland (Union), is provided by the Law regarding the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Republic.
Definition of “family members”
- the spouse or partner who has conducted a civil union with the Union citizen,
- the direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependants and those of the spouse or partner as defined in point.
- the dependent direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner as defined in point.
For other family members not covered by the above, please please follow the links below.
Please note that other family members according to the definitions above, may apply and secure any other residence permit according to the Aliens and Immigration Law, provided that they fulfill, on a personal basis, the criteria for the Residence Permit they attempt to obtain.
Entry to the Republic of Cyprus
Right of residence for up to three months
- To enter the Republic of Cyprus, family members must possess an entry visa, unless they are exempted from this obligation. For information regarding visas click here. However, when a family member, does not have the necessary visas, the authorities of the Republic shall, before turning them back, give them every reasonable opportunity to obtain the necessary documents within a reasonable period of time or to corroborate or prove by other means that they are covered by the right of free movement and residence.
- In case where the family member is in possession of a valid residence card issued by the Republic of Cyprus, or any other member state, they shall be exempted from the visa requirement.
Family members of Union citizens, who are third country nationals and are in possession of a valid passport, who accompany or joining the Union citizen, have the right of residence for a period of up to three months without any conditions or any formalities.
Right of residence for more than three months - Submission of application for a Residence Card
- The application for the issue of a Registration Certificate is submitted by family members, within four months from the date of entry into the Republic.
- The offices where applications can be submitted can be located here. To find out whether an appointment is needed follow this link.
- During the submission of the MEU2 application, the Union citizen must be present along with the family member and the Union citizen must provide evidence of sufficient resources for themselves and their third country national family members.
- The MEU2 application must be accompanied by all the required supporting documents, which can be found in the list of supporting documents and which must be officially translated and duly certified.
- In order to proceed with the submission of an application, the required fees (see below) must be paid.
- In order to submit the application for a Residence Card, the biometric data (photo and fingerprints) and the signature of the third-country national are required, along with the receipt issued for submission and a valid passport. For persons who are under the age of 6 years old at the time of the submission of the application, only a photo is required.
- In case of approval of the application, the applicant will be notified to collect the Residence Card.
- In case of rejection of the application, a letter will be sent at the latest declared address, stating the reasons for the rejection. Updating their address is the absolute responsibility of the applicants, in order to receive the rejection letter and possible submission of a hierarchical course within the timeline provided by the Law.
Noncompliance with the requirement of applying for a Residence Card shall render the person concerned liable to a financial penalty up to €2,500.
The application fees are €20.
Examination time of an application
The examination of an application and the issuance of a decision is completed within six months, provided that the application is duly completed and all supporting documents are provided. This time limit shall not apply and the examination time shall be increased if the application is not duly completed and documents are missing. During the examination of the application, the authorities may conduct interviews or ask for additional supporting documents in cases deemed necessary.
Validity of the Residence Card
Access to employment
- The Residence Card shall be valid for five years from the date of the issue or for the envisaged period of residence of the Union citizen, if this period is less than five years.
- In case where the validity of the Residence Card is less than five years and the holder has not departed from the Republic of Cyprus by the time of expiration of the Residence Card, the holder must submit an application for renewal of the Residence Card, at least one month prior to the expiration of the previous residence Card.
- The validity of the residence card shall not be affected by temporary absences not exceeding six months a year, or by absences of a longer duration for compulsory military service or by one absence of a maximum of twelve consecutive months for important reasons such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training, or a posting in another Member State or a third country. The Residence Card will be revoked when the holder’s absence exceeds these time periods.
Family members of Union citizens enjoy free access to employment, including employed or self-employed activity.
Retention of the right of residence by family members in the event of death or departure of the Union citizen
Retention of the right of residence by family members in the event of divorce, annulment of marriage or termination of registered partnership
- The Union citizen's death or departure from the Republic shall not affect the right of residence of his/her family members who are not nationals of a Member State and who have been residing in the host Member State as family members for at least one year before the Union citizen's death. Such family members shall retain their right of residence exclusively on a personal basis.
- The Union citizen's departure from the Republic or his/her death shall not entail loss of the right of residence of his/her children or of the parent who has actual custody of the children, irrespective of nationality, if the children reside in the host Member State and are enrolled at an educational establishment, for the purpose of studying there, until the completion of their studies.
Divorce, annulment of the Union citizen's marriage or termination of his/her civil union, shall not affect the right of residence of his/her family members who are not nationals of a Member State, in the following cases:
- prior to initiation of the divorce or annulment proceedings or termination of the Civil Union, the marriage or Civil Union has lasted at least three years, including one year in the host Member State; or
- by agreement duly attested by Court, between the spouses, or the partners referred, or by court order, the spouse or partner who is not a national of a Member State has custody of the Union citizen's children; or
- this is warranted by particularly difficult circumstances, such as having been a victim of domestic violence, such as it is defined by the Law Regarding Violence in the Family (Prevention and Protection of Victims), while the marriage or registered partnership was subsisting; or
- by agreement duly attested by Court between the spouses or partners, or by court order, the spouse or partner who is not a national of a Member State has the right of access to a minor child, provided that the court has ruled that such access must be in the host Member State, and for as long as is required.
Such family members shall retain their right of residence exclusively on personal basis.