Long-term residence

Cyprus

Country Report: Long-term residence Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Cyprus Refugee Council Visit Website

The criteria for applying for long-term resident status for all eligible persons, including persons under refugee status and subsidiary protection, are the following:[1]

 

1.     Five years residence in the government-controlled areas.

2.   Stable and regular resources sufficient to live without recourse to the social assistance system of Cyprus. In assessing the resources the following factors shall be taken into account:

a.     the remuneration resulting by a wage-earning full time employment;

b.     the remuneration resulting by other stable and lawful sources;

c.     the cost of living, including the rent that applies in the current market;

d.     the contact of employment of at least 18-month duration or of an indefinite duration;

e.     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;

f.      in case of intention to become self-employed, the financial sustainability of the business or activity, including skills and experience in the related field.

3.     Adequate knowledge of the Greek language (at level A2, as prescribed in the Common European Framework of Reference for the Languages of the Council of Europe), and of basic data and information about the contemporary political and social reality of Cyprus. In exceptional cases these requirements may be waived.[2]

4.     Adequate health insurance covering the risks that are usually covered in insurance contracts involving Cypriot citizens.[3]

5.     The person must not to constitute a threat to the public security or public order.

6.     Residence in the areas controlled by the Republic has been secured not as a result of fraud or misrepresentations.

 

Procedure

 

The application must be supported by the following official documents which prove that the preconditions for the acquisition of the long-term residency status are met. In particular:

1.       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;

2.       A valid resident permit with an address in the areas controlled by the Republic;

3.       An employment contract;

4.       Certificates of academic and professional qualifications, including professional licenses;

5.       Tax statements of the previous five years and a certificate of settlement of any pending tax obligation;

6.       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;

7.       VAT statements of the last five years and a certificate of settlement of pending tax obligations, where the applicant in accordance with the provisions of the Value Added Tax Law, is subject to this tax;

8.       Statement of bank deposits;

9.       Proof of income derived from sources other than employment;

10.    Property Titles or a lease with a description of the shelter and utility bills;

11.    Health insurance contract;

12.    Certificate of a criminal record;

13.    Language certificate issued by the Education Ministry further to an oral examination meeting the level of language requirement or an equivalent certificate recognised by the Education Ministry. Participation in the test is permitted by application to the Service Examinations of the Ministry of Education and Culture and a fee of €25.

 

The application is submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) that transfers it to the Migration Control Committee, which is the authority that examines and issues decisions on the applications.

 

Due to the low number of applications submitted for the status, it is not clear how long the examination takes or on what basis applications are accepted or rejected. From the limited information available, it seems that the criteria have proven extremely difficult to satisfy by any third-country national, including beneficiaries of international protection, with the exception of third-country nationals that are financially well off. Specifically, the most common obstacles reported are the requirements related to proving stable and regular resources, including an employment contract of at least 18 months duration or of an indefinite duration; the mandatory requirement to show contributions to the Social Insurance Fund for the last five years; tax statements of the previous five years; the language certificate, as in practice no other certificate seems to be accepted and, although the required level A2 is supposed to be basic, two persons who took the examination failed it even though they have passed higher levels of language examination from other acknowledged language institutions.

 

Due to these obstacles, the status has not attracted many applications and overall beneficiaries of international protection do not consider it an option and do not bother to apply. Furthermore, the majority of beneficiaries aim at receiving nationality.

 

There is no official information available on the number of beneficiaries of international protection receiving the Long-Term Residence status. However, since it was introduced in 2007 it seems that only one refugee has received it.



[1] Article 18Θ Aliens and Immigration Law.

[2] Article 18Θ(2) Aliens and Immigration Law.

[3] A valid medical card issued by the Health Ministry can be considered as adequate health insurance.

 

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation