Nearly 15,000 UK citizens in Cyprus have submitted applications for registration and residence certificates, the Cyprus News Agency reports citing figures from the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
The majority of the applicants are aged over 55 while nearly half of the applications are from Britons living in Paphos,
It said the applications were submitted from July 1, 2016 (days after the Brexit referendum) through to September 24, 2019. It said there are currently 32,281 such certificates in force for UK citizens.
According to CNA, from July 1, 2016 a total of 7,801 Britons applied for an MEU1 which all EU citizens must apply for within four months of entry into the Republic. And 6,946 have applied for an MEU3, (certificate of permanent residence) which all EU citizens must apply for once they have completed five years of uninterrupted residence in Cyprus.
Most of the applicants are aged over 55 — specifically for the MEU1, there have been 330 applications from Britons aged 18-24, 1,177 from Britons aged 25-39, 1,711 for people aged 40-54 and 4,009 for Britons aged over 55.
For the permanent residence certificate, 47 British applicants are 18-24, 101 are aged 25-39, 479 aged 40-54 and 6,195 aged over 55.
Currently there are 400 MEU1 pending applications and 150 pending MEU3 applications. The former need 1-30 days to be issued and the later one to six months, CNA said.
Most of the applications from Britons for an MEU1 were submitted in the Paphos district (3,638). The figures for the other districts are: Famagusta 1071, Nicosia 812, Larnaca 1030 and Limassol 1250.
For the permanent residence certificate, 1134 applications were submitted in Famagusta, 262 in Nicosia, 808 in Larnaca, 1248 in Limassol and 3,494 in Paphos.
Authorities have already announced that Britons and their families living in Cyprus before October 31 when the UK is due to leave the EU or on a date to be decided by the EU retain the right to apply for the residence permits up till December 31, 2020.
The Cyprus News Agency said that it was not clear how many Britons had applied for registration certificates in view of Brexit and how many because this is required under EU law.
There are currently 25,945 registration certificates and 6,336 permanent residence certificates involving Britons in force.
But CNA said that other than this information it is impossible to know exactly how many British citizens live in Cyprus — some of those registered may have left the island and others here may not have applied.
It also clarified that these figures do not include Britons working in the British Bases.
CNA said that current estimates are that there are about 70,000 Britons in the government controlled areas including those working in the Bases.
The British High Commission has asked Britons living in Cyprus to apply for a residence permit which will allow them to safeguard their health care under the general health system (GHS).