Yellow slip Cyprus: Get your permanent residence permit
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Do you need to apply for a Yellow Slip in Cyprus? How can you go about it? We have compiled a comprehensive guide about the work permit or Yellow Slip in Cyprus to help you with your application process. We have also examined various scenarios that may apply to your case.
What is a Yellow Slip in Cyprus?
EU and EEA passport holders aiming to work and reside in Cyprus permanently need to apply for a work permit that is known as Yellow Slip (it’s printed on yellow paper) – anyone who doesn’t hold a Yellow Slip is not allowed to look for work on the Mediterranean island. EU and EEA citizens who simply want to stay in Cyprus for longer than 3 months as visitors should also apply for the Yellow Slip.
The Benefits of Yellow Slip in Cyprus
Let’s have a glance at the benefits of holding a Yellow Slip in Cyprus:
Work and live in Cyprus without any restrictions
When considering the benefits of a yellow slip in Cyprus, the first and most crucial one is the eligibility it confers on its holder to live and work in Cyprus without any restrictions.
Living in Cyprus opens a window to a world of opportunities. With the yellow slip, you are entitled to unrestricted access to the country’s thriving job market. As per the statistics from Cyprus’s Department of Labor, there has been a steady increase in job opportunities, with an employment rate of 76.7% recorded in 2023. The yellow slip can make you a part of this prosperous economy.
Working without restrictions also means you can engage in any lawful employment activity. Whether it’s starting a business, working as a freelancer, or being a salaried employee, the yellow slip places no bounds. The benefits of a yellow slip in Cyprus for self-employment can’t be overstated, considering Cyprus’ booming economy and its supportive environment for start-ups.
Register with the GESY
The second benefit of the yellow slip in Cyprus is the eligibility to register with the General Health Care System (GESY). This national health system, designed to ensure all residents in Cyprus have access to quality healthcare, is a major advantage of holding a yellow slip.
As of 2023, around 90% of the population is covered under GESY, showing its extensive reach and acceptance. Once registered, yellow slip holders have access to a wide range of medical services, from routine check-ups to specialized treatments. The peace of mind that comes with knowing you have access to comprehensive healthcare is an immeasurable benefit of the yellow slip in Cyprus.
Furthermore, GESY’s emphasis on preventive care and its focus on the patient-centered approach makes it one of the most progressive health systems in Europe. It’s a significant advantage that can’t be overlooked when considering the benefits of obtaining a yellow slip in Cyprus.
Apply for various social benefits including unemployment benefits
Thirdly, a yellow slip enables you to apply for various social benefits, including unemployment benefits. This safety net can provide substantial support during unforeseen circumstances.
As per the Social Insurance Services data of 2023, the number of beneficiaries for unemployment benefits was about 7% of the total unemployed population. While it’s not a situation anyone anticipates, knowing there is a backup can make living in a new country less daunting.
Along with unemployment benefits, the social benefits also include sickness and maternity benefits, giving you broader security. The government’s commitment to supporting its residents during challenging times is another crucial factor that enhances the benefits of a yellow slip in Cyprus.
It’s worth mentioning that Non-EU passport holders who obtain a Yellow Slip in Cyprus are not allowed to travel to other EU countries without obtaining a travel VISA for this purpose.
Yellow Slip holders don’t need to renew their work permit. Unlike other documents certified by the Cypriot government including the Pink Slip, the work permit (Yellow Slip) is a permanent document that doesn’t need to be renewed.
Who is eligible for a Yellow Slip in Cyprus?
In this section, we talk about different groups of people and assess their eligibility for the Yellow Slip.
Should you apply for a Yellow Slip if you’re a pensioner?
If you’re a European Union citizens planning to move to Cyprus, you don’t need to apply for a work permit – based on the EU principle ‘Freedom of Movement’, you can move to Cyprus without any restrictions. In case you’re a Non-EU citizen aiming to stay in Cyprus for longer than 90 days you need to apply for a Pink Slip for yourself and your family members.
Should you apply for Yellow Slip if you’re a university student?
If you’re an EU citizen planning to study in Cyprus you don’t need any special documents, your national ID or passport are going to be sufficient to get permission to study in Cyprus.If your aim is to work for a company in Cyprus after completing your studies, you’ll need to apply for a Yellow Slip.
In case you’re a Non-EU passport holder planning to study in Cyprus, Yellow Slip isn’t the right document to apply for. It’s wise to contact your university and learn more about the special VISA needed for studying in Cyprus.
Typically, universities in Cyprus ask Non-EU nationals to provide the following documents:
Can you live in Cyprus without working for a Cypriot company?
In this section, we examine a few common scenarios that may apply to your situation.
Your right to live in Cyprus
EU passport holders can live in Cyprus without needing to work for a company based in Cyprus.
But Non-EU citizens cannot stay in Cyprus for longer than 90 days unless they apply for the Pink Slip which allows them to stay as visitors (without having the right to work) on the island for up to 4 years.
Your family’s right to live in Cyprus
First off, let’s define who is regarded as your family: Your spouse, children (under 21) and your dependents as well as your spouse’s dependents are considered your family.
Documents that are needed for your family members:
Your family members that aren’t EU citizens
To acquire a Yellow Slip for one of the members of your family who doen’t hold an EU passport, the below documents are required:
What is the application process for a Yellow Slip in Cyprus?
In this section, we walk through the process for applying for a Yellow Slip.
Where to submit your Yellow Slip application?
You need to submit your application at the registry and migration department of your city whether it’s Nicosia, Limassol, Paphos. Larnaca, or Famagusta.
Here are the addresses of the Immigration Unit for each city:
How long does it take to obtain a Yellow Slip?
Once you submit the documents required for the application, the Yellow Slip is issued within 5 business days at the most. It is issued directly from the city’s Immigration Unit; a physical yellow document is given to you. It’s wise to keep it somewhere safe since it cannot be reissued.
How can you check if your Yellow Slip is issued?
The best way to check whether your Yellow Slip is already issued is either to call the Immigration Unit in your city or pay a visit and make an inquiry about your case.
The phone numbers of the Immigration Unit for each city are:
What are the documents needed for applying for a Yellow Slip?
Here are the documents required for the Yellow Slip application:
Application form MEU1
EU citizens and their EU family members apply with a MEU1 form. The form is comprised of 4 sections:
Family Member Details
Confirmation Engagement by The Employer (proof that confirms your employment status)
Declaration of Self-Employment
Application form MEU2
Non-EU passport holders with family members that are EU citizens apply with a MEU2 form. The form is comprised of 2 sections:
Personal Details of the EU citizen (confirming the family relationship with the Non-EU applicant)
Personal Details of the Non-EU passport holder with family members that hold an EU passport.
Application form MEU3
EU nationals who have resided in Cyprus for at least 5 years straight are eligible to apply for a permanent residence certificate by using a MEU3 form. The form is comprised of 2 sections:
1. Personal Details of the EU Citizen
2a. Personal Details of the applicant’s family members who hold an EU passport
2b. Personal Detail of the applicant’s family members who are Non-EU nationals
Should I apply through a lawyer or myself?
Are you on the fence about whether to apply for a Yellow Slip on your own or with the help of a lawyer? Either method can be successful in getting approval.
Applying for a Yellow Slip with the help of a lawyer
If you’d like some help, hiring a lawyer is always an option. They have extensive knowledge and experience in submitting these applications, so you can trust their advice and expertise to speed up the process. Plus, with the help of a lawyer, you’ll have a 100% chance of obtaining your Yellow Slip with just one attempt; they guide you on how to collect all the documents needed for the application. Your lawyer will accompany you to the Immigration Department to submit your application on your behalf – you get help every step of the way.
There is no shortage of lawyers in Cyprus that specialise in Yellow Slips; it pays off to do your homework and select one that suits your specific needs.
Applying for a Yellow Slip on your own
If you feel comfortable with the entire process, can handle the paperwork and understand all the legalities involved, you should go ahead and apply on your own. This option suits you best if you are fluent in Greek or even know a local who can help you overcome the language barrier, however most staff in the immigration offices in Cyprus speak English and the forms can be found in English.
How much does it cost to get a Yellow Slip?
Let’s compare these 2 options from a cost perspective.
How much does it cost to apply through a lawyer?
The lawyer fee for a Yellow Slip application is normally €350 + VAT + Expenses per person. If you aren’t registered with the GESY (National Health System of Cyprus), you’ll need to obtain private health insurance in Cyprus that starts at €165 per year. Another expense to take into account are the administration fees that are €20.
How much does it cost to apply on your own?
Applying on your own means that you won’t spend on lawyer fees, but you’ll still need to get private health insurance (starting at €165/year) if you’re not registered with the Gesy. The administration fees of €20 also should be paid even when you apply on your own.
In this section, we go over a couple of questions that often come up about work permits in Cyprus.
Yes. To arrange your appointment, you can either call the Immigration Department of your city or visit their online platform.
Their opening hours are: 07:30 -14:40 from Monday to Friday.
After booking your appointment, you’ll receive an email with further instructions.
Yes. In the email you receive after booking your appointment with the Immigration Centre, you’ll be given the option to cancel your appointment. Further instructions are stated in the email.
No. Since Britain left the EU in January 2021, Britons aren’t allowed to move freely to EU countries, including Cyprus.
If you’re planning to stay in Cyprus as a visitor for longer than 90 days, you should apply for a Pink Slip which grants you permission to stay on the Mediterranean island for up to 4 years. If you can provide evidence of residing in Cyprus before or throughout the transition period you can apply for a residency card following the same application process for a Yellow Slip.