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Cyprus Eastern Forum Index » General » British Citizens Preparing for Brexit
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British Citizens Preparing for Brexit 
Post: #1   PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:57 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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I spent an informative couple of hours on Wednesday with The British High Commissioner, Stephen Lillie CMG, his team and several other guests at his residence in Nicosia.

The main subject of the meeting was preparing for Brexit. As you are probably aware, the situation with Brexit is unclear at the moment. However, Stephen Lillie provided advice on what actions British citizens who are resident in the Republic should take prior to B-Day (Brexit day - currently 29th March):

Residency

The minimum requirement is to have a Registration Certificate (MEU1), which should ensure your rights are protected after B-Day. If you do not have a MEU1 make an appointment with the Aliens & Immigration Unit; the Limassol unit is located at 223, Franklin Roosevelt. Providing you book your appointment before B-Day, your application will be honoured even though your interview may not be scheduled for several weeks.

Those unable to attend the Unit may appoint their partner, a friend, etc. to act on their behalf. A formal Power of Attorney is not required a simple letter of appointment will suffice.

Further information about applying for a Registration Certificate (MEU1) and the application form may be found on the
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.

If you have a MEU1 or MEU3, take this with you if you leave the Republic even if it's just for a day. On your return present it at passport control to avoid any issues entering the Republic.

Taxation

All residents of the Republic are required to register with the Tax Department and complete an annual tax return even though their income falls below the Income Tax threshold. You can find the registration form on the
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.

Healthcare

The UK and the Republic wish to negotiate a reciprocal health agreement. However, the Republic needs the authorisation of the EU to enter into a bilateral agreement and is waiting their response.

The Cyprus National Healthcare System (GESY) is scheduled to start in June 2019. As this is an initiative of the Republic, the High Commissioner could not provide any guidance. However, he did advise British citizens make themselves aware of the system and decide whether to register as a beneficiary.

Further information on the Cyprus National Healthcare System may be found on the
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.

Details of beneficiary financial contributions and the GESY implementation phases may be found in
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.

Cyprus Medical Cards It has been reported that a number of British Citizens in receipt of the UK state retirement pension have been refused a Cyprus Medical Card.

Anyone affected should report the problem to the Vice Consul, Christina Smith, at
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.

Driving Licence

It is essential that British residents with UK driving licences exchange them for a Cypriot driving licence. Information and forms necessary to apply for a Cyprus driving licence may be found on the
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.

(Note that post-Brexit a Cypriot driving licence will remain valid in the UK.)

Dual Citizenship

A number of British citizens have applied or are considering applying for Cypriot citizenship. British and other foreign nationals can apply for Cypriot citizenship if they have completed seven years of legal residence in the Republic prior to the date of their application. Further details of may be found on the
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Note that once British citizens become dual nationals, the British High Commission is unable to provide them with consular assistance.

Furthermore, we were advised by one of the other guests that a British Citizen who has been granted Cypriot Citizenship (a dual national) will be liable to pay income tax to HMRC.

British citizens who are considering applying for Cypriot citizenship should take professional advice on how this may affect their finances and other matters.

Regards,

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Post: #2   PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:01 pm Reply with quote
Steve - SJD
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Thanks Nigel for the update!

Cheers

Steve
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Post: #3   PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:11 pm Reply with quote
nhowarth
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You're welcome Steve. I drank your coffee and ate your cakes yesterday - I hope you don't mind Smile

Cheers,

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Post: #4   PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:25 pm Reply with quote
Steve - SJD
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nhowarth wrote:
You're welcome Steve. I drank your coffee and ate your cakes yesterday - I hope you don't mind Smile

Cheers,


That's ok.... now if you had drunk my vodka we'd be having words Laughing Wink

Cheers

Steve
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Post: #5   PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:42 pm Reply with quote
billibob
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Quote:
Healthcare: As this is an initiative of the Republic, the High Commissioner could not provide any guidance. However, he did advise British citizens make themselves aware of the system and decide whether to register as a beneficiary.


Having rung the British High Commission, Int'l DWP, NHS overseas healthcare, all who have never heard of the new Cypriot health system, I'm still confused as to whether we have to start paying a percentage of our pensions or will our payments be covered by the UK - bearing in mind the Cypriot pensioners living in the UK do not pay into the UK NHS. Also if we do have to pay but have no income paid directly in a Cypriot bank, how will they collect the money?

Also, I am wondering whether to continue to receive healthcare as per the S1 medical card, is it mandatory for UK expat pensioners to enrol in GESY now if we have no private health cover or do we wait for clarification?
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Post: #6   PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 pm Reply with quote
scottie
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billibob wrote:
Quote:
Healthcare: As this is an initiative of the Republic, the High Commissioner could not provide any guidance. However, he did advise British citizens make themselves aware of the system and decide whether to register as a beneficiary.


Having rung the British High Commission, Int'l DWP, NHS overseas healthcare, all who have never heard of the new Cypriot health system, I'm still confused as to whether we have to start paying a percentage of our pensions or will our payments be covered by the UK - bearing in mind the Cypriot pensioners living in the UK do not pay into the UK NHS. Also if we do have to pay but have no income paid directly in a Cypriot bank, how will they collect the money?

Also, I am wondering whether to continue to receive healthcare as per the S1 medical card, is it mandatory for UK expat pensioners to enrol in GESY now if we have no private health cover or do we wait for clarification?


Of course Cypriots living in. the UK pay National Insurance and tax and when retired continue to pay taxes . How could you think they don't. Not many Cypriots decide to go to the UK after retirement and even if they did they would still be liable for taxes there if they stayed there six months of the year.
Eventually everyone here will fill a tax form and the money will be collected through the tax office. The charges have been stated on this forum often enough.
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Post: #7   PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:10 pm Reply with quote
billibob
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Quote:
Of course Cypriots living in. the UK pay National Insurance and tax and when retired continue to pay taxes . How could you think they don't
Strange reply! I know Cypriots living in UK pay tax - British living in Cyprus pay tax too. As I didnt mention tax at all why do you assume that I think they dont? Of course they do!

My point was that Cyprus & UK have historically had a reciprocal health agreement. Cypriots in UK do not have to pay anything (except tax as well as we do) after retirement specifically towards healthcare. Regardless of that, I was curious as to whether we would have to pay, in addition to tax, monthly contributions out of our pension into the healthcare system here or would we be covered by the UK Government in a similar way to the S1 as now. I also queried whether it's mandatory to enrol NOW into the GESY system (if we have no private health cover) or wait for clarification.

Quote:
Not many Cypriots decide to go to the UK after retirement
I have no idea how many Cypriots decide to go to UK after retirement but with approx 300,000 Cypriots living in the UK, I'm sure there are plenty there that are retired, so I don't understand the relevance of your point.
Quote:
The charges have been stated on this forum often enough.
I didn't ask what the charges were either - I already know what they are.

Since you haven't answered the above questions I assume you don't know either. The nearest I have seen to an answer was from another forum approx a month ago, where someone was told by the BHC that there are ongoing discussions about this between the Governments.

However, I don't understand why your tone has to be so unpleasant.
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Post: #8   PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:05 pm Reply with quote
scottie
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I apologise if you found my reply unpleasant it was not meant to be .

I did say that if you are a tax payer here ( all people resident here for 6 months in any year are eligible for tax ) , then you would receive a form and that is where the money for Gesy would be collected .
No one can give you a definitive answer , the reason being .
1) if we leave the EU with no deal we ourselves would likely be responsible for the payment
2) if by some miracle Mrs May does come up with a plan which is acceptable who knows ? Perhaps part of the reciprocal agreement being talked about could be that the UK picks up our part of the bill .
At the moment it depends on deal or no deal
Once again apologies if I appeared abrupt or unpleasant . I must admit trying to make oneself understood does take away some of the niceties of everyday chat
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Post: #9   PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:09 am Reply with quote
Blossom
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billibob wrote:
Quote:
Of course Cypriots living in. the UK pay National Insurance and tax and when retired continue to pay taxes . How could you think they don't
Strange reply! I know Cypriots living in UK pay tax - British living in Cyprus pay tax too. As I didnt mention tax at all why do you assume that I think they dont? Of course they do!

My point was that Cyprus & UK have historically had a reciprocal health agreement. Cypriots in UK do not have to pay anything (except tax as well as we do) after retirement specifically towards healthcare. Regardless of that, I was curious as to whether we would have to pay, in addition to tax, monthly contributions out of our pension into the healthcare system here or would we be covered by the UK Government in a similar way to the S1 as now. I also queried whether it's mandatory to enrol NOW into the GESY system (if we have no private health cover) or wait for clarification.

Quote:
Not many Cypriots decide to go to the UK after retirement
I have no idea how many Cypriots decide to go to UK after retirement but with approx 300,000 Cypriots living in the UK, I'm sure there are plenty there that are retired, so I don't understand the relevance of your point.
Quote:
The charges have been stated on this forum often enough.
I didn't ask what the charges were either - I already know what they are.

Since you haven't answered the above questions I assume you don't know either. The nearest I have seen to an answer was from another forum approx a month ago, where someone was told by the BHC that there are ongoing discussions about this between the Governments.

However, I don't understand why your tone has to be so unpleasant.


This old chestnut keeps doing the rounds, but its Fake news, They are not Cypriots, they are British nationals of Cypriot decent, there are less then twenty thousand Cypriots living in the UK, most of which are Students at UK universities.

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Post: #10   PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:30 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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I have just spoken with the GESY helpdesk.

GESY is still registering GPs and once this has been completed beneficiaries will be able to enrol and select GP.

When this process has been completed, GESY will place an announcement on its website.

As for contributions, there's a document (
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) that explains in more detail than the Cyprus Mail article.

Regards,

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Post: #11   PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:22 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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billibob wrote:
is it mandatory for UK expat pensioners to enrol in GESY now if we have no private health cover or do we wait for clarification?


As I understand the situation, there is no obligation for anyone, regardless of their nationality, to enrol in GESY.

However, as things stand today, GESY contributions will be calculated when you complete your on-line tax return. So you will end up paying even though you don't use it.

I asked my eye surgeon for his thoughts on GESY. He said it's ridiculous that a GP (who has very little overheads) will be paid the same as him (it costs him 140,000 a year to run his eye clinic.)

I've also spoken with my dentist who said the money he will get from GESY will be 30.00 for each annual checkup, scale & polish. He worked out the cost of just having a patient sit in his chair without receiving any treatment to be 13.00. Also there has been no negotiation between GESY and the Cyprus Dental Association - GESY unilaterally decided what dentists should be paid.

Personally I don't envisage many good doctors and dentists enrolling in the system. And I'll be keeping my private medical insurance.

Regards,

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Post: #12   PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:15 pm Reply with quote
madmum
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might be i havent found it but cant find the amount i would have to pay through tax system. i am not working & only income is a private UK pension of 34 a month. not registered with cyprus income tax yet. thinking cant tax me more for health care than i earn but who knows
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Post: #13   PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:56 pm Reply with quote
billibob
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Thanks a lot Nigel. Much appreciated.
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British Citizens Preparing for Brexit 
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