No more Cyprus ID cards for foreigners. What’s the problem?

For the last few days I keep hearing and reading about this bit of news:

FOREIGN nationals are no longer being issued a Cyprus ID card, a decision implemented islandwide last Friday without explanation or notification from the Interior Ministry.

I do understand that Cyprus ID card is a handy thing to have.  But I don’t see what’s the big problem about not having it is anyway.  I’m a Cypriot now and I do have an ID card, but I lived in this country for ten years without having one, and I never knew I had a problem.

First of all, Cyprus is not some weird police state.  One doesn’t have to prove his or her identity every day to anyone.  Nobody is policing the street, stopping random passers-by with routine identity checks.  The proof of identity is needed mostly when working with government and financial offices.   With online banking and JCC online payments is there really someone who goes to the bank on a daily basis? Except bank employees of course.  I don’t think so.

Secondly, Cyprus is a country with very weak public transport network.  So almost everyone, if not everyone, drives a car.  And if one drives a car, I think it’s safe to assume that driving license is not too far away.  Cyprus driving license is not the most compactest of things and certainly not the most convenient to carry around.  But I think it works well given how (not) far most people get from their vehicles.

Thirdly, I think having Cyprus ID cards only for Cypriots makes a lot of sense.  I’ve seen it more than once when non-citizens pass as citizens just because they have a Cyprus ID card.   Yes, not everyone turns it around to check for citizenship/nationality.

Fourthly, I’m sure that the majority of complaining people are British expats, who are used to much higher living conditions (including a working government) than most other expats and country guests.  The problem is not as big as they are trying to make it.  No offense intended.

28 thoughts on “No more Cyprus ID cards for foreigners. What’s the problem?”

  1. this is a sign of govt fear, anticipating major upheaval and a need for absolute civil and economic control, requiring strict id control. it is an absolute mandated census for citizen count, an inventory of “units” or “govt assets”.

  2. me and my wife have a british nationailty, but of cypriot origin. we were both born in uk and moved to cyprus in1993. i done my national service, because i was told my father is cypriot. eventhough then i had an alien id card, after doing the army with much diffuculty i got my cypriot id card, but on the back nationality is british, same as my wife. so far so good. i now have a 16 yr old boy, who also has a cypriot id card with british nationality, which he got from us the parents. today my wife went to do the same for my daughter 12yrs old (note both kids born in cyprus) and they said she cannot have an id card unless she applies for cypriot citizenship……what?? also the id cards have expiry dates which means when mine, my wifes and sons expires we will have to also apply for cypriot citizenship. in 2 yrs time my son will do the army, how can he i he is recognised as british?? the whole system is messed up, nobody gives you a straight answer.
    anyones advise will be appreciated.thanks.

    1. Marino,

      first of all, I don’t understand how you or your son can do army other than via volunteering. If you are not citizens of Cyprus, how can they make go to the service?

      Secondly, I think you should apply for Cyprus citizenship. You have a Cypriot parent, and you’ve been living here for a long time. But unless you actually do, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived here and how you managed to, you are still a foreigner. Heck, even now that I have a Cyprus passport, I still feel like a foreign more often than I should. That probably goes to my not speaking Greek and suck.

    2. I have just had the same problem. Came to Cyprus 11 years ago from the UK and immediately received an ID card. Unfortunately my purse was stolen which had my ID card and I reported this to the police. I have asked for a replacement and have been informed that as I am a British citizen I have to apply for Cypriot Citizenship even though both my parents are Cypriots with Cypriot passports and ID’s.
      Apparently this will take over 4 months to sort out if not longer because they have to check my father’s status.
      However, in the meantime I have been paying all my taxes, social insurance, etc and obviously the Government does not mind that I am not a Cypriot Citizen when it comes to that!

      1. First of all, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been a victim of a crime. It seems things are getting worse by the year in this regard.

        Secondly, the Cyprus ID card has nothing to do with your tax paying. Everyone who works and earns income in Cyprus pays income tax, social insurance, and so on. Not all of these people have Cyprus ID cards. Only Cyprus citizens do (or should do). Foreigners have ARC number (Alien Registration Code).

    3. FYI if your parent left Cyprus prior to 1959 … he is be legal terms “not a cypriot” .. after the creation of republic of cyprus they consider “the father” cypriot even if he has a foreign passport .

      So if he left prior .. you don’t need to do the army .

      I read the Law and told them to get lost and they looked at me …. cause they usually don’t read the law just apply it as “they been told “

  3. Hi Leonid,
    Its me Rahul from Nepal. I am trying to come in Cyprus and try to take Political Stay. For that some body said that he will help me. It is possible to take a Political stay and after that he said that he will help me to provide White Card, What is white card??? It is easy or not?? Please briefly tell me about White card and its advantages???
    After getting White card, Can i do a work or not?? He said that after getting Political stay/White card Cyprus government will provide monthly some money is it true???
    Thank you

    1. Rahul, from what I understood, you are trying to come to Cyprus and get the status of the political refugee. I know that there are quit a few people who in Cyprus with that status, but I personally have no experience or knowledge on what is the procedure, which documents are needed, and whether it is easy to get or not. Sorry.

  4. I’m from the Dominican republic and I am married to a Cypriot, I made application for citizenship before 30 december 2010 when we do 3 years of marriage, I would like to know that I have time to wait for Cypriot citizenship

  5. cyprus doesnt respect european union law that why i will go to the europeann parlement to complaine…they dont like foreigner but they forgot that they also were foreigner too in many countries and they still immigrate in many countries in africa in united state in europe……

  6. Leonid hello,i am from moldova,and i used to live in cyprus 12 years,my mom is also from moldova and she has a cypriot iD and passport and living with my stepfather ho is cypriot,,i use to go to school and worked in cyprus,,for many i had a registration A.r.C and an expired moldovan passport,,for many the immigration was telling me i will get my iD cypriot,,but for 12 years they didnt do nothing,,and now i came back to my country to make new dokuments,and i want to go back to cyp its my country,my step father and mom does not help me they want me to do everything alone,,can help me tell what can i do to get to cyprus and take my iD for many years what ive been in cyprus??

    1. You need to apply for a Cyprus citizenship then. It’s easy, but you’ll need to wait for a while. You can get all the necessary forms and questions answered in your municipality. I applied through the Limassol one, for example.

  7. Hi . My self is sahil . I am from India . I am married with Cypriot from 2009 . I had done my application for citizenship in 2013 . I want citizenship how long I have to wait . This is fucking shit rule in cyprus . There is no rule for nothing . We are fed up from that all . If anyone can help me plz reply me . Thanks

  8. i am also a foreign girl, i lived in Cyprus for about 10 years but until now am with ought Cypriot citizenship or passport.

  9. i went to school and i speak very good Greek, i graduate from high school in Cyprus and am now university student in third class. me and my family we worked for long time and we pay all the taxes. and until now no passport , and am not sure if i apply for passport they will give me, or they will after 3 or 4 years and am already 10 years long in Cyprus. i hope that some rules changes.

  10. Good evening..hi I’m from Philippines I came to Cyprus last January 2000 and I’m married now with the e.u and I have 10 years old I know if have a chance to apply a Cypriot passport?anyone can help me? Thx.

  11. Yes you are allow to apply for Cyprus nationality as you have passed 7 years staying in the country . you should talk to a lawyer who will advise you what you will do ………..

  12. Good afternoon… I want to get married to a Cypriot soon and I want to know the kind of Residence I will have in Cyprus as a Third Country Citizen who is married to a Cypriot. Is it a Permanent Residence Card that I will have after we got married or is it Yellow Slip for EU Spouse, Alien Card or Pink Slip? I’m a bit confuse about it.

    1. Hi,

      yellow slip is a long-term residence permit (as opposite of pink slip which is temporary resident permit). Yellow slip is usually issued first time for 5 years, and indefinitely after that. This means you won’t need to renew your residence permit every few month or every couple of years like with the pink slip. It also allows you to work for any company without re-applying for the work permit every time.

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