18 April 2024

Updated Process For Naturalisation Of Foreign Nationals

G. Vrikis & Associates Ltd


G. Vrikis & Associates LLC is a rapidly expanding and prominent law firm in Cyprus. Established in 2015 by its managing partner, Mr. George Vrikis, the firm has been focused in providing high-level legal advice to its clients and expanding its international profile and clientele, while at the same time maintaining a prompt, proactive and family office-approach for its clients. The Firm has expanded to a second location in Limassol in 2019, with the addition of Mrs Christiana Kouppi as a Partner.
In an attempt to modernize the existing legislatively framework regarding the qualifications and criteria for naturalization of foreigners, in December 2023...
Cyprus Immigration
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In an attempt to modernize the existing legislatively framework regarding the qualifications and criteria for naturalization of foreigners, in December 2023, the Civil Registry Law was amended with the amending Law 149(I)/2023.

The amendments, mainly, focus on the duration of residence required for foreigners before applying for naturalization as well as a basic level proficiency (B1) in the Greek language. In addition, the process is expedited with the new provisions of the Civil Registry Law for applicants possessing advanced qualifications and skills.

Inter alia, the below qualifications must be met for the acquisition of citizenship by a foreigner:

  • Twelve months of legal and continuous physical stay in Cyprus with allowance of absence abroad not exceeding 90 days,
  • Seven (out of last 10 years) of legal physical stay in Cyprus before the abovementioned 12-month period
  • Clean criminal record and good character
  • Certificate of knowledge of Greek Language (B1).
  • Sufficient knowledge of Cyprus political and social characteristic by submitting a Certificate of Success with a grade of at least 60%. The procedure and method of evaluation are determined by a three-member evaluation committee, which is composed of representatives of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth and the Ministry of Justice.
  • Suitable residence and stable and regular financial resources sufficient to support themselves and their families.
  • Intention to reside to Cyprus.

Highly qualified individuals (i.e employees of International Business Companies, who hold a work permit as a director, key personnel or specialist, employees of the abovementioned companies who hold any other type of permit and earn a salary of at least 2.500 Euro per month and have a university degree or equivalent) and have knowledge of the Greek language at level A2 or B1 have the option for their application to be processed under a "fast-track process" not exceeding 8 months and instead of seven years legal physical stay in Cyprus, a four-year or a three year period is required depending on the level of knowledge of the Greek Language.

Spouses, civil partners, minor children and financial dependent adult children with disabilities, are also, eligible to apply under the same conditions.

However, it is notable that the Minister of Interior, during the examination of such an application for citizenship, has significant discretionary power and he may reject his application although the applicant satisfies the criteria. However, the Minister shall exercise this discretionary power in good faith.

These amendments to the Civil Registry Law aim to attract and retain highly qualified and skilled individuals to the country in specific fields and strength further Cyprus position as an attractive international business center.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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