18 January 2024

Citizenship Law Progresses In Cyprus 2023

A.G. Erotocritou LLC


A.G. Erotocritou LLC is a “top tier” multi awarded law firm advising on non-contentious, advisory and litigation matters. The firm has firmly established itself as a leading law firm in Cyprus, having cultivated an unrivalled reputation for excellence, with an impressive track record and an all-embracing legal service capability, underpinned by an acute sense of commercial awareness.
On the 20th of November 2023, the naturalisation process administered by the Civil Registry Law in the Republic of Cyprus underwent a key amendment.
Cyprus Immigration
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On the 20th of November 2023, the naturalisation process administered by the Civil Registry Law in the Republic of Cyprus underwent a key amendment.

Such amendment is primarily directed to attract and retain foreign and talented individuals who possess highly specialised knowledge and qualifications, who may obtain and be granted Cyprus citizenship by means of naturalisation in four (4) or five (5) years based on the individuals' academic level of the Greek language.

This new law offers and opens doors to new opportunities to a plethora of talented professionals and numerous international companies, not to mention, beneficial to the economy of the Republic as a whole and shall ultimately contribute to the growth of other various sectors such as real estate. It fundamentally focuses on the duration of residency before applying for naturalisation, and expertise in the Greek language.

The amending legislation provides that a highly qualified individual employed by a Foreign Interest Company can apply for Cyprus citizenship if the below criteria are met:

Key Requirements

  • Twelve (12) months of legal and continuous physical stay in the Republic preceding the naturalisation application, with permitted absences abroad not exceeding a total of ninety (90) days;
  • Good character and a clean criminal record;
  • Suitable residence in the Republic;
  • Adequate knowledge of the Greek language: (i) level A2 for the individuals interested in naturalisation for five (5) years, and/or (ii) level B1 for the individuals interested in naturalisation for four (4) years;
  • Proven academic and professional qualifications;
  • Financially self-sufficient, earning a stable monthly salary of at least €2,500;
  • Entry and departure of the Republic has not been from any illegal and/or closed airports and/or ports (i.e. all the airports and/or ports in the occupied areas);
  • Basic understanding of Cyprus's modern political and social landscape; and
  • The intention to reside in the Republic.

Family members

The new amendment also provides for the naturalisation of the applicant's family members. A family member of a person who meets the above criteria and applies for naturalization pursuant to them, may apply for naturalization on the basis of years of residency in the Republic, after residing for eight (8) years in Cyprus, within the eleven (11) year period preceding their application.

A family member is also subject to the requirement of legal and continuous residence in the Republic for a period of twelve (12) months preceding the date of submission of the application (periods of absence must not exceed a total of ninety (90) days within this period).

Family members include spouses, civil partners, and adult children.

Examination timeline

A 'fast-track' process is offered to highly qualified individuals (upon payment of a relevant fee), where the examination period does not exceed eight (8) months. Details of the process and fee will be determined soon by the Council of Ministers.

Naturalisation due to Years of Residence in Cyprus

The amending legislation also introduces an updated regime for naturalisation applications due to years of residence in the Republic for individuals who legally reside in Cyprus under other residency schemes.

Individuals who wish to apply for naturalisation under this new regime, should legally reside in the Republic for eight (8) out of the last eleven (11) years before the submission of their application.

Applicants should also legally and continuously reside in Cyprus for a period of twelve (12) months preceding their naturalisation application, however, contrary to the old regime, periods of absence from the Republic not exceeding a total of ninety (90) days in the previous year are not considered as interruptions in the legal residence.

It is to be expected that any pending applications, submitted prior to the passing of the new law, will be examined based on the new amendments and criteria set out above.

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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