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Citizenship Law Progresses in Cyprus 2023

Citizenship Law Progresses in Cyprus 2023

On the 30th of November 2023, the naturalisation process administered by the Civil Registry Law in the Republic of Cyprus underwent a key amendment, specifically for high skilled foreign nationals working for foreign companies and their family members and introduces a fast-track process which endures applications that are examined within eight (8) months provided that the below provisions are met.

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 three (3) or four (4) 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 four (4) years, and/or (ii) level B1 for the individuals interested in naturalisation for three (3) years;
  • Proven academic and professional qualifications;
  • 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.

Without prejudice to the shorter total periods of time provided above, during the immediately preceding ten (10) years from the period of twelve (12) months referred above, whether the applicant is lawfully resident in the Republic, served in the public service of the Republic or partially one and partially the other, for a period of time that in total, are not less than seven (7) years.

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 the above provisions providing that they have completed the required total duration of residence within the previous ten (10) years from the prescribed period of twelve (12) months 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) and must meet the same criteria for knowledge of the Greek language respectfully.

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.

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.

Our team would be delighted to answer any queries and assist in any way in connection with the above.

This content is solely for general information purposes. None of the information herein should be relied on or substituted for specific professional advice regarding a particular matter or situation and no person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of the information contained in this brochure without first obtaining advice from an attorney. A.G. Erotocritou LLC is not engaged in rendering legal services or advice by providing the information contained in this brochure. © A.G. Erotocritou LLC, a Cyprus lawyers’ limited liability company regulated by the Cyprus Bar Association, with registration number HE 326006. Address: 1 Arch. Kyprianou and Ayiou Andreou Str, Loucaides Building, 6th floor, 3036 Limassol Cyprus I website: www.erotocritou.com I Telephone: +35725370101 I Fax: +35725370102 I email: info@erotocritou.com

 

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