Home Travel & Adventure Cyprus Unveils New Citizenship Legislation to Attract Talented and Specialized Foreigners

Cyprus Unveils New Citizenship Legislation to Attract Talented and Specialized Foreigners


Cyprus applied new changes to its Civil Registry Law last year to introduce new processes and requirements for naturalisation that aim to attract talented and specialised foreign individuals to the island.

The new changes also aim to streamline the naturalisation process of high-skilled employees and their families and introduce a new pathway for naturalisation based on years of residence in Cyprus, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

The relaxations introduced relate to the amount of time a foreign national would need to reside in Cyprus prior to applying for naturalisation, as well as knowledge of the Greek language. Applicants would still need to have a working knowledge of the Greek language, to be financially self-sufficient, to have no criminal record and to be ‘of good character’.

European Commission

Family members of such applicants would also qualify for citizenship provided that, among others, they legally and continuously resided in Cyprus during the 12 months immediately preceding the filing of the application.

According to the European Commission’s statement, processing such citizenship requests would take no longer than eight months.

New Criteria to Be Met

In particular, the amended legislation provides that a highly qualified person employed by a Foreign Interest Company is eligible to apply for Cypriot citizenship if the criteria mentioned below are met:

  • To apply for citizenship, persons must have lived in the country for a year without leaving the country for more than 90 days
  • Be of good character with no criminal record
  • Have a suitable place to live
  • To become a citizen, applicants are also required to know Greek at either (A2) or intermediate (B1) level, depending on how long they have lived there.
  • They are also required to have academic or professional qualifications, enter and leave the country through legal ports and understand Cyprus’ current political and social landscape.
  • The intention is to reside in the country.

According to the statement from the European Commission, the new amendment also provides for the naturalisation of the family members of the applicants.

A family member of a person who meets the above criteria and applies for naturalisation pursuant to them may apply for naturalisation on the basis of years of residency in the Republic, after residing for eight years in Cyprus, within the 11-year period preceding their application.

the European Commission

The new changes also introduce an updated regime for naturalisation due to years of residence for persons residing legally in Cyprus under other residency schemes.

In addition, under the new changes, persons who wish to apply for naturalisation under this new regime should reside legally in Cyprus for eight out of the last 11 years before the submission of their application.

2,900 Foreigners Became Cypriot Citizens in 2022

The figures from the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, reveal that in 2022, more than 2,900 people acquired citizenship in Cyprus, compared to 1,900 in 2021. The same source reveals that in 2020, the number stood at 2,700, while in 2019, before the spread of the pandemic, it was also 2,900.

Meanwhile, in 2018, 2017, and 2016, the figures were higher, standing at 3,200, 3,700, and 3,100, respectively.

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