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On 19/12/2023 an amendment to the Civil Registry Law was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus. The new legislation, among other things, allows highly skilled foreign employees in companies which are set by the Council of Ministers’ decision, in the intervals of attraction of companies for business and/or expansion of their activities in Cyprus, to obtain Cypriot citizenship if they resided in Cyprus for 4 or 5 years, depending on their Greek language knowledge. 

The Ministry of Interior has announced on 22/03/2024 further clarifications regarding this matter. In accordance with the Council of Ministers’ decision, the said companies are determined as:

  1. Businesses/companies of foreign interests, operating in Cyprus and having independent offices in Cyprus, housed in suitable, separate premises, and not in any private residence or any other office.
  2. Cypriot shipping companies.
  3. Cypriot high-tech/innovation companies.
  4. Cypriot pharmaceutical companies or Cypriot companies active in the fields of biogenetics and biotechnology.
  5. Companies that are already registered in the Register of Foreign Interest Companies.

Highly skilled foreign employees in companies, are determined as:

  1. employees of companies of foreign interests, with work permit as Director, Key Personnel, or Specialist, or
  2. employees under any other type of permissible permit who receive a minimum salary of €2,500 per month and hold a university degree or equivalent, or proof of employment corresponding to 2-years in a relevant position (for example tax declarations). Employees of this category shall provide a confirmation letter from the Business Unit or the Civil Registry and Migration Department stating that their employer is a company included in one of the above categories set by the Council of Ministers’ decision.

 The requirements that need to be met for highly skilled foreign employees to apply for Cypriot citizenship under the new legislation are the following:

  1. A certain degree of knowledge of Greek language certified through a Greek Language test is necessary (either Level A2 or B1, depending on the years of residence – see below). The test is the Greek Language Certification Exams, conducted by the Greek Language Center of Greece, through the Examinations Service of the Ministry of Education, on May every year.
  2. The applicant shall legally and continuously reside in Cyprus for 12 months before submitting their application, with an allowance for absence of up to 90 days during this period.
  3. Before the above period of the 12 months is completed, the applicant shall, within the previous 10 years, reside in Cyprus for at least 4 years (provided he has passed Greek Language test at Level A2) or for at least 3 years (provided he has passed Greek Language test at Level B1). It is important that a period of absence from the Republic of Cyprus that does not exceed the total of 90 days per year, do not interrupt the above required period.
  4. The applicant shall have adequate knowledge of basic elements of the modern political and social reality of Cyprus. For this purpose, the applicant has to submit a Certificate of Success with a grade of at least 60% to the examination conducted by the Examinations Service of the Ministry of Education on this topic. This examination is held twice a year, on dates announced by the Examinations Service.
  5. He/she shall have a good character. This includes but not limited to the below conditions:
  • He/she has not shown by actions or words lack of conformity to the law or contempt towards the Republic of Cyprus
  • He/she has not been sentenced in Cyprus or abroad to imprisonment for any crime that is punishable by 5 years’ imprisonment and more or any serious crime.
  • He/she is not wanted by EUROPOL or INTERPOL for a serious crime which is punishable by 5 years’ imprisonment and more in Cyprus or any other serious crime.
  • He/she is not under UN or EU sanctions.
  • There is no pending criminal case against him/her for any crime that is punishable by 3 years’ imprisonment and more.
  • He/she shall not have entered the Republic from any illegal/closed airports and ports (i.e. all the airports and ports in the occupied areas).

f)             The applicant shall have suitable housing and a stable income.

g)            The applicant shall have the intention to reside in Cyprus.

The family members of the aforementioned applicant (minor children, spouse and partners in civil union, dependent adult children with a disability) are also entitled to apply for Cypriot citizenship provided that they have legally and continuously lived in Cyprus for 12 months before applying and that they reside in the country for at least the same period as the applicant within the previous 10 years before the period of the aforementioned 12 months is completed. They can be absent for up to 90 days within a year without affecting the continuity of their residence in Cyprus. The spouse of the applicant shall pass the same Greek Language test as the applicant. The requirement to pass the test does not apply for children.

Applications are submitted at the District Administration Office. The required documents for the application are the following:

  1. Original birth certificate
  2. Original criminal record certificate issued by the Republic of Cyprus (up to six months)
  3. Copy of current permit
  4. Marriage certificate or civil partnership agreement (where applicable)
  5. Copy of passport showing all the stamps of arrivals and departures
  6. Detailed statement with all the arrivals and the departures to and from the Republic of Cyprus
  7. Copies of two publications for the submission of the application in a daily newspaper in Cyprus, from two consecutive days
  8. Certificate of Success of Greek Language Examination at Level A2 or Level B1, depending on the case
  9. Certificate of Success with a grade of at least 60% to examination on the basic elements of the modern political and social reality of Cyprus
  10. Proof of suitable housing, (i.e. title deed, sale agreement and proof of payments or rental agreement and proof of payment of rent and proof of payments of utility bills)
  11. Proof of stable income (payslip, employment agreement, statements from social insurance office, tax declaration, bank account statements or other proof of income)
  12. Two passport-size photographs, certified by the President of the Community Council.
  13. Copy of payment receipt of the fees (€500)

The fee for the application is as follows:

  • The amount of €500 is paid with the submission of the application,
  • Stamp duties of €17,08 is put in the application form, and
  • The amount of €500 is paid once the application is approved for the issuance of the certificate of naturalisation.

Under the new legislation, the examination of the applications will be competed within a period of up to 8 months.

The new Cyprus Citizenship Law represents a significant opportunity for foreign nationals and their families to obtain Cypriot citizenship.


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