Updates on the New Legislation and Process for Naturalization of Foreign Nationals

On May 16, 2024, the House of Representatives passed a crucial amendment to the Civil Registry Law to address issues that arose from the initial changes made in December 2023. Here’s an overview of the updated legislation:

Residency Requirements:

Applicants must have physically resided in Cyprus for at least 8 years within the last 11 years. Absences of up to 90 days per year do not count against this total, and such absences do not disrupt the required continuous stay in the year before applying.

Language and Knowledge Criteria:

  • A certificate proving basic knowledge of Greek (Level B1) is necessary.
  • Applicants must also demonstrate basic understanding of Cyprus’s history and political and social context.

Character and Financial Stability:

  • Applicants are expected to be of good character.
  • Financial self-sufficiency is a must.
  • There must be a clear intention to continue residing in the Republic.

Special Provisions for Highly Qualified Foreign Nationals:

  • Those working for foreign companies can apply after 5 years of residence within the last 11 years if they hold at least an A2 level Greek language certificate. This period is reduced to 4 years for those with a B1 certificate.
  • The same conditions apply regarding absences of up to 90 days per year.
  • Spouses and civil partners can apply under these conditions. Minor children who turn 18 while their parent’s application is under review can apply for citizenship immediately after their parent’s naturalization, given they have a clean criminal record.
  • Applications from highly qualified individuals will be processed faster, within up to 8 months, if an expedition fee is paid. The exact fee and process will be set by the Minister of Interior.

Handling of Pending Applications:

Applications submitted before the new legislation’s enactment will be reviewed based on the criteria in place at the time of submission.

Objective of the Amendment:

These amendments aims to enhance the efficiency and fairness of the naturalization process, ensuring that qualified individuals can integrate into Cypriot society smoothly and effectively.

How can we help?

We are at your disposal to assist you with any related questions on immigration matters and refer you to our specialist.

Got a question? Get in touch

Stay informed