In a recent development announced through the official government gazette on December 19, 2023, the Republic of Cyprus has implemented a fresh set of regulations governing the naturalisation of third-country nationals. The key criteria are outlined below:
Key Changes in the New Criteria for Naturalisation
Residency in the Republic:
Applicants must demonstrate legal and continuous residence in the Republic for the immediate 12 months preceding their application.
- Periods of absence not exceeding a total of 90 days within this period will not interrupt the required 12-month residency.
In the ten years leading to the 12-month period, applicants must have been lawfully resident in the Republic or in the civil service for a total of at least seven years.
Applicants must exhibit good character, including law-abiding behavior and no engagement in activities indicating non-compliance with laws or contempt for the Republic.
Proficiency in the Greek language at the BI level is required, proven through language proficiency certificates specified in an official Order of the Minister.
Knowledge of Political and Social Reality:
Adequate knowledge of the contemporary political and social reality of the Republic is essential, evaluated by a committee representing the Ministries of Interior, Education, Sports and Youth, and Justice.
Accommodation and Financial Stability:
Applicants must possess suitable accommodation and stable financial resources.
Consideration will be given to income from full-time employment or other lawful sources, long-term unemployment history, and any financial assistance received due to hardship or financial difficulties.
Genuine Intention to Reside:
Applicants must genuinely intend to reside in the Republic or serve in its civil service if granted Cypriot citizenship.
Residence for naturalisation purposes means the physical presence of the applicant in the Republic, in accordance with immigration rules.
Periods spent as an asylum seeker, holder of international protection order, or holder of a student permit are not considered in calculating the residence period.
Non-compliance with any of the stated conditions will result in the rejection of the application.
The new law, effective from the date of publication, applies retrospectively.
Pending applications submitted under previous legislation will be reviewed according to the Amending Law.
The government has implemented additional measures to ensure applicants have genuine ties to Cyprus, including physical presence, language proficiency, and a comprehensive understanding of the country’s political and social landscape. Meeting these criteria is now more demanding, emphasizing the privilege associated with becoming a Cypriot citizen. The government is committed to granting citizenship to individuals with an impeccable record who truly embrace the values of Cyprus.