EN  GR  RU  CN 



Revision of the Criteria for Naturalization of Third Country Nationals

Revision of the Criteria for Naturalization of Third Country Nationals

By: Antria Aristodemou,  PARTNER │ HEAD OF CORPORATE DEPARTMENT @ A. Karitzis & Associates LLC 

The criteria for the naturalization of third country nationals have been amended by way of introduction of the Civil Registry (amending) Law (Law 141(I)/2002), published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus on 19 December 2023. 

More specifically, according to the newly introduced section 111B of the said law, a third country national may be eligible to apply for naturalization provided that he/she satisfies the below criteria:

  • He/she has legal (other than legal residency under the status of asylum seeker, subsidiary protection, temporary protection or student) and continuous residency (physical presence) in the Republic of Cyprus for the 12 (twelve) months immediately preceding the date of submission of the application for naturalization (the “Continuous Stay“); it is worth to mention that periods of absence not exceeding in total 90 (ninety) days, do not interrupt the Continuous Stay.
  • During a period of 10 (ten) years, which immediately precedes the above-mentioned 12-month period of Continuous Stay, the applicant must have legally resided (physical presence) in or served in the public service of the Republic of Cyprus for periods which cumulatively amount to at least 7 (seven) years.
  • He/she is of good character.
  • He/she has sufficient knowledge of Greek language of B1 level, as determined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), evidenced by virtue of language certificates (recognized to this end) obtained upon successful completion of a written exam.
  • He/she has sufficient knowledge of the key elements of the modern political and social reality of Cyprus.
  • He/she has appropriate accommodation as well as stable and regular financial resources, sufficient to maintain himself/herself and his/her dependent family members.
  • He/she intents, in case of obtaining of a naturalization certificate, to reside in the Republic of Cyprus or continue to serve in the public service of the Republic of Cyprus.


Apart from the amendment to the main criteria, the Civil Registry (amending) Law (Law 141(I)/2002) introduced a simplified naturalization procedure (the “Simplified Fast Track Naturalization Process”) available to third country nationals residing in the Republic of Cyprus for the purpose of employed as high skilled employees at companies to be determined by virtue of a decision of the Council of Ministers (the “Person(s) eligible for theSimplified Naturalization Process”). 

That said and considering that the “Strategy for Attracting Businesses for Activities or/and Expansion of their Activities in Cyprus” approved by the Council of Ministers on 15 October 2021 taking effect as of 2022 (the “Strategy”), provided for a series of initiatives and incentives for the purpose of attracting investments by companies for operating and/or extension of their business or operations in Cyprus as well as talented human resource in Cyprus, it is expected that the decision of the Council of Ministers shall provide for the eligibility to apply for the simplified procedure for naturalization of employees of international business companies qualified in accordance to the Strategy. On that basis, third country nationals eligible to apply under the Simplified Naturalization Process may apply for naturalization provided that he/she satisfies the below criteria:

  • He/she has legal and continuous residency (physical presence) in the Republic of Cyprus for the 12 (twelve) months immediately preceding the date of submission of the application for naturalization (the “Continuous Stay“); it is worth to mention that periods of absence not exceeding in total 90 (ninety) days, do not interrupt the Continuous Stay.
  • During a period of 10 (ten) years, which immediately precedes the above-mentioned 12-month period of Continuous Stay, the applicant must have legally resided (physical presence) in or served in the public service of the Republic of Cyprus for periods which cumulatively amount to at least 4 (four) years; it is worth to mention that periods of absence from the Republic of Cyprus not exceeding 90 (ninety) days are not considered as absence for the purposes of calculating the duration of residency and are taken into account in the aforesaid periods.
  • He/she is of good character.
  • He/she has sufficient knowledge of Greek language of A2 level, as determined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), evidenced by virtue of language certificates (recognized to this end) obtained upon successful completion of a written exam.
  • He/she has sufficient knowledge of the key elements of the modern political and social reality of Cyprus.
  • He/she has appropriate accommodation as well as stable and regular financial resources, sufficient to maintain himself/herself and his/her dependent family members.
  • He/she intents, in case of obtaining of a naturalization certificate, to reside in the Republic of Cyprus or continue to serve in the public service of the Republic of Cyprus.


OR

  • He/she has legal and continuous residency (physical presence) in the Republic of Cyprus for the 12 (twelve) months immediately preceding the date of submission of the application for naturalization (the “Continuous Stay“); it is worth to mention that periods of absence not exceeding in total 90 (ninety) days, do not interrupt the Continuous Stay.
  • During a period of 10 (ten) years, which immediately precedes the above-mentioned 12-month period of Continuous Stay, the applicant must have legally resided (physical presence) in or served in the public service of the Republic of Cyprus for periods which cumulatively amount to at least 3 (three) years; it is worth to mention that periods of absence from the Republic of Cyprus not exceeding 90 (ninety) days are not considered as absence for the purposes of calculating the duration of residency and are taken into account in the aforesaid periods.
  • He/she is of good character.
  • He/she has sufficient knowledge of Greek language of B1 level, as determined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), evidenced by virtue of language certificates (recognized to this end) obtained upon successful completion of a written exam.
  • He/she has sufficient knowledge of the key elements of the modern political and social reality of Cyprus.
  • He/she has appropriate accommodation as well as stable and regular financial resources, sufficient to maintain himself/herself and his/her dependent family members.
  • He/she intents, in case of obtaining of a naturalization certificate, to reside in the Republic of Cyprus or continue to serve in the public service of the Republic of Cyprus.


Going further, it is important to note that family members (ie spouse and partner under a Civil Union, dependent disable adult person) of (a) Person(s) eligible for the Simplified Naturalization Process may apply or be naturalized simultaneously with the latter provided that such family members also meet the criteria applicable to that person (without the need for the periods of stay in the Republic of Cyprus of the Person eligible for the Simplified Naturalization Process and his/her family member(s) to be concurrent).

The time frame for the completion of examination of applications submitted under the Simplified Fast Track Naturalization Process has been set pursuant to the Civil Registry (amending) Law (Law 141(I)/2002) to 8 (eight) months, while outstanding applications for naturalization submitted on the basis of the regime in place prior to the introduction of the Civil Registry (amending) Law (Law 141(I)/2002), shall be handled, processed and supplemented in accordance with the provisions of that law, in accordance to the already determined sequence for examination, regardless of submission of supplementary information on information.

In view of the ambiguities with regards to some of the criteria as well as the way of implementation thereof, the expected decision(s) of the Council of Ministers will enlighten the way of interpretation of the newly revised and/or incorporated naturalization procedures.

POPULAR PRACTICES

© Lawyers in Cyprus. All Rights Reserved. Terms & Privacy Policy |