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Citizenship by Descent in Cyprus

Citizenship by Descent in Cyprus


Citizenship by descent in Cyprus can be granted to persons who have Cypriot origins. In order to be able to apply for citizenship through this legal option, all foreigners are required to provide documents that can prove the existence of a family tie with a Cypriot national, this being a basic requirement.

The manner in which this legal procedure can be completed varies based on the age of the applicant. Thus, the Cyprus immigration law distinguishes between minor applicants (with an age below 18 years old), and adult applicants, who have an age above 18 years old.

If you need legal advice on the procedure, we invite you to address our Cyprus immigration lawyers by e-mail or by phone and we will provide you with an answer as soon as possible on the steps you need to take.

Obtaining citizenship by descent in Cyprus for adult applicants

Adult applicants are those who can represent themselves in front of the local authorities without receiving the approval of any other party, unlike the situation of minor applicants, who need to be represented by their parents or legal guardians.

 Quick Facts  
 When can a person apply for citizenship by descent   Citizenship by descent in Cyprus can be acquired by persons who are of Cypriot descent (they have at least 1 parent of Cypriot nationality).   

 Forms available for citizenship by descent  

 Form M71, M72, M121, M123, M124, M126. 

Application fee   

 EUR 20 – EUR 80, depending on the type of citizenship by descent. 

 Categories of citizenship by descent  

 Citizenship by descent in Cyprus can be acquired in the following cases:

– persons born before 16 August 1960 from Cypriot male parents who are citizens of the UK and its colonies;

– persons born before 16 August 1960 from Cypriot male parents who are not citizens of the UK and its colonies;

– persons who are born outside Cyprus;

– persons born after the date of 16 August 1960;persons of Cypriot origin, born before 16 August 1960, who have spend at least 1 year as residents in Cyprus;

– the registration of minors born on the Cypriot territory. 

 Institution in charge with the application process  

 Civil Registry and Migration Department 

 Documents required for the application 

 – the birth certificate of the applicant;

– the marriage certificate of the applicant’s parents;

– a copy of the applicant’s passport;

– a copy of the parents’ passport;

– the certificate of registration of the Cypriot parent (if applicable);

– registration fees, etc

 Dual citizenship allowed (yes/no) 

Yes  

 Law regulating citizenship by descent  

 The Civil Registry Law  

 How can an application be submitted  

 The procedure for citizenship by descent in Cyprus is initiated at the offices of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

It can also be initiated at the District Administration and District Office.  

 Certification/authentication required (yes/no)  Yes 
 Documents to be issued after citizenship is granted 

 Identity card and passport. 

 Costs of an identity card/passport 

–  identity card (EUR 20 for minors, EUR 30 for adults);

– passport (EUR 45 for minors, EUR 70 for adults). 

 Validity of identity cards/passports 

5 years for minors (both documents) and 10 years for adults (both documents).  

 Passport accelerated issuance procedure (yes/no)  

 Yes 

 Law governing the issuance of identity cards/passports   Civil Registry Law.  

All applicants must generally meet the same rules and procedures, but there is a main distinction, based on the date on which the applicants were born. Below, our Cyprus immigration lawyers have prepared a short presentation:

  • adult applicants who were born prior to the date of 16th of August 1960 have to complete the Form M71;
  • applicants applying for citizenship by descent in Cyprus born after 16th of August 1960 have to submit the Form M72;
  • the application needs to contain a photocopy of the fee receipt, which is of EUR 20;
  • the application also needs a stamp, which can be purchased by the applicant at a cost of EUR 1,71;
  • the documents may also need to contain the apostille and the certification of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the applicant is a resident/citizen, if the said country is not part of the Hague Convention 1961.

What is the process on citizenship by descent for minor children in Cyprus in 2024?

In the case of persons relocating to Cyprus with minor children who are entitled to receive Cypriot citizenship based on a family tie with a local, the procedure will be slightly more complex. Our Cyprus immigration lawyers can explain the entire process that you may need to follow and few details regarding this subject are also available in the next section of this article.

In this particular case, the Form M121 has to be submitted if any of the two next conditions apply: the applicant was born abroad after 16th of August 1960 and had a father who, at that moment, had Cypriot citizenship, or if the applicant is born after 11th of June 1999, and who had a mother who, at the moment of birth, was a Cypriot citizen.

The applicant has to provide the following documents, in accordance with the law on Cyprus immigration and in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the Civil Registry and Migration Department: the birth certificate, the marriage certificate of the applicant’s parents and photocopies of the passport of the applicant, as well as the ones of the parents.

Where applicable, one has to submit the certificate of registration of citizenship of the parent, showing the Cypriot citizenship. Along with these, the payment of the processing fee and the stamp are also required.

Please mind that in the case of foreign documents, the local institutions will require the apostille or the certification of the documents. If you are not sure that you need to complete this step as well, please refer to our Cyprus immigration lawyers.

What are the Cypriot citizenship by descent application forms?


Cypriot citizenship by descent can be initiated by submitting specific forms and documents, regulated by the law. There are several options for citizenship by descent, and for each case, applicants must submit different forms, created specifically for a sub-category of citizenship by descent.

Currently, there are 6 types of Cypriot citizenship by descent application forms, as presented in the list below:

  1. registration of a minor child, who is the child of a Cypriot citizen (Form M126);
  2. persons who qualify for Cypriot citizenship by descent who were born before 16 August, 1960 (Form M124);
  3. persons who were born on 16 August, 1960 or after that date (Form M123);
  4. persons who were born abroad who qualify for a consular birth certificate (Form M121);
  5. persons who qualify for Form M71 (mentioned above), who are of Cypriot origin by male parentage, born before 16 August, 1960 who are citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) or any of its colonies;
  6. persons who can apply for Form M72, who qualify for the same parental rule and birth date as mentioned at point 5, but who are not citizens of the UK or any of its colonies.

Form 123 should be completed by persons born on or after 16 August 1960, who were born from parents who weren’t Cypriot nationals at the moment when the birth took place, but the parents were entitled at that given moment to apply for Cypriot citizenship by descent, due to their Cypriot origins.

However, this option is available for applicants whose parents were either British nationals following the annexation of Cyprus (1914 to 1943) or in case when such parents were born in Cyprus between 5 November 1914 and 16 August 1960 and lived in this country.

The registration for this type of citizenship involves the payment of a processing fee, established at EUR 50 in 2024. The application must also contain 2 stamps, with a total value of EUR 8,54 and must also contain the signature of a Registrar of Court in Cyprus, for applications submitted in Cyprus.

What are the rules for Cypriot citizenship by birth?


The rules for Cypriot citizenship by birth fall in line with the regulations applied in the last years by many other states, in the sense that citizenship by birth is connected to citizenship by descent. Although many European countries provide the opportunity of acquiring citizenship just based on the principle of being born on the territory of those states, many others impose rules regarding descendance.

In certain cases, the parents do not have to be citizens by birth, but must have least acquired citizenship of that country or even permanent residence. In Cyprus, this type of citizenship is connected to Cypriot citizenship by descent.

As such, for a child born in Cyprus citizenship can be acquired automatically if the birth took place in Cyprus and if the child has at least 1 parent who is a Cyprus national at the moment of the birth. Therefore, it is important to understand that if you are not a Cyprus national and your child was born in Cyprus, the child will not have citizenship rights.

However, for a child born in Cyprus citizenship can still be obtained at a later date if at least one parent has acquired citizenship after the birth of the child. This procedure can be done through Form M126, mentioned above, and it can be obtained if the parent acquired Cypriot citizenship by descent or through naturalization.

Different rules apply for each of the 2 cases, for instance, for the latter, the parent must have a valid Cyprus permanent residence card and meet all residency requirements. Regardless of the manner through which the parent acquires citizenship, for the registration of Cypriot citizenship by birth, all applicants must pay specific fees.

Currently, the Cypriot authorities charge a registration fee of EUR 80. It is important to know that you must prepare 2 copies of the application and all the necessary paperwork – where translations are necessary, you must submit the original documentation along with the official translation.

It is recommended to have your file reviewed by a specialized person, such as any of our immigration lawyers in Cyprus, to be sure that there aren’t any issues with your paperwork, thus reducing the chances of rejection based on various technical problems (such as incomplete documents/forms, missing documents, etc.).

Thus, our team can help you increase your chances of obtaining Cypriot citizenship by descent, by birth or by naturalization. Please know that in case the application is rejected, the Cypriot authorities will send a letter in which they will justify the rejection.

We invite you to address our team if you want to immigrate to Cyprus for citizenship purposes, employment, business or any other reason that could lead to long-term relocating to this country.

What does the citizenship application form contain in 2024?

If you are interested in knowing what type of data you should provide when completing the form, we invite you to read the following section. The document will require the applicant to offer information regarding his or her name, address, legal capacity, date of birth and the place of birth.

Besides these, the Cyprus immigration authorities will need information on the applicant’s religion, current nationality, the personal information of the father of the applicant, but also on the civil situation – married, single, in a partnership, divorced, widowed. If the person has a partner, the personal information of the partner has to be part of the application.

The standard application form may suffer various modifications based on the specific form that the applicant will complete (as mentioned in this article, there are few categories of forms, depending on the age of the applicant and the birth date). For more details on how to obtain Cypriot citizenship by descent, we invite you to contact our Cyprus immigration lawyers.

Please mind that in 2024, persons who want to apply for citizenship and who are related to a Cypriot national (as parents or children of citizens of Cyprus) can initiate the procedure in 5 years, rather than 7.

Besides this option, foreigners also have the possibility of acquiring Cypriot citizenship through the marriage with a Cypriot national. It is compulsory for the 2 persons to be legally married, so please mind that simply being in a relationship with a Cypriot national will not be enough.

The couple should provide evidence of being married for at least 3 years at the moment of the application. When applying for citizenship by this option, the foreign national must also provide evidence on having a Cypriot residence permit. The residency requirements in this case are of only 2 years.

However, it is also possible to apply for citizenship by marriage when not living in Cyprus (meaning, the person is not a resident), but for this, specific rules must be met by the applicant. For those who apply for citizenship by marriage and who live here, along with the residency permit in Cyprus, they will also have to present a document which attests the cohabitation with the partner.

This will be submitted in the form of a statement of harmonious cohabitation issued by a local authority, such as the District Administration Office or a diplomatic institution. We can also assist other foreign nationals, not of Cypriot descent, who are interested in obtaining residency in Cyprus.

If you want to apply for citizenship by descent and you live outside the country, you can initiate the procedure by following specific immigration procedures. The applicant is entitled to apply for citizenship by descent in Cyprus in 2024 even if the parents were not married.

The procedure for the legal recognition of citizenship has to be done following the rules of the Law on Children (Kinship and Legal Status) 187/1991, Articles 16-17.

You must know that it is necessary to address to a court in Cyprus in 2024 – more exactly, the District Court, which is the sole entity that can hear the case and issue a ruling. Please contact our lawyers for legal representation on the procedure for citizenship by descent in 2024.