A foreign national can obtain citizenship in Cyprus if the person qualifies as per the rules and regulations applicable for one of the types of citizenship recognized in this country. According to the law on immigration in Cyprus, there are 3 main types of citizenship.
One can obtain citizenship in Cyprus through the following:
- by marriage with a Cypriot national;
- by having Cypriot descendance.
You can find out from our immigration lawyer in Cyprus the conditions you must fulfill for any of the 3 categories mentioned above if you plan to apply for citizenship.
Although the procedures for obtaining citizenship in Cyprus have not changed in 2024, you must know that there are few novelties concerning those who apply for citizenship by naturalization. The modifications do not refer to the basic procedures, such as those concerning residency, but they include new details regarding the ability of knowing the up-to-date information on the country’s social, political and economic situation.
The modifications concern all those who will apply in 2024, as the legislation was introduced on December 19, 2023, when it was published in the Official Gazette. Thus, candidates for citizenship must adhere by the rules of the Amending Law 149(1)/2023, Article 111B, which also include requirements of knowing the Greek language at a level of minimum B1 (writing, reading).
|Ways to acquire citizenship
|A person can obtain citizenship in Cyprus through naturalization, marriage or by descent.
Law on citizenship
|Civil Registry Law.
Fees charged for citizenship application
EUR 500 for standard application (citizenship by naturalization).
|Minimum requirements for citizenship by naturalization
A person must have at least 7 years of stay in Cyprus.
Out of these, 5 must be as a permanent resident.
1 year before the application, the person must stay in Cyprus on a continous basis.
|Minimum requirements for citizenship by marriage
Minimum 3 years of marriage are required for an applicant who wants to obtain citizenship in Cyprus through marriage (out of which, 2 years of residency in Cyprus).
|Requirements for citizenship by descent
The requirements vary based on the type of citizenship by descent a person is entitled to (there are 6 different ways to acquire it).
|Fees charged for minor children citizenship application
|Duration of the citizenship process
Citizenship can be obtained in minimum 6 months and maximum 2 years since the application was made.
|Application stamps fees
EUR 1,71 to EUR 8,54, depending on the type of stamp required for each citizenship application category.
|Institution in charge with the review of the application
|Civil Registry and Migration Department.
|Dual citizenship allowed (yes/no)
|Fees for the issuance of a passport
EUR 45 for minors (accelerated issuance EUR 90), EUR 70 for adults (accelerated issuance EUR 120).
5 years for minors, 10 years for adults.
|Difference between permanent residency and citizenship
A permanent resident can live indefinetely in Cyprus having the right to work, own a property, benefit from medical and social services, but he/she does not have the right to vote, occupy a governmental function or the right to a Cypriot passport (as it is the case of Cypriot nationals).
For the latter, the person must obtain citizenship in Cyprus.
|Authentication/translation of foreign documents required (yes/no)
Table of Contents
How can one obtain citizenship in Cyprus through naturalization in 2024?
Naturalization refers to a lengthy process through which a foreigner is entitled to apply for citizenship. The first requirement to fulfill when applying for citizenship through naturalization is to be the holder of a Cyprus permanent residence permit.
The rules on citizenship through naturalization when moving to Cyprus are given by the Civil Registry Law. According to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, the basic requirements are the following:
- a foreigner can apply for naturalization after 5 or 7 years of legal stay in this country – this means that the foreigner must be the holder of a residence permit in Cyprus;
- before initiating the citizenship procedure, the applicant has to stay in Cyprus on a continuous basis for a period of 1 year;
- all applicants who meet the basic Cyprus permanent residence requirements must pay a fee of EUR 500 for the citizenship application;
- an additional cost of EUR 8,54 must be paid for 2 stamps that must be affixed to the citizenship application;
- successful applicants will be required to pay an additional fee of EUR 500 for the issuance of the Cypriot citizenship certificate.
The law requires applicants to provide a set of documents, attesting their Cypriot residence permit, the knowledge of the Cypriot culture and society, the identity documents, and many other papers, on which our immigration lawyer in Cyprus can provide extensive information.
How can a person acquire citizenship in Cyprus by descent?
Another way to acquire citizenship, as per the Cyprus immigration law, is if a person is a descendant of a Cypriot national. In this case, there are many situations, as presented in the list below:
- persons who have Cypriot descendance and who are born before 16 August 1960 (they must complete the form M124);
- persons born on 16 August 1960 or after (they must complete the form M123);
- persons who have Cypriot descent (but only by male parentage) who were born before 16 August 1960 and who are also the citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) and of the UK territories (for this, one must submit the Form M71);
- persons who are of Cypriot descent by male parentage born before 16 August 1960 who are not citizens of the UK or UK territories (form M72);
- persons born abroad and who are entitled to citizenship (they have a consular birth certificate) – they must complete the Form M121;
- persons born in Cyprus who are minor children and who are entitled to citizenship (Form M126).
When can a minor child benefit from citizenship registration in Cyprus?
The Cypriot legislation offers the possibility to register the citizenship of a minor child living in Cyprus in certain situations. The right to citizenship is available only if the parents have Cypriot citizenship and here, the following situations are required:
- the parents have become Cypriot nationals after the birth of the child;
- they have become citizens due to their Cypriot heritage, through one of the options presented above;
- or they have become citizens through Cyprus permanent residence.
Please know that the Cyprus immigration offices ask for a payment of a registration fee, which is currently set at a fixed rate of EUR 80. The application must contain many documents that must be translated and certified. Our immigration lawyer in Cyprus can present the documentation parents must prepare.
What are the conditions to comply with for citizenship by marriage in Cyprus in 2024?
As presented above, a foreigner can obtain citizenship in Cyprus by marriage with a Cypriot national. This right is prescribed by the law on immigration to Cyprus and it is commonly met in most of the European states.
Citizenship by marriage can be acquired following a more direct route, with simpler requirements. However, not all foreigners who are married with Cypriot nationals can apply for citizenship, as the marriage itself must meet specific criteria.
For instance, the foreign spouse can apply for citizenship only when the couple entered their 3rd year of marriage (the 3rd anniversary must take place before the date when the citizenship application is registered with the Cypriot authorities).
Another condition to comply with refers to residency. At the moment of the application, the foreign spouse must have lawfully lived in Cyprus for minimum 2 years. This implies that the person must be the holder of a residence permit in Cyprus. These are the 2 basic criteria for citizenship by marriage.
However, the law also allows the right to apply for citizenship in the case in which the spouses live permanently abroad but have been married for a minimum of 3 years (additional documentation must be offered in this case).
Therefore, for the 2nd scenario, the foreigner does not have to present a Cypriot residence permit. Please mind that a processing fee is imposed in this case as well, but the applicants for citizenship by marriage will pay a reduced fee of EUR 300.
If the foreign national must present documents issued by the home country, then the documents must be issued or translated into Greek or English.
Thus, if they are not issued in these languages, an official translation must be concluded and our immigration lawyer in Cyprus can help you learn more about the conditions the documents must meet, based on your country of origin.
How can a person acquire a passport in Cyprus?
The issuance of a Cypriot passport falls under the regulations of the Civil Registry Law, which also handles other matters applicable to persons who immigrate to Cyprus. The identification document can be acquired only by persons who have received citizenship through any of the legal means presented above or granted by default to persons who are automatically entitled to citizenship.
Please mind that the passport is not a document that is issued by default to citizens, they need to apply for this document by completing specific procedures stipulated by the law.
For regular cases, the law requires only few documents, while for persons who have acquired citizenship through any of the means presented in this article, the documents for Cyprus immigration must also be presented.
Another distinction is made between adult applicants and minor applicants, as there are different procedures, for instance, minors with an age below 12 years old do not have to provide fingerprints, nor do they have to provide a specimen signature.
Given that this is not a mandatory procedure, but rather an optional one, all applicants must pay a processing fee. In the list below, you can discover the current fees:
- issuance of a passport for adults costs EUR 70 (the same fee is charged for renewal);
- passports issued for minors are charged with EUR 45 (same fee for the renewal);
- there is also the option to register for an accelerated passport issuance, in which the applicant gets priority in front of other applicants, provided that he or she will pay a fee of EUR 120 (same rule for the renewal);
- the accelerated procedure for minors costs EUR 95.
The law on immigration in Cyprus stipulates that a person, regardless if he or she is a foreigner who just obtained citizenship, or a Cypriot national by default, must wait around 10 working days to obtain the document. We invite you to contact us if you need further details regarding citizenship procedures.