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Getting tougher on naturalisation

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The new requirements regarding the eligibility to apply for a Cypriot nationality has introduced so many prerequisites that it is almost impossible for the applicants to meet.

These new restrictions are, in a nutshell, as follows:

  • The applicants must live in Cyprus for 12 months continuously prior the date of submission of the application – the absence from Cyprus for up to 90 days shall not interrupt the 12-month period.
  • Applicants must be of good character.
  • Applicants must have sufficient knowledge of the Greek language and are required to take a written examination to prove so.
  • The applicants must prove that they have sufficient knowledge of the local political and social reality to be so checked by a 3-member examining committee.
  • They must have suitable accommodation and stable financial resources to support the applicant and his dependents family.
  • They must have a genuine intention to reside in the Republic of Cyprus.
  • Asylum seekers or holders of international protection order, foreign students, etc. shall not be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the time of stay in Cyprus.

Applicants must meet all the above requirements and failure to comply with any one condition, their application will be rejected.

The new requirements have a retrospective affect, and this applies to applications which have been submitted their application even prior to the passing of the new amended law (3/2024).

It is noted that these and other restrictions apply to the E.U. countries with an exception to Ireland and Denmark who opted out.

Because there are many other requirements, we suggest that you seek the advice of an advocate or the Ministry of the Interior to get the full requirements.

Furthermore, highly skilled foreign workers can now obtain Cypriot citizenship if they resided in Cyprus for a shorter time of four and five years (depending on their qualifications), as opposed to the previous seven years.

According to the European Commission, highly skilled workers are defined as “individuals with advanced technical, academic, and interpersonal skills”.

Moreover, eligible highly skilled workers must possess advanced professional qualifications, such as a university degree, and secure an employment contract or a binding job offer for at least one year with a salary exceeding the E.U. average.

The amended law now states that highly skilled workers can apply for citizenship providing they pass a Greek language test at level B1 (moderate knowledge) if they worked in the country for five years, or at the lower level A1 (basic knowledge) if they worked in the country for four years.  No history/culture tests are necessary for applications filed by highly skilled workers, according to the law.

One wonders if these requirements are in an effort to reduce the applications creating, to an extent, an opposite system to the one which prevails today.  Even the introduction of the questions and exams and an indication of what foreign applicants are suppose to know about this country are not available as yet.

We do appreciate that the golden passports must have had its side effects, but it is better for the government  to be honest and come up with clear requirements as  opposed to what is happening now.

Antonis Loizou F.R.I.C.S. – Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Property Valuers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants

www.aloizou.com.cy

[email protected]