June 13, 2024
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All ways to obtain Cyprus citizenship

There used to be four ways a foreigner could become a Cypriot citizen: descent, marriage, naturalisation, and investment. However, Cyprus citizenship by investment is no longer available as a direct path to the country’s passport: the CBI program was closed in 2020.

Naturalisation based on legal residing is the most common way to get a Cyprus passport. To qualify, a foreigner must accumulate a total stay of 7 years, or 2556 days. But some options cut the term to 5 years, including obtaining permanent residence by investment.

Igor Buglo
Igor Buglo

Listed all the ways to become a Cyprus citizen

All ways to obtain Cyprus citizenship

All ways to obtain Cyprus citizenship

Is it possible to obtain Cyprus citizenship by investing in real estate?

The Cyprus citizenship by investment program was closed on November 1st, 2020. Since then, it’s no longer possible to become a Cypriot citizen by investing in the country’s economy.

However, wealthy people can still become permanent residents of the country, with the prospect of obtaining Cypriot nationality afterwards — through investment in real estate and other options.

Other ways to get Cyprus citizenship are descent, marriage, and naturalisation.

Cyprus permanent residence by investment with a prospect of citizenship

Four investment options have the same minimal threshold — €300,000:

Cyprus Permanent Residency by Investment in !year: a Golden Visa with a Purchase of Real Estate, Securities and Bonds

Cyprus permanent residence by investment

  1. Purchase of residential property — it can only be new, not resale.

  2. Purchase of commercial property such as offices, shops, or hotels — it can be both new or for resale.

  3. Shares of Cypriot companies — you will also need to employ at least 5 people.

  4. Purchase of securities.

The most popular option is the purchase of real estate.

Once you have obtained a permanent residence permit, you don’t have to renew it, as would be the case with a temporary residence permit. However, you must visit the island every two years to maintain your status.

5 years after obtaining permanent residence, you qualify for Cyprus nationality and file an application.

Requirements to obtain Cyprus residency by investment

To be eligible to obtain Cyprus permanent residency, the investor must fulfil several requirements:

  • be over 18;

  • have no criminal records or prosecutions;

  • have no restrictions or bans on entry to the EU or the UK;

  • not be under sanctions;

  • have impeccable personal and business reputations;

  • have a legal income of at least €50,000 per year for the main applicant;

  • own or rent accommodation in Cyprus;

  • have a medical report and medical insurance.

The investor can also add their close family members to the application. That includes a spouse or a partner and children.

There are no requirements for a spouse and children under 18. However, children under 25 must study in a university, be unmarried and dependent on the investor. Physically or mentally disadvantaged children can be of any age.

Cyprus citizenship by descent

Cypriot citizenship can be obtained by persons who have Cypriot roots. If they were born in Cyprus or have at least one Cypriot parent, they automatically get citizenship by birth.

They can apply for a Consular Birth Certificate if they were born abroad after August 16th, 1960, and their father at the time of birth was a Cypriot citizen, or if they were born after June 11th, 1999, and their mother was a Cypriot citizen at the time of their birth.

Before August 16th 1960, Cyprus was a part of the United Kingdom, and the island’s citizens held UK citizenship. But now they can apply for a Cypriot one if they were born before the said date and originate from Cyprus from the male side.

A person can also file an application if they were born before August 16th, 1960, and they are not citizens of the United Kingdom or its former colonies but originate from Cyprus from the male side.

Lastly, the application can be submitted by someone who was born on August 16th, 1960 or after, and none of their parents at the date of their birth was a Cypriot citizen but obtained citizenship later.

The list of documents for the Cypriot nationality application include:

  • a birth certificate of the applicant;

  • a copy of the applicant’s passport;

  • a copy of the applicant’s mother, father, or both passports;

  • a marriage certificate of the applicant’s parents (when applicable);

  • a certificate of registration of the Cypriot parent (when applicable);

  • a copy of the receipt proving payment of the fee.

Cyprus citizenship by marriage

A foreign spouse of a Cypriot citizen can obtain citizenship by marriage. The requirement is to be married for three years and reside in Cyprus for two years before the date of application.

The application can also be filed by a spouse of a Cypriot living abroad. In this case, a couple must be married for at least three years and submit a letter stating why a foreign spouse requires Cypriot citizenship.

If a couple has lived abroad together for at least five years and has a child, they don’t need to explain why they apply for citizenship.

There is a fee of €300 for filing an application.

The required documents are:

  • a birth certificate of the applicant;

  • a certificate of clean criminal record of the applicant;

  • a marriage certificate;

  • a birth certificate of the couple’s children (if any);

  • a copy of the applicant’s passport;

  • a copy of the Cypriot spouse’s passport;

  • statement of harmonious cohabitation signed before an Officer of the District Administration Office or the diplomatic authority;

  • statement of cohabitation from the local authority;

  • a copy of the receipt proving payment of the fee.

Cyprus citizenship by naturalisation

A foreigner can obtain Cypriot citizenship by naturalisation if they have lived in Cyprus for the majority of time in the past seven years. It is also required that a person has resided legally and continuously in the country for one year preceding the date of the application.

There is a fee of €500 for filing an application, with two stamps of €8.54 affixed to it. If the application is approved, the fee of another €500 is paid for a naturalisation certificate.

Documents required to apply for Cypriot nationality are the following:

  • a birth certificate;

  • a certificate of clean criminal record;

  • a marriage certificate (if any);

  • copies of all the pages of all the passports of the applicant showing their arrivals and departures in Cyprus;

  • detailed statement of arrivals and departures;

  • copies of newspapers with advertisements stating the applicant’s intent to become a Cyprus citizen;

  • two passport-size photos;

  • a copy of the receipt proving payment of the fee.

Is it possible to get dual citizenship in Cyprus?

The immigration law of Cyprus doesn’t prohibit the country’s citizens from having dual citizenship. Therefore, a person can get a Cyprus passport without giving up their other passports from other countries.

However, the state of the first citizenship might have restrictions for dual citizenship. For example, Austria, China, India, and Saudi Arabia don’t allow citizens to hold several passports simultaneously. This means a citizen of such a country has to renounce their first citizenship to obtain it in Cyprus.

5 benefits of Cyprus citizenship

1. Visa-free travels. Cyprus citizens are allowed to travel to about 170 countries visa-free. The list of countries includes the EU states, the UK, Japan, Canada, and many others.

2. Residing in Cyprus without limitations. Cypriot citizens can visit the country anytime and spend as much time as they want without additional permits.

The cost of living in Cyprus is much more affordable than in most European countries and the USA: €1,800—2,000 would be enough for a single person to cover the necessities and rent housing.

3. Living, working and studying in the EU. Cyprus citizens are allowed to stay in the EU countries for an unlimited period. Some states will require you to register at the police station or a migration office, but it’s just a formality.

4. Inheritance. Children of Cypriots obtain citizenship automatically by birth, or they can apply for citizenship by descent.

5. Right to vote. Cyprus citizens can participate in elections in their country and help shape its future.

Cyprus nationality and how to get it

Cyprus is a well-known tourist attraction with its top-level resorts, exceptionally clean beaches and bathing waters, and many natural and historical sites

In brief: all paths to Cyprus citizenship

  1. The program allowing people to obtain Cyprus citizenship in exchange for investment was closed on November 1st, 2020.

  2. However, it is still possible to become a Cyprus permanent resident by participating in the Cyprus permanent residence by investment program. It requires investing at least €300,000 and meeting other program requirements. The investor can also add their close family members to the application.

  3. Other ways to obtain Cyprus nationality are descent, marriage, and naturalisation. The package of required documents depends on the chosen option.

  4. To become a Cypriot citizen by descent, you must have Cyprus roots.

  5. To apply for citizenship by marriage, one must be married to a Cypriot citizen for at least 3 years.

  6. People are eligible for citizenship by naturalisation if they have lived in Cyprus for most of the last 7 years.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to become a citizen in Cyprus?

    There are several ways to become a citizen of Cyprus. They are:

    • by descent — if you have Cyprus roots;

    • by marriage — if you’re married to a Cypriot;

    • by naturalisation — if you’ve lived in Cyprus for at least 7 years.

    It is impossible to obtain Cyprus citizenship by investment, but you can obtain permanent residence and apply for citizenship after 5 years.

  • How hard is it to get citizenship in Cyprus?

    Foreigners are offered three paths to Cyprus citizenship: descent, marriage, and naturalisation. The first two are suitable only for a few applicants, while naturalisation is available to anyone who has legally resided in the country for at least 7 years.

    In particular cases, the naturalisation term can be cut to 5 years, such as becoming a permanent resident through a state investment program.

  • Can I get dual citizenship in Cyprus?

    Cyprus allows its citizens to have dual citizenship, which means you don’t need to renounce your first citizenship. However, some countries ban such opportunities, so we recommend checking whether your country of origin allows dual citizenship.

  • Does Cyprus offer dual citizenship?

    Yes, it does. Cyprus allows foreigners from other countries to become Cypriot citizens without giving up their first passports.

  • How can I get permanent residency in Cyprus?

    The easiest way to obtain Cyprus permanent residency is by investing in the country’s economy.

    Four investment options cost the exact minimum amount of money — €300,000:

    • Purchase of residential property — you can’t buy a resale property.

    • hotels — it can be both new or for resale.

    • Purchase of shares of Cypriot companies — you also need to employ at least 5 people.

    • Purchase of securities.

  • Can you buy a Cypriot passport?

    No, you can’t obtain Cyprus citizenship by investment. However, there is the Cyprus “Golden Visa” program, under which you can get the country’s permanent residency.

  • Is Cyprus passport strong?

    Yes, the Cyprus passport is strong. It gives an opportunity to visit about 170 countries visa-free. That includes the EU countries, the UK, Japan, Canada, and many others.

  • How much should you invest in Cyprus to get citizenship?

    You can’t obtain Cyprus citizenship by investment as the program is no longer working. But instead, you can get Cyprus permanent residence. There are four investment options:

    • a purchase of residential property;

    • a purchase of commercial property;

    • a purchase of shares of Cypriot companies;

    • a purchase of securities.

    All of them require an investment of at least €300,000.