There are currently three direct ways of acquiring Cypriot citizenship. This article seeks to provide those who are interested in acquiring Cypriot citizenship with clarity in regards to the criteria and requirements for each of these ways. Our Cyprus lawyers are able to assist you with the procedure of applying for citizenship.
1st way to acquire Cypriot Citizenship: ‘Years of Residence’
Foreign nationals could apply for Cypriot citizenship based on the years of their residence in Cyprus. This procedure is called ‘Naturalization’. European Union Member nationals need to have resided in Cyprus for 5 years (holders of a permanent residence permit) in order to be able to apply for Naturalization. On the other hand, third-country nationals, holding a residence permit, need to have resided in Cyprus for 7 years at least.
It is noted that it is necessary for the applicant to reside legally and continuously in Cyprus the year prior to the submission of the application.
The applicant needs to complete a form, called ‘M127’. After completing this form, the applicant must sign it before a Registrar of Court or a Consular Officer. Moreover, a stamp of €8.54 should be affixed to the application.
‘M127’ form needs to be accompanied by the following supporting documents:
- Original birth certificate of the applicant;
- Original police clearance certificate of the applicant issued in Cyprus (up to 6 months old);
- Copy of valid residence permit;
- Copy of marriage/civil union certificate (if applicable);
- Copy of valid passport (all pages);
- Statement of the applicant’s arrivals and departures from Cyprus. This statement is prepared based on the dates of arrivals and departures from Cyprus that are indicated on stamps on applicant’s passport.
- Copy of two consecutive publications in daily newspaper regarding the applicant’s intention to submit an application for Cypriot citizenship;
- Two recent photos (passport size), certified by the local authorities; and
- Three references of Cypriot citizens supporting the good character of the applicant.
It is noted that any document that was issued abroad, such as birth certificate, needs to be apostilled and/or otherwise duly certified.
In addition, all documents must be in Greek or English. Otherwise, they have to be accompanied by an official translation into one of these languages from sworn translators or by a Consular Authority of the issuing country or a government department of the issuing country.
‘M127’ application is submitted at the central offices of the Civil Registry and Migration Department. The Migration Department does not arrange appointments for the purpose of submitting this type of application, therefore the applicant has to simply attend the Migration Department when he/she is ready to submit the application.
At the time of the submission, the applicant needs to pay the submission fee of Euros 500. Then, a receipt is issued confirming the submission of the application.
The examination of the application may take up to 2-3 years. Upon approval of the application, the amount of Euros 500 needs to be paid for the issuance of the naturalization certificate.
2nd way to acquire Cypriot citizenship, ‘Marriage/Civil Union with a Cypriot Citizen’
Foreign nationals who have been married to a Cypriot citizen for 3 years prior to the submission of the application and have resided in Cyprus for at least the last two years before the submission of the application or they permanently live abroad, may apply for Cypriot Citizenship through ‘ME125’ application.
If the applicant is in Cyprus, the application needs to be signed before a Registrar of Court. If the applicant is abroad, then the application is signed in front of a consular officer or another authorized person.
The necessary supporting documents for ‘M125’ are:
- Original birth certificate of the applicant;
- Original police clearance certificate (up to 6 months old);
- Original marriage certificate;
- Copies of children’s birth certificates or passports or identity cards (if applicable);
- Copy of passport or identity card of the applicant;
- Copy of passport or identity card of the Cypriot spouse;
- Declaration of harmonious cohabitation. The Cypriot spouse has to prepare this declaration to confirm the harmonious cohabitation with the applicant. The declaration is signed on the day of the submission of the application before an officer of the District Administration Office.
- Statement of cohabitation from the local authority (the Mukhtar)- does not apply for residents abroad
This application is submitted at the District Administration Office. The submission fee for the application is Euros 300.
3rd way to acquire Cypriot citizenship, ‘Citizenship by Descent’
Persons who have Cypriot roots may also be eligible to apply for Cypriot Citizenship.
Different categories include:
- Persons of Cypriot descent (by male parentage) who were born before 16 August 1960 and are citizens of the United Kingdom and its colonies. (M71 form)
- Persons who were born before 16 August 1960, and are not citizens of the United Kingdom or its former colonies but originate from Cyprus from the male side. (M72 form)
- Persons who were born abroad after the 16th of August 1960 and whose at least one parent at the time of their birth was a Cypriot citizen, or was entitled to acquire the Cypriot citizenship by registration due to Cypriot origin. (M121 form- consular birth certificate)
- Persons who were born on or after 16 August 1960 if: At the time of their birth neither of their parents was a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus but any of them would be entitled to acquire the Cypriot citizenship by registration due to Cypriot origin, and they descend from a person of Cypriot origin who: became a British citizen based on the Annexation of Cyprus Orders from 1914 until 1943 or was born in Cyprus between 5 November 1914 and 16 August 1960, during which time his parents habitually resided in Cyprus. (M123 form)
- Persons who were born before the 16th of August 1960 and are British citizens or citizens of any State of the Commonwealth and have completed one year of legal residence in the Republic. (M124 form)
Services of our law firm
Our Cyprus law firm will review your personal circumstances and provide you with legal advice regarding the option that is best suitable for your case.
We will guide you through the process of collecting all the necessary documentation and explain every step so that the entire process is clear.
A member of our team will accompany you on the submission date and after submission of your application, our law firm will be in contact with the Authorities in order to encourage the quickest possible progress of your application, and keep you informed at all stages.