New framework for Cyprus citizenship for highly skilled professionals

New framework for Cyprus citizenship for highly skilled professionals

“Cyprus aims attract qualified specialists in specific fields. Investing in research and innovation means investing in our country’s future, and this will have an immense economic benefit”.

The foundations for a modern legislative framework, so that Cyprus remains a competitive country for the purposes of residence and work of specialized professionals in the field of technology, are now laid down in Cyprus in order to modernize the existing legislative framework regarding the qualifications and criteria for the naturalization of foreigners through a fast- track process.

The new law aims to modernize the legislative framework that governs the granting of the citizenship of the Republic by virtue of naturalization, with a goal to attract tech talent to the island, and reducing bureaucracy and procedures, especially to the persons who possess highly specialized knowledge and qualifications.

In the new law, the following amongst others are introduced:

a) The determination of the form of the naturalization certificate granted to a foreigner who becomes a citizen of the Republic by virtue of naturalization.

b) The revision of the cumulative qualifications that a foreigner must gather for naturalization purposes, in order for a foreigner to acquire the status of a citizen of the Republic by virtue of naturalization. These, among other things, include:

  1. The certification of sufficient knowledge of the Greek language at level C1, according to the Common Framework of Reference for Languages ​​of the Council of Europe.
  2. The possession of sufficient knowledge of the basic elements of modern and social reality and
  3. The financial self -sufficiency of the applicant.
  4. Clean criminal record of the applicant.

c) The modification of the prescribed time condition regarding the years of legal residence in the Republic which are required for the purpose of naturalization.

It is noted that, according to the basic legislation now amendment, a total residence in the Republic of at least seven (7) years is currently required in the case of other students, self-employed and employees of Cypriot or foreign employers or offshore companies, who reside in the Republic solely for the purpose of work and at least five (5) years in the case of foreigners with any other status of legal residence.

As per the new legislation a condition for naturalization purposes be the continuous and legal residence of the applicant in the Republic during the immediately preceding period of twelve (12) months from the date of submission of the naturalization application and in addition the residence of the applicant in the Republic for at least seven (7) years within a period of ten (10) years from said twelve-month period.

d) Citizenship by way of naturalization is also granted to members of the applicant's family

e) Process of citizenship application will be streamlined and not require more than to four (4) months to be finalized.

The introduction into the basic legislation under amendment of provisions regarding the naturalization of persons residing in the Republic for the purpose of highly skilled employment in companies in the context of attracting companies to operate and/or expand their activities in the Republic, is a very beneficial concept for the country.