Cyprus Citizenship 2024 (Fastest in Europe – Just 3 Years)

cyprus citizenship

Cyprus citizenship is now the fastest route in the whole of Europe. In November 2023, the country’s House of Representatives voted to transform the law that governs naturalization.

Now, tech professionals working in Cyprus can be eligible for citizenship within a total timeframe of 3 years (if they meet new language requirements).

Even better, the law now states that all citizenship applications must legally be processed within an eight-month timeframe. That’s a game-changer – making Cyprus now Europe’s fastest option for second citizenship.

Let’s look at how to get citizenship in Cyprus, the process and requirements, and different ways to obtain residency on your path to citizenship.

Why Cyprus?

There are many benefits to living in Cyprus, including its warm climate and beautiful natural scenery.

In addition, Cyprus is ideally located close to both Europe and the Middle East, which makes it an attractive option for expats from around the world who want to live and work abroad.

Other benefits of living in Cyprus include a high standard of living, low rates of crime and violence, a strong economy, and excellent healthcare.

British émigrés may find Cyprus an especially compelling choice, due to its strong political, cultural and historic ties to the UK, which date back to the 19th century.

There’s a significant British community living in Cyprus, of around 25,000-30,000 people. Many British tourists visit every year.

That’s all well and good, but how does Cyprus measure up as a destination for acquiring EU citizenship?

Cyprus Citizenship in a Nutshell 

  • Timeline to citizenship through naturalization: 3 years (with B1 Greek), 4 years (with A2 Greek)
  • Dual citizenship allowed? Yes
  • Minimum income requirements for citizenship? Not applicable
  • Minimum physical stay requirements: 183 days per year; 365 in the year before applying
  • Must pay tax in Cyprus? Yes
  • Language requirements: Minimum of A2 level Greek
  • Citizenship test required? No
  • Passive income pathway available? Yes, Category F
  • Investor residency pathway available? Yes

Benefits of Citizenship of Cyprus

As a citizen of Cyprus, you’ll automatically gain EU citizenship. 

You’ll become a full member of the European Union (EU), with the rights to live, work, do business, study or retire in any of the EU and EEA member states. That’s 30 stable, peaceful, and economically strong countries!

Another benefit of Cyprus citizenship is Cyprus’s flexible passport, which allows its holders to travel to 176 countries without a visa.

The Cyprus passport is ranked 14th among all the world’s passports in terms of visa-free travel.

Cyprus allows dual citizenship, so you’ll be able to keep your original passport alongside your new one.

How to get Cyprus Citizenship 

Like most EU countries, Cyprus offers various routes to citizenship, depending on your circumstances.

Let’s take a look at the details of each one.

Cyprus Citizenship by Naturalization

You can get Cyprus citizenship as a foreigner without any links to Cyprus, apart from living there for the required number of years. 

In Cyprus, here are the timelines:

  • Three years (with B2 level in Greek)
  • Four years (with A2 level in Greek)

You must be physically in-country for the entire final year before applying. There’s also a legally mandated eight-month timeframe for processing all citizenship applications.

Cyprus Citizenship by Descent 

Also known as citizenship by origin, Cyprus citizenship by descent can be obtained in three ways.

Type M121 – Application for Consular Birth Certificate

This option covers:

  1. Those born abroad after August 16, 1960, whose father was a Cypriot citizen at the time.
  2. Those born after June 11, 1999, whose mother was a citizen of Cyprus at the time of their birth.

Type M126 – Application for Registration of Minors

This option covers:

  1. Minors born before June 11, 1999, either in Cyprus or abroad, with a Cypriot citizen mother and a foreign father
  2. Minors whose fathers took Cypriot citizenship after they were born
  3. Minors whose father or mother obtained citizenship through naturalization or marriage

Type M123 – Application for Adults

This option covers adults born on or after August 16, 1960, in cases where both parents were foreigners at the time of their birth.

(Source: Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department)

Cyprus Citizenship by Marriage

Another way to get citizenship of Cyprus is by marrying a Cypriot.

In this situation, you’ll need to have been married for three years, and resident in Cyprus for two years before submitting your citizenship application.

It’s also possible to apply for Cyprus citizenship as the spouse of a Cypriot, even if you live abroad.

In that situation, you’d need to have been married for at least three years and provide an explanation for requesting citizenship.

Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus 

Cyprus used to have Europe’s fastest citizenship-by-investment program. 

By making a relatively modest investment in the country, investors could net themselves a valuable EU passport in approximately six months. 

Unfortunately, the EU wasn’t fully on board with this scheme, so Cyprus was forced to close its citizenship-by-investment program in November 2020.

Fortunately, there’s still a viable alternative for obtaining citizenship of Cyprus.

You can establish residency in Cyprus by investing in the country.

This works similarly to other “Golden Visa” programs across the EU, such as in Greece or Portugal. 

With Cyprus residency by investment, successful applicants can get a permanent residency card after just two months.

This fast tracks them to citizenship eligibility after just five years of living in Cyprus with this residence permit. 

This timeline puts Cyprus on a level with other European residency by investment programs, such as Portugal’s.

With just one visit to Cyprus every two years, the Cyprus residency by investment program allows the holder to access state healthcare and stay in Cyprus without limits, while also acquiring the same benefits for their spouse, children, and parents. 

Residency by Investment Routes in Cyprus:

  1. Residential Real Estate Route – Purchase of a brand-new house or apartment for at least €300,000. This can be split across multiple properties and includes off-plan.
  2. Commercial Real Estate Route – Purchase of commercial real estate, including shops, hotels, or offices or a mix of any of those. The minimum threshold is also €300,000.
  3. Investing in Companies Route – Either buying shares in an existing Cyprus company or setting up a new one in the country, with at least five employees. Investment in share capital must be a minimum of €300,000.
  4. Investment Funds Route – Invest a minimum of €300,000 in an approved investment fund in Cyprus. Under Cyprus law, there are two distinct types of investment funds: Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) and Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS). (Source: Chambers and Partners)

Getting residency in Cyprus

Residency with passive income 

Cyprus has a residence permit route called Category F, which you can use if you have passive income to the required level. 

According to the government website, this should be “a secured annual income, high enough to give a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession.” 

The minimum annual income requirement is €9,568.17 for a single applicant.

If you have any dependents to bring with you, then you’ll need to show proof of an additional €4613.22 in annual income for each one. 

(Source: Cyprus Civil Registry and Migration Department)

Residency by investment

If you have at least €300,000 to invest, you can get a permanent residency permit for Cyprus within just two months.

This can be used as a fast track to citizenship after just five years (instead of the usual seven).

See the above section on ‘Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus” for further details.

The Citizenship Application

Applying for Cyprus citizenship is relatively straightforward. 

One noteworthy part of the process is that you’ll need to make a full list of your entries and departures from Cyprus over the years that you’ve been resident there. 

This is necessary for the authorities to confirm that you’ve been in the country for enough days to be eligible for citizenship. 

It’s easier for Cyprus to do this (when compared to other EU countries) because Cyprus isn’t a member of the Schengen zone.

Hence, the border authorities will stamp your passport upon entering or leaving the country.

Required documents 

Other than the list of your arrivals and departures, you’ll also need the following:

  • Two passport-size photographs stamped by the local Muhktar (a government employee who is president of the community council)
  • Valid passport
  • Copies of passport pages showing your arrival and departure stamps (this will support the list you prepared earlier)
  • Birth certificate
  • Criminal record check, from country of origin and any other countries where you’ve been resident in the past
  • Marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Copies of newspaper ads in two local publications mentioning that you’ve submitted an application for citizenship
  • Copy of your updated CV 

(Source: George K. Konstantinou Law Firm)

Cyprus Citizenship vs other EU options

So how does Cyprus citizenship measure up to other options in the EU?

We’ve compared some of the most popular options according to our key criteria for the citizenship journey.

Cyprus now has the EU’s fastest citizenship timeline – as long as you’re prepared to learn basic Greek.

CountryTimelineDual citizenship ok?Physical stayTax residency required?Language level
Cyprus citizenship3 years (with B1 Greek); 4 years (with A2 Greek)Yes183 days per year; 365 in final yearYesA2-B1 Greek
French citizenship5 yearsYes183 days per yearYesB1 French
Italian citizenship 10 years Yes183 days per yearYesB1 Italian
German citizenship6-8 yearsNo183 days per yearYesB1-B2 German
Portuguese citizenship5 yearsYes7 days per year with Golden VisaNoA2 Portuguese
Spanish citizenship10 yearsNo183 days per yearYesA2 Spanish
Irish citizenship5 years Yes183 days per year; 365 in final yearYesEnglish only
Luxembourg citizenship5 yearsYes183 days per yearYesB1 French or Luxembourgish
Comparison of popular EU citizenship routes

FAQs: Cyprus Citizenship

Does Cyprus allow dual citizenship?

Yes, Cyprus does allow dual citizenship, without any restrictions.

How many years must you live in Cyprus to get citizenship?

You have to live in Cyprus for a minimum of 3 years to apply for citizenship by naturalization. However, you will need to reach a B1 level in Greek language.

Is Cyprus a Schengen country?

No, Cyprus is not yet a Schengen country. However, it is a full member of the European Union, so Cypriot citizens can enjoy the benefits of freedom to live, work, do business, study, and retire across the whole EU, plus the EEA and Switzerland.

Can I buy property in Cyprus after Brexit?

Yes, you can buy property in Cyprus after Brexit without restrictions. It’s also possible to get permanent residency in Cyprus through the residency by investment scheme, if you invest at least €300,000 in a property.

Final Thoughts

Cyprus citizenship is an accessible pathway to acquiring EU rights – especially now it has the EU’s fastest citizenship timeline.

If you’re working in a tech field and willing to learn Greek to B1 level, then you can apply for citizenship in just three years (four years if you reach only A2 level).

For residency by investment, the minimum threshold of €300,000 makes Cyprus a strong competitor to the Portugal Golden Visa.

Cyprus also has a passive income pathway for those with pension income, overseas rental income, or dividends from an online business (although it’s unclear whether the new faster citizenship timeline will apply to that type of residency).

Overall, Cyprus is an excellent contender for those seeking EU citizenship.

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