Aerial view of Limassol city marina

Advancing Forward: The Latest Update on Cyprus's Citizenship Law

4 minutes

We welcome the recent amendment to the Civil Registry Law focusing on the naturalisation of foreign nationals as a pivotal step in reinforcing Cyprus's stature as an attractive destination for highly-skilled employees from around the globe. This legislative evolution is not just about facilitating the citizenship process; it's about nurturing fertile ground for innovation and technological advancement.


The technology sector, a beacon of progress, has significantly bolstered Cyprus's GDP, contributing a notable 13% in 2022, with the majority of companies being of foreign interest. This trend underscores the profound impact that attracting top-tier talent can have on an economy, extending beyond the tech industry into various other sectors.


Enhanced Criteria for a Progressive Future

The law streamlines the naturalisation process, particularly for highly-skilled foreign nationals and their families and introduces a fast-track process, ensuring applications are examined within 8 months. These incentives are provided in addition to other tax incentives promoting personal and business Relocation to Cyprus introduced over the past 2 years. One can safely say that the government’s strategy to attract foreign companies and talent is being successful as the Civil Registry and Migration Department has processed more than 9,000 applications for work and residence permits within the mere span of 9 months, from January to September 2022.


Eligibility for naturalisation of highly-skilled foreign nationals requires:

  • One year of legal and continuous residency in the Republic before applying, with absences not exceeding 90 days in that year.
  • A cumulative 4-year residency in the preceding 10 years, which reduces to 3 years for those with Greek language proficiency at level B1 (4 years for level A2 proficiency).
  • Spouses and Civil Partners are also eligible under the same conditions.


For a more in-depth understanding of the legal changes, read our comprehensive article on our website. 

Demographic Dynamism
The new legal framework is poised to contribute to reshaping the demographic fabric of Cyprus. By expediting citizenship for highly-skilled foreign nationals, we anticipate a further diversification in the population, bringing together a mosaic of cultures, experiences, and skills. This shift towards a more multifaceted demographic structure aligns with the global trend of interconnected societies.


Cosmopolitan Cyprus
This legal change propels Cyprus further into the realm of cosmopolitanism. The accelerated naturalisation process is a magnet for global talent, enhancing the island’s cultural and professional diversity. This influx of diverse, skilled individuals fosters a vibrant, inclusive community, enriching the social and economic tapestry of Cyprus.


The Competitive Edge in Jobs
With the arrival of more international experts, job competition will inevitably intensify. While this raises the bar for local and existing foreign employees, it also presents a unique opportunity for exchange of skills and professional growth, driving the overall standard of the workforce to new heights.


Balancing Employment
The impact on unemployment is multifaceted. While there might be concerns about job displacement, the influx of skilled talent can also spur economic growth, leading to the creation of new job opportunities. As the trend of foreign businesses and individuals relocating to Cyprus continues to rise, it's noteworthy that the current unemployment rate in Cyprus stands at 5.8%, marking the lowest level in the past five years. This suggests that the increasing relocation of foreign entities to Cyprus has no impact on the country's unemployment rate. Speculating on this matter, one may conclude that skilled talent allows for more startups which result in higher labor demand across the island.


Elevating Labor Skill Levels
Cyprus stands at the cusp of becoming a notable business hub in Europe, particularly in the technology sector. The increase of high-caliber professionals is set to elevate the island's labor skill level, augmenting its position as an emerging business center.


Housing Market Ramifications
The housing market could experience changes. With the potential influx of well-compensated, skilled professionals, there is a possibility for an increase in real estate prices, especially in the rental sector. It is important to note that more than 53% of foreigners in Cyprus opted for rental accommodations during 2022. This statistic underscores the potential impact on the rental market and accentuates the need for strategic planning in housing supply to adapt to these evolving market conditions.


How we can Help
At Royal Pine, we are committed to offering an extensive range of solutions designed to assist individuals and businesses embarking on their relocation journey to Cyprus, as well as those aiming to secure the Cyprus citizenship under the newly revised naturalisation framework. Our approach is tailored to meet the unique needs of each client, ensuring a seamless and personalized experience.


* This publication has been prepared as a general guide and for information purposes only. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render professional advice. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect you and/or your business, bespoke advice should be obtained.

Michalis is a Business & Innovation Advisor at Royal Pine. He is a holder of an LL.B from the University of Essex and an LL.M from the University of Leeds.