Legal ways to get Cyprus Citizenship

By Marios Konstantinou

Updated: May 09, 2024

In 2024, there are three legal ways in which a foreigner can get Cypriot citizenship:

The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program, the fourth option for obtaining a passport, was abolished on November 1, 2020. Investors interested in obtaining Cypriot citizenship must go through the residency by investment path, which involves buying real estate and residing on the island as permanent residents for five years.

In short, to become a Cyprus citizen, you must be married to a Cypriot citizen for at least 3 years, or have Cyprus roots, or live in Cyprus for 7 years (2555 days) with a temporary residence permit or 5 years (1825 days) as a permanent resident.

Below is a detailed description of each application type and required documents.

Naturalisation scheme based on years of residence

Since 19 December 2023, there have been revised criteria for naturalisation based on years of residence. These criteria specify that an applicant must have:

  • 12 months lawful stay in the Republic (up to 90 days absence allowed).
  • Lawful stay of 7 years in the Republic out of the 10 years before the 12 months.
  • Good character.
  • Sufficient knowledge of Greek (Level B1* at the Examinations for the Verification of the Greek Language conducted via the Ministry of Education).
  • Sufficient understanding of the socio-political realities in the Republic (at least 60% at the relevant examinations conducted by the Ministry of Education).
  • Adequate accommodation and stable and regular financial means to support themselves and their families (contract of sale or rental, rental payment and utility receipts, proof of salary, employment contract, income tax statement, social security and bank account documentation).

*Level B1 means you can handle everyday communication situations on your own.

On November 30th, 2023, an amendment to the Civil Registry Law was passed. The amendment allows highly skilled foreign workers to obtain Cypriot citizenship after residing in Cyprus for a shorter period, specifically 4 to 5 years (depending on their knowledge of the Greek language).

Read more about Cyprus citizenship legislation updates in 2023.

How to apply

The applicant must prepare a complete list of entries and departures from Cyprus (based on passport stamps), confirming the above required days of stay. Each family member has to file a separate application and pay the required fee.

Application processing time and the 8-month rule

As per the new Cyprus citizenship law, applications for naturalisation for highly skilled foreign workers must be processed within eight months, whereas for other applicants, the processing time is estimated to be 2 to 3 years as of April 2024.

Required documents for M127

  • Birth certificate*
  • Criminal record*
  • Marriage certificate*
  • Copies of all the pages of all the passports of the applicant showing arrivals and departures to Cyprus
  • List of arrivals and departures
  • Newspaper advertisements in two consecutive publications mention that the applicant has applied for naturalisation
  • Two passport-size photographs stamped by local Muhtar
  • CV and work certificate
  • Receipt(s) of fee payment

Government fees

Application submission – €500

Plus, on approval – €500

Military Service

Male applicants who acquire Cyprus citizenship by naturalisation (years of residence) are obliged for military service. This obligation is as follows:

  • If you are between 18 and 26, you will do military service for 6 months. You must join within two years from the date of acquiring citizenship. If you delay, you will do an additional two months of service (that is, a total of 8 months).
  • If you are over 26, you will serve for 3 months in the military. If you delay, you will serve another 2 months (5 months).

If you did not receive any military documents upon acquiring citizenship, contact the military office in the district where you applied for citizenship. They will provide your army number and relevant documents.

Military conscription happens every July (the first ten days) at the nearest military camp. Your nearest military office will explain the details, so contact them when you acquire citizenship. The address for each district is available at http://www.army.gov.cy/el/contact.

Cyprus citizenship by marriage

Spouses of Cypriots who have been married for 3 years and resided in Cyprus for 2 years before the application date can obtain citizenship through marriage.

Also, spouses of Cypriots living abroad are entitled to apply when they have completed at least three years of marriage. In this case, the couple must explain why Cypriot citizenship is requested. If the couple has completed five years of marriage and has at least one child, it is unnecessary to provide the above explanation.

Required documents for M125

  • Original birth certificate of the applicant*
  • Original certificate of the clean criminal record of the applicant*
  • Original marriage certificate*
  • Birth certificate of the couple’s children*
  • Photocopy of the applicant’s passport
  • Photocopy of the Cypriot spouse’s passport
  • Certificate of acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship of the Cypriot spouse (where applicable)
  • Statement of harmonious living signed before an Officer of the District Administration Office or the diplomatic authority
  • Statement of cohabitation from the local authority
  • The application should be submitted in duplicate, and one of the two application forms should bear stamps worth €8.54
  • Receipt(s) that fees have been paid

Government fees for submission – €300

Application processing time is about 1-2 years

Cyprus citizenship by descent

Cyprus citizenship by descent can be obtained in one of six ways, which relate to the date of birth, age, i.e. whether the applicant is a minor or an adult, and parentage, i.e. which parent is Cypriot. The relevant date concerning births is 16 August 1960, when Cyprus gained independence from the UK. The application form, accompanying documents, and fee vary depending on the case.

The six ways are the following:

  • Applicants of male descent, born before August 16, 1960, who are citizens of the UK or its former colonies; Form M71; Government fee: €20 plus stamp.
  • Applicants of male descent, born before August 16, 1960, who are not citizens of the UK or its former colonies; Form M72; Government fee: €20 plus stamp.
  • Applicants born abroad (consular birth certificate); Form M121; Government fee: €20 plus stamps. A consular birth certificate may be issued to applicants born outside Cyprus after August 16, 1960, whose father or mother was a citizen of Cyprus at the time of birth. If the applicant is a minor, the parents will apply. Once the application is approved, a consular birth certificate will be issued. The applicant or (in the case of minors) the parents will be notified on how to receive it.
  • Applicants born on or after August 16, 1960; Form M123; Government fee: €50 plus stamp. They may be descendants of UK citizens of Cypriot origin or other foreign citizens who could have claimed Cypriot nationality.
  • Applicants of Cypriot origin, born before August 16, 1960; Form M124; Government fee: €80 plus stamp. The applicants may be citizens of the UK or the Commonwealth, whose father or mother has Cyprus origin, and who have been living in Cyprus for twelve months before applying.
  • Registration of a minor as a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus; Form M126; Government fee: €80 plus stamps. The parents have acquired Cypriot citizenship by registration (origin) or naturalisation (years of legal residence).

Military service for applicants with parent(s) of Cypriot origin

Male individuals between 18 and 45 who acquire Cypriot citizenship must carry out a 14-month military service if either of their parents is of Cypriot origin.

If they or their parents have lived abroad for more than 10 years, they will do a reduced military service as follows:

  • Over 26 years old, the service is 3 months.
  • Between 18 and 26 years old, the service is 6 months.

Conscription and recruitment are for July each year (the first ten days). Enlisting is an obligation, so contact your local military office as soon as you get citizenship.

Accompanying documents for M121 and M126

  • Original birth certificate*
  • Original marriage certificate of applicant’s parents*
  • Passport copy of the applicant and parents
  • Certificate of Cypriot citizenship of the Cypriot parent (where applicable)
  • Receipt(s) that fees have been paid

For the M126 only

  • Declaration of the foreign parent signed before an officer of the District Administration Office or the diplomatic authority consenting to the granting of Cypriot citizenship to a minor child.
  • Copy of school registration confirmation.
  • Two photos.

Government fees

  • For M121 €20 and one stamp €8,54
  • For M126 €80 and two stamps €8,54 each

Required documents for M123

  • Original birth certificate of the applicant*
  • Marriage certificate of the applicants’ parents*
  • Passport copy of the applicant and parents
  • Certificate of registration of the Cypriot parent (where applicable)

Government Fees for M123 - €50 and one stamp of €8,54.

Citizenship application submission

The above applications can be submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, the district offices in each city, or at embassies/consulates abroad. The Citizenship Section of the Civil Registry and Migration Department will process all the applications.

If you live outside of Cyprus, you should apply at the Cyprus Embassy in your country.

Upon completing the application process, you may apply for an ID card and a passport.

Documents authentication & translation

Please note that:

The documents with (*) are required to be translated into English or Greek and bear the «APOSTILLE» Stamp OR be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country that will issue them and also by the Cyprus Embassy of that Country and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cyprus.

The Press and Information Office, a Consular Authority of the issuing country, or a governmental department/service of the issuing country should translate the documents.

Passport through the Investment Program

Cyprus citizenship by investment program is no longer available for applications in 2024 because it was suspended in 2020. Please check our Cyprus residency by investment program page for the alternative way to get citizenship in 5 years.

Honorary citizenship

In exceptional circumstances, persons who have rendered a high service to the Republic may be given honorary citizenship for reasons of public interest. Such honorary citizenship is granted upon terms and conditions determined by the Council of Ministers.

Dual citizenship in Cyprus

Cyprus allows dual citizenship, meaning individuals can hold Cypriot citizenship alongside another country's citizenship without any restrictions from the Cypriot government.

Our services

At our law firm, we provide comprehensive support for all stages of your citizenship application process:

  • Advice on the required applications regarding documents and eligibility
  • Preparation of the application forms (to the extent possible)
  • Communication with the Competent Authorities before and after the application
  • Assistance with the collection of the required documents
  • Submission of the application
  • Following the status of the application procedure, inform you of the process
  • Assistance in receiving passport and identity card

Contact us for a free personal consultation and learn about our competitive fee services.

How We Can Help?

We have been serving clients since 1983 with measurable success.
Follow us
Members of:
Cyprus Bar Association The Legal 500