Cyprus is a picturesque island country located on the Mediterranean Sea with lush sea-beaches and beautiful resorts. According to myth, it is believed that the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, was born in the same place which constitutes modern-day Cyprus. Cyprus’s modern history is quite complex. Cyprus attained independence from British rule in 1960. The British had colonized Cyprus in 1914, prior to which it was under the domain of the Ottoman empire for a period of 300 years. In the years since independence, Cyprus has emerged as a popular tourist destination. There is also immense business potential in the small island nation, where the economy is booming.
The concept of citizenship by investment is a win-win situation in which individuals with their families can secure a second citizenship in a certain country by making certain financial investments in that nation. Cyprus is among the many nations offering citizenship by investment, offering a powerful passport and life-long citizenship in exchange for specific financial investments in the country. A Cypriot passport provides a person with visa-free travel to 122 countries, visa on arrival to 39 countries, and a prior visa is required only for 37 countries.
Why Getting A Cypriot Citizenship Is A Great Idea
Cyprus is rapidly making economic and social progress. Given below are some of the reasons why it is a great idea to make a Cyprus citizenship application and a Cyprus passport application.
- Safety and Security– According to certain reports, Cyprus is the fifth safest country in the world. Due to this reason, a large number of tourists feel free to safely throng the country and revel in its natural beauty. Apart from occasional petty thefts, no major instances of organized crime or terrorist attacks have been reported in recent times.
- Beautiful climate– Cyprus is blessed with immense natural beauty and has a wonderful Mediterranean climate. It doesn’t have extremely cold weather, as is the case with certain European countries. The summers are long, lasting up to seven months in a year. During the summer a lot of tourists visit the country to enjoy themselves around the sea beaches.
- Proper Infrastructure – Cyprus has in place a smoothly run public transport system, apart from which the country also has a well-established and properly maintained social infrastructure in the form of roads which connect the major Cypriot cities.
- Healthcare facilities – The World Health Organisation has declared Cyprus to have one of the healthiest populations in the world. This has been made possible due to the country’s robust public health system. It provides treatment to patients free of cost, especially to those from lower income groups. While treatments in government hospitals are also provided free of cost, not all treatments are free, and neither are they free for everyone. The major cities have well-established hospitals and health clinics, which are all run smoothly. There are also options for taking up private healthcare services as well. Private healthcare is mostly run by doctors who do their own practice. The existence of such a well-maintained healthcare system has led to a high quality of life that is at par with the populations of other developed countries.
- Well-designed taxation system – Another factor that adds to the reputation of the country is its efficient taxation system. Among all the European countries, Cyprus has the lowest corporate tax, which is 12.5 percent. The maximum amount of income tax that is levied on individuals is 35 percent, and people whose annual income is less than €19,500 do not need to pay any taxes. Cyprus also has a bustling economy with some of its cities such as Limassol emerging as business hubs where there are investments in the property and real estate businesses. It is relatively easy for foreign nationals to purchase a house in Cyprus. The average cost of a house in Cyprus is €98,206, along with other taxes.
All these factors have combined to make Cyprus a very lucrative destination for citizens from other countries. A significant number of people are applying for Cypriot citizenship. The process for Cyprus citizenship application and Cyprus passport application is straightforward.
Citizenship Of Cyprus
The basis on which a person can be considered a citizen of Cyprus can be put into two broad categories; natural citizenship of Cyprus and naturalized citizenship of Cyprus.
Natural Citizenship of Cyprus
An individual naturally becomes a citizen of Cyprus if he/she is born in the country. Citizenship is also granted to people who are born abroad, but, at least one of their parents must have Cypriot citizenship. These applications can be made by individuals who are born in another country after August 16, 1960, and whose father is a citizen of Cyprus. Apart from this, individuals who are born after June 11, 1999, and whose mother is a citizen of Cyprus, can also apply for citizenship.
These citizens do not need to make a Cyprus citizenship application and hence they are natural citizens of Cyprus.
Naturalized Citizenship of Cyprus
Another way of gaining citizenship of Cyprus is through naturalization. It is also referred to as citizenship by registration. These are the methods through which this citizenship can be acquired:
- Cyprus citizenship application through residency – If an individual has lived in Cyprus for a minimum period of seven years, he/she is eligible in applying for Cypriot citizenship. The minimum stay period is reduced to five years in case the individual’s parents or children also live in Cyprus. Apart from this, another condition that needs to be fulfilled is that the individual seeking citizenship must have lived in Cyprus continuously for one year, prior to the date of his/her filing the Cyprus citizenship application.
- Cyprus citizenship application through relationships – There are diverse kinds of relationships through which an individual can apply for citizenship in Cyprus. Apart from parentage, if a person marries a Cypriot citizen, then that individual becomes eligible for a Cyprus citizenship. Unfortunately, there have been instances of people getting into fake marriages just so that they could get citizenship, so authorities are being very particular about citizenship applications made through this route. However, if an individual is getting into a genuine marital relationship, and has the requisite documentation, then one need not worry.
- Cyprus citizenship application through investment – Individuals can also apply for the citizenship of Cyprus through its investment programme. The programme currently has five different schemes. They are as follows:
- Donations – According to this scheme, the individual can donate a minimum amount of €75,000 to either the Research and Development Foundation or the Cyprus Land Development Corporation. These donations are then used for conducting research in domains such as science and technology, sustainable development, etc.
- Investments in infrastructure projects – In this scheme, an individual seeking citizenship has to invest a minimum amount of €2 million for the development of physical infrastructure of the country, including residential buildings and/ or offices.
- Investing in shares of existing Cypriot businesses – Individuals can also apply for citizenship by investing a minimum amount of €2 million in the existing businesses of Cyprus.
- Investments in alternative funds – Under this scheme, individuals seeking citizenship by investment may make a minimum investment of at least €2 million in alternative investment funds such as commodities and hedge funds approved by the government.
- A combination of all the above – Individuals can also choose to invest in all of the above schemes. The combined investment amount, in that case, must be a minimum of €2 million.
While making a Cyprus citizenship application it is extremely crucial to have the proper documentation in place, otherwise, there is a chance that the application will be rejected. Provided below is a detailed account of the documentation that is required for making a Cyprus citizenship application.
- Cyprus citizenship application for adults
There are four kinds of applications in this case and are referred to as M 71, M 72, M 123 and M 125. M 71 applications are for those who were born prior to August 16, 1960, are currently citizens of the United Kingdom or its former colonies, and would now like to be citizens of Cyprus. M 72 is for those who were born before August 16, 1960, but are not citizens of the United Kingdom or its former colonies. M 123 is for those who are born after August 16, 1960, and whose parents were not a citizen of Cyprus at the time of their birth. M 125 is for foreign nationals who got married to a citizen of Cyprus, and now wish to take up Cypriot citizenship. The required documents for both M 71 and M 72 are the same. They are as follows:
- Birth certificate of the applicant seeking citizenship.
- Birth certificate of the applicant’s father.
- A copy of the receipt of the application fee worth €20.
- Stamps worth €1.71, to be attached to the application.
The documents required for M 123 are also similar. One difference is that the cost of making an M 123 application is €50, and the stamps attached are to be of worth €8.54. Moreover, the extra documents required in this case are a copy of the applicant’s parents’ marriage certificate and a copy of their passport. It must also be noted that all these documents must bear an official translation in either Greek or English if they have not been issued originally in either of those two languages. The document must also bear an APOSTILLE certificate if the applicant is a citizen of a country that is a signatory of the Hague Convention, 1961.
In case of individuals making a Cyprus citizenship application through M 125, their marriage must have completed three years, and the couple must have stayed in the country for at least two years prior to making the application. The required documents are as follows:
- Birth certificate of the person making the Cyprus citizenship application.
- A certificate that shows that the individual does not have any previous criminal record.
- A certificate that proves that they are married.
- A photocopy of the passport of both the spouses.
- A statement is to be provided duly signed by both in front of an administrative officer at the district level. The statement would say that they are both in a healthy marital relationship.
- Another statement is to be supplied from the local authority (where the couple resides) that would verify the point mentioned above.
- A receipt of the application fee worth €300.
- Two similar applications need to be submitted and both must have attached stamps worth €8.54
- Cyprus citizenship application for minors below the age of 18
For making a citizenship application for minors it is imperative to get a consular birth certificate first. The following documents are required for it:
- The birth certificate of either of the minor’s parents or the one applying for it (in case a parent is not applying).
- Proof of marriage of the minor’s parents.
- Photocopy of the minor’s and his/her parents’ passports.
- A receipt of the €20 application fee.
- Stamps costing €8.54 must be attached to the application.
After the consular birth certificate has been received, then the citizenship application can be made. The following documents are required to complete the application:
- The received consular birth certificate of the minor.
- Marriage certificate of his/ her parents.
- A copy of the passports of the parents and the minor.
- Proof that shows that the application fee of €20 has been paid.
- Stamps worth €8.54 need to be attached to the application.
Cyprus Passport Application
It is very useful to own a Cypriot Passport as the privileges that come with it are numerous. A Cypriot passport enables its holders to travel visa-free to 122 countries, visa on arrival to 39 countries, and a prior visa is required only for 37 countries. Apart from this, it also allows them to travel across the Schengen area of the European Union, despite Cyprus not being a part of the Schengen agreement. The Cypriot passport is issued by the Civil Registry and Immigration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the country. The Cypriot passport bears writings in Greek, Turkish, and English. The passport also holds an image of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and a dove with an olive branch. Since 2010, the Cypriot government has been issuing biometric passports to its citizens. Located inside these passports is a biometric chip that contains the passport holder’s fingerprints, photo, and a digital signature. Along with the passport, the citizens are also provided with an identity card.
If all the documents are in place it should not take more than three to four months to get a passport of Cyprus. It must be noted that the passport application has to be submitted by the applicant in person. This is essential because at the time of submission, the applicant’s biometric information – photograph, biometric signature, and fingerprints – will be collected by the concerned official at the passport office. The passport application is called M 9 and it may be filled in Greek, Turkish, or English. The following documents have to be submitted at the time of making the Cyprus Passport Application:
- The duly completed M 9 application form.
- Identity proof of the applicant.
- In case the passport applicant is already a citizen of Cyprus and had Cypriot passports in the past, he/she has to submit his/ her previous passports.
- A copy of the police report has to be submitted in case the previous passports were stolen or misplaced.
- If the passport applicant is a married woman, she has to submit her marriage certificate.
- A birth certificate has to be submitted if the applicant is applying for a passport for the first time.
The fee of the Cyprus passport application is €70, and it must be paid through money order and is payable to the Accountant General of Cyprus.
In case of minors who are below the age of twelve, the parents can choose to either submit the application in person, or they can also submit it via email. If they are submitting it by email, then the application has to be signed by both parents, has to be authorized by a notary agency, and must also bear the APOSTILLE seal. The application fee for the Cyprus passport application of a minor is €45.
It is immensely beneficial to acquire a citizenship of Cyprus and be in possession of a Cypriot passport. The privileges associated with it are really amazing and would be advantageous for those who are seeking second citizenship or wish to give up their earlier citizenship completely. There are certain problems associated with Cyprus, such as unemployment issues, and some of its major cities being overcrowded. However, the pros of Cypriot citizenship quite easily outweigh the cons, and thus, it is a great idea to apply for the citizenship of this beautiful country.
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