This article discusses Cyprus citizenship by descent (CBD), its eligibility criteria, benefits, and how to acquire it in 2023.
Known for its breathtaking natural beauty, and tax-friendliness, Cyprus is an excellent option for people looking to reduce their tax liability while living in a high-standard EU jurisdiction.
If you have Cypriot origin, it’d be a no-brainer to pursue the Cyprus CBD route considering all its perks. At Nomad Capitalist, we’ve helped many clients reconnect with their roots and acquire a second passport by descent, and we can help you do the same. Set up a call with us today to start your CBD journey.
Cyprus is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, known for its breathtaking natural beauty, exquisite wines, and diverse culture.
The Cypriot culture is among the oldest in the Mediterranean region. The cultural and ethnic diversity and richness of Cyprus are attributed to its time under several empires, namely Roman, Egyptian, Persian and Ottoman, and Greek, among others.
Today, Cyprus is a thriving tourist destination, and tourism pulls a significant portion of foreign exchange for the country.
Nicosia is the capital and largest city of Cyprus. Greek and Turkish are the official languages. However, English is widely spoken and understood.
For the regular folks, you’d usually have to legally reside in the country for five to seven years and demonstrate a certain monthly income, among many other requirements, to become a Cypriot citizen.
However, the process can be far quicker, straightforward, and nearly free for the lucky few with a Cypriot origin.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re one from the lucky club. So, without any delay, let’s get into the benefits of Cypriot citizenship by descent.
Cyprus passport is one of the best passports in the world. It currently ranks 21st in our Nomad Passport Index. Cypriot citizens enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 168 countries, including the EU, Japan, Singapore, UAE, etc.
The government of Cyprus is working on visa waiver agreements with the US and the Schengen zone. Once approved, Cyprus’s passport will get one hell of a boost.
Cyprus became part of the European Union in 2004, so acquiring Cypriot citizenship is equal to getting European citizenship which will grant you the right to live, study, and work freely in any of the EU states.
Cyprus is also a part of the Commonwealth and enjoys stable foreign affairs with the UK and the rest of the Commonwealth nations. As commonwealth citizens, Cypriots citizens have what’s called right of abode in the UK, allowing them to live, work and even vote in elections.
dividend income and the first €19,500 of annual income are tax-exempt, regardless of your tax residency status.
The headline corporate income tax rate in Cyprus is 12.5%, which is lower than in most western countries.
Moreover, companies can also qualify for several tax deductions and exemptions. Through proper tax planning, living in Cyprus can be beneficial from a tax perspective.
Cypriot citizenship law primarily grants citizenship based on jus sanguinis rather than jus soli, meaning that citizenship is given based on bloodright rather than birthplace.
A person with at least one Cypriot parent usually automatically receives Cypriot citizenship regardless of the place of birth, unless one or more parents are considered illegal migrants.
If one or both parents are considered illegal migrants, citizenship may only be acquired by a Council of Ministers’ decision. This makes acquiring Cypriot citizenship difficult for children born to Turkish Cypriots married to Turkish nationals in Northern Cyprus.
For context, there are primarily two ethnic groups in Cyprus – Greek Cypriots (majority) and Turkish Cypriots (minority).
Cyprus gained independence in 1960, officially becoming the Republic of Cyprus. In 1975, Turkey established a Turkish Cypriot state on the northern part of the island. The de facto state declared independence in 1983 and named itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
So far, TRNC is only recognized by Turkey.
The Cyprus citizenship law applies to the entire island of Cyprus, including Northern Cyprus. However, the dynamic between the two countries and ethnicities can potentially create issues for Turkish Cypriots while acquiring Cypriot citizenship.
The eligibility criteria for acquiring Cyprus citizenship by descent may be simple enough, but you must submit the application form that is most relevant to your situation.
Currently, there are six types of citizenship-by-origin application forms available on the official site of the Civil Registry and Migration Department site:
- M71 – For Citizens of the UK
- M72 – For Cypriot Descendants from the Male Side
- M121 – Application for Consular Birth Certificate
- M123 – Application for Adults
- M124 – Application for British or Commonwealth Citizens
- M126 – Application for the Registration of Minors
Below, we’ll take a look at each application form and when you should submit it.
Type M121 application can be submitted by:
- A person born abroad after August 16, 1960, whose father was a Cypriot citizen at the time of birth.
- A person born after June 11, 1999, whose mother was a Cypriot citizen at the time of birth.
Type M123 application can be submitted by:
- An adult born on August 16, 1960, or after, with foreign parents at the time of their birth.
- An adult born after August 16, 1960, whose parent(s) became a British citizen based on the Annexation of Cyprus Orders in Council 1914 to 1943.
- An adult born in Cyprus after November 5, 1914, and before August 16, 1960.
Type M124 application can be submitted by:
- An adult of Cypriot origins born before August 16, 1960, who is a British citizen or citizen of any Commonwealth State and has completed one year of legal residence in the Republic.
Type M126 application can be submitted for:
- A minor born before June 11, 1999, in Cyprus or abroad with a Cypriot citizen mother and a foreigner father.
- A minor whose father acquired Cypriot citizenship after their birth.
- A minor whose parent(s) acquired Cypriot citizenship by naturalization or registration due to marriage with a Cypriot citizen.
Type M71 application can be submitted by:
- A person born before August 16, 1960, who is a citizen of the UK and its former colonies, originates from Cyprus from the male side, and resides permanently abroad.
Type M72 application can be submitted by:
- A person born before August 16, 1960, who is not a citizen of the UK and its former colonies and who originates from Cyprus from the male side.
Each citizenship application form requires its own set of documents to be submitted with it. You are also required to pay an application fee that varies from €20 to €80, depending on the type of application you’re submitting.
The following is the list of documents that you may need to submit with your application form:
- Applicant’s birth certificate
- Marriage certificate of the applicant’s parents
- Photocopy of the applicant’s and the applicant’s parents’ passports
- Certificate of registration of the Cypriot parent (where applicable)
- Declaration of the foreign parent signed before an officer of the District Administration Office
- Copy of proof of fees paid
All documents issued abroad must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the applicant’s country of origin and then by the Cyprus Embassy in their country. For a full list of documents and due diligence according to each application form, consult the official immigration site of Cyprus.
As the world’s biggest single market area, the European Union provides personal freedom, travel freedom, quality of life, safety, business opportunities, and more.
Considering all the benefits, qualifying for EU citizenship by bloodright is as lucky as a person can get – especially if they’re a non-EU citizen.
Yes, Cyprus recognizes the right to hold dual nationality. Acquiring Cypriot citizenship, you won’t have to worry about choosing among your passports.
Cyprus started a citizenship-by-investment scheme in 2013 to attract foreign investment. The Cyprus Investment Programme allowed foreigners to acquire Cypriot citizenship by investing in the country’s real estate, local businesses, etc.
However, the program was indefinitely suspended on November 1, 2020, after consistent pressure from the European Commission.
The country does have a residence-by-investment program, however. Read our ultimate guide on Cyprus residence by investment program for more details.