With the abolition of the Cyprus Investment Program last November, the exceptional naturalizations to foreigners that were granted through summary procedures stopped, as long as they had a large wallet. With the exception of the legislation in force which provides for the granting of Cypriot citizenship only in very exceptional cases to persons who provide the highest level of services to the Republic, such as the granting of citizenship to athletes to be able to play with the National teams of Cyprus , now in order for a foreigner to secure Cypriot citizenship, no matter how rich he / she is, he / she must follow the… normal route, where, among other things, legal residence in Cyprus is provided for at least seven consecutive years. At the same time, it will have to meet a number of criteria which the Council of Ministers revised at its meeting on 21/1/2021, making even more stringent the qualifications that a foreign national must have in order to naturalize a Cypriot citizen. In addition, the criteria have become clearer, thus strengthening the competent government departments that carry out due diligence to adequately justify their decisions.
The changes were deemed necessary as the current conditions, apart from the years of residence in the Republic, are quite vague or there is no safe way to check them, as a result of which there is no systematic way to process applications for naturalization. In addition, although the Law gives the respective Minister of Interior broad discretion to decide on naturalizations, it was observed that the Administrative Court annulled decisions of the Minister of Interior even in cases where the application for naturalization did not meet the requirements of the law as the large degree subjectivity and multiple interpretations allowed by the vague way in which the conditions are formulated today can lead to the registration of appeals and the annulment of the rejection decisions of the Ministry of Interior.
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