IMPORTANT UPDATE: It’s official, Cyprus closed its popular citizenship by investment program on 1 November 2020. What this means is investors will no longer be able to directly acquire a Cypriot passport by investment.

A new program has taken place, however. The Cyprus Golden Visa provides individuals with an alternative route to permanent residency in Cyprus. Those looking for European citizenship can also apply to the Malta citizenship program, which offers a direct investment route to a Maltese passport.

Is the Cyprus passport considered powerful? Who has the right to own one and how can you acquire one? In this guide to the Cyprus passport, we walk you through everything you need to know to successfully become a Cypriot citizen.

Golden Visa Cyprus

Cyprus Passport: A Bridge to Europe

Cyprus is a full member of the European Union (EU), which means that Cypriot citizens are also citizens of the EU. Cypriot passport holders have access to the nation’s incredible healthcare and education systems and can travel and reside freely in any of the member states of the European Union.

People often ask how long full Cypriot citizenship lasts under the Cypriot citizenship and residency programs, and you’ll be pleased to learn that you and your family can actually enjoy full citizenship for life. This privilege can be passed down to future generations who can become Cypriot citizens by descent.

How to get the Cyprus passport?

There are a number of ways in which non-Cypriots can become Cypriot passport holders, and thereby access all the benefits that come with that. The success of each application depends on whether or not their conditions are met by the applicant.

The ways by which you can get the Cypriot passport are as follows:

Citizenship by birth/descent

If you were born in Cyprus and have one Cypriot parent, you automatically become a citizen of the country by birth. Individuals who are born abroad and have at least one Cypriot parent can become citizens of the country by rights of family descent, they just have to demonstrate their birth certificate and their parent’s certificate as proof of evidence.

Citizenship by naturalization

Any foreigner who is over the age of 18 can apply for Cypriot citizenship on the condition that they have a clean criminal record, and have legally resided in Cyprus for a total of seven years – or 2,555 days – prior to their application date. They must have also resided for a continuous period of one year before submitting their application for citizenship. In case the applicant is a child or parent of a Cypriot citizen, the time period required would be five years instead of seven.

Citizenship by marriage

The Civil Registry and Migration Department of Cyprus states that individuals who are married to Cypriot citizens may acquire citizenship after three years of marriage, and two years of residency in the Republic.

Those who wish to become Cypriot citizens and are not residing in the Republic will have to have their spouse submit an accompanying letter to their application stating the reasons for requesting Cyprus citizenship. In both cases, a marriage certificate will have to be presented to the relevant authorities at the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

How to apply for a Cypriot passport?

You are eligible for a Cypriot passport if you are over 18 years old and have a clean criminal record. Individuals who wish to become Cypriot citizens will have to go through a specific process, depending on which route they take towards citizenship.

The process primarily requires individuals to submit a Cypriot passport issuance application at the office of the consular or at the Cypriot Embassy in person, which ensures the easy collection of their biometric data – including their fingerprints and any photos required by the consular officer.

Cyprus CBI

Documentation required when applying for Cyprus citizenship:

  • Completed application form (could be in Greek/Turkish/English);
  • A valid passport;
  • Proof of a clean criminal record;
  • Proof that the applicant is not an owner of any frozen property under the jurisdiction of the EU;
  • 2 passport photographs;
  • C.V. (in English) signed by the applicant;
  • Birth certificate which has to be signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cyprus embassy;
  • Marriage certificate stamped and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Cyprus embassy

How to get Cyprus residency by investment?

The Cyprus Golden Visa is a residency by investment scheme that provides qualifying individuals with residency rights in the Republic and makes them eligible for citizenship by naturalization after seven years.

The Cyprus Golden Visa program is designed to attract foreign investors by providing them with a renewable residency permit after making a specific investment in the Republic’s economy — whether in real estate property, capital shares, or otherwise. This program grants them full EU rights and qualifies them for citizenship after seven years.

Take a look at our Cyprus Golden Visa Ultimate Guide by local experts


How powerful is a Cyprus passport?

Passports are seen as a window of opportunity that can get you from point A to B from anywhere around the world. When it comes to passport ranking, the strength of a passport varies depending on the country.

The Global Passport Index created by Global Citizen Solutions is a way to rank countries based on their total visa-free score, alongside investment opportunities and quality of life.

The passport ranking lists countries based on their total visa-free score, but also business opportunities and quality of life.

The Cypriot passport ranks in 43rd position in this index.

Benefits of the Cypriot Passport

There are a lot of benefits that come with being a Cypriot citizen. These include:

1. Travel benefits

As a citizen of Cyprus, individuals have the opportunity to travel within the 27 states that make up the European Union without a visa. This benefit has economic as well as bureaucratic advantages that individuals can enjoy. Citizens of countries under the EU also enjoy certain rights that make their travel experiences better. For example, if there is a delay with the airline, the airline has to provide meals, refreshments, as well as accommodation to individuals with an EU passport.

If you’re interested in getting a second citizenship, you can also see what the benefits are of having a second passport.

2. Education

Citizens of Cyprus who secure admission into public universities will go through their undergraduate years for free. Cypriots have the right to study in another EU member state and enjoy the same conditions that apply to the citizens of such countries.

This common market allows the education system of European countries to have mutually recognized degrees and other kinds of certifications. Citizens of Cyprus, and subsequently the European Union, are known to have access to quality education with significantly low tuition fees for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

3. Employment

Due to the common market in the European Union, citizens of the EU enjoy extensive occupational rights in all 27 member states. This freedom affords Cypriot citizens the opportunity to move freely and work in any member state without restrictions. Also, a citizen of a member country of the EU can work and reside in any member state with their family, even in cases where their partner isn’t a citizen of the EU.

4. Healthcare

The adoption of cross-border healthcare has given EU citizens extensive healthcare rights. The Republic of Cyprus provides healthcare on a socio-economic basis, meaning, there are certain cases where public hospitals in Cyprus offer free services to citizens.

With the European health insurance card, individuals can receive treatment under the same conditions and for similar costs in all EU member states.

5. Tax benefits

Cyprus has one of the lowest rates in the world when it comes to corporate tax. This factor makes it more convenient for businesses to expand their activities. You can learn everything you need about the Cypriot taxation system in our guide to  Cyprus Tax for non-residents.

6. Retirement and pension benefits

Citizens of Cyprus are all insured under the country’s social security scheme and receive a pension through this scheme.

Is the Cyprus passport worth it?

Given the fact that the Cyrpus passport grants holders with visa-free access to 170 countries and a high quality of life, it is absolutely worth it to get one. Along with ranking highly on the passport power index, a Cypriot passport offers enhanced freedom of opportunity, as well as the security of having a plan B in times of hardship.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Cyprus Passport

How can I get a Cyprus passport?

You can obtain a Cypriot passport either by birth, naturalization, marriage, or descent. If you choose the route of naturalization, you may want to consider applying for permanent residency under the Cyprus Golden Visa scheme and benefit from having a return on your investment.

Is the Cyprus passport strong?

The Global Passport Index based on their total visa-free score. It assigns points to countries which Cypriot citizens can visit without a visa, with a visa on arrival as well as those that can be visited by means of electronic travel authorization. Cyprus holds the 7th position on the global passport index.

How to apply for a Cyprus passport?

You are eligible for a passport if you are over 18 years old and have a clean criminal record. Foreign individuals who wish to become Cypriot citizens will have to go through a specific process, depending on which route they take towards citizenship.

How strong is the Cyprus passport?

The Cypriot passport is pretty strong, according to the Global Passport Index. The Cypriot passport ranking is currently at 43rd position, and provides Cypriot passport holders with visa-free access to 170 countries.

Is Cyprus passport European?

Yes, it is. Cyprus is a member state of the European Union, which means any Cypriot citizen is by default an EU citizen.

How many countries can I travel to with a Cyprus passport?

You can travel to 170 countries with a Cypriot passport.