IDLAW and Nobel Trust Tax event, 30th November 2023, Nicosia, Cyprus

Recent Developments in EU Tax Law, Taxpayers’ Rights and the Impact on Cyprus

IOANNIDES DEMETRIOU LLC and Nobel Trust Ltd jointly organised the event titled: “Recent Developments in EU Tax Law, Taxpayers’ Rights and the Impact on Cyprus” on Thursday, 30th November 2023, Nicosia, Cyprus.

The above topics were presented by leading counsel Professor Philip Baker, KC, OBE, Field Court Tax Chambers & the University of Oxford, and Ioannides Demetriou LLC’s collaborating Special Tax Counsel Professor Christiana HJI Panayi, Chair in Tax Law at Queen Mary University of London.

The presentations provided a unique opportunity to be informed of the recent legal developments in relation to the protection of taxpayers’ rights as well as anticipated developments in tax law within the EU.

Recording of the event:

Cyprus Naturalisation: updated and more flexible rules

Cyprus naturalisation – updated and more flexible rules

On the 30th November 2023, the Cypriot House of Representatives approved an amendment of the Civil Registry Law, relaxing the rules for granting Cypriot citizenship to foreign nationals and modernising the current legal framework. The aim is to attract and encourage highly skilled tech professionals and their families to stay in Cyprus. The bill is subject to government approval before it comes into force.

This initiative enhances the country’s reputation as a continuously developed international business hub and is expected to foster innovation, cultivate domestic talent and fuel economic growth.

The amendments relate mainly to the amount of time that foreign nationals are expected to reside in Cyprus before applying for naturalization, as well as their knowledge of the Greek language. There are also special provisions which apply to individuals with high qualifications and skills in the technology sector.

Applicants must meet the following main criteria:

• Legal and continuous physical stay in Cyprus for the twelve months preceding the application for naturalisation (periods of absence should not exceed 90 days in total).
• Legal physical stay in Cyprus for at least seven out of ten years preceding the aforesaid 12-month period (periods of absence should not exceed 90 days in total, per year).
• To be of good character and have a clean criminal record.
• To be financially self-sustained and have a suitable place of residence.
• To have sufficient knowledge of the Greek language (certificate of basic knowledge, Level B1) and basic knowledge of the country’s political and social status.
• To have the intention to stay in Cyprus.

Individuals with high skills in the technology sector and working in companies of foreign interest should meet the following special provisions:

• The period of seven years (out of the last ten) of residence in Cyprus is reduced to four years for applicants having a certificate of knowledge of the Greek language of A2 level, and three years if the certificate is of B1 level.
• Family members of the applicants may also apply for naturalisation, under the same conditions. Spouses or civil partners of the applicants should have the same certificates of knowledge of the Greek language as the applicants. Children of the applicants that reach adulthood (18 years of age) during the examination of their parent’s application should still be considered minors for the purpose of the Law and be eligible for naturalisation. Dependent adult children with disabilities are also eligible.

The applications of highly specialised professionals are examined on a ‘fast-track’ basis which does not exceed eight months, upon the payment of a fee. The details of this process and the relevant fee should be determined by way of a Ministerial decision.

It is also noted that applications for citizenship that were submitted before the aforementioned amendments shall be examined under the new criteria as described above.

For any assistance, our experienced team can guide and support you through the naturalization process. Contact us here.