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12° Nicosia,
18 June, 2024
 
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A 'golden knowledge program' vs. a 'golden passport program'

Cyprus alters naturalization rules to prioritize expertise and attract highly qualified individuals for employment, emphasizing knowledge over investment

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In a recent session, the Cyprus Parliament passed a DIKO (Democratic Party) law proposal to amend the Law on the Civil Registry, focusing on modernizing the existing legal framework for the naturalization of foreigners. The goal is to attract highly qualified individuals and their families to employment in Cyprus. The proposal received 42 votes in favor and 2 against.

Key points of the proposal include:

- The Minister of Interior has discretion, for humanitarian reasons, to allow naturalization applications from those not meeting full capacity criteria.
- Revision of criteria for good character qualification for naturalization.
- Knowledge of the Greek language at the B1 level is considered sufficient, with language certificates issued following a written examination.
- Family members of those employed in highly qualified positions may be naturalized, subject to certain conditions.
- Expedited procedure for naturalization application examination within eight months.
- Focus on attracting knowledge and expertise rather than investment, with an emphasis on research and innovation.

DIKO President Nicolas Papadopoulos emphasized the importance of attracting qualified experts in specific fields, framing the proposal as a "golden knowledge program" rather than a "golden passport program." The aim is to boost research and innovation, contributing to the country's future economic growth.

Other parliamentary members from different parties supported the proposal, highlighting the contribution of innovation to GDP, the need for new funds in technology development, and the importance of physical presence in Cyprus for sustainable development. However, some members expressed concerns about potential abuses and the need for stringent control.

The proposal aims to enhance growth by adopting good practices and ensuring that naturalizations align with the country's economic and developmental goals.

[Information sourced from CNA]

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