Basic knowledge of the Greek language, as well as knowledge of the history and culture of Cyprus, can become one of the main criteria when considering applications for a passport of a citizen of the country. The relevant bill was submitted to the parliament for discussion by the Minister of Internal Affairs Nikos Nuris, the Cyprus Mail reports.
It is assumed that in order to obtain a passport, a candidate must know the Greek language at the intermediate level (B1) and have an understanding of the main elements of the modern political and social reality of the Republic of Cyprus. In addition, the applicant must have continuously resided on the island for the last 12 months and must have been legally in the country for 10 years, and he must not be absent from the country for more than three years during this period.
It is specified that the applicant should not have a criminal record, be involved in a criminal case initiated against him, or be noticed in attempts to illegally travel to Cyprus. It also requires housing on the island and financial resources, which are sufficient to support himself with his dependents without the help of social support funds.
Earlier, the Cypriot authorities refused to return to the distribution of “golden passports”, a citizenship-in-exchange program, canceled in 2020.
From 2013 to 2019, Cyprus received over 9 billion euros of foreign investment through this program. It was widely used for money laundering and the unimpeded movement of persons within the European Union who otherwise would not have received European citizenship due to a criminal background or for another reason. It is noted that the “golden passport” was especially popular among the citizens of Russia, Ukraine, China, and Cambodia.