Acquiring Cypriot citizenship due to origin by UK citizens

Posted on 04 Oct 2019, by Theo Antoniou

In the event of a no deal Brexit, UK passport holders will lose their right of free movement within the EU. All valid UK passports will still be useable for international travel to and from the EU after Brexit, even though precise details are yet to be finalised (including on the terms of any travel visa that might be required).

British citizens are looking for ways of retaining the right of free movement within the EU after Brexit. Some British citizens may have the right to apply for European passport through their origin in another EU Member State, which allows them to retain their status as EU citizens. In the present article we analyse the right to apply for Cypriot citizenship by British citizens of Cypriot descent.

Cyprus was a British colony until 1960. When Cyprus became independent in 1960, people in Cyprus retained their status as British subjects and acquired the national citizenship of the country gaining independence. Therefore, people acquired dual citizenship; British and Cypriot.

All persons who were born in Cyprus before 1960 or descended in the male line from Cypriots ordinarily resident in Cyprus at any time during 5 years before independence acquired Cypriot citizenship automatically. For example, if somebody was born in Cyprus before 1960, they became a Cypriot citizen automatically. Equally, someone born before 1960 abroad and his or her father or grandfather was a resident of Cyprus in the 5 years before 1960, then he or she became a Cypriot citizen automatically.

People who were born after 1960, became Cypriot citizens if their father was a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus at the time of their birth. For example, if somebody was born in 1967, then he/she will be eligible to apply for Cypriot citizenship if his/her father was a Cypriot citizen at the time of his/her birth.

For those born after 1999, they can apply for Cypriot citizenship if their mother was a Cypriot citizen at the date of his/her birth, as well.

Therefore, the right of children of Cypriots or people with Cypriot origin to apply for Cypriot citizenship is guaranteed by the constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, the EU Charter on fundamental citizenship rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the non-discrimination provisions provided in all those laws.

We regularly advise clients on their eligibility to apply for Cypriot citizenship. We also assist clients with the preparation and submission of their applications along with all relevant required documents for obtaining Cypriot citizenship. It must be noted that the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship is a great relief for those Britons of Cypriot origin who want to continue to enjoy the right of freedom of movement within the EU after Brexit.

The content of this article is valid as at the date of its first publication. It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you seek professional advice on your specific matter before acting on any information provided. For further information or advice, please contact Theo Antoniou, Head of our London office at theo.antoniou@kyprianou.com