The current strength of the Cyprus passport

Posted on 11 Feb 2020, by Savvas Savvides

Holders of Cypriot passports have been enjoying an increasing number of related benefits in recent years. Relevant surveys conducted by academics and immigration experts rank the Cypriot passport 21st place – on a list of 160 countries in total, focusing primarily on two specific evaluating factors:

  • the diversity and the freedom of travel;
  • the diversity and the freedom of settlement.

Even more remarkable is the fact that if one takes into consideration solely the diversity and weight of freedom of settlement, then the Cypriot passport climbs to 7th place along with 12 other passports issued by other EU Member States and States forming part of the Schengen Area.

Towards an even stronger and prestigious status of the Cyprus passport

The ranking of the Cypriot passport in the aforementioned rankings has been achieved despite the non-participation of the country in the Schengen area – an area where its members have agreed to abolish all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders and the need for obtaining a visa, in advance, for trips to the US.

The two weak components of a Cypriot passport mentioned above have been tackled by the Cyprus government in the recent period, in an effort to further strengthen its nature and maximize the benefits enjoyed by Cypriot citizens.

Concerning the Schengen Area, the Republic of Cyprus, in being loyal to its EU legislative commitments, applied for accession to the Schengen Area in July 2019. In addition to this, a panel of experts has already visited the country to monitor the handling and protection mechanisms of personal data – a procedure that is followed at the preliminary stages prior to a State’s final accession to the Schengen Area.

As for the need to obtain an entry visa for travels to the United States, following the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and the Justice of the Republic of Cyprus with the US Deputy Foreign Minister, solid foundations have been laid for the gradual and total elimination of this obligation. On another note, the Republic of Cyprus, through its close and loyal cooperation with the United States, has become a stabilizing factor in an area of massive liquidity between the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. As early as this year, Cyprus expects to be on the list with dozens of other countries where the holders of their passports are not burdened by the requirement to obtain a visa to travel to the US.

The above scenario demonstrates not only the confidence of foreign Governments towards the Republic of Cyprus but also the commitment of Cyprus to a loyal and effective implementation of the European Regulations and Directives with the goal of combatting money laundering – mainly through foreign investment capital inflows into the local economy.

The Republic of Cyprus remains committed to the cause of enhancing the quality of its passport in providing an even greater number of privileges to its nationals whilst at the same time remaining constantly diligent and prudent with regard to its obligations towards the International Community in the fight against international crime.

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 Savvas Savvides, Partner, at savvas.savvides@kyprianou.com