Cyprus has launched the ‘Golden Knowledge’ programme, allowing foreign tech professionals in research and innovation to acquire Cypriot citizenship through a fast-track process. The goal is to attract specialized talent, boost economic growth, and promote innovation, with criteria including financial independence, good character, and a basic knowledge of Greek.
What is the ‘Golden Knowledge’ programme in Cyprus?
The ‘Golden Knowledge’ programme is an initiative by Cyprus, allowing foreign tech professionals in research and innovation to acquire Cypriot citizenship through a fast-track process. It aims to attract specialized talent, boosting the country’s economic growth through knowledge and expertise. Criteria include financial independence, good character, and a basic knowledge of Greek.
In a fresh legislative move aimed at enhancing the local tech sector, the House has approved a transformation of the Civil Registry Law. This pivotal change paves the way for foreign nationals, specifically those in ‘research and innovation’, to obtain Cypriot citizenship through a fast-tracked process.
Legislation to Lure Tech Expertise
Crafted by Diko MP Nicolas Papadopoulos, this amendment stands separate from previous investment-driven initiatives that have stirred controversy. “It has nothing to do with investing [in Cyprus] but rather with knowledge,” Papadopoulos pronounced before the vote. His vision is clear: drawing in specialized professionals is equivalent to investing in the nation’s future, potentially yielding substantial economic advantages.
Criteria for Candidates
The law’s relaxation touches on several key points. The duration of residence in Cyprus prior to citizenship application is reduced, and while a working knowledge of the Greek language is still necessary, the bar is set in a way that is achievable for many. Applicants must be financially independent, free of criminal history, and regarded as individuals of good character. Importantly, family members meeting certain conditions are also eligible for citizenship, with the entire application process streamlined to conclude within eight months.
Safeguards and Support
Acknowledging the need for checks and balances, Akel’s Aristos Damianou emphasized the requirement of physical presence on the island, ensuring applicants have genuine connections to Cyprus. Damianou highlighted the significant contribution of research and innovation firms to the economy, with a workforce predominantly composed of Cypriot nationals.
A Cap on Citizenship
An interesting twist came from Greens MP Charalambos Theopemptou and independent MP Alexandra Attalidou, who proposed capping the number of naturalisations to 4,000. However, this amendment did not pass. Attalidou voiced her concern, expressing a lack of confidence in the cabinet’s discretion in granting citizenships.
The legislation signifies a strategic decision to bolster the nation’s tech talent pool and foster an environment ripe for innovation. With the presence of existing experts and a well-crafted legal framework, Cyprus is set to nurture its ‘golden knowledge’ programme, all while maintaining rigorous standards to ensure the programme’s integrity and prosperity.
- Cyprus has launched the ‘Golden Knowledge’ programme, allowing foreign tech professionals in research and innovation to acquire Cypriot citizenship through a fast-track process.
- The goal of the programme is to attract specialized talent, boost economic growth, and promote innovation.
- Criteria for eligibility include financial independence, good character, and a basic knowledge of Greek.
- The legislation includes safeguards to ensure applicants have genuine connections to Cyprus.
- There is no cap on the number of naturalizations, despite a proposed amendment to limit it to 4,000.