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Cyprus ‘took 17 years’ to naturalise half-Cypriot woman

Ombudsman Eliza Savvidou has taken the Migration Department to task for taking close to 17 years to decide whether or not naturalise a woman who is half Cypriot.

The woman, whose mother is Cypriot, moved to Cyprus when she was 11 and first applied for Cypriot nationality as a university student a few years later in 2000 because it had become increasingly difficult for her to renew her residency permit as a Moldovan national.

Having failed to get a response to her application for three years, the woman filed a complaint with the Ombudsman’s Office in 2003.

The Ombudsman’s Office, in turn, sent three letters to the Migration Department over the course of many years and was, each time, told that the woman’s application was being evaluated and that there was a large backlog of cases the department was trying to work through.

It took two years for a fourth letter in 2014 to even receive the same response from the Migration Department.

Savvidou eventually sent a letter of warning in April last year demanding the Migration Department complete its evaluation of the woman’s application within two months, noting there was no excuse for any further delay.

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