The Civil Union Law of 2015 (184(I)/2015) entered into force with the publication of the law in the Official Government Gazette on 09/12/2015. The law introduces the institution of the Civil Union in the legal system of Cyprus. The main responsibility in regard to contracting of Civil Unions is attributed to the Registrar who is the District Officer.
Contracting a Civil Union and its Legal Effect
With the exclusion of the Adoption Law, contracting a Civil Union has respective effects and consequences as if a marriage was solemnized under the provisions of the Marriage Law and any reference included in any legislation of the Republic of Cyprus to “spouse” shall be interpreted as a reference to the Civil Partners of a Civil Union. The law does not determine the sex of the persons intending to contract a Civil Union.
Place and Time of Contracting a Civil Union
The contracting of a Civil Union takes place before the District Officer acting in his capacity as a Registrar. The proceedings take place exclusively by prior appointment at the district of residence of one of the persons concerned or, in case the persons concerned do not permanently reside in Cyprus, at the district of their free choice. The presence of other friends and relatives of the persons concerned during the proceedings can be permitted upon agreement of the competent authority. However, the procedure does not take any excessively celebratory character, in order not to hamper the functioning of the public service.
For verifying the place of residence, persons concerned may present one of the following documents (the list is not exhaustive):
- a confirmation from the community chief Councilor
- utility bills (water, telephone, electricity, garbage etc.)
- any other public document showing place of residence
EU Citizens and third country nationals can present their residence title/permit in case it states the place of their residence.
Tourists have a free choice of district
Requirements – Free Consent and Legal Capacity
Contracting a Civil Union requires the free consent of the persons concerned, as provided in Article 5 of the Law. Failure to comply with this condition may result to a void or annullable Civil Union within the meaning of the Law.
Procedures to Contract a Civil Union – Documents to Submit
Once before the Registrar, the persons concerned submit a completed and signed form titled “Form of Civil Union”. Along with this form, each person has to submit the following documents:
- a) A valid identity card or passport or other equivalent travel document,
- b) An Affidavit (Declaration under Oath) stating that the person concerned:
- has not contracted any other marriage or Civil Union currently in force,
- is not aware of any legal impediment or obstacle to contracting a Civil Union,
iii. has secured all necessary consents required or that no such consent is required.
(c) a duly certified original or a copy of a Non-Impediment Certificate (NIC) or any other duly certified original equivalent certificate issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin of each person wishing to contract a Civil Union.
Non-Impediment Certificate (NIC)
A Non-Impediment Certificate issued by the Director of the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD) acting in his capacity as the Marriage Registrar, is a confirmation that no marriage currently in force has been contracted in the Republic of Cyprus pursuant to the Marriage Law, that no religious marriage currently in force has been registered and that no other Civil Union has been contracted pursuant to the Civil Union Law.
- Cypriot Citizens should submit a NIC issued by the CRMD
- Non-Cypriot residing in the Republic of Cyprus on the basis of a residence permit, any other than the short-term touristic stay, should submit a NIC from the country of their citizenship, as well as a NIC issued by the CRMD.
- Non-Cypriot Tourists residing on the basis of a short-term touristic visa, should submit a NIC only from the country of their citizenship.
Legalization of Documents
Non-Impediment Certificates, or any other documents issued by other countries competent authorities, should be duly certified and officially translated in Greek or English.
- Documents from member countries of the Convention of the Hague of 1961 (Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents), bear the Hague stamp, known as the Apostille stamp.
- In case of a non-member country of the Apostille Convention, documents should be certified from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of origin of the document and the Cypriot consular service. In case no consular authority of Cyprus is established in that country, documents shall be certified with:
- a seal from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of country of origin, a seal from the consular service of that country accredited in the Republic of Cyprus and a seal the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, or
- from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of country of origin and a seal from the closest consular service in that country of a different country also accredited in the Republic of Cyprus.
Dissolving a Civil Union with a Common Statement
A written Common Statement of the Civil Partners to dissolve the Civil Union shall be given in person before the Registrar of the district where the Civil Union was contracted and in the presence of two witnesses who completed 18 years of age and are of sound mind.
The act of dissolving the Civil Union enters into force 60 days after the registration of the Common Statement, unless the Civil Partners withdraw the Common Statement with a new written Common Statement which is given following the same procedure as in the case of the Common Statement to dissolve a Civil Union.