Your passport, visas & permits are one of the most important elements to sort out in your stay abroad. This travel documents ensure your ability to travel, work, and stay in Cyprus.
Though this information has been carefully researched and presented, this section is intended for reference only. Regulations and requirements change frequently and we strongly recommend that you contact the embassy directly for the most up-to-date information that pertains to your specific situation.
You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The process and cost associated with getting a passport can be high, so start the process at least six months before you plan to leave. Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay. Minors are allowed to travel on their parents' passports up until aged 15 years. Entry to Cyprus is normally refused if you have a passport that is damaged or has pages missing.
To save the risk of losing or having your passport stolen, many expats photocopy their passport information page and visa page and carry a laminated copy of this with them.
A visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials on a passport that allows the bearer to enter the country. This permission is called "entry clearance".
EU citizens do not need a visa for a stay of less than 90 days in Cyprus, and neither do citizens from a total of the following 58 countries.
Visitors from other countries will require a tourist visa to enter Cyprus, and those looking for a longer stay in Cyprus or permanent residence will also need to apply for a visa.
Visas are issued by all the Diplomatic Missions (Embassies and General Consulates) of the Republic of Cyprus, and by all the Honorary Consulates of the Republic of Cyprus abroad in their respective countries.
If you need more information on visa requirements, you may contact the Consular Department of Cyprus:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus,
Presidential Palace Avenue,
Tel: +357 22 401124 / 401131
Fax: +357 22 661881 / 665313 / 665778
To apply for a visa in Cyprus, foreigners must fill out the Cyprus Entry Visa Application, available on the Cyprus' Ministry of Foreign Affairs site. There is also a 20 Euro fee for short stay visa applications, and a 60 Euro fee for multiple entry and longer stay visas.
The applicant will also need to turn in 2 passport-sized photographs in addition to the signed application, and hold a full national passport, valid for at least three months after the applied-for visa's date of expiration (though it is recommended, yet not necessary, that the passport be valid for at least six more months). Also, it helps to have some sort of provisional travel bookings.
There are two types of tourist visas: short-stay and multiple entry. These are available for people who only wish to visit the country for tourism. Work and business are strictly forbidden for individuals holding this type of visa.
Tourist visas should be applied for outside of Cyprus, but can also be issued at the border, though the application fee will be slightly higher. Check the requirements of the embassy or consular you are applying at carefully.
The short-stay visa is valid for a stay of 1 to 90 days, and requires a 20 Euro visa fee. It is recommended for visitors who come to Cyprus for reasons other than immigration or employment, and the duration of the visit cannot exceed three months in any half year.
For those who travel frequently to Cyprus, a multiple-entry visa may be required. On this visa, you may enter Cyprus several times, as long as the total length of the visits does not surpass three months in a six-month period. Usually, multiple-entry visas are valid for a year, but can be issued for up to five years in exceptional cases.
For non-EU citizens a visa is required in order to study in Cyprus, which will be issued by the Migration Officer before arrival in Cyprus. The visa will be applied for by the director of the university you have applied to, and the process time can take up to one month, so all forms should be completed plenty of time prior to arrival.
To apply for a student visa, you must have a passport with at least 1 year validity, a photocopy of the passport, one completed application form, 4 passport-sized photographs, proof of funds to cover your intended stay (approximately 3,500 Euros to 5,500 Euros), official academic certificates from your previous educational institutions, and an 86 Euro fee for the visa.
If you are relocating to Cyprus for work you will need a work visa. Your future employer will submit the application for that work visa to the Civil Archive and Migration Department, but it must be done while you are still abroad.
There are two types of work visas, and both are usually valid for three months or a year:
The application must be submitted alongside a work contract stamped by the Department of Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance. It is the Ministry's responsibility to ensure that there are no qualified Cypriots for the job position you will fill, so they can then recommend that you come to Cyprus for work; after that, you will be issued your entry and work permits.
Several documents are required so your employer can submit the necessary application for your work visa.
Cyprus' Department of Labour's website contains any additional information you may need.
You may also apply for a work visa if you are self-employed; there are six categories of such work visas.
If you are caught working in Cyprus without the proper work visa, you may have to leave the country, as Cyprus is part of the European Union and must follow EU protocol in the matter.
If you do not leave voluntarily, you may be forcibly deported and be barred from re-entering the EU. It is also possible that your employer will be penalized with fines, and in more extreme cases, closure of their workplace.
The visa for retiring in Cyprus is the Category F visa under the self-employed category of work visas. As stated above, a Category F visa requires the following:
Persons who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income, high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession. The annual income required should be at least €9568.17 for a single applicant and moreover at least €4613.22 for every dependent person, but the Immigration Control Board may demand additional amounts as necessary. Most applicants come under this Category, the majority of them being pensioners or retired persons.
The Category F visa can be applied for after arriving in Cyprus on a temporary 90-day stay visa.
For information on other visas, including journalistic and other permits, it is best to consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Cyprus.
If you overstay your Cypriot visa, you may face penalties by border patrol. If you have overstayed by just a couple of days, it is possible border patrol will let you leave without any problems. However, if you overstay your visa by more than a couple of days, you may face a fine of a few hundred Euros or a record in your personal life which will make it harder for you to gain re-entry to any EU nation.
More severe punishments can also include a ban on re-entry for 1 to 3 years or immediate deportation.
Permanent Residence offers long-term expats the right to stay in the country without having to continually re-apply, lets them apply for naturalization citizenship, gives them increased ability to buy property, offers greater access to work permits and may be a necessity if you have a Cypriot family.
You can apply for a temporary or permanent residency permit for Cyprus with an application to the Civil Registry and Migration Department of the Ministry of the Interior.
An application for an Alien Registration Card (ARC) must be made within 8 days of arrival in the country at any police station with an immigration branch. The application for the residency permit must be done before your original three-month stay in Cyprus expires. The permit is valid for five years (if it is for employment purposes), and for EU citizens permanent residence is possible if you have lived in Cyprus for five years.
To qualify for a residency permit, you need:
There are several ways to obtain citizenship in Cyprus, most of which involve having Cypriot heritage or marrying into a Cypriot family.
If either of your parents are Cypriot, you may apply for Cypriot citizenship; this is significantly easier if you have applied for citizenship before turning 18, though you can still obtain citizenship as an adult.
Citizens of the UK or another Commonwealth country can apply for citizenship if they have lived in Cyprus for a year or more.
Foreigners that have been married to a Cypriot citizen and lived with them for three years or more can apply for Cypriot citizenship, as long as two of the three years have been spent living in Cyprus. The documents required along with such an application include:
Though it is quite hard to obtain Cypriot citizenship by naturalization, it is still possible. In the 8 years before your application, you must have spent at least 5 years residing within Cyprus. Your application must also include the necessary fee, and the following documents:
Cyprus is a member of the European Union, so Cypriot citizenship automatically bestows EU citizenship, meaning you can travel and live freely in any of the EU member states. Therefore, another EU citizenship is not a problem.
Furthermore, Cyprus permits dual citizenship for all countries, so you are allowed to keep citizenship from your country of origin while also obtaining Cypriot citizenship.
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