Expats applying for a visa for Cyprus should be aware of the political situation in the country. The Republic of Cyprus does not recognise the secessionist north and, consequently, its visa rules only apply to the south of the island. It also views all ports of entry in the Turkish-occupied north, including the airports, as illegal and advises that valid visa holders enter Cyprus through the south to avoid any problems.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cyprus, the legal points of entry into the country are the airports of Larnaca and Paphos, as well as the ports of Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and Latsi.
Tourist visas for Cyprus
Some nationalities don’t need a visa for visits of up to 90 days, including residents of EU countries and citizens of the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Residents from non-EU countries such as South Africa and India require a visa for Cyprus.
Those applying for tourist visas, also known as a short-stay visa, must be able to show that they have access to sufficient funds for their stay and must present proof of a round-trip ticket. If the purpose of the visit is to see family and friends, a letter of invitation must also be submitted.
Regular short stay visas allows entry to the country for up to 90 days, and can be issued for single or multiple entries in a 180-day period. Multiple-entry short-stay visas are valid for one to five years, but also only allow stay of 90 days in a 180-day period.
Business visas for Cyprus
Business visas have similar requirements to standard tourist visas, although an employer’s letter dated within one month of the entry into Cyprus is required to attest to the applicant’s salary. Self-employed expats can provide a solicitor, accountant or bank manager’s letter. If travelling on a business trip, applicants must produce an official letter of invitation from the company in Cyprus.
Residence and work permits for Cyprus
While visas allow expats into the country, they will have to apply for a long-term residence permit to stay for an extended period. Residence and immigration permits in Cyprus are administered by the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD).
Immigration permits for Cyprus
According to legislation, only expats who fall within certain categories can apply for an immigration permit. The success of an application is determined by the Immigration Control Board. These are the three categories most popular among expats: individuals who have enough money at their disposal to allow a decent living without having to work (this is the most popular category and includes pensioners and retirees), individuals who have been offered permanent employment that won’t create undue local competition, and individuals who intend to be self-employed, have the relevant permits and have adequate funds at their disposal.
Residence and work permits for Cyprus
The two-in-one Temporary Residence and Employment Permit for Cyprus is generally submitted by an employer to the Civil Registry and Migration Department via their local District Aliens and Immigration Branch of the Police.
In addition, the Ministry of Employment and Social Insurances has to certify the employment contract, proving that there are no Cypriots or EU citizens who are available or qualified to fill the post, before recommending that a third-country national be employed.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For more information on life on the island, see our Moving to Cyprus page
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