Visa requirements to visit Cyprus

Although the political situation in Cyprus is complex, it is easy to visit both sides of the island.

Most travelers do not need to obtain a visa in advance to visit the Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus in the south or Northern Cyprus administered by Turkey, or to travel between the two.

Here is everything you need to know about visas for Cyprus.

Visa rules for Cyprus

The Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus claims sovereignty over the entire island, but Cyprus was divided into Greek and Turkish territories in 1974. Today the Republic covers southern and western Cyprus, around 60% of the land. island, while the rest are governed separately as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – often referred to as Northern Cyprus, and recognized only by the government of Turkey.

Visas for the Republic of Cyprus

The Republic is a member of the European Union, but it is not part of the Schengen area, which means that all EU citizens will have to go through immigration checks upon arrival. The good news is that EU citizens, as well as visitors from the UK, US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and many other countries can enter the Republic of Cyprus up to 90 days without visa.

Residents of countries where visas are required to enter the Republic, such as Russia, South Africa and Turkey, must apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the Republic of Cyprus. Check the Foreign Ministry website for a full list. In practice, this is usually a straightforward process.

A 90-day single-entry visa voucher for tourism costs € 20 ($ 23), while a 90-day visa voucher for multiple entries costs € 60 ($ 69) – useful for people intending to do so. the shuttle between southern and northern Cyprus. Applicants do not need to apply in their home country; many travelers use the Cypriot Embassy in Athens before taking a flight to the Republic. Check with your local Cypriot embassy or consulate to see how long it will take to process the visa application.

For entry with or without a visa, your passport must be valid for at least three months after the date of intended departure from Cyprus, with two blank pages for entry and exit stamps. Citizens of the EU and / or Schengen countries can use a national identity card instead of a passport to enter Cyprus.

Check the Republic of Cyprus’s ever-changing entry requirements regarding Covid-19 on the government’s Covid-19 portal, which indicates whether special documents and / or tests are required as well as any quarantine requirements.

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Cyprus’s coastline stretches from beautiful beaches to dramatic cliffs © Shutterstock / Anna Ewa Bieniek

Visa requirement for Northern Cyprus

It is easy for citizens of almost all nations to visit the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which administers the northern part of the island. With a few exceptions, travelers generally do not need to apply for a visa in advance to visit.

Visas valid for 30 to 90 days are usually granted to visitors at land border crossings from the south, as well as at the airport and two ferry ports in Northern Cyprus. Passports must be valid two months after the date of entry into the North; citizens of the EU and / or Schengen countries can use a national identity card instead of a passport.

Check out the ever-changing entry requirements of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus regarding Covid-19 on the Covid-19 Government Travel Rules website, which outlines current document, testing and quarantine requirements .

People enjoying a summer day at Coral Bay Beach
For many visitors, Cyprus is all about the beaches © Kirillm / Getty Images

Crossing between the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus to the south and the Turkish Republic of Cyprus to the north to the north have been separated since the 1970s by the Green Line, a demilitarized zone administered by the UN. It used to be an impregnable barrier, but today the crossing is easy with some minor border formalities.

The rules for traveling between northern Cyprus and the south are the same as for entering either area from outside the island. While a visa is not required to enter from abroad, it will not be necessary to enter by land from the other half of the island. In general, it is easy for travelers to travel to both sides of the island after crossing the border.

Officially, travelers who entered Northern Cyprus from abroad via Ercan Airport or Kyrenia (Girne) and Famagusta (Gazimağusa) ferry ports are not allowed to enter the Republic. In practice, travelers allowed to enter the south without a visa can usually cross without a problem, but it can be more difficult if you are coming from a non-EU state.

There are seven approved land crossings, with sporadic negotiations to increase that number. You can cross by vehicle, bicycle or on foot, depending on which crossing you use, and you can also take a taxi to cross the border to destinations on the other side. The most convenient crossings reach the two halves of the divided capital, known as Nicosia (Lefkosia) in the south and Nicosia north (Lefkoşa) in the north of Cyprus.

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