CyprusOfficial Name: Republic of Cyprus
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
Two pages are required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 90 days
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
Metochiou & Ploutarchou Street
Telephone: +(357) 2239-3939
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(357) 2239-3939; wait for the recorded message and press 0
Fax: +(357) 2278-0944
Cyprus is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Since 1974, the Republic of Cyprus has been divided between a government-controlled area, comprising the southern two-thirds of the island, and a northern third administered by Turkish Cypriots. The United States does not recognize the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” nor does any country other than Turkey. Facilities for tourism in Cyprus are highly developed. Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Cyprus for additional information on U.S.-Cyprus relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
You need a passport valid for three months to travel to Cyprus. You also need a visa, unless you are staying for less than 90 days and have a return or onward ticket from Cyprus. You may be asked to show proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay and documents required to travel to your next destination. For stays of longer than 90 days, you need a temporary residency visa; read the “Local Laws & Special Circumstances” section of this fact sheet for more information on this document. Be mindful that the Government of Cyprus does not recognize the residence permits issued by Turkish Cypriots for the portions of the island under Turkish Cypriot administration. The Government of Cyprus does not issue residency permits to individuals who live in the areas outside government control. On occasion, U.S. citizens who resided in the areas which are not under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus for more than 90 days have been detained by officials at Larnaca airport and denied entry into government-controlled areas.
Read the “Special Circumstances” section of this fact sheet for important additional information about entry requirements into the Turkish Cypriot-administered areas. For further information on entry requirements for the Republic of Cyprus, contact the Embassy of Cyprus at 2211 R Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20008-4082, tel. (202) 462-572, or the Cypriot Consulate in New York at 13 East 40th Street, 5th floor, New York, NY 10016, tel. (212) 686-6016/17.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Cyprus. Legislation mandates that aliens known to have certain communicable diseases and HIV be denied entry into the country. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Cyprus before you travel.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to enter the U.N. buffer zone at any place other than a designated crossing point. This area is mined and militarized. Never photograph military installations or anything that could be perceived as being of a security interest. Pay particular attention to areas marked with “no photography” signs. Police on both sides strictly enforce these restrictions.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus on Twitter and Facebook and visiting the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Although the State Department’s crime rating for Cyprus is medium, visitors to any urban areas should take the precautions they would normally take in any large city. Be alert and always vigilant of your surroundings and of your personal belongings. Criminals often target persons who are distracted, alone in an isolated area, or impaired.
Although official police statistics for 2013 show a decrease in home burglaries, this type of crime is still a concern and home break-ins resulting in significant losses of cash, jewelry, and other valuable belongings continue to be reported to the police and in the press. Although most home break-ins take place overnight, this type of crime can take place at any time of day or night, and while home occupants are present, as perpetrators seek targets of opportunity whenever available. As in any major metropolitan area, all travelers and residents should exercise care by locking all doors and windows to their homes, offices, and cars, and not leaving any valuables unattended or out in public view.
Avoid so-called “cabarets” or topless bars, as they reportedly employ women brought to Cyprus for sexual exploitation. These establishments can also present foreign patrons with grossly inflated bar tabs, and customers who refuse to pay may be threatened. Gambling establishments are also best avoided, as some of these locations have been the target of improvised explosive device attacks. Such attacks are believed to be used as a means of intimidation by opposing criminal groups.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport;
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape;
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends; and
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalents to the “911” emergency line in the Republic of Cyprus are 199 and 112. Emergency assistance is available in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots by calling 155.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Cyprus, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. Persons violating Cypriot laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. If you break local laws in Cyprus, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: We are not aware of any special currency or customs circumstances for the Republic of Cyprus.
Since 1974, the Republic of Cyprus has designated Larnaca and Paphos international airports, and the seaports of Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos, as the only legal points of entry into and exit from Cyprus; these ports are all in the government-controlled southern part of the island. Entry or exit via any other air or seaport is considered an illegal act by the Republic of Cyprus Government. Since 2004, when the Republic of Cyprus implemented new EU-related crossing regulations, U.S. citizens (and citizens of other non-EU countries not requiring visas) have been able to cross the checkpoints in both directions regardless of their port of entry into Cyprus.
Cypriot officials at the buffer zone checkpoints or at airports and seaports in the government-controlled areas may detain and prosecute U.S. citizens who have been present for more than 90 days in the areas which are not under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus if they do not possess a residency permit issued by the Republic of Cyprus.
For visits of less than 90 days, U.S. citizens may enter the Turkish Cypriot-administered area by displaying a valid U.S. passport. Stays for 90 days or longer require a “temporary residency visa” issued by Turkish Cypriot authorities. Turkish Cypriots have deported foreigners who violate this “law.” Turkish Cypriots emphasize that the requirement to obtain a “temporary residency visa” within 90 days of arriving in the Turkish Cypriot-administered area cannot be avoided by periodically visiting the southern part of the island controlled by the Republic of Cyprus.
Policy and procedures regarding travel across the buffer zone are subject to change. More information on current procedures may be obtained at the U.N. buffer zone Ledra Palace checkpoint at tel. 357 22 451 944 in Nicosia.
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in the Republic of Cyprus. In January 2014, homosexuality was decriminalized in the area administered by the Turkish Cypriots. Public attitudes tend to be socially conservative in Cyprus, but there have been no reports of violence against LGBT travelers. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Cyprus, you may review the review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013.. For further information on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Cyprus, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. The People with Disabilities Law mandates that public buildings and tourist facilities built after 1999 be accessible to all. However, older buildings frequently lack access for persons with disabilities. Narrow or nonexistent sidewalks and lack of transport, parking spaces, accessible toilets, and elevators all pose problems for persons with disabilities. Cypriot law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, or in the provision of other state services, and in practice the government generally enforces the provisions. For information on accessible travel in Cyprus, visit "Accessible Cyprus: Information for Visitors with Special Access Needs."
Medical care is available both at government hospitals and private clinics. Emergency rooms offer adequate care to stabilize patients, and then patients are transferred to private hospitals. Many of the private-sector doctors have been trained in the United Kingdom or the United States. While fees are generally lower than those in the United States, medical supplies are often more expensive. Paramedics do not staff ambulances. The standard of medical care in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots is improving, but still generally falls below that found in the government-controlled area. The World Health Organization considers Cyprus to be one of the healthiest areas of the Mediterranean. Water supplies are potable, and the refuse collection/sewage disposal system is adequate. Communicable diseases, such as typhoid, are rare. Respiratory ailments and allergies are sometimes exacerbated by the dry and dusty climate.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Cyprus, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Driving conventions and practices in Cyprus differ from those you may be used to in the United States. Speeding, tailgating, overtaking, and the running of caution lights are commonplace and major causes of accidents. Emergency assistance is available in the Republic of Cyprus by calling 112 or 199. Emergency assistance is available in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots by calling 155.
There are few public buses and no rail lines in Cyprus. Taxis are widely available. Traffic moves on the left side of the road, British style, and modern motorways link the major cities. Secondary roads, especially in mountainous areas, tend to be narrow and winding, and not as well maintained as major highways. Traffic laws, signs, and speed limits are consistent with the standards used throughout Europe. Traffic circles (roundabouts) are often utilized at major intersections.
The use of seat belts (in front seats) and child car seats is required. Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets and the use of cellular phones while driving is prohibited unless used with some form of hands-free kit. Liability insurance is mandatory.
Road safety conditions in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots are similar to conditions in the south, except that the road network is less developed. Insurance purchased in the government-controlled area is not valid in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, but insurance for that area may be purchased near the U.N. buffer zone checkpoints.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Cyprus, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Cyprus’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.