International Travel

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Country Information

Cyprus

Cyprus
Republic of Cyprus
Exercise normal precautions when traveling in Cyprus.

Exercise normal precautions when traveling in Cyprus. 

  • Do not attempt to enter the United Nations buffer zone at any place other than a designated crossing point. Police and UN forces strictly enforce this restriction. 

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Cyprus:

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Six months remaining validity recommended

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


Two pages for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required for stays under 90 days

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


None

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Nicosia

Metochiou & Ploutarchou Street
2407, Engomi
Nicosia, Cyprus
Telephone:
+(357) 2239-3939
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(357) 2239-3939; wait for the recorded message and press 0
Fax: +(357) 22-266640
Email: 

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Cyprus for information on U.S.-Cyprus relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus website for the most current visa information.

The Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union but is not a party to the Schengen Agreement. For information about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.

  • Passports should have at least six months of remaining validity.
  • You need proof of sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
  • You may enter the Republic of Cyprus for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. For stays longer than 90 days, you will need a temporary residency visa.

Since 1974, the southern part of Cyprus has been under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. The northern part of Cyprus, administered by Turkish Cypriots, proclaimed itself the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”) in 1983. The United States does not recognize the “TRNC,” nor does any country other than Turkey. A buffer zone patrolled by the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), separates the two sides. For U.S. citizen travelers:

  • Enter and exit the Republic of Cyprus ONLY at Larnaca and Paphos airports and at the seaports of Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos. The Republic of Cyprus does not consider entry at Ercan Airport in the north to be a “legal” entrance into Cyprus.
  • You cannot receive a residency permit from the Republic of Cyprus to reside in the northern third of the island.
  • You can stay in the Turkish Cypriot-administered area for less than 90 days by possessing a valid U.S. passport. However, the Republic of Cyprus does not recognize residence permits issued by Turkish Cypriots for stays longer than 90 days.
  • If you stay in the Turkish Cypriot-administered area for over 90 days, you may be detained by Republic of Cyprus officials at Larnaca airport or denied entry into the government-controlled part of the island.

Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of the Republic of Cyprus. There are no restrictions for short-term tourist stays and no HIV testing on entry. Authorities will not grant a residence permit for work or study to a U.S. citizen who tests positive for HIV. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus before you travel.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

U.N. Buffer Zone:

  • Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to enter the United Nations buffer zone at any place other than a designated crossing point.
  • 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 of the island strictly enforce these restrictions.

Terrorism: Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible near-term attacks in Europe. All European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. In the past year, there have been multiple terrorist attacks in Europe. Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets. In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.

For more information, see our Terrorism page.

Crime: Cyprus generally has low crime rates.

  • Be alert and always aware of your surroundings and of your personal belongings. Criminals often target those who are distracted, alone in an isolated area, or impaired.
  • Do not leave any valuables unattended or out in public view.
  • Avoid so-called “night clubs” (topless bars), as they reportedly employ women trafficked to Cyprus for sexual exploitation. Night clubs have presented foreign patrons with grossly-inflated bar tabs, threatening customers who refuse to pay.
  • Avoid gambling establishments, as criminal groups have targeted some of these places for improvised explosive device attacks to intimidate rival groups.
  • Scams: Financial crimes conducted over the internet have increased as scammers attempt to convince you to send them money. These fraudulent schemes can include:
    • Claims that make it appear you are helping a loved one or a friend who has been injured or is in trouble
    • Online dating/social networking services
    • Inheritance notices
    • Work permits/job offers
    • Bank overpayments

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: In the Republic of Cyprus report crimes to the local police by dialing 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy by dialing 22-393939. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home in cases of destitution
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Possesion of a U.S. passport will not prevent you from being detained, prosecuted, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some crimes are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

Travel in the Area Administered by Turkish-Cypriots:

  • See Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements above.
  • The Embassy’s ability to provide assistance to you in this area is limited because the United States does not recognize the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”
  • Immigration officials at Larnaca Airport have occasionally turned around non-EU citizens who announce their intention to stay in hotels or villas determined by the Republic of Cyprus to be on land belonging to displaced Greek Cypriots. For more information on this issue and a full list of such properties, visit the webpage of the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in the United States.
  • Car insurance purchased in the government-controlled area is not valid in the area administered by Turkish-Cypriots. Car insurance for this area may be purchased at the UN buffer zone crossing points.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in the Republic of Cyprus or in the area administered by the Turkish Cypriots. Despite broad legal protections, LGBTI individuals sometimes face societal discrimination and few are open about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Although public attitudes tend to be socially conservative in Cyprus, the U.S. Embassy has not received reports of violence against LGBTI travelers.

See our LGBTI travel information page and section six of our Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:

  • The People with Disabilities Law mandates that public buildings and tourist facilities built after 1999 be accessible to all.
  • 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.
  • Republic of Cyprus law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, or in the provision of other state services.

For information on accessible travel in Cyprus, visit the Accessible Cyprus page of the Cyprus tourist office website.

Students: See our students abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.

Health

Medical care is available both at government hospitals and private clinics. The standard of medical care in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots generally falls below that found in the government-controlled area. 

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend obtaining supplemental insurance for medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Republic of Cyprus to ensure the medication is legal in Cyprus. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. You should similarly confirm with authorities in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots to ensure any medication you are carrying will not present problems. The police there can be contacted at 00903922283411 and the “Drug and Pharmacy Office” at 00903922284156 or 00903922284001.

Be aware that the dry air on the island may aggravate respiratory ailments and allergies.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: While in Cyprus, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States, though modern motorways link the major cities.

  • Traffic moves on the left side of the road – the opposite direction most U.S. citizens are used to. Pedestrians should be extra careful and look both ways before crossing roads.
  • Secondary roads, especially in mountainous areas, tend to be narrow and winding, and not as well maintained as major highways.
  • Speeding, tailgating, overtaking, and the running of caution lights, though illegal, are common and are major causes of accidents.
  • 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 at the UN buffer zone checkpoints.

Traffic Laws: 

  • Traffic laws, signs, and speed limits are consistent with the standards used throughout Europe.
  • The use of seat belts (in front seats) and child car seats are mandatory.
  • The use of cellular phones while driving is prohibited unless used with some form of hands-free kit.
  • Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets.
  • You must have liability insurance.

Public Transportation: There are few public buses and no rail lines in Cyprus. Taxis are widely available.

See our road safety page for more information. Visit the website of Cyprus’ national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

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 Republic 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.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Cyprus should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, https:homeport.uscg.mil, and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings”.

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Cyprus.  For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.”

Last Updated: June 18, 2018

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Nicosia
Metochiou & Ploutarchou Street
2407, Engomi
Nicosia, Cyprus
Telephone
+(357) 22-393939
Emergency
+(357) 22-393939; wait for the recorded message then dial 0
Fax
+(357) 22-266640

Cyprus Map