Special Travel Circumstances in 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. Formerly, visitors choosing to arrive at non-designated airports and seaports in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots were not allowed to cross the U.N.-patrolled buffer zone to the government-controlled area in the south. 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 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 relevant authorities of 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 Cypriot authorities have deported foreigners who violate this law. Turkish Cypriot authorities 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 357 22 451 944 in Nicosia.

If you plan to get married in Cyprus, national authorities may request a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage, attesting that you are single and free to marry, issued by an official in the United States and certified by an apostille. For further information and assistance regarding marriage in Cyprus, U.S. citizens should contact the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Cyprus customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Cyprus of items such as firearms.Cyprus also restricts the export of Byzantine period ecclesiastical material and all archaeological material, including ancient coins. U.S. Customs and Border Protection may impose corresponding import restrictions in accordance with the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. There are no restrictions on contemporary religious materials and medication for personal use. You should contact the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington, DC for specific information regarding customs requirements or visit their online Customs information. Also see our Customs Information.

Dual nationals may be subject to laws that impose special obligations on citizens of Cyprus. For example, U.S. citizens whom the Republic of Cyprus considers to be Cypriot citizens may be subject to compulsory military service and other aspects of Cypriot law while in Cyprus. Male U.S. citizens between the ages of 16 and 26 years who reside in the United States and whose parents or grandfather were Greek Cypriots or have Greek Cypriot names should get written confirmation that they reside permanently outside of Cyprus from the Cypriot Embassy in Washington, DC before they travel to Cyprus. After their arrival in Cyprus, they should present their foreign residency confirmation statement to the Cypriot National Guard Registration office to obtain an exit permit. Those who believe they may be affected should inquire at the Embassy of Cyprus in Washington, DC regarding their status. U.S. citizens whom the Turkish Cypriot authorities consider to be "citizens" may also be subject to compulsory military service in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. The U.S. Embassy in Nicosia is unable to exempt dual nationals from such service. For additional information, please see our dual nationality information.

U.S. citizens who buy or lease property, particularly in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, may find their ownership challenged by people displaced as a result of the 1974 conflict. Prospective property buyers should always seek legal advice before buying. It is a felony in the Republic of Cyprus to buy, rent, or sell property in Cyprus without the consent of the registered owner. Cypriot courts have used the law to prosecute people involved in the sale or purchase of property in the area administered by the Turkish Cypriots. The Government of Cyprus has also attempted to enforce Cypriot legal judgments in property matters in other EU countries. Cypriot customs authorities routinely detain anyone arriving in Cyprus or crossing the buffer zone found to be in possession of documents relating to property purchases in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots.

Disclaimer

You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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