17 February 2017

According to article 10 of the Aliens and Immigration Law (Chapter 105), no foreign national has an absolute right to enter Cyprus and a ban on entry may be imposed, unless the foreign national holds a valid certificate of permanent residence or, in the case of immigrants, a valid immigration permit or, in the case of temporary residents, holds a valid entry pass. Therefore, if you are not a Cypriot citizen or a citizen of a Member State of the European Union and you wish to enter and stay in Cyprus, you shall first obtain the entry and residence permit depending on the purposes of your stay. The requirements that need to be fulfilled vary, depending on the entry and residence purposes of each person concerned. However, there are some common and/or general requirements that need to be fulfilled, regardless of the entry and residence purposes.

Residence Permits for unpaid interns, university students, school students and volunteers

The Civil Registry and Migration Department, which is the responsible body for the submission and examination of the relevant applications, facilitates the entry process of foreign nationals that participate in EU programmes enhancing mobility to or within European Union, by giving priority to the examination of their applications.

General Requirements concerning all Categories

Article 18ΜΔ of Aliens and Immigration Law sets the general requirements that need to be fulfilled by the third country national, who wishes to enter and reside in Cyprus either for study purposes, either for unpaid internship, either for volunteering purposes or in the context of exchange programmes for school students. The person concerned, namely the citizen of a non -EU country, in order to enter and stay in Cyprus, must:

  • hold a valid travel document, with duration validity of at least 2 years or with duration validity that covers the total duration of stay;
  • hold a medical expenses insurance (all risks coverage);
  • not be considered as a threat to public policy, public security or public health;
  • pay the fee for the processing of the application; and
  • if the person concerned is not yet an adult, a parental permission for the intended stay is also needed.

Special Requirements for Volunteers

The third country national, who intends to enter and reside in Cyprus under a voluntary service programme, must also fulfill, apart from the abovementioned requirements [points (a) – (e)], the following. The person concerned must:

  • not be younger than 18 years old nor older than 30 years old, unless the voluntary service programme defines different ages;
  • adduce the agreement with the competent for the voluntary service programme organization, which must encompass: description of tasks, the working hours, resources that will be allocated to cover travel expenses, living expenses, accommodation costs and pocket money for the entire duration of the stay, as well as description of the training to be followed, in order to ensure that the person concerned will correctly carry out the entrusted tasks;
  • adduce evidence that the competent for the voluntary service programme organization has concluded a liability insurance contract and accepts full responsibility of the person concerned throughout the duration of the stay and, in particular, as regards the living expenses, healthcare costs and any expenses that might arise in connection with repatriation; and
  • attend basic introductory language courses and courses in relation to the history of Cyprus and its political and social structures.

If all the above general (common) and special requirements are met, the persons concerned shall submit an application to obtain permit for entry into Cyprus. Subsequently, within 10 days from their arrival in Cyprus, they shall submit an application to obtain residence permit. Entry Permit or VISA for Volunteers The application in relation to the entry permit or Visa can be submitted either by the person concerned to the Embassy of Cyprus (consular services) in the country of origin or by the competent organization for the voluntary service programme to the District Office of the Aliens and Immigration Service of the District, where this organization is.

3 inner

The application for the issuance of an entry permit or Visa must be accompanied by the following documents and payment of €85, 43 fees:

  • certified copy of a valid passport or other travel document with duration covering either the anticipated duration or at least 2 years;
  • duly certified copy of the criminal record certificate, issued by the relevant authorities of the country of origin, accompanied by an official translation in Greek or in English language;
  • medical tests and/or original health certificate, dully certified by the country of origin and with 4 month effect, which indicate that the person concerned is not suffering from hepatitis B and C, HIV and syphilis. A chest X-ray with 4 month effect is required to indicate that the person concerned is not suffering from tuberculosis;
  • copy of the agreement with the Cypriot organization that is competent for the voluntary service programme, which must encompass: description of tasks, the working hours, resources that will be allocated to cover travel expenses, living expenses, accommodation costs and pocket money for the entire duration of the stay, as well as description of the training to be followed, in order to ensure that the person concerned will correctly carry out the entrusted tasks;
  • evidence that the competent for the voluntary service programme organization has concluded a liability insurance contract and accepts full responsibility of the person concerned throughout the duration of the stay and, in particular, as regards the living expenses, healthcare costs and any expenses that might arise in connection with repatriation;
  • bank guarantee, either by the person concerned (namely, personal bank guarantee) or by the competent for the voluntary service programme organization in relation to any expenses that might arise in connection with repatriation; and
  • proof of payment of the €85,43 fees.

Residence Permit for Volunteers

The citizen of a country that does not participate in the European Union, who has entered Cyprus legitimately for voluntary purposes, must, within 10 days from the arrival date, submit an application to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, in order to obtain a residence permit.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents and payment of €34, 17 fees:

  • certified copy of a valid passport or other travel document with duration covering either the anticipated duration or at least 2 years;
  • medical tests, carried out in Cyprus, and/or original certificate with a 4 month effect, issued in Cyprus (stamped and sealed by a government doctor), indicating that the person concerned is not suffering from hepatitis B and C, HIV and syphilis. A chest X-ray with 4 month effect is required to indicate that the person concerned is not suffering from tuberculosis;
  • certificate that the person concerned will attend basic introductory language courses and courses in relation to the history of Cyprus and its political and social structures;
  • 2 photographs (passport sized); and (e) proof of payment of the €34, 17 fees.

The residence permit is issued for a time period that does not exceed 1 year. In exceptional circumstances and given that the duration of the programme exceeds one year, the duration of the residence permit may correspond to the duration of the programme.

Revocation or Denial to Renew a Residence Permit

The Director of the Civil Registry and Migration Department may revoke or refuse to renew a residence permit, if:

  • it has been fraudulently obtained or
  • it is proved that the holder did not meet or no longer meets the abovementioned general (common) and special requirements or
  • the revocation or denial to renew the residence permit is requested by public policy, public security or public health.

This article is intended to provide general information on the subject and does not constitute legal advice. For further information on the subject and for specific legal advice please contact Antonis Paschalides & Co LLC, (tel. +357 22661661, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )