As a member of the EU, under community laws EU nationals have the right to enter the country with an identity card or valid passport and to seek work. For non-EU nationals, employment permits have to be obtained before entering Cyprus. The nationals of many non-EU countries do not require a visa to enter Cyprus for a stay not exceeding three months. Details of visa-exempt countries and visa application procedures are available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website ( www.mfa.gov.cy ).
It has to be noted that Cyprus has harmonized its legislation to include the provisions of the Council Directive 2016/801, of 11 May 2016, on a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purposes of scientific research. The active national legislation which integrated the Directive is Law N.7(I)2019 “Aliens and Immigration (Ammending) Law of 2019”.
The Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) has been nominated by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus as the “Competent Authority” for the Approval of Research Organisations wishing to host Third Country Nationals Researchers, under the provisions of Directive 2016/801/EC, on a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purposes of scientific research”, as transposed into Cypriot National Legislation under Law N.7(I)2019 “Aliens and Immigration (Ammending) Law of 2019”.
The RIF publishes and regularly updates the list of Research Organisations approved for the purposes of the abovementioned Law in the following document: List of Approved Research Organisations under the “Aliens and Immigration (Ammending) Law of 2019 (N.7(I)2019).
Public and Private Organisations wishing to apply for the Approval under the provisions of the abovementioned Law N.7(I)/2019 should use and submit to RIF the following form: Application for the Approval of a Research Organisation under the “Aliens and Immigration (Ammending) Law of 2019 (N.7(I)/2019)
Research Organisations should submit to the RIF a written declaration that, in cases where a Third Country National Researcher remains illegally in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, the said Organisation is responsible for reimbursing the costs related to the Researcher’s stay and return incurred by public funds. The financial responsibility of the Research Organisation shall end at the latest six months after the termination of the Hosting Agreement. Research Organisations should use the following Certification of Undertaking Financial Responsibility.
According to the provisions of Law N.7(I)2019, an approved Research Organisation wishing to host a Third Country National Researcher shall sign a Hosting Agreement with the latter, whereby the Researcher undertakes to complete the research project and the Organisation undertakes to host the researcher. Research Organisations should use the following Template Hosting Agreement.
Incoming Researchers should note that most Cypriot Research Organisations and Institutions have endorsed the The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
The principle of the free movement of workers within Europe is applied in Cyprus since 1st May 2004. It covers the citizens of all member states of the EU. It also covers the citizens of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which belong to the European Economic Area, as well as the citizens of Switzerland. In the text that follows the term “member state” or “EU citizen” means any one of the abovementioned countries.
The employment of European citizens is regulated by Law N.92(I)/2003 “Law on Free Movement and Residence of Nationals of the Member States of the European Union and their Families”.
According to this legislation, the freedom of movement and residence in the Republic can be restricted only on the grounds of reasonable threat of public order, safety or health. So, as from 1st May 2004, any EU national can enter the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by simply showing a valid passport or identity card. The members of the family have the same right as the European national whom they are dependant. The issue of a visa is not required, unless the members of the family are not nationals of an EU member state. In that case, a residence document is issued, having the same validity as that issued to the national of a member state whom he/she is dependant.
There are 2 main visa categories available. These are the following:
Short-stay or Travel Visas / Multiple-entry Visas
This visa entitles aliens who seek to enter the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, for reasons other than immigration, to pay a continuous visit or several visits, the duration of which does not exceed three months in any half-year from the date of first entry. As a general rule, this visa may be issued for one or several entries.
In the case of aliens who need to travel frequently to Cyprus, for example on business, short-stay visas may be issued for several visits, provided that the total length of these visits does not exceed three months in any half-year. This multiple entry visa may be valid for one year, and in exceptional cases, for more than a year but for no more than five years for certain categories of persons.
Visas for visits exceeding three months can be issued for the following categories:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (Consular Information – Travel Information for Foreign Visitors) contains further information regarding entry regulations to Cyprus, visa application procedure, fees and the documents required as well as a list of countries, whose nationals are required to have a visa to enter the Republic of Cyprus.
Visas are issued by all the Diplomatic Missions (Embassies and General Consulates) and all the Honorary Consulates of the Republic of Cyprus abroad in their respective countries. Additionally, visas can also be issued by the British High Commissions / Embassies in some countries. Further information and contact details of all Diplomatic Missions and Consulates are available on the abovementioned website.