- General information about Cyprus
- Entering Cyprus
- Importing Animals to Cyprus
- Importing vehicles
- Health & Safety / Inoculations
- Acquisition of immovable property
- Safety in Cyprus
General information about Cyprus
Government and Regime
Cyprus is an independent sovereign Republic with a presidential system of government. Under the 1960 Constitution, executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic, elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term of office. The President exercises executive power through a Council of Ministers appointed by him. Ministers may be chosen from outside the House of Representatives. Cyprus is a member of the E.U, United Nations and U.N. Agencies. It is also a member of the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and many other international Organizations.
The legislative authority in the Republic is exercised by the House of Representatives now consisting of eighty members (56 of whom are to be Greek Cypriots and 24 Turkish Cypriots) elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term. At the time of its establishment, the House consisted of 50 members, 35 of whom were to be Greek Cypriots and 15 Turkish Cypriots. According to the constitution the ratio is 70% Greek Cypriots and 30% Turkish Cypriots. Following the withdrawal of the Turkish Cypriot members, the House has been functioning only with the Greek Cypriot members.
The administration of justice is exercised by the island’s separate and independent Judiciary. Under the 1960 Constitution and other legislation in force, the following judicial institutions have been established: The Supreme Court of the Republic, The Assize Courts, District Courts, Military Court, Industrial Disputes Court, Rent Control Courts and Family Courts. The Supreme Courts is the final appellate court in the Republic and the final adjudicator in matters of constitutional and administrative law.
Population of Main Towns (As of end 2004)
Nicosia : 219.200 (part of Lefkosia in the Government controlled area)
Limassol : 172.500
Larnaka : 77.000
Pafos : 51.300
Famagusta : 41.200
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its 9,251 square kilometers (3,572 square miles) encompass citrus and olive groves, pine forested mountains, and some of Europe's cleanest beaches. Also the easternmost island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is approximately 105kilometres (60 miles) west of Syria, 75kilometres (47 miles) south of Turkey and 380kilometres (200 miles) north of Egypt. The nearest Greek point is the Greek island of Rhodes which is 380kilometres (200miles) to the west. The island has a mild, typically Mediterranean climate, with abundant sunshine even in winter and little rainfall. The latitude of Cyprus is 34° 33'-35° 34' North, and its longitude 32° 16'-34° 37' East.
Legal ports of entry
The legal ports of entry into the Republic of Cyprus are the airports of Larnaka and Pafos and the ports of Larnaka, Limassol, Latsi and Pafos, which are situated in the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. Any entry into the territory of the Republic of Cyprus via any other port or airport in the area of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic does not exercise effective control (Turkish occupied area) is illegal.
Categories of visas
1. 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.
2. Airport Transit Visa (ATV)
This visa entitles aliens who are required to have such a visa to pass through the international transit area of Cypriot airports without actually entering the national territory of Cyprus, during a stop-over or transfer between two stages of an international flight. The requirement to have this visa is an exception to the general right to transit without a visa through Cyprus.
3. Transit visa
This visa entitles aliens who are travelling from one Third State to another Third State, to pass through the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. This visa may be issued for one, or exceptionally several transits, provided that the duration in each case does not exceed five days and provided that the entry of the alien into the territory of the destination Third State is guaranteed and that the route taken normally requires transit through Cyprus.
4. Group Visas
This is a transit visa or a visa limited to a maximum of thirty days, which may be affixed to a group passport - except where national legislation provides otherwise - issued to a group of aliens formed prior to the decision to travel, provided that the members of the group enter the territory, stay there and leave it as a group. Group visas may be issued to groups of between 5 and 50 people. The person in charge of the group shall possess an individual passport and, where necessary, an individual visa.
5. Long-stay visas
Visas for visits exceeding three months for the following categories:
Importing Animals to Cyprus
Information concerning the non commercial entry of companion animals (Dogs, Cats and Ferrets) into the territory of the Republic of Cyprus According to the European Union (EU) Regulation 998/2003/EK, the relevant amendments incurred and the Importation and unloading of animals, animal products, biological products and animal feed decree 1990 (Κ.Δ.Π 250/90), the non commercial entry of companion animals into to the territory of the Republic of Cyprus through the officially assigned by the government entry posts (airports, harbors or marinas) is allowed if they fulfil the relative, for their country of origin, provisions set forth by the Veterinary Services of the Republic of Cyprus.
1. The animals should be transported in cages which are made in accordance with the IATA specifications
2. Upon arrival either the Veterinary Officer or the Customs Officer on duty, on behalf of the Veterinary Services at the point of entry, inspects each animal’s and accompanying documents.
• The animal will be allowed to enter without being subjected to quarantine if it fulfils the relative to its case veterinary provisions.
• The Veterinary Officer in charge decides, according to the veterinary provisions in force, if the animal to enter will be subjected to quarantine or enter without being subjected to quarantine.
3. Quarantine Fees:
Dogs: EUR 205.2 (each) in case a 6 months home quarantine period is applied or the equivalent amount in EUR 34.20 for each month of home quarantine plus VAT.
Cats: EUR 205.2 (each) in case a 6 months home quarantine period is applied or the equivalent amount in EUR 34.20 for each month of home quarantine plus VAT.
Note*: The home quarantine applies until the authorization and approval of the specialized for this purpose private kennels. The quarantine fees paid include the possible vaccination against Rabies virus, Clinical examination fees in case the animal become ill during quarantine as well as travelling expenses of the inspectors that would perform the inspections.
Any other costs occurred (for drugs or pharmaceutical treatments) due to the necessary treatments would be covered by the owner.
(b) At authorized and approved for this purpose private kennels. The overall amount for animal boarding and lodging during the period in which it would be kept in quarantine will be burden by the owner.
4. Inspection fees upon arrival:
Dogs: EUR 60
Cats: EUR 60
5. Inspection of the companion animal’s accompanying identification documents
For identity verification and to safeguard that the provisions in force are fulfilled the Veterinary Officers an/or the Customs Officers will do the inspection of the accompanying documents on behalf of the Veterinary Services.
Companion animals originating from EU member countries enter Cyprus without paying inspection fees once the relevant provisions in force is verified that are fulfilled.
In case the provisions are not, in any way, fulfilled the Customs Officers on duty calls upon the Veterinary Officer on duty. In this case the companion animal is subjected to quarantine and the animal owner is obliged to pay the legal inspection fees, the quarantine fees plus VAT.
Companion animals originating from third countries are inspected by the Veterinary Officer on duty and once the provisions in force are fulfilled the animal enters Cyprus after paying the legal inspection fees.
In case the provisions are not, in any way, fulfilled the companion animal is subjected to quarantine and the animal owner is obliged to pay the legal inspection fees, the quarantine fees plus VAT.
At Paphos Airport the Veterinary Officer in charge goes for inspection at the airport after the animal owners have informed at least 48 hours prior arrival the Paphos District Veterinary Office by telephone about the date, time and flight number with which the animal arrives in Cyprus.
6. The owner or the person responsible for the animal is obliged to communicate to the District Veterinary Office of the point of entry, 48 hours prior arrival, the date, time of arrival and flight number of the aircraft or the name of the vessel with which the animal arrives in Cyprus.
7. The fees paid may change without any prior announcement.
WARNING: In case the provisions in force are in any way violated it may result in animals’ re-exportation, confiscation or euthanasia without any kind of compensation given to the owner.
For all information concerning importing a car to Cyprus from
(a) the European Union,
(b) a Third Country and
(c) Classic cars, as well the relevant car tax (duties) on new or imported cars brought to Cyprus for all the aforementioned categories, please visit the web page of the Customs Department, of the Ministry of Financewww.mof.gov.cy/ce
or contact them at:
Tel.: +357-22-601748 or +357-22-601753
Fax : +357-22-302031
For all information concerning the registration of the said car (regulations, fees, vehicle categories, etc.), Roadworthiness test, driving licenses (e.g. the types of Cypriot driving licenses, international driving license, the possible exchange of a foreign driving license for a Cypriot one, etc,), as well as other useful information, (e.g. Penalty Point System, Highway Driving Code, Driving Tests, etc.), please contact the Department of Road Transport, of the Ministry of Communications and Works at:
Tel: +357-22-807120, +357-22-807106.
Health & Safety / Inoculations
Medical Services and Hospitals
Medical care-needs in Cyprus are met through:
1. Government General Hospitals
2. Private Clinics/Hospitals
Government General Hospitals and Private clinics/hospitals are mostly concentrated in urban areas, while health centers, sub-centers, and dispensaries function in the rural areas, providing a network to meet the medical needs of the whole population.
All Government General Hospitals as well as some private clinics have Accident and Emergency Departments for emergency cases. Medical treatment and assistance is offered free of charge to international tourists in case of health emergencies at the Accident and Emergency Department of Government Hospitals/Institutions. Out-patient and in-patient treatment is provided against payment of the prescribed fees, except for EU citizens who produce form E111, issued by their country's health care authorities.
Holiday-makers can also make use of their health insurance, which covers medical expenses, provided that this insurance covers the length of their stay on the island.
Almost all brands of manufactured medicines are available in Cyprus. Local newspapers list pharmacies which are open during the night and on weekends/holidays, as well as the names of doctors who are on call on weekends/holidays.
Acquisition of immovable property
Under Cyprus Law, Cyprus citizens as well as E.U. citizens who have their permanent residence in Cyprus are allowed to acquire any property without any restrictions.
The residential status is ascertained by the district Offices and is obtained when a person resides in Cyprus for a total period of 183 days per year or more.
Foreigners and E.U. citizens who are not permanent residents in Cyprus, wishing to purchase immovable property in Cyprus, are obliged to adhere to special formalities and are restricted by certain regulations.
Restriction as to the size and type of the property. The above individuals are given permission to acquire only one of the following:
• one apartment
• one building
• building plot or land up to 4,014 m2
For foreigners living or working in Cyprus for a long period of time a permit to acquire a second house can be granted.
After the permission has been obtained and the property is registered in the name of the purchaser, there are no other restrictions for the foreigner. The owner of the immovable property can sell or dispose of the property as he wishes, as any bona fide repeat purchaser will be granted a subsequent permit.
Approval by the Council of Ministers
According to Cyprus Law, foreigners must obtain the permission of the Council of Ministers prior to the acquisition of real estate property.
Recently these powers have been assigned to the pertinent authorities of every district, in order for the procedure to become speedier.
A foreigner – the law uses the term “alien” – is any person who is not the citizen of the Republic, including an alien controlled company. The term does not include the non Cypriot spouses of the citizens of the Republic.
Acquisition of real estate property includes:
• Transfer of title deed
• Long lease for periods of more than 33 years.
• The acquisition of shares in a company that owns immovable property, if such an acquisition results in the company becoming controlled by foreigners.
• The establishment of a trust or any type of set-up, which is connected with the ownership of the real estate, for the benefit of a foreigner, including tax benefits.
Although the proceedings for the obtaining of the permission might need a considerable amount of time to be fulfilled, purchasers are entitled to occupy their properties until then.
In addition to that any contract for the purchase or lease of property is valid even if the pertinent authority rejects the foreigner’s request for a permit. As such, when purchasing a property, it is advisable for the relevant contract to include provisions for such an event so as to secure a refund of any money paid or any other remedy.
The application to the pertinent authority requires information about the personal details and financial standing of the applicant and particulars of the property and its present owner. Also it must be accompanied by a number of legal documents.
As a general rule permission is granted to bona fide applicants provided they have:
• No criminal record in their country or in Cyprus.
• The financial means to support themselves in Cyprus. (An income of EUR20.520 per annum between the couple is considered satisfactory).