State Department: Cyprus - Consular Information Sheet, October 16, 1996

Cyprus - Consular Information Sheet
October 16, 1996

Country Description: Cyprus is a developed Mediterranean island nation divided "de facto" into two areas. The government of the Republic of Cyprus is the internationally recognized authority on the island but, in practice, its control extends only to the Greek Cypriot southern part of the island. The northern area operates under an autonomous Turkish Cypriot administrative zone supported by Turkish troops. In 1983, this section declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," which is recognized only by Turkey. Facilities for tourism in the southern sector are highly developed; those in the northern Turkish-controlled zone, while adequate, tend to be smaller and less modern.

Entry/Exit Information: A passport is required. Tourist and business visas are issued at the port of entry for a stay of up to three months. Proof of an AIDS test is required of certain entertainers. For additional information concerning entry requirements for Cyprus, travelers can contact the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus at 2211 R Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel: (202) 462-5772, or the Consulate in New York, 13 E. 40th St., New York, New York, 10016, tel: (212) 686-6016. Overseas, contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Cyprus.

Since 1974, the Cypriot government 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 not authorized by the Cypriot government. It is possible for visitors to arrive at non-designated airports and seaports in the northern sector, but they should not expect to cross the United Nations-patrolled "green line" to the government controlled areas in the south. Such travel is not permitted by the government of Cyprus, even for transit purposes. Visitors arriving through designated ports of entry may be able to cross into the north for short day trips. Policy and procedures regarding such travel are subject to change.

Medical Facilities: Good medical facilities are available. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Travelers have found that in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proved to be useful. Further information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers' hotline at (404) 332-4559, Internet:

Crime Information: Cyprus has a low rate of crime. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, tel: (202) 512-1800, fax: (202) 512-2250.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. In Cyprus, the penalties for possession, use, and dealing in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Terrorist Activities: While civil disorder is uncommon in Cyprus, demonstrations sometimes occur, and there have been occasional violent incidents along the "green line" dividing the two sides of the island. Terrorist groups from the Middle East have occasionally used Cyprus as a site for carrying out acts of terrorism against third country targets.

Dual Nationality: U.S. citizens whom the Cypriot government considers to be Cypriot citizens could be subject to compulsory military service and other aspects of Cypriot law while in Cyprus. Those who may be affected can inquire at the Cypriot Embassy regarding their status. In some instances, dual nationality may hamper U.S. Government efforts to provide protection abroad.

Road Condition/Safety: Cyprus has a modern highway system linking major cities and towns. Secondary roads however, especially in mountainous areas, tend to be narrow and winding, and are less well maintained. Traffic moves on the left. Visitors to Cyprus should drive defensively, as Cyprus has one of the highest road fatality rates in Europe.

Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on travel and security in Cyprus. The U.S. Embassy in Nicosia is located at Metochiou and Ploutarchou Street, Engomi, telephone (357-2) 476100.

No. 96-173

This replaces the Consular Information Sheet issued July 12, 1995, to add information on road safety conditions.