Exercise normal precautions when traveling in Cyprus.
Do not attempt to enter the United Nations buffer zone at any place other than a designated crossing point. Police and UN forces strictly enforce this restriction. Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Cyprus:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Cyprus.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
UN Buffer Zone: Since 1974, the southern part of Cyprus has been under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. The northern part of Cyprus, administered by Turkish Cypriots, proclaimed itself the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”) in 1983. The United States does not recognize the “TRNC,” nor does any country other than Turkey. A buffer zone patrolled by the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, separates the two sides. For U.S. citizen travelers:
- Enter and exit the Republic of Cyprus ONLY at Larnaca and Paphos airports and at the seaports of Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos. The Republic of Cyprus does not consider entry at Ercan Airport in the north to be a “legal” entrance into Cyprus.
- You cannot receive a residency permit from the Republic of Cyprus to reside in the area north of the UN buffer zone.
Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with minor edits.
Originally Published: August 21, 2019