When travelling to North Cyprus the majority of nationalities only need be concerned with having a current passport that has at least 6 months validity remaining. Citizens of all EU countries together with Australia, Canada, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland do not require a visa prior to travelling. Other nationalities should check with their local embassy office, or indeed visit the offices of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) if they happen to have a representative in your native country.
However, do remember that at the moment those who fly to Ercan have to land at a Turkish mainland airport first, and Turkish passport and visa requirements may differ.
Passports will be stamped with a 30-day visa at passport control on arrival to North Cyprus. As most visitors on holiday will only require this as a maximum then you need not be concerned about overstaying. However, rules can change very quickly and you may find that a 60 or even 90 day visa stamp has been issued! It is worth asking for a longer visa at passport control if you intend to stay over 30 days as they can give a discretionary automatic extension.
If you do intend to stay longer than your stamp allowance it is possible to visit one of the immigration departments which are located in the larger police stations in Lefkosa, Kyrenia or Famagusta. They have the authority to extend your stay. For children up to the age of 18 travelling to North Cyprus there is no time allowance restriction.
Whilst it is completely unnecessary, as visa stamps for the TRNC in passports are not illegal in any other country, including Greece or south Cyprus, you may, depending on what you have heard, prefer to not have your passport stamped on arrival and departure. If this is the case then tell the official and they will provide you with a separate visa entry form which is then stamped and needs to be kept for your departure when it will be stamped again.
If you intend to visit the south of the island during your stay, then again you will just need to produce either your existing visa paper if you did not want your passport stamped on arrival, or complete a new one at the checkpoint. You generally do not need to show your passport again in the south side unless you are specifically asked for it. The process is then repeated on your return. If you arrive into and depart from North Cyprus via the south from Larnaca or Paphos airports for example, then the above process is also applicable.
However, should you arrive into North Cyprus but then leave via the south of the island, then you have effectively initially arrived via an ‘illegal’ port – according to the Greek Cypriots – and you may be in for a nasty shock as they will more than likely turn you back, so you need to enter and leave via the same location. It may sound strange for visitors, but this has happened before as people are sometimes unaware of the restrictions imposed by the Greek Cypriot authorities.
You can get complete and up to date information from the offices of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in London, telephone +44 (0)207 631 1930, or from the Turkish Tourist Office, telephone +44 (0)207 629 7771.
Should you wish to learn more about permits for working and living in North Cyprus, border crossings or Embassy and High Commissions located in Northern Cyprus, then please visit our Relocation, Border Crossings and Embassy sections.