If you’re a non-EU citizen looking to study abroad in Cyprus, you’ll need to apply for a student visa and a temporary residence permit.
Student visas allow you to legally enter and remain in Cyprus for up to 90 days. If your program of study lasts longer than 90 days, you must get your visa converted into a temporary residence permit after your arrival.
EU nationals and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland don’t require a student visa. However, they will need a residence permit if their intended stay exceeds three months.
The cost of a short-stay visa is €20 and the turnaround time on applications is around one month. A residence permit costs an additional €70, and you can expect to receive a decision within three months.
Steps in the application process
We’ve broken down the entire visa and residence permit application process into nine easy steps:
- Enroll at a university in Cyprus: The university will send you a formal admissions letter and might ask you to pay an enrollment fee.
- Send documentation to your university: Your university will ask for a completed visa application form, four passport-sized photographs, a record of your academic qualifications, proof of your English proficiency, and a copy of your passport.
- University makes a visa appointment on your behalf: Once they’ve received the documentation, your institution arranges an interview for you at a Cypriot embassy, mission or consulate in your home country.
- Gather documentation: You’ll need to bring several documents along to your appointment, so it’s best to get these in order first. You can find a full list of what you’ll need in the next section.
- Attend your appointment: A member of staff will ask you about your reasons for travel, your personal details, and information about your studies. You’ll then submit your documentation.
- Wait for a decision: The process is relatively quick and efficient, with most applicants receiving a decision within a month.
- Begin temporary residence permit application: After you’ve arrived in Cyprus, you must visit the Cyprus migration department and submit the documents stated in the section below.
- Submit your biometrics: As part of the application process, staff at the migration department will collect your biometrics and take your signature.
- Have medical examination: International students must undergo medical testing for hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, and syphilis.
What documents will you need?
You must present different documents at different stages of the application process. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need:
For the student visa application:
- A completed application form
- Means to pay the application fee
- A valid passport with an expiry date at least one year after your intended arrival date and a minimum of one blank page
- Four recent passport-sized photographs taken against a white background
- Proof of adequate financial means to support yourself throughout your studies
- Your academic record and qualifications
- Evidence of your English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS)
- A certificate of good conduct from your nation’s police force
- Travel health insurance documents
For the temporary residence permit application:
- Signed and completed temporary residence application form
- Your Cyprus student visa
- Formal admissions letter from your university
- A copy of your passport
- Details of your accommodation in Cyprus
- Proof you have the funds to cover your living expenses
- A medical certificate issued within the last 4 months (to prove you haven’t got TB, Hepatitis B, HIV/AIDs, or syphilis)
- A certificate of police clearance that’s been issued by your home country within the past 6 months
- Evidence of health insurance
- Means to pay the application fee
Cyprus student visa processing time
Once you’ve completed your visa application, it should be processed within 5-10 working days. However, during busier times of the year, this can take up to a month.
It may take another 3 months to process your residence permit, so it’s best to leave yourself plenty of time.
Can your family members travel to Cyprus too?
If you’re a non-EU student who’s been granted a temporary residence permit, your spouse and children (under the age of 18) can apply for a family reunification permit. These permits are usually granted for one year but can be renewed annually. They also take a little longer to process, so be prepared to wait up to nine months for a decision.
EU citizens have the right to live and work anywhere in the EU, including Cyprus. So as long as your family members follow the residence permit application process and submit all of the required documents, they’ll be able to join you on your international adventure.
Can international students work in Cyprus?
International students from EU member states are permitted to work alongside their studies for up to 20 hours per week. However, this is only allowed in certain sectors, like manufacturing, agriculture, and hospitality. These permissions are automatically granted to you, so you don’t need to worry about applying for a work permit.
Unfortunately, non-EU citizens aren’t normally permitted to work in Cyprus. Although the government does make some exceptions, these are rare.
What if your Cyprus student visa is rejected?
Receiving a visa refusal is frustrating and it can feel like your study abroad plans have been derailed. However, there are a couple of things you can do to get your international adventure back on track.
If your application is refused, you’ll receive a letter detailing the main reasons for your rejection. After three months, you can reapply - but make sure you fix the issues that led to your initial refusal first.
If you believe your application was unfairly rejected first-time round, you can send an appeal letter to the Cypriot embassy. This should clearly state your reason for appealing and include all your relevant personal details. It’s best to appeal within 30 days of receiving your rejection letter.