Cyprus, Nicosia

Is it possible to obtain “refugee” status in Northern Cyprus?

Updated: 4 months ago

In Northern Cyprus, there is a law allowing the leaders of the Ministry of Interior to grant a special one-year visa to foreigners who "face difficulties in terms of humanitarian conditions" if they return to their home country.

This visa, known as the Refugee Visa or Humanitarian Visa, can be obtained in exceptional cases and grants: access to public health institutions, the right to work, and the right to use educational services (free kindergarten and school).

беженцы северный кипр

Refugee Visa

To have the state authorities consider the possibility of granting a special refugee visa, a written application must be filed with the Ministry of Interior. The application must include:

  • Full name and citizenship of the applicant (all family members can be included in one application);
  • A brief description of the situation;
  • A request for a one-year refugee visa;
  • Contact information (phone number, residential address, email).

The application should be written in Turkish, and addressed to 'İçişleri Bakanlığı- Lefkoşa.' Ensure you make a copy of the document and get a stamp confirming that the application was accepted.

Additionally, in Northern Cyprus, the "Refugee Rights Association" helps prepare applications in a preliminary meeting at UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) for refugee status.

Humanitarian Visa

Suitable for countries experiencing military action or humanitarian disaster. For example, due to the war in Ukraine, its citizens have the right to obtain a humanitarian visa in Northern Cyprus. Choose the appropriate option when selecting the type of residence permit (İnsani İkamet İzni / Humanitarian Residence Permit) and follow the list of documents requested by the system. A key difference is that in this case, financial means are required in any amount, without a lower limit.

You can send your Ministry of Interior application to the organization (along with a photo of the accepted application with a stamp if already submitted). The "Refugee Rights Association" has translators, so you can describe your situation in any language you find convenient.

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