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

The peculiarity of obtaining "refugee status" in Northern Cyprus.

In Northern Cyprus there is a law according to which the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the Head of the Ministry of Interior have the right to issue a special visa for a period not exceeding 1 year to a foreigner who, in their opinion, "...will have difficulties for humanitarian reasons..." if no other visa is issued to him.

This is a very special visa that is only granted in exceptional cases. However, this visa gives the foreigner access to public health facilities, the possibility to enroll his child in a public school and the possibility to work.

In order for the relevant state authorities to consider the possibility of granting this visa, you must prepare a written application and submit it to the Ministry of the Interior.

This statement should contain the following information:

  • Name and nationality of the applicant (all family members can be combined in one application);
  • Brief description of the situation;
  • Application for this visa for one year;
  • Contact details (telephone number, home address, e-mail).

The application in Turkish should be worded with a reference to the recipient: "İçişleri Bakanlığı- Lefkoşa". Be sure to make a copy of this application, on which you should ask for a stamp that the application has been accepted. 

There is also the "Refugee Rights Association" in Northern Cyprus, which assists in filling out the application for refugee status at the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees).


Telephone: +90 548 830 04 64, e-mail: [email protected]. For reasons of efficiency, we advise you to provide the organisation with all the above information you have submitted to the Ministry of Interior (including, if already submitted, a photo of the accepted application with a stamp).

It is particularly worth mentioning that this organisation has translators so that you can write in any language that is convenient for you.

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