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Issues flying into N.Cyprus (ECN), departing Cyprus (LCA)?

Issues flying into N.Cyprus (ECN), departing Cyprus (LCA)?

Old Jul 22, 16, 5:10 pm
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Issues flying into N.Cyprus (ECN), departing Cyprus (LCA)?

This summer, we are schedule to fly NCE-IST-ECN, then cross overland from N.Cyprus to Cyprus. At the end of our trip, we are exiting the country from LCA. We are all U.S. passport holders. Will there be any issue? I've read that for EU and US passports, they don't seem to care at LCA.
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Old Jul 22, 16, 7:23 pm
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I (USC) cross the border on foot. The Turkish side stamps, the EU side didn't. It was clear that the EU side couldn't give a hoot about the lack of entry/exit stamps into Greek Cypirot territory.

In brief, don't fret.

p.s. if you're worried about not having the EU entry stamp and eventually exiting through the EU, too, don't. I've had the same issue with landing at FCO and leaving from MUC (Italy...doesn't always stamp).
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Old Jul 22, 16, 10:35 pm
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Please continue to follow this thread in the FT Europe Forum
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Old Jul 23, 16, 12:11 am
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You've heard wrong....and this is based on personal experience.

The Republic of Cyprus will not prevent a "technically" illegal entry from Northern Cyprus......but if your departing the Republic at LCA or PFO (Paphos), you can expect a secondary interview....with a lot of head shaking.

Ultimately, they'll let you depart if you show sufficient contrition.
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Old Jul 23, 16, 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
This summer, we are schedule to fly NCE-IST-ECN, then cross overland from N.Cyprus to Cyprus. At the end of our trip, we are exiting the country from LCA. We are all U.S. passport holders. Will there be any issue? I've read that for EU and US passports, they don't seem to care at LCA.
EU citizens have the right to enter and leave Cyprus freely.

US citizens don't. However, you'll be trying to leave, and they won't stop you from leaving.

It sounds like you've already booked this. It seems a bit pointless to ask after booking it, would you really change your plans because they are technically illegal?

Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
I (USC) cross the border on foot. The Turkish side stamps, the EU side didn't. It was clear that the EU side couldn't give a hoot about the lack of entry/exit stamps into Greek Cypirot territory.
The Greek side doesn't stamp because it is not a border crossing according to them. But when you leave LCA there will be no corresponding entry. Yes they don't really care, mainly because you are trying to depart.
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Old Jul 23, 16, 10:29 am
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if it is illegal, what penalty is written in the law?
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Old Jul 24, 16, 1:22 am
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
if it is illegal, what penalty is written in the law?
As far as the law is concerned, penalties for illegal entry are up to 12 months in prison, and/or a fine and/or deportation.

However the current relatively relaxed border situation means only people who are required to hold a visa for the Republic of Cyprus, but don't, are treated as illegal entrants if they cross the line between Turkish and ROC controlled territory at an approved crossing point. This is a political decision on enforcement, it isn't written into the law itself, and so is subject to change.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 1:15 pm
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So, we flew into ECN and got a taxi that drove us through the green zone, past the check point and into Cyprus. The same guy took us all the way to Ayia Napa. On the way out of LCA we had extra grilling because we were flying from Cyprus to Israel, but no one took issue with our lack of an entry stamp from Cyprus, and we departed without issue.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 12:56 pm
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Thanks OP for the follow up on this topic from a year ago. I was thinking of doing something similar this fall but was looking for some anecdotal evidence.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 12:35 pm
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There is another thread on this matter, but I don't have time to search for it at the moment. I will, however, respond with my experience.

First off, I am a US citizen who is a permanent resident of the Republic of Cyprus. I have lived here for 6+ years. I have a type F residency permit, which is stamped in my passport.

Last Novermber, I drove my ROC-registered car from Frenaros to Ercan crossing at the Ayios Nikalaos checkpoint (this checkpoint is manned by the SBA-Sovereign Base Area police, not RoC immigration personnel). I drove to Ercan, flew to the USA via IST and AUH and then returned). When I arrived at the Ayios Nickalaos checkpoint to return to the RoC, the SBA officer said that technically I had to cross at a non-SBA checkpoint and wanted to send me all the way back to cross at Nicosia, the nearest non-SBA checkpoint. I was surprised and asked some more questions as I had been told there would be no issue doing what I was doing and I had researched on-line if I could make the crossing (of course, everyone I talked to was an EU citizen). The SBA officer allowed me to cross because I had a residency permit - she stated this to me explicitly. I told her that I would not have driven all the way back to Nicosia that night - it was 3am - I would have just pulled over at the checkpoint and slept in the car and waited until morning. Since then, my passport has been scrutinized by the SBA police each time I make the crossing (I cross frequently as I only live 10 minutes from the crossing).

So, being the curious person that I am, I contacted the US embassy about crossing and flying out of and into ECN. I received the following (non)response:

In reference to your inquiry, please note that State Departments official position on entry /exit requirements in the Republic of Cyprus and crossing to the Northern part of the island is found at below link.

https://travel.state.gov/content/pas...ry/cyprus.html


Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Visit the Embassy of Cyprus website for the most current visa information.
Cyprus is a member of the European Union but is not a party to the Schengen Agreement. For information about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.
  • Passports should have at least six months of remaining validity.
  • You need proof of sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
  • You may enter Cyprus for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. For stays longer than 90 days, you will need a temporary residency visa.
The government of Cyprus controls the southern two-thirds of the island and Turkish Cypriots administer the northern third. Neither the United States, nor any country other than Turkey, recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. For U.S.-citizen travelers:
  • Enter and exit Cyprus ONLY at Larnaca and Paphos airports and at the seaports of Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos. The government 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 government of Cyprus to reside in the northern third of the island.
  • You can stay in the Turkish Cypriot-administered area for less than 90 days by possessing a valid U.S. passport. However, the government of Cyprus does not recognize residence permits issued by Turkish Cypriots for stays longer than 90 days.
  • If you stay in the Turkish Cypriot-administered area for over 90 days, you may be detained by Cypriot officials at Larnaca airport or denied entry into the government-controlled part of the island.
For information on traveling across the U.N. buffer zone, contact Ledra Palace checkpoint at tel. 357 22 451 944 in Nicosia.

If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us again.

So, your interpretation of what came from the US embassy is as good as mine. It does not match my actual experience. All I can say is be prepared for some extra questions and slight delays. As for me, would I fly out of and in to ECN again - yes if the price is right as it was in November. Fortunately, they are soon to open another crossing near me, which is not an SBA-crossing so if I am sent to a non-SBA crossing, at least I won't have to drive all the way to Nicosia.
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Old Sep 2, 17, 7:18 am
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This is the thread that I added to the discussion:

http://http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/europe/1680249-no-more-paperwork-republic-cyprus-trnc-crossing-points.html

I travel on a South African passport, have a Schengen visa and, on two occasions now, have flown into Ercan airport in the North and crossed over in Nicosia at the Ledra Street and Ledra Palace crossings. My passport has been stamped on the RoC side, and also, when using a rental car to cross over (friends and I spent the day in Kyrenia), I had no issues.

I have since returned flying into LCA and have not been questioned about the variety of stamps - maybe because there are so many in my passport that Immigration could not be bothered.

Just remember that the the Turkish side observes Turkish time and the RoC, a different time - I was caught out last time, since I missed my flight........
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Old Feb 9, 20, 10:01 pm
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US passport travl to ECN from Istanbul but staying in S. Cyprus

Hi All,

Just checking if the advice you all gave in 2017 is the same in 2020? I havent made my booking yet but plan on flying into ECN from IST but taking taxis to cross the border and stay in a hotel in South Cyprus. Any issues now?
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Old Feb 10, 20, 1:57 pm
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There have been no changes to the policy since 2017. The only thing that has changed is that the TRNC and the RoC both follow the same European time schedule all year (for now).

The RoC does not recognize entry via Ercan as a legal entry and this may or may not cause you a problem. You assume the risk.

My Cypriot residency permit (with a US passport) continues to receive additional scrutiny at crossing points. I cross regularly (once every 2 weeks) because gasoline (and Diet Coke) is much cheaper in the north.
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Old Feb 10, 20, 6:42 pm
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From the point of view of the RoC you will have entered the country illegally. It is not very likely that you will face any consequences, but as others have said, there is still risk.

On the positive note, Cyprus is beautiful this time of the year. I am heading there myself next week
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Old Feb 10, 20, 6:51 pm
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Thanks for the advice

Thanks a lot for the advice. The main issue is direct flight from IST to ECN (we are coming first from Washington DC to IST so already long flight with a 5 year old). Whereas the flight to LCA is via Athens.

I appreciate the help.
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