Cyprus: Residence Permits For Unpaid Interns, University Students, School Students And Volunteers

Last Updated: 20 February 2017
Article by Antonis Paschalides

According to article 10 of the Aliens and Immigration Law (Chapter 105), no foreign national has an absolute right to enter Cyprus and a ban on entry may be imposed, unless the foreign national holds a valid certificate of permanent residence or, in the case of immigrants, a valid immigration permit or, in the case of temporary residents, holds a valid entry pass. Therefore, if you are not a Cypriot citizen or a citizen of a Member State of the European Union and you wish to enter and stay in Cyprus, you shall first obtain the entry and residence permit depending on the purposes of your stay.

The requirements that need to be fulfilled vary, depending on the entry and residence purposes of each person concerned. However, there are some common and/or general requirements that need to be fulfilled, regardless of the entry and residence purposes.

Residence Permits for unpaid interns, university students, school students and volunteers

The Civil Registry and Migration Department, which is the responsible body for the submission and examination of the relevant applications, facilitates the entry process of foreign nationals that participate in EU programmes enhancing mobility to or within European Union, by giving priority to the examination of their applications. General Requirements concerning all Categories Article 18ΜΔ of Aliens and Immigration Law sets the general requirements that need to be fulfilled by the third country national, who wishes to enter and reside in Cyprus either for study purposes, either for unpaid internship, either for volunteering purposes or in the context of exchange programmes for school students.

The person concerned, namely the citizen of a non -EU country, in order to enter and stay in Cyprus, must:

  1. hold a valid travel document, with duration validity of at least 2 years or with duration validity that covers the total duration of stay;
  2. hold a medical expenses insurance (all risks coverage);
  3. not be considered as a threat to public policy, public security or public health;
  4. pay the fee for the processing of the application; and
  5. if the person concerned is not yet an adult, a parental permission for the intended stay is also needed.

Special Requirements for Unpaid Interns

The third country national, who intends to enter and reside in Cyprus as an unpaid intern, must also fulfill, apart from the abovementioned requirements [points (a) – (e)], the following. The person concerned must:

  1. have signed an intern agreement, approved by the competent Authority in Cyprus, for an unpaid post in a public or private company or in a vocational training body in the sectors that are defined by the decision of the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance;
  2. adduce the necessary evidence that during the stay, s/he will have sufficient resources to cover living expenses, internship costs and any expenses that might arise in connection with repatriation;
  3. adduce evidence of participation in a recognized students exchange programme, managed by an organization that is recognized in Cyprus;
  4. adduce evidence that the students exchange organization shall be responsible for the person concerned for as long as s/he is in Cyprus and, in particular, as regards living expenses, study costs, healthcare costs and any expenses that might arise in connection with repatriation (the minimum monthly amount is determined by a decision of the Minister of Home Affairs and it does not affect the individual examination of each case).

If all the above general (common) and special requirements are met, the persons concerned shall submit an application to obtain permit for entry into Cyprus. Subsequently, within 10 days from their arrival in Cyprus, they shall submit an application to obtain residence permit. Entry Permit or VISA for Unpaid Interns The application in relation to the entry permit or Visa can be submitted either by the person concerned to the Embassy of Cyprus (consular services) in the country of origin or by public or private company or the vocational training body, where the person concerned will be employed as an unpaid intern, to the District Office of the Aliens and Immigration Service of the District, where this company and/or body.

The application for the issuance of an entry permit or Visa must be accompanied by the following documents and payment of €85, 43 fees:

  1. certified copy of a valid passport or other travel document with duration covering either the anticipated duration or at least 2 years;
  2. duly certified copy of the criminal record certificate, issued by the relevant authorities of the country of origin, accompanied by an official translation in Greek or in English language;
  3. medical tests and/or original health certificate, dully certified by the country of origin and with 4 month effect, which indicate that the person concerned is not suffering from hepatitis B and C, HIV and syphilis. A chest X-ray with 4 month effect is required to indicate that the person concerned is not suffering from tuberculosis;
  4. copy of the signed internship agreement, which must be dully certified by the Labour Department, for the post of the unpaid intern in a public or private company or in a vocational training body;
  5. dully certified copy of certificate, issued by a bank institution from the country of citizenship or from the last country of residence that the person concerned has the resources to cover living expenses, internship costs and any expenses that might arise in connection with repatriation;
  6. bank guarantee, either by the person concerned (namely, personal bank guarantee) or by the public or private company or the vocational training body, to cover any expenses that might arise in connection with repatriation; and
  7. proof of payment of the €85,43 fees.

Residence Permit for Unpaid Interns

The citizen of a country that does not participate in the European Union, who has entered Cyprus legitimately in order to be employed as an unpaid intern, must, within 10 days from the arrival date, submit an application to the Civil Registry and Migration Department, in order to obtain a residence permit.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents and payment of €34, 17 fees:

  1. certified copy of a valid passport or other travel document with duration covering either the anticipated duration or at least 2 years;
  2. medical expenses insurance covering all risks;
  3. medical tests, carried out in Cyprus, and/or original certificate with a 4 month effect, issued in Cyprus (stamped and sealed by a government doctor), indicating that the person concerned is not suffering from hepatitis B and C, HIV and syphilis. A chest X-ray with 4 month effect is required to indicate that the person concerned is not suffering from tuberculosis;
  4. certificate, issued by a banking institution in Cyprus, indicating that foreign exchange has been transferred into her/his personal bank account, of adequate amount for the coverage of living expenses and internship costs in relation to the period, for which the permit is requested;
  5. 2 photographs (passport sized); and
  6. proof of payment of the €34, 17 fees.

The residence permit is issued for a maximum time period that does not exceed 1 year, whilst it can be renewed only once and for exceptional cases for the time period that is necessary, in order to obtain the professional qualification, provided that the person concerned still meets the abovementioned general and special requirements. Finally, the employer, who will employ a third country national for internship purposes, must submit an application (Form M.64) for permission to take up employment. This application must be accompanied by the Form M.61, provided that the third country national is already in Cyprus, or by the Form M.58, provided that the third country national is abroad. Revocation or Denial to Renew a Residence Permit

The Director of the Civil Registry and Migration Department may revoke or refuse to renew a residence permit, if:

  1. it has been fraudulently obtained or
  2. it is proved that the holder did not meet or no longer meets the abovementioned general (common) and special requirements or
  3. the revocation or denial to renew the residence permit is requested by public policy, public security or public health.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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