US visa waivers for holders of Cypriot passport


According to the latest news published in Cyprus Mail, there could be a positive development regarding visa waivers for Cypriots travelling to the US. The Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said that the issue will be discussed this month with the competent deputy Minister of the US Government during the American’s official visit. Minister Christodoulides stated that the aim of both governments is to have strategic developments toward achieving this goal in 2020. What would this mean for  Cypriot passport holders? Beside wider freedom of movement, it will be a one more reason for internationals to acquire Cypriot citizenship through the Cyprus Investment Program.

Entering the VWP – Visa Waiver Program, Cyprus will become the 40th country eligible for visa-free entry into the US. The fact is that most EU member states are part of this program, except Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.

What are the benefits of VWP? The VWP enables citizens of participating nations to travel to the US for tourism or business reasons and stay up to 90 days without visa. Besides a valid passport, travelers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization – ESTA – approval prior to travel.

The main reason why the above-mentioned countries (including Cyprus) have not already entered the VWP is that joining this Agreement must be preceded by meeting the highest standards and criteria on security, crime and terrorism. With Cyprus signing and ratifying the agreement on Preventing and Combating Serious Crime with the US and working on its complete implementation, this obstacle has now been removed.

A diplomatic move like this one could influence the positioning of the Cypriot passport among the global passports. The so-called ‘’Golden Passport’’ ranked in 8th place and has a mobility score of 166 according to the global ranking of passport index.


Anna Philiotis