Legal status and visa requirements for those who were forced to leave Ukraine
General information and legal support within Cyprus
Permanent residents of Ukraine, who left the country after 24 February 2022 to escape war, may be entitled to temporary protection according to the Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022 establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Article 5 of Directive 2001/55/EC, and having the effect of introducing temporary protection.
Refugee status/asylum seeker status/temporary protection status
Temporary protection will last for at least one year and it may be extended depending on the situation in Ukraine. Rights under the Temporary Protection Directive include a residence permit, access to the labour market and housing, medical assistance, and access to education for children. You may find the relevant application for temporary protection at the link below, which can be submitted to any District Immigration Office of the Police.
Ukrainians should apply for a residence permit. If they are residing in Nicosia, they should contact the Civil Registry and Migration Department
If they are residing in another district, they should contact the Aliens and Immigration Unit of the Police of their district of residence.
Check contacts here
Learn more about staying in Cyprus:
Access to healthcare services
Ukrainian refugees with temporary protection status have access to public hospitals for free. They can book an appointment with a doctor at the state hospitals who will also advise on access to medication.
Persons entitled to healthcare benefits, as of August 1, 2013, can pay the sum of €3,00 for a visit to a General Practitioner and the sum of €6,00 for a visit to a Specialist. In addition, they will pay a fee of €0,50 for each prescribed pharmaceutical product and €0,50 for each laboratory test, with a maximum charge of €10,00 per medicine prescription or per laboratory test prescription form respectively.
Payment for drugs and laboratory tests will be made with the use of “health stamps” that must be purchased in advance and will be affixed to drug prescriptions and laboratory test forms. Health stamps are available at public hospitals and post offices.
Non-beneficiaries (non-medical cardholders) can still use the services of public hospitals by paying €15,00 for visiting a General Practitioner and the amount of € 30,00 for a visit to a Specialist. For any other service provided, one has to pay the prescribed fees as they were revised from August 1, 2013 (as per the Government Medical Institutions and Services (Governance & Charges) Law of 1978 and 2013 and the corresponding regulations).
Where can the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go for the following healthcare services?
Healthcare services to Ukraine refugees, with temporary protection status, are provided at the public medical centres. Respectively, the need for medicine for refugees is covered by the pharmacies of the Public Hospitals. State Health Services Organisation (SHSO) is the largest Healthcare provider in Cyprus, with 9 hospitals and 38 health centres in all cities and provinces. SHSO hospitals and health centres are available to citizens of all ages, 24 hours a day, with SHSO offering comprehensive health services that cover the full range of health needs of the population throughout Cyprus. The Directorate of Mental Health represents one of the main pillars of the organisation, and it offers specialised services through the only Mental Health Services hospital in Cyprus (Athalassa Hospital) and its various MHS structures that are located throughout the country.
Ukraine refugees with temporary protection status are accepted at the public medical centres with either, the confirmation of the Temporary Protection Decision issued by the Asylum Service, or the Residence Permit issued by the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
For acute treatment, Chronic/long-term and visiting family doctors, please consult the site of the state health services organisation where a list of all Hospitals, Mental Health units and doctors is available.
Services for People Living with HIV
Help telephone line 1464. There is the KYFA CHECKPOINT where free and anonymous HIV, hepatitis B&C and syphilis tests are performed Persons can make an appointment by calling 1464, which is free of charge. KYFA is in the Old Hospital of Limassol and operates a Day Centre daily.
Tel. 25 340 305.
Antiretroviral treatment (ART)
HIV care and other health services are available to people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Those who have been granted temporary protection status can access public healthcare free of charge, including antiretroviral therapy.
Ukrainians fleeing the war in Ukraine with temporary protection status are accepted upon presentation of the document of the Decision for Temporary Protection, issued by the Asylum Service, or upon presentation of the Residence Permit, issued by the Department of Population and Immigration Archive.
It is very important for anyone who is HIV-positive to go regularly to the Infection Unit that monitors them to do their examinations, or to receive antiretroviral doses if they already need it. They will receive medical care in the regular outpatient clinics of the Infection Units. This means that they do not need to be hospitalized. They will just see a specialist every few months who will check on their health, prescribe medication and, if necessary, refer them to another specialist.
At the Infections Unit, medication will be provided for free as will specific examinations such as viral load, immune system checks, and blood tests. Infections Units also offer other types of services which are not related to HIV.
If any medication is prescribed, it is important that the person informs their regular doctor.
Other facilities available:
Centre for Special Viral Diseases, Arch. Makareios III Hospital – Nicosia – tel. 22305155/22405492
Counselling Centre, Linopetra Health Centre – Limassol (also valid for Paphos province) – tel. 25804102 Grigorios Clinic – Larnaca General Hospital (also valid for Famagusta province) – tel. 24800500/24600464
The AIDS Solidarity Movement is a non-governmental organisation and the main organisation working with people living with or at risk of HIV in Cyprus. They can support in accessing treatment, care, and psychological counselling amongst other services . Their staff speak Greek, Turkish, and English.
Services for People Living with Hepatitis B or C
Hepatitis B or C testing, hepatitis B vaccination, and hepatitis B or C treatment availability
Ukrainians who have been forced to leave Ukraine are eligible for free hepatitis B or C testing and treatment as soon as they receive the temporary protection status.
Help telephone line for an appointment for hepatitis B or C testing – 1464 (free call).
KYFA is is in the Old Hospital of Limassol and operates a Day Centre daily. Also, there is the KYFA CHECKPOINT, where 4 free and anonymous tests are performed i.e. HIV / hepatitis B or C and syphilis.
According to the Ministry of Health in Cyprus, the following people are eligible for testing and treatment:
- People with haemophilia.
- People born, raised, or living in countries where these diseases are endemic. This also applies to their sexual partners and children.
- People who have visited countries where these diseases are endemic (see table “Countries with a high prevalence”) and have transfused blood or blood products or participated in any dangerous activity that may have exposed them to an infectious disease (e.g. sexual activity or sharing an addictive device).
- Donors of blood, plasma, organs, tissues, or sperm.
- People with mental disorders.
- Patients undergoing haemodialysis.
- All pregnant women.
- New-borns positive for one of the diseases mentioned in this protocol.
- Victims of sexual or other abuse that may involve blood contact.
- People who practice unprotected sex, and with multiple partners.
- Men who have sex with men.
- People diagnosed with any sexually transmitted disease (HIV, HBV, HCV, syphilis).
- People with a history of imprisonment.
- People getting tattoos.
Information is not available.
Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Services
What OAT drugs are available in the country?
The main opioid substitution therapy available in Cyprus is suboxone (buprenorphine + naloxone). Methadone is only available for detoxification.
OAT treatment fees
There are five treatment programmes across the country – for further information and linkage to care, contact Christos Krasidis from the Cyprus AIDS Solidarity Movement at +357 95 100 625 or by email at christos@asmCyprus.org.
Some centres specialize in detoxification and social rehabilitation by providing outpatient care to regular users who can support their treatment without the need for internal accommodation and care, e.g. “The Psychotherapeutic Center for Long-Term Detoxification, PSEMA” in Limassol, “Tolmi” in Larnaca and Paphos.
To meet the needs of psychological detoxification and reintegration, it is considered necessary to have internal accommodation and centres such as the Agia Skepi Therapeutic Community in Nicosia specializes in this. They provide safe detoxification through medicine and alternative methods “Anosis” in Limassol, and alcohol detoxification “THEMEA” in Nicosia.
Centres specialised in counselling teens and their families are also available e.g. “Perseus” in Nicosia and “Prometheus” in Limassol.
Most approved detoxification centres in Cyprus provide their services free of charge or at a minimal cost.
Useful links to follow on OAT:
In 2000, the Cyprus Anti-Drug Council was established as the authority responsible for approving public and private centres set up to address substance use (drug use, alcohol abuse). The authority is also responsible for overseeing the provision of prevention, treatment, and harm reduction services.
INFORMATION CENTER FOR DRUGS AND TREATMENT OF ADDICTED PEOPLE (KENTHEA)
Prevention and Counselling Stations
Open Therapeutic Communities
Courage of Paphos
Gr. 202, 8010 Paphos
Tel: 26 941919
Scientific Officer: Gabriella Gabriel
Tel: 22 524826
Responsible Officer: Stella Nikolaou
Courage of Larnaca
Tel: 24 532208, 99 455874
Scientific Officer: George Pogiatzis
General requirements and access to healthcare
04. Leaflet “Frequently asked questions of applicants for temporary protection”, Ministry of Interior, Asylum Service
Leaflet “Frequently asked questions of applicants for temporary protection”, Ministry of Interior, Asylum Service
03. Infectious Disease Control Protocol. Ministry of Health of Cyprus
Ministry of Health of Cyprus: Infectious Disease Control Protocol. Ministry of Health of Cyprus, 20140428/1