Buffer zone permits

Activities in the Buffer Zone

The buffer zone exists to prevent renewed hostilities between the opposing forces in the Cyprus conflict. While Cyprus has been peaceful for a long time, shots are sometimes fired into  the buffer zone. In addition, thousands of land mines still lie dormant between the de facto ceasefire lines.

That is one reason UNFICYP doesn't allow any activity within the buffer zone without prior approval, except within specially designated Civil Use Areas. Safety and the operational requirements of UNFICYP come first, followed by adherence to ownership rights of the land within the buffer zone.

In order to manage activities within the buffer zone, UNFICYP's Civil Affairs Branch manages four permit schemes:for construction, farming, work and access. All permits have a limited duration and permit holders must apply for their renewal prior to expiration of the permit.

Visit Request Form

UNFICYP may support, on a case-by-case basis, visits by schools and universities, academics, researchers, freelance photographers/film-makers and artists, and other members of the public who wish to visit any part of UNFICYP’s area of operations, including the Nicosia International Airport and the buffer zone. If you meet the requirements above, please fill the Visit Request Form as comprehensively as possible, and send the completed form to: unficyp-request@un.org

Please submit forms well in advance of any planned visit.

Permits for Short-Term Access

An Access Permit is necessary if someone needs to enter the buffer zone in an official capacity not related to working or farming on a specific plot.

To apply, write the Civil Affairs Branch in Nicosia (listed in Contact us) with an explanation of the reasons access is needed and details about the applicant and the vehicle used to enter the buffer zone.

The 'Coffee Shop' Meetings

Members of the Sector Civil Affairs Teams (SCAT) organize regular 'coffee shop' meetings to make it easier for Cypriots to collect and renew their permits and to get their questions answered.

The following schedules apply for the coming period:

'Coffee Shop' Schedule - Greek 

'Coffee Shop' Schedule - Turkish 

Mine Awareness

Land mines can still kill after decades in the ground: they don't become inactive with age.
Burning a field clears the land, but it doesn't clear land mines.

As part of the application process for a Job Permit, applicants will have to attend a training session about land mines in the buffer zone. Permit holders who repeatedly access unsafe areas, will have their permit revoked.

UNFICYP has no liability for personal injury or damage to equipment from land use in the buffer zone.