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Overstayed students visa in Cyprus

edited September 2014 in - Greece and Cyprus
Hello, I am  a Nigerian citizen who came to Cyprus on a student visa. I overstayed my visa for the following reason. My international passport was about to expire and Nigeria does not have an embassy in Cyprus. I contacted my school as I had one more semester remaining to complete my bachelor ( 4yrs program ). Luckily for me ( or unluckily as it turned out ), the Nigerian immigration were coming to to Cyprus for passport renewal which they usually do from time to time so I waited and applied to get it renewed. However, it is now over a year and they still have no news about my passport. my student visa has since expired and I just completed my bachelor 2 months ago.  My fear is that I would face difficulties of some sorts at the airport as I am tired of being here doing nothing . I do not have a valid passport and could not apply for visa renewal since the passport expired . I have tried to contact the Nigeria immigration but with no success ( The Nigerian immigration is the most incompetent and corrupt institution I have ever seen in my life, they do not care about the plight of it's citizens ). Apparently I would  have to wait forever for the passport to arrive. I am more or less an illegal immigrant  here with no valid passport to even travel back home. Please advise on what to do. 


  • Deexyz, what are your family doing to assist you ? It is easy to obtain a passport in Nigeria  (albeit by paying the right person) and have it mailed to you.
    Until you have a passport you cannot go anywhere and you are not more or less an illegal immigrant you are definitely illegal and can be arrested at any time. You will also incur a fine when you do eventually leave Cyprus. I assume you studied in Northern Cyprus not the south.

    If you really cannot get a Nigerian passport and you do want to leave Cyprus then you should hand yourself into the immigration authorities and ask for their assistance.
  • Alexia, I have had my passport sent to Nigeria  since a month before it's expiration with the hope of getting it renewed on time. I have sent money twice to 2 different immigration officers who promised heaven and hell to have it renewed, only for each of them to say the same thing ( That the immigration does not renew passports in absentia anymore ) after collecting money from me. The expired passport is still in Nigeria with my brother. I understood that is is a crime to have an international passport mailed but even if it isn't, mailing the expired passport to me is of no difference since it is expired anyway hence invalid. I studied in the southern Cyprus ( The EU cyprus ). I have heard stories of people being detained for even up to 2 yrs by the immigration authorities here which is why I have refrained from approaching them.
  • Also I forgot to mention, My girlfriend of over 4 years wants us to get married and so do I. But everything is impossible without a valid passport. She is an EU citizen from Poland who studied in the same university as I  did. I don't mind going to Nigeria to marry her if that be the case. I just do not want to be detained in some immigration  detention camp for years before my case is finally reviewed. Thank you.
  • I was not speaking about your expired passport.  Of course its not a crime to mail a passport. So why does your brother not help you and why does he have your expired passport as you require this to renew your passport. Very odd. Someone must be supporting you.
    Without a passport you cannot travel marry or do anything important. Have you contacted the Nigerian Embassy in Athens Greece for assistance?

  • It is my brother who paid the immigration officers on both occasions. All information seems to point to the same direction that passports are no more renewed in Absentia, I have to be physically present. The Nigerian Immigration who came for the renewal came in liaison with the Nigeria Embassy Israel ( which is the embassy in charge of Cyprus ). They were in Cyprus again recently and I explained my situation. I was told that since I already applied for renewal, all i can do is wait as it will clash in their system ( nonsense, since i've been waiting for over a year ). My girlfriend is the one who has been supporting me and I am tired of it.
  • edited September 2014
    I sent the passport when I thought it could be renewed in Nigeria, I sent through a friend who was going to nigeria on summer holidays.
  • I asked a colleague of mine who is Nigerian and she was quite perplexed at your situation As you made your application through the Nigerian Embassy in Israel, you are not applying in absentia. 
    Seems to me your brother could be a little more proactive. You need your expired passport back asap.

    I have read the marriage laws for Cyprus and I would enquire if you can marry your Polish girlfriend.
    Use your your expired passport, birth certificate driving license or student ID card  for identification. I assume you have a receipt showing that you paid the Nigerian Embassy to renew your passport.

    If you marry you then make an EU spouse application for a residence card using your expired passport and the receipt to show you have applied for a new passport. I have definitely done that in the UK with an EU spouse and it worked. good Luck.
  • edited September 2014
    Thank you for the advice. I will exactly as you have suggested. Please inquire if I can marry and subsequently use the passport for application for a residency card. I do have the ID cards for each semester during my study as well as the receipt for the passport renewal. I have asked for the expired passport to be sent back and I should have it by next week. Please make the inquiries for me so I can be sure before I proceed. God bless you Alethia.
  • Here is the marriage procedure for Cyprus
    Please note it states legal identification or travel documents such as passports
    You will need a declaration that you are free to marry ,as there is no Nigerian Embassy in Cyprus you can arrange to swear an Affidavit of No Marriage before the Registrar. Ask the Marriage Officer to arrange this when you book the wedding at the Municipality.
    Your girlfriend can get her Affidavit of No Marriage from the Polish Embassy in Nicosia.

    That's as much as I can advise, you and your girlfriend need to contact the Marriage Office and arrange the rest.

    Here is the Cypriot law pertaining to EU citizens and their non EU family members. I do hope your girlfriend has complied with the EU regulations on Cyprus.
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