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I wish to travel to Romania, but the embassy says I need an invitation letter from a tour agency or a Romanian friend. However, I don't know any Romanian residents and do not wish to go on a tour. I am more of a loner backpacker. One alternative I read about, was to get a Cypriot visa that allows me to enter Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.

What type of Cypriot Visa should I apply to? Do I have to use it in Cyprus first? If not, within the Cypriot visa requirements is a proof of accommodation. Would they dismiss that if I showed them booked tickets and proof of accommodation in Romania?

If this works, and entry to Cyprus is required, I am planning to book tickets with a few hours of layover in Larnaca airport.

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    Have you considered just accepting that Romania has made their rules and you have to take an organised tour, or go somewhere else? – user16259 May 9 '18 at 12:07
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    Cyprus is not likely to give you a visa unless you actually plan to travel to Cyprus. – phoog May 9 '18 at 14:37
  • @Lena Have you considered looking for a specialist in tailor made tours to Romania? Don’t know how feasible it is for your circumstances but I’d imagine you could find one with a short-ish itinerary that would give you the intro you’d need and to which you could add on some independent travel. – Traveller May 9 '18 at 18:51
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Per TIMATIC, the database used by airlines:

Visa required, except for Passengers with a C visa issued by Bulgaria, Croatia or Cyprus valid for the period of intended stay. They are visa exempt for a maximum stay of 90 days [within a 180-day period]

So yes, you can enter Romania with a Cypriot visa

However, the Cypriot embassy will most likely require proof of a proper visit (so a short connection will not do), and even if they don't, if you apply for a new Cypriot visa and your passport doesn't have passport stamps indicating a proper visit to Cyprus, but does have stamps indicating a proper visit to Romania, they'll conclude visa fraud on your part.

So I don't recommend this; rather, bite the sour apple and get the Romanian visa through the legal channels. Try talking to the embassy and explaining your situation.

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This site appears to state that you can use a short stay visa issued by Bulgaria, Cyprus or Croatia to enter Romania https://www.mae.ro/en/node/2040

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