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Residency ( June 2017 )

1. Tourist Visa.  It is routine for tourists to the TRNC to be issued with a 90 day tourist visa.  Until recently visas were stamped into passports or onto a white slip, if preferred, but now the white slip is no longer issued.  

2. If your stay is to be longer than 90 days the correct thing to do is to apply to the immigration office for a temporary residency permit.  However, it has become commonplace over the years for those approaching the end of their 90 day visa to cross a border (into southern Cyprus or Turkey) and on return get a further 90 day visa.  It has been known however for some those who are deemed to have abused the tourist visa to be issued with only a 30 day visa on their return from crossing a border and instructed to apply for a temporary residency permit following the procedures detailed below or leave the TRNC.

3. It is your responsibility to apply for temporary residency permit or leave the TRNC at, or before, the 90 days have lapsed.  Failure to do so will result in inconvenience and a monetary fine.

4. Application for a Temporary Residency Permit.  For your initial application (and for renewals if you are aged under 60) you should report to the Immigration Section at your local Police station. Opening hours are typically Mon-Fri 0815-1145 but will vary, especially in the summer. You should take with you the following documents:

· Your valid passport plus a copy of the photo page & passport residency certificate page if renewing.

· 2 recent passport photos.

· Pink or Blue Photo ID issued previous year (if renewing).

· A photocopy, of your property sale contract,  kocan (deed) or rental contract in your name

· Local bank statement showing holder's name and latest balance.  (Typically you need £10,000 or TL equivalent, per person)

· TL 12.10 in revenue stamps (Jun 17) from local Post Office.

· Original letter from your local Muhtar confirming your residency address with a TL 2.50 revenue stamp (Jun 17) from the local post office.

· Married couples should produce their marriage certificate plus a photocopy

· Dependents over 18 years will need a notarised statement from their sponsor (e.g. parents) promising financial support.

5. Blood Donor - If you are a blood donor and are using the latest test (within 1 month of application) as part of your residency medical tests, the original donor card plus a copy is also required together with a copy of the recent blood test results.

6. Couples.  If a couple apply together, each person must have a full set of documents.  For the first year it is only possible to obtain a residency permit for one year.  For successive renewals a 2 year option is available, but normally only if you are aged 60 or over.  Having said that, a married couple renewing together, and where only one is over 60, if the other spouse is over 55 it might be possible to obtain a two year residency for the under 60 partner at the immigration officer’s discretion.

7. Medical Test.  If the documents are in order, the immigration officer will give you a slip of paper to take to your local state hospital to obtain medical tests (normally a blood test and a BCG test).  Residents of Lefke will go to Guzelyurt; Karpaz residents will go to Gazimagusa and Girne residents to Girne State Hospital.

8. Girne State Hospital Procedure You must pay for the medical tests before undergoing them.  Take your passport and the slip that the police gave you and enter the Hospital from the visitors' car park at the rear of the hospital.  Go up a set of stairs on the left then to the Transaction (Işlem) and Cashier (Vizne) office windows on the right.  Go first of all to the Işlem window with your passport the police documentation and the blood test results (if a donor).  Once cleared, go to the Vizne window and pay the appropriate fee, TL 185 (Jun 15).  If it is working you may need to take a number from the number dispensing machine by the Cashiers desk. You will then be called in turn, told which tests you must undergo and allocated to a specific test laboratory or a private clinic outside the hospital.  You should then go to the appropriate laboratory or clinic and undergo the medical tests.

9. Police Immigration Section.  Once you have completed the medical tests you should return to the Immigration Section at the police station with all the documents detailed in para 2 plus the medical test payment receipt.  This could be the same day if the Immigration Section is still open.

10. Collect Medical Results.  After a week or so you should return to the hospital with your passport and medical test payment receipt to receive your medical test results under signature.  The results will be contained in a sealed envelope which you should not open.  In Girne State Hospital the test results collection point is a small glass fronted office on the ground floor.  

11. Obtain Residency Status.  After 2 weeks (4 for Karpaz residents) go to the residency office at the Immigration Department in Lefkosa on a weekday morning, taking with you the documentation detailed below.  The residency office closes at 1.00 pm (Jun 17) and you will need to take a ticket number from a machine by the office door to secure your place in the queue.

  • Your passport
  • Your medical report in its sealed envelope
  • The current residency fee –TL 305.50 per year (Jun 17).
  • TL12.10 in revenue stamps (Jun 17) (You can buy stamps in the Cafe on the same floor but the fee could be TL 14.00) 

12. Having handed in the various forms to the residency office, if all is in order you will be asked to take your passport and an invoice for the appropriate fee and to the pay office (Vizne) down the corridor to make the payment.  Once there, hand over your passport and the invoice and on payment of the fee your passport will be returned with the residency stamp inserted.  Return with your passport and fee receipt to the residency office for final documentation by the immigration officer and that is the end of the process.  

Residency Renewals for Over 60s’ Only

13. The concession allowing those British residents aged over 60 to come and go without residency requirements has been the subject of much confusion for the ex-pat community for a considerable period of time.  Hopefully the following information will prove useful.

· This concession for the over 60’s is not legally binding. Therefore a TRNC government can cancel this arrangement at any time.

· Anyone seeking permanent residency must, currently, have five consecutive annual residency stamps in their passport. Anyone  choosing not to renew will not obtain a residency stamp and this may make them ineligible to obtain permanent residency.

· We are not aware of an immigration problem that has arisen for British residents aged over 60 leaving and entering the TRNC without a residency stamp in their passport. If you are concerned about this approach you can download a copy of a fax that was issued to the immigration staff to confirm this arrangement. This document can be obtained from the “Forms” section of the Members Only section of our website.

· There is no link between a residency stamp in your passport and obtaining a TRNC driving licence. If you don’t have a residency stamp in your passport when applying for a TRNC driving licence you will need a Mukhtar’s letter to confirm your place of residence.

14. In summary, there is a current residency concession to those aged 60 or over but no one knows how long this will last.  Continuing to renew your residency using the simplified procedure outlined below does provide a ‘belt ‘n braces approach and makes the process much easier.  However, in the same way the BRS will not endorse a company or product, we do not offer advice on this topic and members should examine their own particular circumstances and make their own decision accordingly.

15. Simplified Renewal Process.  The simplified over 60 Residency renewal process allows for a 1 or 2 year renewal (see also para 6 regarding couples). There is no requirement to visit the immigration section at a local police station, nor are there any medical formalities.  Instead you should report direct to the residency office at the immigration HQ in Lefkosa on a weekday morning, taking with you the documentation detailed below.  The residency office closes at 1.00 pm (Jun 17) and you will need to take a ticket number from a machine by the office door to secure your place in the queue.

· A completed (but unsigned) residency application form (downloadable from members only section of our website).

· Original letter from your local Muhtar confirming your residency address with a TL 2.5 TL (Jun 17) revenue stamp stuck to it.

· Your passport plus a copy of the photo page.

· Copy of passport residency page

· Your blue or pink residency registration card.

· A copy of your bank account statement to confirm your income (Internet print-out is acceptable).

· The appropriate fee for 1 or 2 years (TL 305.50 per year (Jun 17)

· TL12.10 in revenue stamps (Jun 17).  You can buy stamps in any post office or in the cafe on the same floor but the fee could be TL 13.00) (Jun 17)

16. If you have moved house since your last renewal a copy of your new house contract, kocan or rental agreement, with the new address, if appropriate, is also required.

17. Having handed in the various forms to the residency office, if all is in order you will be asked to take your passport and an invoice for the appropriate fee and to the pay office (Vizne) down the corridor on the left to make the payment.  Once there, hand over your passport and the invoice and on payment of the fee your passport will be returned with the residency stamp inserted.  Return with your passport and fee receipt to the residency office for final documentation by the immigration officer and that is the end of the process.  

Office Hours :   Monday to Friday:   07.45  - 13.00

                       Thursday:              13.15  - 16.00

 

Recent practice shows that there is no optimum time to go.   Previous advice to arrive late in the morning no longer seems to be helpful

As you may be are aware, in the TRNC, it is not uncommon for individual officials to misinterpret rules. We would therefore ask that you advise the BRS should any immigration official insist in requiring other documentation. Please ask the official for his/her name and advise them that you will be reporting back to the BRS who have agreed this new simplified process with the Immigration management.