Temporary Residence / Work Permit FAQs:
How long can I stay in TRNC?
Answer: You can stay for the duration of the visa given by the Police (Immigration Officer) on entry to TRNC. If you exceed your visa period without extending your visa you will be liable for a fine. The fine is calculated as the daily minimum wage multiplied by the number of days you overstayed your visa before leaving the TRNC.
If you leave without paying your fine, the fine will be doubled and you will not be allowed to re-enter the TRNC until your fine is paid.
Can those who come to TRNC with a work permit bring their spouses and children?
Answer: Yes, you may bring your spouse and children to the TRNC after 1 year, after you are issued with a 2nd work permit.
I have a work permit in the TRNC. Do my spouse and children need to obtain a residence permit?
Answer: Yes. Foreign spouses and children under 18 years of age of Foreigners with a TRNC work permit must apply for a Residence Permit 30 days prior to the expiry of their 90 day Visa for a Family Residence Permit Application, provided they entered the country with valid passports (i.e. passports with sufficient time before their expiry – this varies depending on the nationality of the foreigner). They must apply using the online Residency Application system and provide the appropriate documentation.
If you do not apply within the appropriate timescale for a Residency Permit you will be liable for a fine of the daily minimum wage multiplied by the number of days your spouse and children overstayed their visa.
I entered the TRNC with my Turkish Identity Card (Kimlik) can I apply for a residence permit?
No. If you enter the TRNC using your kimlik you can only stay for duration of the visa you were issued by the Police (Immigration Officer). If you wish to apply for a Residence Permit, you must enter the country with a valid passport.
When do I have to apply to the police to renew the residence permit application?
Answer: You should apply using the online system at least 15 days before the end of your Residence Permit.
My child is in high school, he's going to turn 18 this year. What am I supposed to do?
If your child entered using a National Identity Card (Kimlik) you need to leave the country before your child’s 18th birthday and re-enter the TRNC with a passport. You must then apply to the Department of Student Affairs in the Interior Ministry. You will require a student certificate which is issued by their secondary education institution and a Mukhtar’s letter confirming residency. Your child will be granted a student permit according to their academic year.
Will my spouse's residency permission be revoked when my work permit is revoked?
Answer: Within 30 days of the cancellation of the work permit, you must visit the Residency Office in Lefkosa (Ikamet Ofisi) and explain the situation. If you are unable to secure another job, then your spouse’s residency permit will also be cancelled, unless they are able to demonstrate they can meet the residency requirements, under another residency category, for example, immovable property
After how many years can I apply for Permanent Residency with a work permit?
Answer: You must have a consecutive 5-year work permits and obtained the 6th work permit and have lived on the island for 6 years.
I am applying for Temporary Residency, what documents do I need to demonstrate I own a property in the TRNC?
Normally you would show your kocan, however if you do not have a kocan, your contract of sale document is acceptable, provided that you have paid at least 30% of the price of the property and can demonstrate this, by either a statement in the sales contract, or receipts for payments up to that value.
If you have purchased a property recently you will need to provide your Permission to Purchase reference number to demonstrate you are applying for Permission to Purchase, even if this has not yet been granted. Previously a letter from your solicitor showing this number was sufficient to meet this requirement, however recently the Immigration Police have requested that you provide an official slip, stamped by the Maşınmaz Mal Birimi Office, on the 1st Floor in the Interior Ministry Office in Lefkoşa. You will need to visit the office bring your contract of sale and the PtoP reference number if known and they will provide you the required paperwork
I would like 2 years Residency is this possible if I apply online?
Yes, when you apply for residency using the online system, provided you are over 60 years of age and have had at least one previous residency permit, then you are entitled to request a 2 year temporary residency permit.
If when you apply your previous residency number is not accepted by the system, it is not possible to automatically check your entitlement to 2 years residency, as a result after your police interview you will no longer be requested to pay your health insurance, but you will need to wait until your request for 2 years has been approved by the Interior Ministry. This is shown on the system by both the Health Section and the Immigration Section with an hour glass symbol next to them. Once your request has been approved you will be able to pay for your health insurance and for your application to continue
I input the wrong district by accident and I have now been given a police interview in Lefkoşa. What should I do?
If you input incorrect data, such as the wrong district into the system you will need to visit the Interior Ministry Offices in Lefkoşa or call the Interior Ministry Helpline 0392 611 1017. If you input the incorrect district do not wait until your police interview to correct this mistake or you will have to wait again for a police interview at the correct police station.
As there is a long backlog of applications at Girne Police Station, can I go to another police station to have my interview?
No, you must attend the police station in the district in which you live.
I have registered on the system, but I have now changed my mobile phone number. What should I do?
If you have registered and then change any of your details, such as your telephone number or your address, you should contact the Interior Ministry Helpline 0392 611 1017 or visit the Interior Ministry Offices in Lefkoşa to arrange for this information to be corrected.
If you change your details such as your phone number, address after your Residency Permit has been issued, we recommend you wait until you make your next application before changing these details, as there may be a system change which will allow non-critical details such as telephone number to be changed online.
The telephone number 0392 611 1017 is always busy, how can I contact the Ministry of Interior to get an issue resolved?
The Ministry of Interior is very busy at the moment dealing with large volumes of Temporary Residency Applications, so they are often unable to answer the telephone. Either continue to try, (early morning is often a good time to call) or visit their offices in Lefkoşa to resolve your problem.
Is there an email address where I can get in-touch with the Residency Office so I don’t need to call or visit?
No, at present there is no email contact address for this office, you need to call or visit. We recommend that visiting if you wish to resolve your query rapidly.
I am trying to apply using the online residency system, but I have received the message ‘you cannot complete your residency when you are outside the country…’ what should I do?
If you get this message check carefully to make sure all the information you have input is correct, especially you first name and surname. This information must be entered in Capital Letters and must be exactly as entered in your passport. If after checking and re-submitting your information you continue to get this message you need to visit the Interior Ministry Offices in Lefkoşa for your information to be checked and corrected.
Note: you cannot apply for residency when you are outside of the country
I have tried to register using the online system and I received the error message ‘your passport number is not recognised’.
If you get this message check to ensure the passport number you have entered is correct. If it is check all the other information you have entered is correct. If you have entered other details such as you name incorrectly you may also get this message.
If you have recently had a new passport, there is a possibility that your new passport number is not on the immigration system, especially if you have not left the country since your new passport was issued. If this is the case you should try entering the old passport number and see if this will correct the error. If you are able to register successfully, make sure you inform the police when you attend your police interview so they can register your new passport on the system.
If after trying your old passport you still get the same error message, you should either contact the Immigration Police in the nearest main city or the Interior Ministry Helpline 0392 611 1017 or visit the Interior Ministry Offices in Lefkoşa to resolve the issue.
I have passports from 2 different countries, which passport should I enter to register on the system?
You should use the passport which you used when you last entered the country. If you try first with this and get an error message, check all the rest of your details are entered correctly, see guidance above. Only if you continue to get an error message try your other passport number.
If you continue to have a problem you should either contact the Immigration Police in the nearest main city or the Interior Ministry Helpline 0392 611 1017 or visit the Interior Ministry Offices in Lefkoşa to resolve the issue.
I am from an EU country and entered the TRNC using my national identify card, not my passport. I’ve tried to register and I get the error message ‘you cannot complete your residency when you are outside the country…’. I’ve tried inputting my identity card number into the identity card number field on the system but I still get the same error message, what should I do?
Check you have entered all your details, especially your name and passport number correctly. Your first name and surname must be exactly as it is on your passport and in capital letters. If you continue to get an error message you should either contact the Immigration Police in the nearest main city or the Interior Ministry Helpline 0392 611 1017 or visit the Interior Ministry Offices in Lefkoşa to resolve the issue.
I am over 60 years of age, but the system has requested I attend for a blood test. Why?
This is a system error, if this happens you should call the Interior Ministry Helpline 0392 611 1017 or visit the Interior Ministry Offices in Lefkoşa. No one over 60 years of age is being asked to have a blood test any longer.
Which payment cards work with the system, as I’ve heard most international cards do not work?
For the Health Insurance payment Stage - only Turkish or Cypriot Credit Cards or prepayment cards work on the system. If you try to use your card and your payment does not complete, contact your bank to check whether your payment card has been set up so it can be used for online payments. Most Turkish and Cypriot banks don’t automatically issue cards which can be used for online payments. If the bank opens up the card and you are still unable to pay via the online system contact your bank and ask them for advice. They may be able to process the payment for you at their offices.
For the Residency Payment Stage -Several international cards work with the payment system, but the Interior Ministry are unable to confirm which cards work and which don’t. If you try to pay using an international card and it is successful, please let us know which type of bank card you used, so we can provide a list of cards which operate with the system to assist other users. You can let us know using the contact form.
If all else fails, maybe a friend who has a card which works with the system can pay on your behalf and you pay them back, as there are no facilities to pay your health insurance, blood tests or your residence permit by cash or in a bank.
I have private Health insurance, do I still need to pay for State Health Insurance?
If you have private health insurance with a Cypriot Insurance Company which is approved as a suitable alternative to the State Health Insurance (your insurance provider will be able to confirm if their policy is approved) you can use this instead of purchasing State Health Care.
When you register on the system there is a question asking do you have health insurance yes / no? If you answer yes, you will be asked to upload a copy of your private health insurance in the section where you upload your passport photo page and mukhtar’s letter. If you answer no, after your police interview you will be requested by the system to pay for State Health Insurance.
If you have Health Insurance from your home country, generally this is not acceptable as an alternative to State Health Insurance, so you will need to purchase either local private emergency health insurance or State Health Insurance.
I have attended my police interview but have not received a text message asking me to pay my Health Insurance?
You no longer receive SMS messages to advise on the progress of your application. To check on your application you must log on to the system using your 10 digit username (starts with a 9) and your password. The yellow bar at the top of the screen provides information as to the stage of your application.
I have been to my police interview and I have not been asked to pay for State Health Insurance?
You must log onto the system and check what action you need to check. After your police interview you will be asked to pay for health insurant. Only if your Sponsor has either a work permit of a permanent residency (beyaz kimlik) you do not need to pay for Health Insurance this is covered by the Health Insurance of your Sponsor.
Myself and my parents are applying for a family residents permit, do we all need to get separate health insurance?
Yes, every adult member on a family residency permit application must pay for State Health or have insurance from an approved private Health Insurance policy.
Do I need to purchase Health Insurance before my police interview?
No, If you want the State Health insurance you should wait until after your police interview and you will then be able to purchase insurance online. Only if you want to use Private Health Insurance do you purchase before the police interview.
I don’t have a Turkish Credit Card so I want to purchase Health Insurance from Koop Bank, is this OK?
No, you must purchase Health Insurance only via the online system. If you purchase Health Insurance at Koop Bank, you will be requested to pay for your health insurance again online and you will need to go to the Interior Ministry to resolve the problem.
I have been trying to upload a document and it is not accepted by the system. Now the system is locked and I cannot try again. What should I do?
If you load the wrong document, you can go back and re-upload the document, however, if you have already saved the information you cannot return to the section to change the documents you uploaded. If this happens tell them at your police interview you made an error when uploading the documents.
If you get an error when trying to upload a document, try again to upload the document. If you cannot do it because the system has locked, try logging out and logging in again, this often clears the issue. If you log out and log back in, be aware you may have to re-save the section above before you can attempt to re-upload your documents. If you still have a problem, log out of the system and wait overnight and try again, the overnight system run should clear any corrupted data and then you should be able to re-upload your data.
I own my property and have a kocan, what residency category should I choose and what income must I show to meet the residency requirements?
If you own your property you should choose the residency category Immovable Property and you need to show 1 x minimum wage i.e. 4400tl per month or annual savings of 53,000tl. This can be in either a TRNC, Turkish or Foreign Bank account, provided the statement is in either English or Turkish. If your bank statements are in another language you need to have them translated and stamped by a notary, as the Interior Ministry staff are unable to read documents in other languages.
It is helpful if you could highlight / annotate your bank statements to show your income and indicate if this is a weekly or monthly amount so it is easy for the Interior Ministry to understand the information on your bank statement.
I rent/lease my property, what residency category should I choose and what income must I show to meet the residency requirements?
If you rent/lease your property you should choose the high income residency category and you need to show 3 x minimum wage i.e. 3 x 4400tl per month or annual savings of 158,000tl. This can be in either a TRNC, Turkish or Foreign Bank account, provided the statement is in either English or Turkish. If your bank statements are in another language you need to have them translated and stamped by a notary, as the Interior Ministry staff are unable to read documents in other languages.
It is helpful if you could highlight / annotate your bank statements to show your income and indicate if this is a weekly or monthly amount so it is easy for the Interior Ministry to understand the information on your bank statement.
I have been advised that I need to have my money in a Turkish Bank Account to apply for Residency, if this correct?
No, you can have you money in any account, foreign accounts are fine, provided the statement you provide is in English and clearly shows you are the account holder.
Are Internet Bank Statements Acceptable?
Yes, if you have an account in a non-Cypriot bank then you can provide an internet bank statement to show your account, provided it is in English and clearly shows you are the account holder.
If you have a Cypriot bank account then you should obtain a stamped bank statement from your bank to provide as evidence of your account.
I have left the island and returned since October 2019, when I returned I was given a 30 day visa. I have now completed my residency application and my visa has been back-dated until 30 days after I returned from abroad. Why is this?
If you left the island and returned and were issued with a visitor’s visa from the police there is a risk that when you next leave the country you could be fined for the difference in days between when your visa expired and when your residency commenced. In order to avoid this, the Interior Ministry are back-dating residency permits to 30 days after you entered the country to ensure that you are not fined by the police next time you leave the TRNC.
Remember in additional to the late payment fees issued by the Interior Ministry if you apply for Residency late the police can also issue a daily penalty fee of 180tl for people who have exceeded the time period on their visitor’s visa.
I have entered / returned to the TRNC since the lock-down was lifted and given a visitor’s visa of 30 days, even though I own a property. Do I need to start my residency before the 30 days expires?
If you have entered / returned to the TRNC recently you must apply for residency as soon as possible, before your visa period expires or you will be fined for the number of days between expiry of your visa and the date you received a residency permit police interview date SMS notification.
We have heard of situations where people have applied for residency after their visa expired and left the country before their residency application has been completed who have been fined for all the days until they leave the country. This is a mistake and you if this happens you must contain the Interior Ministry immediately to get the issue resolved.
I own my property but when I returned recently I was only given a 30 day visitor’s visa, can I extend my visa to 90 days and if so, how do I do this?
Yes, to extend your visa period you should visit the Interior Ministry in Lefkoşa to request a visa extension. You should visit the office before 10am and should provide a written statement (dilekce) (preferably in Turkish) explaining why you need to extend your visa. If you attend before 10am your visa extension can be issued the same day, if you attend after 10 am you will need to return the following day to collect your visa extension.
What happens if my request for residency is turned down? Is there a procedure to appeal against the decision?
The Interior Ministry are trying to be very lenient with residency applications, so it is unlikely that your residency request will be refused if you can demonstrate you meet the requirements. If there is an issue with your residency application the Residency Office will contact you by phone to review your documents and find out if there are other documents you can provide to support your application. If in the unlikely event your application is refused then you will have to leave the island within 5 days or risk getting a fine for overstaying you visa allowance.
I have recently applied for 1 year’s Temporary Residency, but I was only issued with a 6 months residency permit. Why is this?
If this is the first time that you have applied for Residency and the Residency Office are unsure whether you genuinely meet the requirements for residency, they will issue a 6 months residency permit. If there is no issue after 6 months the next time you apply you will be issued with a standard 12 months residency permit.
I am over 60 years old, am I entitle to an extended time period to apply for Temporary Residency?
No, all allowances for over 60s have now ceased, you should apply for residency as per other people.
Permanent Residency FAQs:
I have permanent residency (beyaz kimlik), do I need to do anything to renew this before 23rd October?
If you have permanent residency then you must ‘reaffirm’ that you meet the permanent residency requirements every 2 years on the anniversary date of when your permanent residency was issued. If you have ‘reaffirmed’ your permanent residency less than 2 years ago then you don’t need to do anything until your current 2 year period has expired.
If it is more than 2 years since you reaffirmed your permanent residency you should visit the Interior Ministry and provide the correct information to reaffirm your residency. The document requirements are listed on the Permanent Residency page.
If you no longer meet the requirements for permanent residency, for example, you have sold your property and are now renting, and it is more than 2 years since you last reaffirmed your residency you must apply for temporary residency as soon as possible or at the latest by 11th September or you risk getting a fine for not having a valid residency status.
I have permanent residency but I have been outside the country since before the lock-down, will I still be able to keep my permanent residency?
To retain your right to permanent residency you must meet the following requirements: if you are over 60 years old you can only be outside of the country for < 180 days per year, if you are under 60 years old then you can only be outside the country for <180 days, if you have permanent residency due to having immovable property and a guaranteed income. If you have permanent residency due to business permission or work permit then the limit on number of days outside the country is <90 days.
If you have exceeded these limits as you have been unable to return due to Corona virus then you should contact the Interior Ministry and check whether you are still entitled to permanent residency. If you are no longer entitled you must apply for Temporary Residency.
I have sold my house and am now renting, can I retain my permanent residency?
No, if you sell your property unless you are working and can meet the permanent residency requirement under a different category you will lose you permanent entitlement.
I have rented a property for more than 6 years, but I don’t work in the TRNC. Can I apply for Permanent Residency?
Answer: No, only owners of Immovable Property valued >125,000€, or people with Work or Business Permits are entitled to apply
What should the general Health insurance policy cover be?
Answer: State Health Insurance is now available to all Foreigners who apply for Temporary/Permanent Residence Permits. Alternatively you can purchase an approved Private Health Insurance.
I have children/dependants under the age of 18 years old, do they need to have health insurance? And when they become older must they, again, have health insurance, to make them eligible?
Answer: Children <18 years of age are covered by your Permanent Residency Permit, however at 18 years of age they will be required to apply for either Permanent Residency (provided they meet the criteria), or work permit / temporary residence permit with appropriate health insurance.
If you purchased your property several years ago at say Euros 100,000 which reflected the true market value at the time of purchase, and has since increased in value to reflect the market trend, will the more realistic value count on application?
Answer: No the value used is the original Tapu value, but consideration will be given to a current Tapu valuation on your property in the evaluation process of the application.
If, since purchasing your property you have extended it, taking the property over the 125,000€ Tapu value, can you pay the tax on the increased value of your home and make your application eligible?
Answer – No. However if you re-register the property and apply for the extension works to be approved by the Tapu office, then the new valuation will apply.
For a person who has a Permanent Residency (White Card) (Work or Business Permissions) and is working, what happens if they stop working?
Answer: If a Permanent Residency holder obtains this as a holder of a business/work permit stops working they can stay in the TRNC for 6 months without working. If they stay for more than 6 months their permanent residency will be cancelled by the Immigration Department when next they present their documents.
If you continue to pay your social security payments, it may be possible to appeal to the Department of Labour for an extension.
If a person who has a white card, sells their property and buys a property with a Tapu value of less than 125,000 will they lose their white card?
Answer: Yes, they lose their Permanent Residency. The law requires a Permanent Residency holder to own a property with a minimum Tapu value of 125,000€.
I have been unemployed for 8 months, is my Permanent Residency now invalid?
Answer: if you continue to pay you monthly social security payments and obtain a report from the Department of Labour, your situation will be handled sympathetically.