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 in must apply for a Residence Permit 30 days prior to the expiry of their Visa for Family Residence Permit Application (90 days), 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 you 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 Permits, 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 you 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. 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 the 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.
I requested 2 years Residency but the system only allows me to pay for 1 year of Health Insurance. Can I get 2 years Residency if I apply online?
No, at the moment it is only possible to apply for a 1 year Temporary Residency Permit. In the future the system will be developed and you will be able to apply for 2 years Temporary Residency. There is no date yet for when this system change will be implemented.
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 is more likely to enable you 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.
I have tried to register using my new 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 you 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 fault, if this happens you should call the Interior Ministry Helpline 0392 611 1017 or visit the Interior Ministry Offices in Lefkoşa.
Which payment cards work with the system, as I’ve heard most international cards do not work?
If you have a credit, debit or pre-paid card from a Turkish or Cypriot bank these cards should 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.
Some 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.
My partner and I have been to our police interview and I have received a text message asking me to log on and pay my health insurance, but my partner hasn’t received a similar message. Is this correct? Does only one of us need to pay for State Health Insurance?
No, both of you need to pay for health insurance, however there is currently a system fault and the software is not prompting both partners to pay for Health Insurance. Check the section on Health Insurance in the Temporary Residency section, to find out what you should do to overcome this problem.
Note: if you your Sponsor has either a work permit of a permanent residency (beyaz kimlik) then 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?
If you are applying as a single person or are the Sponsor in a family application, you do not need to get health insurance before your police interview. If you are the Sponsor’s spouse / sponsored person, then due to a system fault you need to purchase health insurance separate from the online system. See guidance above about this issue.
It is advisable to purchase this health insurance before you attend your police interview, so you can provide copies to the police at the same time as you provide your other documents and so avoid a trip to the Interior Ministry in Lefkoşa later in the process just to submit your health insurance documents.
We understand that the police are not accepting your insurance document and advising you to pay online. If you experience this, please let us know, so we can feedback your experience to the Interior Ministry. If you cannot hand your insurance document into the police you will need to take your insurance document to the Interior Ministry in Lefkosa to be included with your application.
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. 3820tl per month or annual savings of 46,000tl. 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 3820tl per month or annual savings of 146,000tl. 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 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 or can I wait until October?
If you have entered / returned to the TRNC recently and are under 60 years of age you must apply for residency as soon as possible, before either your 30 days have expired or 9th September whichever is the later. Due to Corona virus the Interior Ministry have given an extension to anyone who has recently entered the country until 9th September. This is the 3rd extension which has been granted so it is unlikely a further extension will be given, so you should start your residency application as soon as possible if you are living on the island or leave before the 9th September.
If you are over 60 years of age, you have until 23rd October to start your residency application, however you should note the Interior Ministry’s definition of the start of the residency process is the date you attend your police interview. If you live in the Girne region, the waiting list for police interviews is around 6 weeks so you should start your residency application before the 11th September if you want to avoid the risk of late payment charges. Please check the information in the Temporary Residency section to ensure you start your residency application on time.
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?
No, at the moment there is a visa amnesty period until 9th September, so if your visa expires before that date you do not need to get your visa extended. If you wish to apply for residency so you can continue to live on the island then you must start the temporary residency application process as soon as possible, but at the latest by 9th September, bearing in mind you should have had a police interview before that date. If you do not wish to apply for residency, you must leave the island by 9th September.
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, do I have to have completed my Residency application by 23rd October or is it OK if I have registered and requested a police appointment?
Currently the requirement is that you must have attended a police appointment before 23rd October to meet the deadline for Temporary Residency applications. It is possible this deadline will be extended as the waiting time for police appointments is now more than 6 weeks in the Girne area. If you live elsewhere on the island waiting times are shorter.
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.