Residence Permit Application Process
Exemptions from Residence Permit
Conditions Covered by State Health Insurance
Renewing your Residency Permit
Please note that due to the current backlogs at Girne Police Station, the Interior Ministry have changed their processes slightly. There is no longer any requirement to book an appointment at the Residency Office, instead you should go to the Interior Ministry, Immigration Reception Area on the left hand side when you enter the building and provide your full name and your application number (the number above the bar code when you log into the system) The staff in the reception will check whether your travel dates are >60 days since you went to the police station. If you plan to travel >60 days after your police appointment they will fast track your residency application. If you plan to travel <60 days since you visited the police station, then they will no longer fast track your application, but will advise that your application does not need to be completed before you travel. We therefore recommend that anyone who is planning to travel <60days since their police appointment, does not bother to go to Lefkosa.
Short Term Residence Permit
New Residence Permits and Visas Regulation were introduced on 23 October 2019. Foreigners wishing to stay in the TRNC for longer than their visa period, must apply (and meet the requirements) for a Temporary Residence permit, if they are not otherwise legally permitted to stay in the country.
Work Permits, Business Establishment Permits and Permanent Residence are considered, for the purpose of this regulation, as Residence Permits, and a separate Residence Permit is not required.
Temporary residence permits are normally issued, for a maximum period of one year, however, foreigners over 60s years of age may be issued with a 2 years Residence Permit of 2 years. The duration is decided based on the person’s request and application details.
Foreigners who are eligible to apply for a Temporary residence permit:
Foreigners who own immovable property in the TRNC and their family members
Foreigners who can show a monthly income equal to 3 x minimum wage (9,885 TL per month (effective from 1st July 2022)) or who have the annual equivalent of this amount in a bank account.
Foreigners coming to the TRNC for scientific research or archaeological excavation
Foreigners coming to the TRNC for vocational training or an internship
Foreigners coming to the TRNC in accordance with international agreements or student exchange programs
Foreigners who will be granted residence permit in accordance with a request or decision of the judicial and administrative authorities
Foreigners coming to TRNC for treatment of a medical condition that does not pose a threat to public health
Foreigners who complete their higher education in a two-year program or studied and graduated at least in three years from a higher education program that lasts four years or longer can be issued a one-time residence permit for maximum 6 months if they apply within 60 days of their graduation
Yacht owners or leaseholders, who arrive in conjunction with yacht tourism, including crew and passengers may be issued with a short-term residence permit of up to 6 months within a 12 month period provided they submit the relevant documents confirming the duration of their stay in a TRNC harbour where their yacht is moored
Foreigners who come in order to film a movie/documentary may be issued with a short-term residence permit each time they apply for a maximum period of one year if the visa that they were originally granted proves to be insufficient for filming to be completed.
Foreigners Who Possess Immovable Property
Foreigners who own a villa or apartment in the TRNC may be granted a 1 year renewable residence permit for the first 3 years, and thereafter 2 years renewable permit provided they have obtained the title deeds (Kocan) registered in their name.
The applicant must own a property suitable for residence which is currently being used for this purpose. If the title deed (Kocan) of a dwelling is divided into more than one share and one of the shareholders has been issued a Temporary residence permit (immovable property), no Temporary residence permit shall be granted to another shareholder for the same dwelling.
Note: this does not mean you cannot have a shared Title Deed (Kocan) between several properties, this only applies to a single dwelling.
If the immovable property has been purchased by a contract of sale, and the Kocan has not yet been issued, at least one third of the sale price must have been paid and the applicant must have applied for permission from the Council of Ministers to acquire the immovable property (Permission to Purchase).
When you apply for residency if you do not have a Kocan you must submit a copy of your contract of sale which has been stamped by the District Land (TAPU) Office. In addition you should submit a stamped document from the Taşımaz Mal Birimi Office in the Interior Ministry which shows the file reference number for your Permission to Purchase application. An email with the reference number from your solicitor is no longer sufficient.
If the immovable property has a Title Deed (Kocan) registered to the name of the applicant, the applicant is required to have an income equal to at least 1 monthly minimum wages (9,885 TL per month). If the instalments are still being paid for the immovable property, the applicant must have an income equal to at least 1 x monthly minimum wage in addition to the monthly instalment amount stated in the contract.
Family Residence Permit
Couples, co-habiting people and/or family living in the same dwelling should apply for a Family Residence Permit. The main income earner or the person whose name is on the Property Title Deeds (Kocan)/Rental Agreement, if only one partner’s name is listed, should take the role of Sponsor for the purposes of the application. Only their salary/pension will be evaluated when making the application.
Other persons who could be considered as a sponsor are: TRNC citizens, residency permit holders, business permit holders, student residence permit holders and foreigners who have been legally working in the TRNC at least for a year.
People Who May Apply for a Family Residence Permit
⦁ The Sponsor’s foreign spouse and children under 18 years of age
⦁ The Sponsor’s and/or their spouse’s handicapped foreign children who are > 18 years old
⦁ The Sponsor’s or his/her spouse’s parents, if the sponsor and his/her spouse is working and have children < 12 years of age
⦁ Student resident permit holders’ parents and spouses
⦁ The children of foreigners residing in the TRNC who are not a student, not working, single and < 23 years of age
⦁ The parents of the Sponsor who is a TRNC citizen
⦁ Non-married couples & people who are living together in the same property, providing a form, stamped and approved by the Notar is submitted with the application.
The co-habiting peoples form is available here
Residence Permit Application Process
Applications for a residence permit must be made, using the online Residency Application or online Student Residence Permit. Foreigners must apply within 30 days of entering the TRNC or before your visa has expired.
Applications for renewal of a residence permit must be made no earlier than 60 days and not later than 20 days before expiry of their current residence permit.
If you apply for Temporary Residency after your visa period has expired a late application fee will be applied increasing the cost of your Residency Permit. You will also incur an additional fine of 120TL per month for each month that an application is submitted late as well as the daily fine for over-staying on a Tourist visa.
The daily fine for over-staying on a Tourist visa is 203.07TL (daily minimum wage @ 1/1/2021) per person per day, payable either upon departure, or upon the processing of a Residency Visa. It is very important therefore to make an application for Temporary Residency before your visa expires.
All applicants must submit their application using the online Residency System, which is available at www.icisleri.gov.ct.tr. See Online Residency tab for detailed information on how to register on the system. Please note before registering on the system you need to obtain a Mukhtar’s letter, as you will be required to upload a copy of this as part of the application process.
Once the initial application has been submitted the applicant(s) will be advised of their appointment date at their District Police Station.
The applicant must bring all the required documentation to their police appointment, details of the documents required can be found below, at www.icisleri.gov.ct.tr or through the online system. The Immigration Authority of the District Police Directorate will perform an initial evaluation of the documentation at the appointment, and inform you if any of the required documentation is missing. If you fail to submit the correct documents, the police will advise you of the missing documents and provide you an opportunity to bring them to the police station within a few days of your appoint. If you fail to submit the missing documents your application may be cancelled and you will need to leave the country if your legal permission has lapsed.
Once your application is approved (at the police interview), you should log into the system the next day and check, what actions you are required to undertake. We recommend you log into the system regularly to find out what actions are required to follow the progress of your application.
If you have requested a 1 year visa normally the request to pay your health insurance online appears on the system immediately, however if you have applied for a 2 year visa you may find that the system will show that your application has been sent to immigration for assessment to determine whether a 2 year visa can be granted. As a result you may need to wait between 7-10 days for the approval to be obtained before you are requested to pay your health insurance online.
Following your police interview you will be asked to pay for your health insurance online. If you are over 60 years of age – you will be asked to pay for your state health insurance (if you do not have an approved private health insurance policy). If you are under 60 years of age you will need to pay for your state health insurance and blood tests online. If you require a health check the system will notify you which clinic you should attend. Visit the designated clinic for blood & TB tests, return to the clinic after 2 days to check if there is a reaction to your TB skin test.
If the notification/task, specifies a time duration you must complete the relevant action within the timescale specified. If there is no time notification then you must complete the action promptly as all actions the applicant is required to take must be completed within 30 days in total.
If your Health Check is approved your application will be approved to move into the next stage.
If a satisfactory Health Check is not received by the Immigration Department within 30 days from the date of application, the applicant will be notified by SMS that the application has been rejected and you must leave the country within 5 days. Any person who does not leave the country within 5 days will be considered as having stayed in the country without permission and will be fined.
In parallel with the Health Insurance /Health Check process your application documentation will be forwarded to the Immigration Department for further evaluation.
A few weeks later, you will be informed via the Online System whether your Residence Permit has been granted. If you are granted a Residence Permit you will be prompted to pay for the permit online. You should pay for your permit online and once the payment has been made you can download and print a receipt for the payment. Once the online payment has been completed log out of the system and log in again at this point your Residence Permit will be available for download and printing.
If the applicant does not take necessary actions within the period notified or within 30 days as specified above, and the delay is not caused by the administration, the applicant will be notified that the application has been cancelled.
If you application is cancelled you will be required to leave the country within 5 days or face a fine for overstaying.
After initial approval of your application (i.e. your police interview) you may leave and re-enter the country within 30 days without being penalised. If you leave the country your application will be placed on hold by the Interior Ministry and will be re-started when you return to the country.
Note: if you need to leave the country after your police interview we recommend you pay your health insurance and have your blood tests (if required) before departing.
If as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic you have been unable to apply for Permission to Purchase (PtP) for your property, this requirement is waived until 31st December 2020, however you need to provide a formal document, explaining why PtP has not been applied for (either a solicitor’s letter or Tapu office document)
Before 31st December if your passport has expired or is about to expire, you will not be penalised, when making a residency application.
Renewing your Residency Permit
If you have already applied and obtained residency via the online system, you should renew your residency online by selecting the renew button approx. 1 month before your current residency permit expires.
If you were only given 6 months residency on your previous application, but purchased 1 year Health Insurance, your application will immediately progress to the stage of being evaluated by the Interior Ministry. You will not be asked to attend a police interview, as this is only required once per year and you will not have to pay for Health Insurance, as you will still have approx. 6 months of Health Insurance cover from your previous application. Once you application has been reviewed by the Interior Ministry your new residency permit will be issued.
Note: you will only be issued with a residency permit for 6 months or a permit which expires on the date your Health Insurance expires. You will then need to apply again for Temporary Residency, but this time you should be issued with a 1 or 2 year permit.
If you were previously issued with a 1 year permit online, when you renew your Temporary Residency, you will be prompted to undertake the usual residency permit tasks, i.e. uploading your documents, attending a police interview and paying for health insurance online.
Student Residence Permit
Foreigners who are studying an associate degree, undergraduate degree, graduate degree or a postgraduate degree in a higher education institution in TRNC are obliged to hold a student residence permit.
To apply for student residence permit, you must register using the online application. The link for the online student residence permit is available at www.icisleri.gov.ct.tr
For information on how to fill in the online student permit, go to the Student Permit Procedure section of our Online Residency Application Guide.
Foreigners who are over 18 years and still studying in Secondary schools
Foreigners over 18 years old but still studying in a secondary school can be issued with a student residence permit by applying to the Immigration Department. The applicant must provide a valid passport, valid student certificate and a fee receipt from the Office of Tax and Revenue.
Conditions covered by State Health Insurance:
Exemptions from Residence Permit
The following people are exempt from Residence Permit
⦁ Foreigners who are married to a TRNC citizen
⦁ Foreigners who are stateless (Determined by the Director of the Immigration Department)
⦁ Foreigners who are < 18 years old and live with their parent or guardian
⦁ Foreigners who are > 18 years old who live with their parent or guardian who are either citizens or have a legal permission to stay in the country or who are mentally or at least 50% physically handicapped
⦁ Foreigners exempt from residence permit as per the agreements signed by the TRNC
⦁ Foreigners who have a blue identity card and permanent residence permit
⦁ Foreigners who have a valid work permit or permit to establish business
⦁ Diplomats and consulate officers in the TRNC
⦁ Foreigners with a diplomatic passport and their families (Verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
⦁ Foreigners working in the TRNC offices of international organizations whose status has been determined by agreements
⦁ Foreigners temporarily assigned to a Foreign Mission in the TRNC (Verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
⦁ Personnel who are assigned to work in the TRNC in accordance with international treaties, their spouses and children
⦁ Military personnel other than those serving in the TRNC and carrying out their compulsory military service and their spouses, children and parents
⦁ Detainees and convicts, as long as their status continue.
Application form for Exemption from Residency
The following documents must be provided to support your Exemption application:
⦁ Passport original and copy of the Photo page, last Residency permit and last entry stamp
⦁ Your Partner’s TRNC Citizen Identity Card (Kimlik)
⦁ Your marriage certificate
⦁ Mukhtar’s letter confirming residence
⦁ Entrance and Exit Document from the Police
⦁ Stamps – 21.50 TL (fee on 1 January 2021)
For more information, see FAQ
The Interior Ministry have changed their procedures, so that now the date when you receive your SMS advising you of the date of your police interview is now considered as the official start date of your residency application. This has been introduced due to the large backlog of applications and hence delays in appointments at certain police stations, provided you have legal permission to be in the TRNC when you received your SMS advising you the date of your police interview following registering on the online system, even if this legal permission lapses in the period before you attend your police interview you will not be penalised.
Source: KKTC Içişleri Bakanlığı - Muhaceret Dairesi
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