09.09 TRNC Interior Ministry Immigration Department announces extension of application time for people to apply for residency or a work permit. This applies to people who had valid permission to be here prior to March 13, and entered the country before September 10. These individuals have now been granted a 30 day extension, from September 10 to October 10 (dates included) and will not be penalised for applying during this period.
17.09.20 - The Interior Ministry announced yesterday, some further information relating to Residency applications using the online system.
If you have legal permission to be in the TRNC when you register on the online system, but this legal permission lapses in the period between you registering on the system and your police interview you will not be penalised.
Note: The formal date of registration is your police interview, therefore until you attend your police interview you are not officially recorded as having commenced the residency process.
Note: We would therefore, strongly recommend anyone who needs to apply for residency (especially those over 65 years who did not have residency previously) should start their residency application as soon as possible, as the waiting times for a police appointment in some districts, in particular Girne, now exceed 6 weeks.
2. At your police interview you must submit all the documents required. Which documents you need to submit is listed in the online system and depends on which type of residency you are applying for. If you fail to submit the correct documents you application may be cancelled and you will need to leave the country if your legal permission has lapsed.
3. Once your application is approved (at the police interview), the applicant will be notified by the system which actions he / she has to take to complete the process. A notification should be sent via SMS or e-mail regarding the necessary actions, however if you do not receive an SMS you should check the system regularly yourself to find out what actions are required.
Note: the main steps are:
Over 60 years of age – pay for your state health insurance online (if you do not have an approved private health insurance policy) & pay for your residency online
Under 60 years of age – pay for your state health insurance and blood tests online. Visit the designated clinic and have a blood test, return to the clinic after 2 days for the clinic to check if there is a reaction to your TB skin test & pay for your residency online
If the notification, 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. It is essential that all procedures regarding the application are completed within the 30 days specified in the above paragraph.
4. 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 canceled.
5. If you application is cancelled you will be required to leave the country within 5 days or face a fine for overstaying.
6. After approval of your application (i.e. your police interview) you may leave and re-enter the country within 30 days without being penalised.
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, so that you application can continue while you are away.
6. 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)
7. Before 31st December if your passport has expired or is about to expire, you will not be penalised, when making a residency application.
Important Information - Update 02.09.2020
Following another meeting with the Interior Ministry today, the system issue with respect to health insurance and renewals remains unresolved.
In addition there is currently an intermittent system fault which is causing the system to behave unpredictably.
Examples of the problems you may encounter: Uploading documents (very slow, may corrupt/timeout during upload); SMS text messages not being received, spurious messages to delete a document which has previously been successfully uploaded. They are working to fix this fault and it should be resolved within a few days.
Helpful Tips: If you register and do not receive a text message with your username/password, re-register again. This will cause the system to resend your original username and password. If you need to reset your password and don’t receive a text message, try again later. If you see a message to delete a successfully uploaded document, ignore.
Online Residency System Issues:
Deadline for Residency Applications – Read if you are over 60 years and have not yet applied for Residency
If you are over 60 and have not yet started your residency application you must start your residency application as soon as possible or you risk being fined for late application.
As you are all aware the process for Temporary Residency changed on 23rd October 2019 and people aged over 60 years who were previously exempt from requiring Temporary Residency were given until 23rd October 2020 to apply for Temporary Residency.
The Interior Ministry Policy states you must have started the application process for Temporary Residency before 23rd October 2020. You should be aware that the Interior Ministry record the date when you started to make an application for residency as the date when you attend your police interview, not the date you started the application. If your police interview is before 23rd October 2020 you will not be charged late application fees.
If you live in the Girne area, there is a large backlog of residency applications. The police appointments are currently about 6 weeks after you apply. The Interior Ministry now accept that this is not your fault, so as long as you apply in reasonable time before 23rd October, you will not be fined.
Late application fees are as follows:
Remember to register on the system and obtain a police appointment you only require a Mukhtar’s letter and your passport, so it’s straightforward to start the process and then you have 6 weeks to collect together any documents you require for your police interview.
Health Insurance – Read if you applied / are applying as a married couple or cohabiting partners
The online system currently has a fault, which means if you apply as a couple/2 cohabiting people, only the Sponsor is requested to pay for health insurance. We were aware this was occuring but it appeared to be a normal part of the new procedure. However, we have now confirmed this is a fault and there is still a requirement for both you and your spouse / sponsored person to obtain health insurance.
If you have applied for Residency, attended a Police Interview and both Sponsor & Sponsoree has paid for Health Insurance
If you registered for Residency but did not link your accounts together as a joint application, you should both have been requested to pay for health insurance, so your application will progress without issue. No further action is required.
If you have applied for Residency, attended a Police Interview and only the Sponsor has paid for Health Insurance
If you have applied for residency as a married or cohabiting couple and have linked your accounts together, the sponse/sponsored person will be called by the Interior Ministry and asked to obtain Health Insurance and to bring it to the Interior Ministry in Lefkoşa, in order for them to complete your residency application.
Health Insurance should be obtained as per the old process, i.e.
⦁ For State Health Insurance - go to Koop Bank, taking this payment slip and pay for 1 year’s health insurance, then take your receipts to the Health Ministry (Saǧlık Bakanlıǧı) in the white portacabin type building to the left of the Health Ministry Building and get your receipts stamped. As Koop Bank have not been made fully aware of this temporary problem, you may encounter problems getting them to take the payment, even if you take the payment slip with you. Tell them that the Interior Ministry have asked you to buy health insurance through Koop bank and the insurance cost is 382 TL for a year.
⦁ For Private Health Insurance – go to an approved provider of Private Health Insurance, for example Daǧlı, Azant, Zirve, Capital Bank and purchase Emergency Health Insurance. Copy your policy.
Once you have purchased insurance take your documents to the Interior Ministry (İçişleri Bakanlıǧı) the new office is on the right hand side when you enter the building who will add them to your residency file. Your residency permit can then be approved and issued.
Note: you only need to obtain Insurance for the Sponsoree / Spouse – the other person’s insurance has been correctly processed by the system
If you want to avoid the hassle of going to Koop bank, then to Lefkosa to the Ministry of Health and Interior Ministry, we are offering a service where we will do this for you. The charge is 500 tl (this includes the cost of purchasing Health Insurance which is 382 TL).
If you have applied for Residency and have not yet had your Police Interview
If you have applied for residency as a married or cohabiting couple and have linked your accounts together, but not yet had your police interview.
The Interior Ministry have advised that the system fault will be fixed very quickly, therefore you need to take no action. After your police interview you should both be prompted to pay for health insurance by the system.
If only one of you is prompted for health insurance, then you should follow the procedure in the above section If you have applied for Residency, attended a Police Interview and only the Sponsor has paid for Residency.
If you are a couple and have not yet applied for Residency
If you have not yet applied for Residency, the system fault should have been corrected by the time of your police interview, so both of you should be prompted to pay for health insurance after your police interview and therefore can apply in the normal way.
If haven’t yet applied for Residency, because you are unsure what to do or you need assistance to complete you residency application online, we are here to help. Either follow the guidance in the Online User Guide on this website or if you would like someone to complete the registration process on your behalf, contact us: Melissa Emen on 0533 8262800 or Caroline Houghton on 0533 829 3145 and we can arrange an appointment to complete your registration. The fee for registration assistance is 90 TL per person.
If you want to avoid a trip to Lefkoşa to obtain your Health Insurance and submit it to the Ministry of the Interior, we can assist. Contact us, Melissa Emen on 0533 8262800 or Caroline Houghton on 0533 829 3145 and we can arrange purchase and registration of your State Health Insurance. The fee for Health Insurance assistance is 500 TL (including 382 TL for 1 year’s health insurance / per person).
Renewing your Residency Permit
If you have already applied and obtained residency via the online system, currently you cannot renew your residency until your existing residency has expired.
This is a system fault. The Interior Ministry is working on a system fix to solve this problem. If your residency is due to expire very soon, please check the system every few days to see you if the renewal function becomes available. As soon as it is available, renew your application. If it is not available before your residency expires, apply immediately as soon as it ends.
The Interior Ministry acknowledges that this is a system fault, so you will not be penalised for late application.
We will provide an update here when we know the renewal function is available.
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 entry visa period, must apply (and meet the requirements) for a 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.
Short-term residence permit are generally issued, for a maximum period of one year, however, foreigners over 60s years of age may be issued with a Residence Permit of 2 years duration. The duration of the short-term residence permit is decided based on the person’s request, reason and other issues related to residence permit.
Foreigners who are eligible to apply for a short-term 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 (3820tl per month( effective from 25th February 2020)) or has the annual equivalent of this amount in a bank account.
Foreigners who came to the TRNC for scientific research or archaeological excavation
Foreigners who came to the TRNC for vocational training or an internship
Foreigners who came 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 who came to TRNC for the 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 conjunctions with yacht tourism, as well as the crew and the passengers can be issued short-term residence permit up to 6 months within a 12 month period provided they submit the relevant documents confirming the duration of their stay in the TRNC harbour where their yacht is anchored
Foreigners who arrive for shooting a movie/documentary can be issued short-term residence permit each time they apply for a period of maximum one year if the visa that they were originally granted proves to be insufficient for shooting 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 short-term residence permit (immovable property), no short-term residence permit shall be granted to another shareholder for the same dwelling.
If the immovable property has been purchased through concluding a contract, it is required that at least one third of the sale price has been paid and the applicant must have applied for permission from the Council of Ministers to acquire the immovable property (Permission to Purchase).
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 (3,820tl per month). If the installments are still being paid for the immovable property, the applicant must have an income equal to at least three monthly minimum wages in addition to the monthly installment amount stated in the contract.
Family Residence Permit
Couples, co-habiting people and/or family living in the same dwelling you 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 the foreigners who have been legally working in the TRNC at least for a year.
PEOPLE WHO CAN RECEIVE 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 over 18 year old
⦁ The sponsor’s or his/her spouse’s parents, if the sponsor and his/her spouse is working and have children under 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 under 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.
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.
Residence Permit Application Process
Applications for a residence permit must be made, wherever possible using the online Residency Application or online Student Residence Permit. Foreigners must apply within 30 days of entering the TRNC.
Applications for renewal of a residence permit must be made no earlier than 60 days and not later than 20 days before expiry of the current residence permit.
Foreigners over 60 years of age before 23rd October 2019 who have been living in the TRNC may continue to stay in the country provided they obtain a residence permit by 22nd October 2020.
Foreigners who entered the TRNC before the COVID-19 lock-down and whose visa/residency expired during that period must either apply for Residency or leave the TRNC before September 9, in which case any penalties for overstaying your visa will be waived. If you apply for Temporary Residency after September 9, a late application fee will be applied increasing the cost of your visa to 672TL. You will also incur an additional fine of 120TL per month for each month that an application is submitted late as well as the 180TL per day fine for over-staying on a Tourist visa.
The daily fine for over-staying on a Tourist visa is 180TL per person per day, payable either upon departure, or upon the processing of a Residency Visa. It is very important therefore, if you have stayed longer than your visa entitlement, you need to either leave the TRNC before September 9 or make an application for Temporary Residency.
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(s) must bring all the required documentation to their appointment, details of the documents required can be found below, at www.icisleri.gov.ct.tr or through the online system when you received notification of your police appointment. 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.
Following the Police appointment you will be notified by SMS to log onto the system to pay for your Health Insurance and Health Check (if required). After payment has been received those applicants who require a Health Check (Blood Test and TB test) will be advised which clinic to attend. You should promptly attend the Clinic and any return visit requested to check your reaction to the TB test.
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.
Once the Health Insurance and Health Check payment has been made your application documentation will be forwarded to the Immigration Department for further evaluation in parallel with the Health Check process.
A few weeks later, you will be informed by SMS/Notification via the Online System whether your Residence Permit has been granted or not. If you are granted a Residence Permit you will be prompted to pay for the permit online. Once the online payment has been received you will be notified by the system as soon as your Residence Permit is available for download (within an hour or so).
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 under 18 years old and live with their parent or guardian
⦁ Foreigners older than 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 - 19.20 TL
For more information, see FAQ
Source: KKTC Içişleri Bakanlığı - Muhaceret Dairesi