Residents Permits

Deadline for Residency Applications – Read if you are over 60 years and have not yet applied for Residency 

If you are over 60 years of age and have not been outside the TRNC this year and have not yet started your residency application you must start your residency application immediately as the deadline for applications expired on 23rd October 2020 and you will be fined for late application. 

 

The process for Temporary Residency changed on 23rd October 2019 and people aged over 60 years who were previously exempt from requiring Temporary Residency must now apply for Temporary Residency.
 
The deadline for applying for Temporary Residency was 23rd October 2020 for anyone over 60 years of age (and does not have legal permission (permanent residency/work/business permit)) who has not left the TRNC since 23rd October 2019.  If you have been left the country since this date and returned, when you entered you were issued with a tourist visa of either 30, 60 or 90 days.   You should have applied for Temporary Residency before your tourist visa expired. 

As many people were not able to start their Temporary Residency application due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Interior Ministry issued several amnesties to give people more time to commence their temporary residency application.  All amnesties have now ended, so if you have not applied for residency you will need to pay a fine for the days in which you have remained in the country without legal permission.  Details of the penalties for failure to apply for Temporary residency within the required timescales are given below: 

Normally the Interior Ministry consider the date when you attend your police interview as the official start date of your residency application, not the date you started your online application.  Due to the large backlog of applications and hence delays in appointments at certain police stations the Interior Ministry have said that provided you have legal permission to be in the TRNC when you register on the online system, even if this legal permission lapses in the period between you registering on the system and your police interview you will not be penalised. 
 

 

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 some time 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 and attended your police interview before 25th October

The online system previously had a fault, which means if you apply as a couple/2 cohabiting people, only the Sponsor is requested to pay for health insurance.  This is a fault and both you and your spouse / sponsored person need to have health insurance. 
 
If you have applied for residency as a married or cohabiting couple and attended your police interview before 25th October, you must login to the system and pay for your health insurance online.  If, when you log in only one of you can pay for health insurance online, you must obtain Health Insurance separately and take to the Ministry of the Interior, so the application can progress.  If you do not do this, the spouse/sponsored person’s application will become stalled on the system.  Eventually you 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.

Note: couples attending their police interview after 25th October should not experience this problem as the system fault has now been fixed.
 

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 or 2 year’s health insurance.  As not all branches of Koop Bank are fully aware of this problem, you may encounter problems making 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. 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.
 
⦁    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 should be correctly processed by the system

Assistance

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 382TL for 1 year’s Health Insurance).

Contact us, Melissa Emen on 0533 877 6728 or Caroline Houghton on 0533 829 3145.

 
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, then 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. 6months 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, then 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.

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 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 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 temporary 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 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 (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 Temporary residence permit (immovable property), no Temporary 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 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 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

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.
 
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 180TL 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(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. 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.

Once your application is approved (at the police interview), you should be notified by the system which actions to take to complete the process. If you do not receive an SMS you should log into the system the next day and check.  We recommend that you log into the system regularly to find out what actions are required and follow the progress of your application.

 

If you are over 60 years of age – you will be asked to pay for your state health insurance online (if you do not have an approved private health insurance policy).  If you are under 60 years of age or over 60 years of age and making your first residency application 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.

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).

 

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 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.

 

 
 

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 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

                              In cooperation with

TFR - The Foreign Residents in the TRNC