Many people find the thought of the residency procedure here quite daunting, but in reality most people are able to complete the process quickly and easily without any assistance. However, Leverage Investments does offer this service as part of the customer after care service. Due to the laws and regulations of the European Union are not applied in the TRNC, European Union citizens still have to follow the residency procedure in the same way as other nationals.
Every time a person enters the TRNC, their passport is stamped at the port of entry with a tourist visitor. This entitles that person to remain in the TRNC for the period of time stated on the tourist visa (usually three months) without working. On the expiry of this period, that person must leave the TRNC. It used to be possible for a person to leave the TRNC and return on the following day, for example by flying to Turkey, thereby obtaining a further tourist visa. However this loophole has been largely closed.
Those wishing to retire in North Cyprus who are over sixty do not need a residency permit as of the time of this writing. Obviously, you will want to call our office to make sure that is still the law before boarding a plane.
For those people under sixty who wish to stay in the TRNC for longer than the period of the tourist visa, a residency permit must be obtained. To obtain this, the first port of call is the local police station’s immigration department – in the area that you are living. You will need to produce to the police the following documents:
- Passport original and photocopy.
- If you have the title deeds to property in your name, the title deeds (original) and photocopy. If you have purchased a property under Contract of Sale, but have not yet received the title deeds to the property, the Contract of Sale (original) and photocopy. If you are living in rented accommodation the Tenancy Agreement (original) and photocopy.
- A letter from your local village chief (Muhtar as they are known in Turkish) to say that you reside in his village. This letter is called Ikametgah Belgesi in Turkish. You can usually find your Muhtar in the centre of the village where you live near to the local municipality (belediye) building or the post office.
- Bank documents showing that you have a TRNC bank account which has sufficient funds or a regular income to enable you to support yourself in the TRNC without working. This level is £5,000. You are only required to show this in an account in North Cyprus then you can use it, but you must show it every year.
- 2 passport photographs
- 12.50 TL stamps (Damga Pulu in Turkish) (the amount required is constantly changing, so you should take a selection of stamps with you in case further stamps are required)
- The police will then refer you to the State Hospital, or now there are certain clinics which are licensed to carry out this work, for a health test. (135 TL) The test will check for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and TB.
- Now that you have completed the process, take you packet down to the police.
- After you have had the health test, you will collect the results and take them unopened to the immigration office in Lefkosa for the residency permit to be stamped in your passport. The immigration office is called the ‘Muhaceret Dairesi’ in Turkish.
Yes, the list looks long but our experience is that the people we have met at each stop in the process have been kind and helpful. For example, when obtaining our Residency Permit, we have visited the Police first. Far from intimidating "foreign" police, they have been lovely. Speaking excellent english and giving us a handout with what they need when we bring our packet back.
It is important to note that the residency permit only entitles you to live in the TRNC. It does not entitle you to work or to set up a business in the TRNC. To do these things you will need either a work permit or a permit to set up a business. The residency permit is valid for a period of 1 year. Then it must be renewed every year by following the same procedure. Children under the age of 18 years do not require residency permits. This is only applicable to adults. Therefore, families moving to the TRNC only need to apply for residency for the adult members of the family.
Non-citizens who give birth to a child in the TRNC, will need to notify the embassy or consulate of their country of origin of the birth of the child and once this has been done and a letter to this effect has been obtained from the embassy or consulate, they will need to apply to the District Office (Kaymakamlik) in the area in which the they live to register the child’s birth. Becoming a citizen of the TRNC is more complex. Citizenship is granted to all persons whose mother or father is a Turkish Cypriot or to those married to a Turkish Cypriot.
Permanent Residence Permit
When you want to apply for a permanent residence permit (White Card) in North Cyprus, you need to prove:
- You own property worth €125,000 in North Cyprus
- Over sixty, three continuous years of temporary residency permits; under sixty, six years.
- You haven't been out of the country more than 40 days in any year
- You must have health insurance that hasn't lapsed
Any foreign person who wishes to become a citizen of TRNC can be granted a citizenship after holding a White Card for the required period of time. Their are obviously other requirements but the White Card, which is issued after unbroken residence without any legal, moral, or financial indiscretions is the first step for most.
As with almost all countries, Citizenship is also granted to those possessing rare technical skills or making monetary investments in the TRNC. These special, granted citizenship procedures are currently under review.