If you’ve retired or perhaps taken early retirement and moved to North Cyprus with no intention of working ever again, and you just want to spend your time relaxing, taking up a hobby and socialising, there’s something you need to do before you sit down by the pool with your feet up. You need to ensure that you have obtained permission to do so on a permanent basis in the form of a residency permit!
The process of securing your temporary resident’s permit has been streamlined and made much easier over the last few years, so it should not be too much of a stressful process to undertake, although it does require some running around, form filling and visits to various government departments along the way! The visa you will obtain is referred to as a ‘temporary’ permit because permanent residency requires a person to have lived in North Cyprus for six years at the time of writing.
When travelling to North Cyprus the majority of nationalities only need be concerned with having a current passport that has at least 6 months validity remaining. Citizens of all EU countries together with Australia, Canada, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland do not require a visa prior to travelling. Other nationalities should check with their local embassy office, or indeed visit the offices of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) if they happen to have a representative in your native country.
However, do remember that at the moment those who fly to Ercan have to land at a Turkish mainland airport first, and Turkish passport and visa requirements may differ.
IN NORTH CYPRUS
Several nations’ embassies, high commissions or foreign missions are located in North Cyprus and they can help with varying issues such as passport renewals, birth certificates, legal advice and much more. Local Turkish Cypriots wishing to travel to the countries which are represented on the island are required to visit the relevant nation’s offices to obtain visas for their journey.
You would probably be surprised at the amount of information and advice that these offices can give you. Below are the main offices available in North Cyprus, they are mostly located near to the Ledra checkpoint area in Lefkoşa. Be aware that some of the offices such as Australia’s only operate on a clinic basis, opening twice a week in the North, so it is always wise to call ahead and book an appointment or check opening times. Each website mentioned provides details such as opening hours, the services the embassy offers as well as maps and directions to the offices.
North Cyprus benefits from a modern and well-equipped police force that carries out various tasks apart from just crime fighting. The police force has traffic, immigration, drug and fraud divisions for example, and visitors to North Cyprus will be pleased to know that they are very quick to deal with any crime committed against tourists – although rest assured, such crimes are very infrequent.
The police force of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus reports to and is overseen by the Security Council and Ministry of the Interior, with the Commander in Chief sitting on the Council along with representatives from the Ministries of Interior and Defence and the President too.