Border Crossings in North Cyprus

Since 2003, the north and south of Cyprus have been accessible to each other via several checkpoints along the Green Line, all of which were opened as part of efforts aimed at reuniting the two Cypriot communities. 

Today Europeans and Cypriots are able to use several border crossings in Cyprus, whether it’s to shop, trade or work.  Currently there are 6 checkpoints open to pedestrians and/or traffic and below we will detail these for you.  It’s worth noting that another checkpoint in Yeşilirmak on the far north-western tip of Cyprus could be set to open shortly and we will keep you up to date on that!

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Relocating to North Cyprus

When considering a move to another country there are many things to think about apart from the initial thoughts of ‘am I doing the right thing?’  In this article we will assume that you have already decided to relocate to North Cyprus, after having done the appropriate research!

Depending on your reasons for moving to North Cyprus, whether it is to move your whole family for a new start, retiring to enjoy your time in a Mediterranean climate, or whether you wish to find work, we will attempt to offer some tips and advice.  Also note that our Property section will give you insight into finding a home on the island.

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Residency Permits for North Cyprus

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.

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Pet Relocation to North Cyprus

Although it’s fairly complicated to achieve, you would obviously never leave your beloved pets behind when considering relocating to North Cyprus!  The pet relocation process itself just requires some forward planning, and if you start early enough you will prevent yourself a lot of the stress that others incur when relocating animals and leaving everything to the last minute.

This article is assuming that you’re coming from the UK, but regulations for relocating pets from other European countries is often not too dissimilar, as most animals now just require a pet passport for travel to other countries who are part of the EU Pet Passport scheme.  You should start to get your pet ready for relocation around six months prior to travel.

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Working & Permits in North Cyprus

So, you’ve relocated to North Cyprus and you need to find work.  Well, take a step back for a moment!  Rules relating to foreigners getting a work permit have been in place for a long time, but until recently they were very infrequently enforced and nowadays, getting a work permit is not exactly straightforward.  If you need to find a job to support yourself or your family in Northern Cyprus, then you ideally need to find work before you arrive.

We will detail the rules for obtaining work and a work permit as best we can, but please note that the rules do change quite frequently so it always better to seek government advice for regular updates.  For example there are currently rumours circulating that a foreigner will only be able to hold a work permit for 4 years and will then have to leave for 10, before they can get another one!  A work permit will entitle you to reside legally in North Cyprus and work here, and it will need to be renewed on a regular basis during your working life on the island.

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Shipping Goods to North Cyprus

Do not be afraid’ is our first tip!  Moving your prized lifetime’s belongings to North Cyprus can be a relatively hassle and stress free experience as long as you have done your homework.  There are many companies which deal with freight to the island, and most people enjoy a good shipping experience – well, as good an experience as is ever possible when your new life depends on your belongings arriving shortly behind you!

Also, based on the assumption that most people reading this article will be either British or European, we will offer recommended shippers that are based in the UK but which also operate on an international scale.

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Obtaining a Driving License in North Cyprus

Having purchased a car here in North Cyprus it is important to actually make sure that you can legally drive it!  Fortunately, as European driving standards are classed as being far superior to those in North Cyprus, (you’ll soon realise why!), you won’t have an issue with obtaining a TRNC license, and you will not be required to sit through another driving test!

There are a few important pointers though, as there is a timeframe of three months in which to get your license once you have the car bought and registered in your name, otherwise this could mean problems if you are stopped by police on a routine roadside check, or if you are involved in an accident.

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Car Travel in North Cyprus

Driving can be quite an emotive subject here in North Cyprus, as it seems that driving standards have not improved in tandem with the upgrade of the road system, and have indeed got worse now that people can afford to purchase faster and more modern cars.  However, for now we will just give you a heads up on the general driving situation.

In North Cyprus cars drive on the left hand side of the road (most of the time!), which for Brits is of course the norm anyway.  Most main roads are in good condition, but you need to be aware that some back roads, and even some fairly major town roads can be in quite bad condition.

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Visas for North Cyprus

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.

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Embassies in Cyprus

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.

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