As the nature of things is always about change these days, you won’t be surprised to learn that a big change has happened to those expats who are over the age of 60 and living in North Cyprus and that change is Temporary Residency!
For many years the over 60s were indeed very fortunate to be able to live in North Cyprus without any kind of official requirements to do so. However, in 2019 the government announced that there were to be new regulations put in place that required this age group to apply for individual ‘Temporary Residence’ permits. Of course, there was an outcry, as life had been pretty easy for a very long time. It was perhaps justified as many retired expats would generally spend 3 to 6 months of the year in their second homes here in North Cyprus, meaning that was no longer feasible. On the flip side, there are not many countries that allow people to reside in situ without having any kind of records or data of this particular population!
A year was given, with an end date for applications of 23rd October 2020. After that date, foreigners entering the country were given a 30-day visa stay with no penalty. Any overstay of that time period meant incurring fines, which, at the time of writing, is 180TL per day. People who were intending to stay in the country beyond 30 days were then required to apply for residency.
Of course, some expats acted quickly and subsequently became the guinea pigs for the new system, so it has seen a few creases ironed out and some tweaks since the start, and it is now a fairly simple and streamlined process. Phew!
To apply for residency in North Cyprus there are certain criteria required. There are also numerous permutations of who can apply, depending on if you are married, an owner of a property, a tenant renting, etc. However, as mentioned, once a few people had gone through the process, all personal circumstances now appear to be covered.
Lots of documentation is unfortunately required, a trip to the police station, state health insurance to be paid for, amongst other obvious things, such as copies of passports, title deeds for property, etc. There are also a number of exemptions for applying for TRNC residency, which can be if you are married to a local TRNC citizen, diplomats, or those with valid working permits, for example.
To apply for residency in North Cyprus a lot of the procedure is online, which is a million miles away from the times when most of us who are under 60 were applying! Things have moved on very quickly in this regard in North Cyprus, presumably aided by mainland Turkey affording the technology for TRNC use. To start the application all you need do is visit the government’s website for Residence Permits & Visa applications – http://icisleri.gov.ct.tr
Online payment is required at a certain stage through your application and the only thing that we hear can be an issue for some is the non-acceptance of overseas credit cards. We are sure that this will be resolved in the near future, however, you may need to find a friend who has a local card you can use, or talk to your local TRNC bank to see if they can activate your debit card to enable credit if you indeed have one of those.
Rather than list the whole process (and admittedly we have not yet had to go through the process ourselves, so not the experts) there are some very useful websites that go into detail about how to apply, what is required, and how much it all costs. Below we provide some links to help you and we wish you luck if you are needing to apply for residency! The best thing is not to panic, being Cyprus, things can still get sorted out with a bit of patience and a smile.
https://www.infonorthcyprus.com/temporary-residency – a mine of information and a step by step guide to applying – a very useful page to visit.
http://icisleri.gov.ct.tr TRNC Interior Ministry – this is where you will start your application and the necessary stuff you need to know is in English, hurrah!
https://brstrnc.com/living.asp– British Residents Society – you have to be a member to be able to visit the Members Area, where you will find more information and assistance in making your application.
For more information, articles and advice on living in and relocating to North Cyprus feel free to visit our Living Section.