By Chris Elliott and Trevor Hughes……

For the past few months the expatriates in Northern Cyprus have been waiting for news of the Permanent Residency (White Card) regulation which confirms what the regulation procedures are for expatriates who wish to apply for permanent residency. So on behalf of we visited the Ministry of Interior and Labour and spoke to Mr Hasan Hacılar the Manager of the department which issues  Temporary Residency permits and Work Permits.

This is the department that also receives applications for white cards which are reviewed by  the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

White card

White Card/ Permanent Residency

The Permanent Residency (White Card) is open to people irrespective of age in accordance with the legislation requirements, as long as they are over 18 years old.

All applications must be supported with proof that the applicant holds a valid health insurance policy and should be updated and taken  into the Ministry every two years as proof that it is current. Lapsed insurance policies will render the Permanent Residence as null and void”.

Current discussions are underway for the provision of a TRNC state insurance policy by The TRNC Ministry of Health to cover this requirement and further information will be given as soon as possible.

When you are granted a Permanent Residency (White Card)  (for Working/Business permissions) it will enable you to work during the period for which it  is valid, unlike Work Permits which are for a set period and need to be renewed which will include the health check being done again.

Qualifying  Periods :

Person under 60 Years of age

  • For persons under 60 years of age who have held consecutive Temporary Residency for 6 years. During this consecutive period the applicant must not have been outside the TRNC for more than 1,080 days.
  • For persons under 60 years of age who have held consecutive Work permits for 6 years. During this consecutive period the applicant must not have been outside the TRNC for more than 240 days
  • They also should show proof of a minimum of 21,600TL held in a TRNC bank. This represents the TRNC basic minimum wage of currently 1800TL per month.

Person over 60 Years of age

  • For persons over 60 years of age who have held consecutive Temporary Residency permits for 3 years. During this consecutive period the applicant must not have been outside the TRNC for more than 540 days.
  • They also should show proof of a minimum of 21,600TL held in a TRNC bank. This represents the TRNC basic minimum wage of currently 1800 TL per month.

Note: Persons over 60 years of age are not required to apply for Temporary Residence permits to live in the TRNC.

It should also be noted that the existing law requires that  all foreign residents in the TRNC should apply for “Annual Residency” after staying more than 90 days in any year  and every subsequent year thereafter. 

Application forms for Permanent Residence (White Card) are available in English and cover the following and can be downloaded by clicking where shown below

  • Permanent Residency for Foreigners who have a property in the TRNC and can show permanent income details. (pension) . Click here.
  • Permanent Residency for Applicants with Work or Business Permissions. Click here.

The current cost of a Permanent Residence (White Card) is 2000TL. Breaking News “Price drop for TRNC White Card” click here

  • Property owners with properties to the value of no less than Euros 125,000 in value can apply. This is the value declared by you at the Tapu Office when paying your Property Tax. This value will be checked by the immigration department when the Permanent Residence (White Card) application is processed.
  • Persons who do not own a property cannot apply for a Permanent Residence (White Card)
  • For holders of work permits or business permits it is not necessary to show ownership of a property in the TRNC when applying for a white card.
  • The value of your property is not what you think it is, or any other third party/agent who thinks it is but the Tapu value. Any alteration or addition to the structure of the building is not taken into account.
  • You will need to submit an “in’s  and  “out’s record to support your application which is obtained from the Immigration police.

Naturally monetary values stated here may change in the future so this information is offered as a guide at this time and we have also offered this to North Cyprus expatriate NGO’s so they may have a common understanding of the regulations as at the date of this article and pass it to the expatriates they are in contact with.

We shall also be seeking a meeting with the Ministry of Health as soon as possible for information regarding the proposals for a Health Insurance Scheme for foreigners applying for Permanent Residence (White Card) and will advise our readers of this in due course.   

TRNC Permanent Residence (White Card)  Regulations

Questions and Answers

In requesting information regarding the  TRNC Permanent Residence (White Card) Regulations in Northern Cyprus” we asked the following questions which we felt could be asked by people wishing to apply for Permanent Residence (White card) and the answers are shown below:


  1. What should the general insurance policy cover be?

Answer: This question and some of the following questions should be referred to the Ministry of Health who are creating and will issue an  insurance policy to cover the requirement of the White Card regulations.

  1. If you have siblings/dependants under the age of 16 years old, do they need to have health insurance? And when they become older must they, again, have health insurance, to make them eligible?

Answer:  At 18 years of age they will be required to apply for either a work permit or temporary residence permit or the Permanent Residency (White Card) with  appropriate health insurance policy.

  1. Will your application become successful if you have health insurance with an excess of say £2000.00?

 Answer:  Waiting on information from the Ministry of Health

  1. If you cannot get health insurance because of age, will your application be considered?

Answer:  No, you have to abide by the regulations.

  1. If you reach the upper age limit half way through the insurance term, will your permit be automatically terminated?

Answer:  Waiting on information from the Ministry of Health.

  1. If you purchased your property several years ago at say Euros 100,000 which reflected the true market value at the time of purchase, and has since increased in value to reflect the market trend, will the more realistic value count on application?

Answer: No the value used is the original Tapu value. but consideration will be given to a current Tapu valuation on your property in the evaluation   process of the  application.

  1. If, since purchasing your property you have had it extended, taking the property over the Euros 125.000 minimum Tapu value, can you pay the tax on the increased value of your home and make your application eligible?

Answer – NO!

  1. For a person who has a Permanent Residency (White Card) (Work or Business Permissions) and is working, what happens if they stop working?

 Answer: If a Permanent Residency (White Card) holder who has obtained this as a holder of a business/work permit stops working they can stay in the TRNC for 6 months without working. If they stay for more than 6 months their permanent residency (white card) will be cancelled by the Immigration Department when next they present their documents. 

  1. If a person who has a white card, sells their property and buys a property with a Tapu value of less than Euros125,000 will they lose their white card?

Answer: Yes, they lose their Permanent Residency (White Card). The law requires a Permanent Residency (White Card).holder to own a property with a minimum Tapu value of Euros 125,000.

For those readers who wish to make an application  for Permanent Residency (White Card) and have specific questions they may wish to ask, please place them in the contact form below and when we receive an answer, we will publish your question and the Ministry answer as comments below this article.