Northern Cyprus and expatriate entertainers employment prospects
By Chris Elliott…….
Spring is on the way and soon we should see tourists arriving for their holidays and part of their enjoyment is to be entertained mostly in the evenings in hotels, restaurants and bars..
For the past 8 months cyprusscene.com has been following the North Cyprus entertainment industry through the activities of legal entertainers. During this period there has been a lot of uncertainty and confusion as to what the rules and regulations are applicable to expatriate entertainers. We therefore decided to find out the facts for the benefit of our readers and those who may wish to work as entertainers in the TRNC in view of the approaching holiday season when the entertainment prospects increase and more entertainers are required..
We visited the Lefkoşa Çalışma Dairesı Müdürlüğü (Labour Office Directorate) and spoke to the Müdür (Manager) Mr İsmail Bayhanlı and his staff and asked the following questions and offer the following information for those expatriates who would wish to work legally as entertainers in Northern Cyprus during 2016.
“Work Permits – General (Not entertainers)
- What is the scope of a full time work permit
- A work permit will be obtained through a registered company for a period of one year after the Çalışma Dairesı Müdürlüğü have agreed that no Turkish Cypriot is suitable for this type of employment. The work permit is awarded to the company and recorded in the individual’s passport. This work permission is for a specific job in a specified location and does not convey permission to work in other locations unless they are a branch of the employers business.
- The employee will be liable to pay tax, social sigorta and provident which is deducted from the employee’s salary and paid to the relevant authority by the employer.
- The provident payment is refundable when the individual ceases working and they must either leave the TRNC or apply for a residency permit.
- The employee will have to pay a refundable bond to the authorities as detailed below. Refunds will be made at predetermined dates.
Work Permits – Entertainers – Multi Venue
- What is the scope of a multi- venue work permit
- For entertainers or performers, arrangements can be made through an approved agency or company that offers a service to its customers (restaurants, bars, hotel) by providing entertainers to work at agreed locations (venues). This permit will be a full time work permit even though the entertainer will be working less hours than other legal workers.
- The agency is responsible for arranging the contract for the entertainer to perform at the agreed venue and is also responsible for paying the entertainers tax, social sigorta and provident payment to the appropriate authorities.
- How long does a work permit last?
- It is possible to have a 6 month or a 12 month permit and the holder of a twelve month work permit can have this extended by a further 12 months after the 12 month work period is completed..
- After the first one year period a further 2 year work permit can be obtained
- What is the cost of these work permits?
- 6 month cost is 150TL and for 12 months the cost is 325TL
- A work permit can be extended for a further 12 months after a full 12 months working period is completed at a cost of 325 TL
- After the first one year period a further 2 year work permit can be obtained at a cost of 650TL
Additional costs to entertainers or full time employees
- Are there any additional costs to be paid to the authorities?
- Yes an entertainer or full time employee will be required to pay a bond according to their nationality and in the case of a UK national this is 750 euro’s. This sum is reserved to transport them back to their place of origin should the need arise but should they decide to leave TRNC at the end of their employment contract, they can obtain a refund on predetermined dates.
- There may be additional costs for medical reports prior to the issue of the work permit. and some banks may have an administration charge for the issue of the Bond letter.
Work permits – Entertainers – Single Venues
- Can an entertainer get a permit to work for a single or small number of venues?
- NO, but an entertainer can be employed by a restaurant, bar or hotel to work for them as an entertainer in one location for a maximum of 90 days in any one year after which they are required to leave the TRNC.
- The restaurant, bar or hotel are required to apply for the appropriate permit and also pay the entertainers tax, social sigorta and provident payment to the appropriate authorities.
- What is the cost of this 90 day permit?
- The cost is 692 TL
- Do the visiting expatriate entertainers have to pay the 750 euro’s bond (i.e. British Nationals) ?
- No – The visiting entertainer will be required to show proof of travel insurance whilst in the TRNC.”
We are planning to have further meeting with the Lefkoşa Çalışma Dairesı when we hope to obtain more information for the benefit of those expatriate entertainers who would like to perform in the TRNC.
In the meantime apart from a few entertainers who have Kimlik Cards, we understand that there may only be 3 expatriate entertainers now who hold work permits to perform at multi venues, so the prospect of a good number of legal entertainers being available in the months ahead is very limited, unless more seek to obtain work permits and not try to cheat the system.