The British Residents’ Society has a very long record of consulting with the TRNC government and helping with advice and support for legislation that affects expatriates in the TRNC and we are pleased to share here their latest members newsletter that provides an update and progress report of the new TRNC Residency Regulations that came into force on 23rd October 2019.
As promised in the previous Interim Newsletter, ongoing meetings have been held between members of the Committee and various Government officials to clarify the situation following the announcement that the Residency regulations were being altered in order to understand the current population breakdown in the TRNC.
We have also been busy lobbying for changes to the Regulations prior to their introduction. We have had some successes, particularly in the area of financial requirement for residency and that the passports will no longer carry residency stamps, but we will be continuing to try to amend the Regulations to ensure the best deal for our members.
Following a meeting at the Prime Ministry on Monday (21st October 2019) with Serap Destegul REDIF, Prime Ministers Legal and Political Affairs Director and Emre HACI, Director of Immigration we have learnt the following:-
A ‘guidance’ document is currently being translated into English and once we have that it will be circulated. This document will outline the ONLINE system and confirm the current system for those who cannot use the ONLINE system.
Editors Note: Click here to download the current (26 October and subject to possible updates) Ministry of Interior Residency Regulation guide.
It will also contain other useful information.
- The new Residency Regulations WILL come into effect on 23rd October 2019
- The registration for the ONLINE process can be accessed via https://icisleri.gov.ct.tr/. On the right-handside of the screen is a ‘house’ icon. This is your link to the registration part of the process.
- All UK Citizens staying in the TRNC in excess of 90 days will have to register for Residency, irrespective of age.
- There will be a ONE-year transition period to complete your application
- Over 60s can elect to apply for either 1,2 or 3 years
- Initial requirements WILL include a medical check (blood test) but they are reviewing the need to repeat this for persons over 60 in subsequent years.
- The financial requirements will be based on either –
- (a) Savings to the value of the average TRNC annual minimum wage OR
- (b) Income equivalent to ONCE the average monthly minimum wage if you own property OR, THREE times the average monthly minimum wage if you rent.
- (c) The cost of residency will be the current yearly fee (currently 447tl per annum)
- Application will be online OR as the current ‘paper system’
- Visitor visa’s will be for 30,60 or 90 days depending on the reason for the stay.
- (A) 30 days purely for tourist holidays
- (B) days if staying with a relative or
- (C) 90 days if you own property and wish to subsequently apply for residency
- You will only be able to stay 90 days in each 180-day period.
- The completed residency permission will NOT be in your passport. If you make your application ONLINE your will be able to print your Residency document at the conclusion of the process. For NON-ONLINE applications it will be a separate paper document.
- The ONLINE process will not necessitate a trip to the Immigration Offices in Lefkosa, the NON-ONLINE process will remain as it currently is.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE PREVIOUS ‘PAPER’ SYSTEM WAS DIFFERENT IF YOU WERE OVER 60 YEARS OF AGE. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE AND REVERTS TO THE ORIGINAL SYSTEM STARTING AT THE POLICE STATION. PLEASE REFER TO THE WEBSITE FOR THIS INFORMATION.
- The Government has come under intense pressure from all Communities regarding the ‘upper age’ at which you do not need to renew residency.
- Members who currently have Residency will not be required to register on the NEW system until the current document expires.
During the meeting several key facts were discussed. We had been aware that Turkish nationals could apply for five-year residencies and apply for Citizenship following that five-year period.
We queried that as it appears ‘unfair’ but we were told that there is a reciprocal agreement between Turkey and the TRNC which includes this.
These new Residency rules are a Regulation which was passed through the Council of Ministers as opposed to a Law passed through Parliament. The significance of this is that Regulations can be amended by the Council rather than through parliament, which will allow us to lobby for more concessions, on top of those we have already achieved.
In relation to our members who are ‘swallows’ we would advise that you apply for Residency through the online system. It will then allow you unfettered access for the period of that residency.
We have been assured that the Immigration Officers and Police have been informed to be lenient during the transition period and we have seen a document which confirms this fact.
The situation regarding UK citizens who have resided here for many years was also discussed and we were advised that the ‘Permanent Residency’ rules were also under review to make this easier to obtain.