Introduction by Chris Elliott….
Do our readers remember how things used to be in the TRNC when complying with regulations and applying for approval documents like getting up at the crack of dawn and queueing up a spiral staircase in an apartment block to reach a small room where someone received your application?
Time moved on and then we all went to a modern building where there was a rugby-like scrum to get a ticket from the door guardian that gave an entry number to see the workers inside.
Common sense prevailed with the installation of an electronic ticket machine and I can remember arriving at the immigration office at around 7.40 am collecting a ticket and being on my way home with a temporary residency permit at around 9.30 am.
Just a thought once we have passed the current Stop-Go sign with the police department, perhaps the Ministry of Interior could set processing targets for their staff with a bonus payment taken from what we are paying which would lead to faster processing and faster arrival of our payments into the state piggy bank?
Now I can remember queuing at Girne police station on a seat if you were lucky to present documents for processing so where are we now with the wonders of the electronic age and automated systems?
Our reader, Mr Wisley is concerned as he says below.
From A. A. Wisley….
It is illegal for foreigners to stay in the TRNC without a valid visa or a residency permit. Many people holding temporary residence permits in practice live here permanently and have no base in their country of origin. For them it is vital to have a smooth renewal process to ensure continuity of legal residence, otherwise, they face substantial daily fines or are obliged to leave the country.
The present system is poorly designed and is in a state of total administrative chaos. Unbelievably it takes upwards of 6 months to have the electronically uploaded paperwork verified. It takes at least a further month or so for the application then to be scrutinised and completed. Meanwhile, the applicant’s status will have been illegal for, say, 6 months, that is potentially facing 180 daily fines of TL 665 each or being forced to live abroad for that period.
The present system can be improved very easily if there is the bureaucratic will. Pending such a miracle anyone applying to renew should be given automatic provisional residency on uploading the paperwork.
Temporary residents are valuable people. It is time to make them feel valued and wanted!