Can You Get Residency in Northern Cyprus?

Many people want to aspire to relocate to Cyprus. However, it has become increasingly expensive and unfeasible for some foreigners. Fortunately, an equally advantageous and promising migration option is available by acquiring a residence permit in Northern Cyprus (also known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – TRNC).

residence permit in Northern Cyprus

Although not yet popular among foreigners, this unrecognized state offers favorable conditions for relocation, making it an attractive destination for those seeking cost-effective and swift residency programs. Almost all foreigners have the right to visit TRNC without a visa for up to 90 days, and obtaining a residence permit is easy through renting or purchasing property without the requirements for a minimum investment amount.

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What does a TRNC residence permit provide?

By obtaining a residence permit in TRNC, you receive the right to permanent residence in Cyprus, but only in its northern part. There, you will enjoy the same wonderful Mediterranean climate and nature as in the southern part of the island. Foreigners can simply buy property in Northern Cyprus and come for a vacation without the need to apply for a visa and pass border control procedures.

Other advantages of Northern Cyprus include the following:

  • Ease of obtaining a residence permit for the purchase or rent of real estate without requiring a minimum investment amount. A residence permit is issued to all family members of the property buyer, and automatically for minors.
  • TRNC has a developed infrastructure and offers modern medical services.
  •  The cost of living in Northern Cyprus is relatively low, but the quality of living is not worse than in Turkey or many European countries.
  • There are several world-renowned universities in Northern Cyprus recognized by all EU members. A diploma from universities in TRNC will allow you to work in European countries.
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The easiest way to obtain a residence permit in Northern Cyprus is to buy real estate. We offer several worthy properties in TRNC that will become a profitable investment for the future and provide you and your family with access to a Northern Cyprus residence permit.


Can you live in Turkey with a Northern Cyprus residence permit?

A residency permit in Northern Cyprus does not give foreigners the right to live in the Republic of Turkey. These are two different states, each with its own legislative norms and visa rules.

However, foreigners can use the visa-run method and live freely in both Turkey and TRNC without returning to their home country almost constantly.

Obtaining a residence permit for Northern Cyprus

For example, you can stay 60 days in Turkey without leaving (within 180 days) + exit/entry to TRNC and an additional 30-day stay in the Turkish state. The next step is 90 days in TRNC without visa requirements. Thus, it is possible to reside without a visa for almost the entire period of six months.

Note: visa-free rules provide for a stay of up to 90 days within 180 days a year. According to this pattern, it is possible to live in Turkey and Northern Cyprus for only six months without a visa and repeat this scenario after six months of absence.

How long does it take to get a Northern Cyprus residence permit?

The processing time for a long-term residence permit in Northern Cyprus depends on the reason for the application. However, if all the necessary documents are ready, the average processing time for a residence permit is 2-3 months when applying through a personal account.

Where can you travel with a TRNC residence permit?

A Northern Cyprus residence permit does not grant the right to visit any country without a visa. If you are interested in traveling freely throughout Europe, we recommend considering Serbia as one of the few European countries where you can obtain a residence permit without significant investments.

What is required for obtaining a residence permit in Northern Cyprus?

To obtain a short-term or long-term residence permit in Northern Cyprus, you need to have a specific purpose. The easiest way to enter the country is through a tourist program. A visa is not required for such a trip. It is issued at the border for a period of 30 days (by default) and up to 90 days if you provide information about a reserved room or the consent of friends/relatives to accommodate you.

Residence permit in Northern Cyprus

However, to obtain a residence permit in TRNC for a year or more, you need to choose a specific program (reason).

The most popular routes for migration to Northern Cyprus in 2023 are:

  •  Immovable Property Ownership – a residence permit can be obtained by purchasing real estate.
  • High Income – a residence permit in Northern Cyprus can be obtained through renting property. It is granted to individuals with a monthly income of at least three times the minimum wage or to those who can prove a yearly income equal to the established limit in their bank account.
  • Business registration in TRNC – this also allows investors and entrepreneurs to obtain a residence permit through an accelerated program.
  •  Student residence permit in TRNC grants the right not only to live in the country but also to obtain higher education recognized by European countries.
  • Residence permits in Northern Cyprus for retirees, athletes, participants in exchange programs, etc.

For entry into the country, nothing is required, not even a visa. It is issued at border crossings for a period of 30, 60, or 90 days, depending on the purpose of the trip and the documents provided to confirm such a purpose.

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Note: Citizens of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Republic of Armenia must personally apply to the embassy, representative office, or Consulate General of TRNC to obtain a visa before their trip to Northern Cyprus.

Student residence permit in Northern Cyprus

A student residence permit in TRNC is obtained as follows:

  • Upon entry into the country, students present an invitation from the university to the officer who checks their documents
  • They obtain a student visa with a validity period of 60 days.
  • The educational institution informs freeing students about the documents required to obtain a residence permit, which they obtain independently.

A temporary residence permit for students in Northern Cyprus is issued for one year and is renewable during the course of their studies.

TRNC residence permit for employment

To work in Northern Cyprus, you need to obtain the corresponding work visa with the consent of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. You can only be employed by the company specified in the work permit application.

The employer company then applies for a residence permit on behalf of the employee. The application for a residence permit through employment takes about four months to process and is valid for one year.

If caught working illegally in TRNC, the foreign worker will be deported without permission to re-enter the country, and the employer company risks receiving a fine and being sued by the Ministry of Labour.

Business migration to Northern Cyprus

To open a business in Northern Cyprus, a foreigner must meet several conditions of this program:

  • Obtain a 30-day visa upon entry, providing proof of financial solvency.
  • Apply to the commercial department and obtain a certificate giving the right to open a business in the country.
  •  Register with tax and immigration services.
  • Open a bank account and deposit a minimum of USD 100,000 as the authorized capital.
  • Then, the bank employees provide a letter to the Registration Chamber as evidence that the requirement is met. The funds will be available to the entrepreneur after the business registration process is completed.
Business immigration to Northern Cyprus

Registration of a company with foreign capital in Northern Cyprus provides for a number of mandatory requirements:

  • local office in Northern Cyprus
  • minimum of 2 shareholders and 1 director
  • paid-up authorized capital
  • guarantee letter from foreign directors regarding compliance with tax obligations.

Note: Northern Cyprus has a favorable tax policy that can be compared to offshore jurisdictions. The average VAT rate is 5%, and the stamp duty is 0.5%. Restrictions for foreign investors only apply to the construction industry, where foreign ownership of no more than 49% of company shares is allowed.

The duration of the entrepreneur’s residence permit in Northern Cyprus is 12 months, with an annual extension in the future.

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Explore our offerings in Northern Cyprus and take advantage of expert assistance on all issues related to TRNC’s banking sector:

Residence permit for retirees in TRNC

Foreign retirees aged 60 and older can obtain a residence permit in Northern Cyprus much more easily than other citizens:

  • This can be a Category F residence permit. The restriction for applicants under this program is that the applicant is not a European Union member state resident.
  • Retirement residence permit in TRNC can be obtained by purchasing a house in Northern Cyprus at any price.

Foreign retirees have the right to reside in the country for up to a year before the issuance of their residence permit without violating the law. In addition, individuals over the age of 60 are not required to undergo a medical examination, which is a mandatory requirement for other foreigners seeking a residence permit in TRNC.

High Income residence permit for renting real estate in Northern Cyprus

One of the easiest ways to obtain a residence permit in TRNC is to rent a property and confirm your financial status. The required amount is not as high as in European countries and is affordable for practically any foreigner with an average income.

If you have USD 10,000-20,000, obtaining a High Income residence permit in Northern Cyprus is not difficult. To do so, you have to meet the following program requirements:

  • Prove the existence of a monthly income source from another country. The amount should be no less than three times the country’s average monthly salary per adult. In 2023, the average salary is TL 12,000, so you need to prove a total of TL 36,000.
  • The second requirement of the TRNC residence permit program is a long-term lease agreement for accommodation in the country. It is important to note that the lease agreement must be registered with the tax office. Without meeting this requirement, the head of the local administration (muhtar) will not issue a certificate for the immigration service, and you will not be able to obtain a residence permit even with sufficient financial income.

Note: the cost of renting a property is not important, which significantly simplifies the procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Northern Cyprus.

Step-by-step guide on how to obtain a residence permit in Northern Cyprus through renting a property in 2023

  1. Arrive in Northern Cyprus and obtain a 30-day visa by default, or 60 days if you can persuade the immigration officer that your purpose of the visit is to obtain a residency permit through renting a property.
  2. Find a property and sign a long-term rental contract, which is best done through experienced agents or intermediaries. It is important to note that:
    • rental contract must be registered with the tax office
    • property owner needs to pay a rental tax of 13% if the contract is in USD, EUR, or GBP, or 8% if it is in TL
    • registration fee for the rental contract is approximately TL 250.
  3. Obtain a certificate from the village headman (muhtar), which costs approximately TL 20 per person. It is advisable to obtain a certificate for each family member as it will be required when enrolling a child in nursery/school and opening a bank account in TRNC.
  4. Open a bank account in a local or Turkish bank. Expats recommend opening a Turkish bank account if you plan to receive transfers from foreign countries or payments from freelancing services, as there are plenty of Turkish banks in Northern Cyprus. After opening the account, you need to deposit between USD 10,000 to 15,000 per adult and obtain a certificate indicating the deposit and account balance.
  5. Before contacting the migration service, it is necessary to have foreign documents translated and certified by a notary public.
  6. The next steps involve registering on the official website and uploading the documents, after which an appointment will be scheduled for you at the police station.
  7. During the in-person interview at the police station, no questions will be asked. You only need to bring the documents (copies of everything listed above) and follow a few conditions:
    • queue up and submit the documents before 2:00 PM
    • prepare a separate file with documents for each applicant
    • if the documents are foreign (bank statements, certificates, declarations), they must be translated into Turkish and notarized beforehand.
  8. Approximately one week later, a notification will be sent to your personal account along with a link for payment of medical exams and insurance. You need to make the payment and go to the designated address for the examinations. The results of the exams will be automatically uploaded to the system. Important information:
    • online payment for exams and medical insurance is only possible with a TRNC bank credit card
    • the cost of the entire medical examination and insurance is around TL 1200-1500.
  9. If everything goes smoothly, a bill for payment of the North Cyprus residence permit fee will be issued as a link in your personal account after 2-3 weeks.

The residence permit will be issued online in electronic form but can be downloaded and printed.

Residence permit by purchasing real estate in Northern Cyprus in 2023

The most popular, understandable, and simple way to obtain a residence permit in Northern Cyprus cheaply and quickly is by purchasing real estate.

Obtain a residence permit for Northern Cyprus for the purchase of real estate

Here are some essential conditions to keep in mind:

  • You can only buy property suitable for living.
  • If you are purchasing a share of a property, and another owner already has a residence permit based on the purchase of that property, problems may arise. In this case, we recommend purchasing a property without neighbors or encumbrances.
  • According to the contract, the owner must pay at least 1/3 of the property sale.
  • You need to confirm your source of income and financial well-being by analogy to a High Income residence permit – TL 12,000 lira X 12 months per applicant. If real estate is being purchased in installments, the monthly payment for the property must be added to this amount.

The procedure for obtaining a TRNC residence permit by purchasing real estate is similar to the process of obtaining a residence permit for renting. The exception concerns documents where a certificate of no criminal record must be provided as an additional item.

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Important! Without a certificate of no criminal record, it is impossible to obtain permission to purchase property in Northern Cyprus. The right to carry out a sale transaction is absent without such a document.

For the first time, a residence permit for the purchase of real estate in Northern Cyprus is issued for one year and then can be extended immediately for three years. Children under 18 automatically receive a residence permit, and spouses – as an applicant for the same property (family residence permit).

Documents required to obtain a residence permit in Northern Cyprus

Here is a list of documents that foreigners have to prepare to obtain a TRNC residence permit:

  1. Proof of financial stability, such as bank statements from a TRNC bank or a foreign financial institution.
  2. Rental agreement or sales contract for real estate.
  3. A Muhtar’s Certificate (from a local official) confirming the foreigner’s address.
  4. Two photos sized 3.5 x 4.5 cm.
  5. Passport and its copy.
  6. Residence permit application.
  7. Medical insurance.
  8. Marriage certificate (if applicable).
  9. Certificate of no criminal record.
  10. Birth certificates of children (if applicable).
  11. Receipt for payment of the state fee.
  12. Certificate of medical examination results.

Depending on the type of residence permit, the TRNC immigration department may request additional documents.

Residence permit in Northern Cyprus – summary

Nowadays, immigration programs of many countries have undergone several changes, and even popular Turkey has raised the bar for the minimum investment limit for obtaining a residence permit and citizenship. An alternative to all well-known programs is Northern Cyprus, where you can live without a visa for up to 3 months and also obtain a residence permit through a simplified program without strict requirements for the price of real estate.

However, some people choose only elite destinations, such as moving to Europe, the United States, or obtaining a visa to the UK. To get reliable information on possible routes for expats, not make mistakes in choosing a bank to open an account, and immediately buy good real estate at the developer’s price, we recommend using the services of professional experts.

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