Over 60's who live permanently in the TRNC are encouraged to continue taking out annual Residency using the simplified process described below.
Over 60's who do not renew their Residency should not be fined at the Border for exceeding their visa date, at this present time, but our experience is that delays at the Border and complications can arise with this.
Our reservations are based on the following:
This concession for the over 60’s not being fined for exceeding their visa date is not legally binding. Therefore any new government can cancel this arrangement at short notice.
Anyone that wants permanent residency must, currently, have five consecutive annual residency stamps in their passport. Anyone choosing not to renew annually will not obtain a residency stamp so will never obtain permanent residency.
When renewing a TRNC Driving Licence, there is a requirement that you show a residency stamp in your passport. Anyone over 60 that has taken advantage of the exemption will not have a residency stamp.
Drivers licences were being issued from the Girne office upon presentation of the standard muhtar's letter (ikametgah belgesi) confirming your residential address, but this facility may also be withdrawn at any time without notice, so anyone requiring a TRNC driving licence is advised to renew their residency.
There may be other unspecified legal complications arising if you are not a registered resident and are involved an accident or incident.
So BRS advice for the time being is to keep up annual Residency stamps by following the simplified process below
BRS has obtained an exemption from medical testing for annual residency for all expatriates, that are 60 at the anniversary date of their residency renewal. The police visit will be no longer required.
The new procedure requires the following to be taken directly to the Interior Ministry immigration office at Lefkosa.
You have the option of one or two years residency renewal.
You will need to take the following:
- Muhtars letter (ikametgah belgesi) to confirm your residency (Ensure that any change of address is made on this letter)
- Blue or Pink Residency registration card
- Copy of Bank Statement to confirm your income (Internet print-out is acceptable)
- Copy of your Kocan or buying/rental contract
- You will need to complete a residency application form. A blank application form and a completed example are available to members under "Forms" on the members section of the BRS website. Complete the form and hand in unsigned.
- Make your payment to the cashier and return with receipt to obtain return of Passport with residency stamp in it from the immigration Office.
It is not uncommon for procedures to change without notice or individual officials not to be fully briefed on all the rules. So please email [email protected] should any immigration official ask for other documentation. It will help if you please ask the official for their name and advise them that you will be reporting back to the BRS who have been advised of the above procedure by TRNC immigration management.
Advice for Members who fail Residency Health Tests
A few expatriates a year suffer from having their local hospital health tests referred to Ankara for a more sensitive RIBA test.
Invariably, to the best of our knowledge they are eventually cleared. BRS recognise that this can be distressful for those affected. We had thought the problem was eliminated following our investigations last year but in some cases it has persisted.
The referral of Residents was due to Girne Hospital Lab producing positive hepatitis tests sometimes at variance with Private Laboratories by a factor of 10. We are talking of microscopic but nevertheless significant variances. As a result of these variances a few people are referred to Ankara for testing again before residency renewal can be applied for. We raised this phenomenon with Dr Salih Beyoglu who is Medical Director in Charge of Girne Hospital.
This variance between public & private Laboratories results has traditionally meant that a few of our members annually have had a very stressful time as they approach and are in their annual blood testing round. Dr Beyoglu agreed to try to eliminate this annual stress on these few residency applicants.
On investigation it was discovered that the Hospital testing equipment was calibrated to a more refined level than Private Laboratories hence the difference. This appeared to be the cause of the problem. So Dr Beyoglu has ordered that the Girne hospital test equipment be re-calibrated by its manufacturers to bring it more into line with Commercial testing Laboratories. When this re-calibration is completed, it is expected to eliminate future problems in this area.
To allow BRS to follow up on this issue, we will be pleased to hear from any members who have been referred to Lefkosa on annual Blood Testing. BRS will then assist them through the new process to confirm if these troublesome variances have been completely eliminated. Please email Gul Ozsan - [email protected] or Malcolm Mitcheson - [email protected] for assistance giving us fair notice of the date your annual test is due.
Please be aware this re-calibration will not affect the results of those who have genuine HIV positive results
Expat pensioners are telling the government that they may be old but should not have to prove their not dead so they can pick up the state pension.
Campaigners fighting mounting pressure from the government to wriggle out of paying overseas state pensioners as much as those in the UK are complaining ‘proof of life’ certificates are a step too far.
But the government says too many expats fiddle benefits and the state pension by making claims they are not entitled to.
The Department of Work and Pensions reckons savings of £45 million a year by halting state pension payments to dead expats.
However, pension campaigners say proving they are still alive is costly and involves too much red-tape.
The issue is some countries where expat pensioners live do not tell the British government when a pensioner dies. In some cases, families and spouses carry on claiming the pension.
The government wants expat pensioners in these countries to provide a certificate once every two years to show they are still alive.
The certificate must be countersigned by a doctor or lawyer who has seen the pensioner and proof of their identity.
Sheila Telford, chairman of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, said: “The short time limit for returning the certificate before the pension is stopped is a problem. So is the cost involved, particularly for expats with frozen pensions on a severely diminished income.”
The government already asks for life certificates, but only from random expats.
The new requirement applies to pensioners who do not live in Australia, Spain, the US and New Zealand.
Pensioners will receive forms to fill out and return biannually from their 75th birthday.
Ms Telford claims one British expat in Canada spent £63 to get her certificate signed and back to the pensions department within the time limit – which came to more than one week’s pension payment.
Other new measures affecting expat pensioners include cancelling winter fuel payments of between £200 and £300 a year to those living in countries where the average winter temperature is warmer than that in Britain.
From April 2015, expat pensioners, in line with other property owners based overseas with homes in the UK will lose their capital gains tax exemption as non-residents.
A consultation is expected to soon to set the rate of tax and how the payment will be collected.
Non-working spouses of retired expats will also lose the married person’s allowance.