Cyprus EDITOR’S PICKS
Aysegul Baybars

Interior Minister Aysegul Baybars has announced new visa regulations. The new bylaw will come into force on October 23, 2019, with comprehensive arrangements for the safer registration of foreigners who are already in residence with a visa and residence permit.

Minister Baybars made a statement to TAK regarding important arrangements such as visa types, durations, conditions and cancellation requirements for foreigners who enter the country for the first time with the new regulation. She stressed that conditions and cancellation conditions were being handled extensively for the first time in 67 years.

Minister Baybars said in accordance with the new regulations, the residence permit applications can be made online, the work carried out within this framework will approximately be completed by November and applications on the online system will greatly ease the process.

STRICT ENTRY CONTROLS
On the regulations to enter the country, Minister of Interior Ayşegül Baybars pointed out “In the old statute, comprehensive control procedures to be carried out in suspicious situations upon entry were not subject to a certain rule. Issues to be investigated in cases of suspected entry into the country had not been determined.”

Baybars said:
“With the new regulation, when entering the country; inspection and examination of travel documents, determination of whether it is subject to processing by judicial and administrative authorities, determination of whether or not it is sought at international level, determination of the purpose of arrival, determination of the manner of living and accommodation in the country, the entry from a country to the country if a visa is not allowed. Other issues deemed necessary in terms of public health and safety were ensured to be controlled ”.

 VISA TYPES AND TERMS 
The conditions on how to respond to essential types of visas are not available in the old statutes, all visas were treated ‘as uniform’. Therefore, it could not be understood for what purpose foreigners had entered the country.

Pointing out that visas can be given up to 6 months at a time in the old system, Ayşegül Baybars said, “After the 90-day visa expires, the old application made it possible to leave and re-enter and a new 90 days were given each time. This situation allows foreigners to stay with a visa and work unregistered. It caused abuse of the system. ”
In the new regulation, this abuse was terminated by Minister Baybars. The new statute the arrangement of a foreigner’s stay in the TRNC will be with a visa every 90 days and 90 days over 180 days. Any stay less than 48 hours would not count.

“In the old practice when a visa is given to foreigners they could have been questioned on how long they would be staying in the country and when they would be leaving, however, this was not mandatory. It will now be compulsory for foreigners as they are given their visa to show that they will leave the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus during the visa period”.

In general, in the old practice, visas for passports of all foreigners entering the country were given as a “visitor’s permit”. Not knowing why someone was entering the country created problems.  The new regulations have put an end to this. Foreigners entering via sea and airports will now be given the appropriate visa depending on the purpose of their visit and the type of travel documents they carry. Who entered the country and the purpose of the visit will be recorded.

18 TYPES OF VISA HAS BEEN DETERMINED 
Minister Baybars pointed out that there were now 18 types of visas depending on the reasons given on a foreigners’ arrival. Baybars pointed out for the first time in 67 years a comprehensive review had been made for the new rules to include 18 different types of visas.

NEW ARRANGEMENT FOR VALID PASSPORTS
Interior Minister Aysegul Baybars continued with her statement. “As you know, having a valid passport was enough for the citizens of countries that have representation in TRNC, and EU countries, to be able to enter our country.  With the new residence and visas regulation, these same citizens must enter with a passport valid for at least 2 months. Citizens of the countries that do not have a representative in the TRNC and citizens of the countries outside the EU can now enter with a passport valid for at least 6 months”.

Aysegul Baybars

WORK PERMITS
For citizens of countries that do not have embassies or any representation in the TRNC are required to have a passport valid for at least two years for a work permit to be issued.

VISA CANCELLATION CRITERIA
In the former statutes, it was not clear in which cases visas could be cancelled. The Head of the Ministry was given the initiative to make any decisions related to cancellations. This has been recognised as the wrong way to deal with the issue and clear guidelines and criteria will be given.

RESIDENCE PERMIT DEFINITION   
Who and who are not exempt from the residence permit has not been regulated, and it is also been shown to have been done incorrectly. For the first time in the new statute, a residence permit definition has been made. “The residence permit was determined as a permit that gives the right to stay in the country for more than 90 days and for a certain period.”

CURRENT EXEMPT PEOPLE ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR  A RESIDENT PERMIT
Those currently exempt from residence permit married with TRNC citizens and who are not nationals have forty days from the start of the new rules to apply for the exemption certificate of residence permit. Baybars said, “The exemption certificate for these persons will be issued for a maximum of two years at a time and no fees will be charged. However, if the exemption certificate is not received, the penalty will be incurred. With the application of the exemption certificate, it will ensure that many of these people will be registered as in the country.”

UNDER 18’S YEARS ARE REQUIRED TO BE REGISTERED
Interior Minister Baybars reminded that up to now the children of those with work permits under the age of 18  were not registered. Baybars said that this major deficiency also caused various problems from education to health planning within the country. The new regulation now states that children under the age of 18 who live with their parents who are legally in the country must be registered when applications to work or reside are made.

RESIDENCE PERMIT TYPES AND TERMS 
Ayşegül Baybars, the old statute does not have the concept of residence permit, so there are no types of residence permits, he added. “It was unclear who could get what kind of residence permit, Baybars continued:
“The residence permit periods to be given to people over the age of 60 will be longer than the other types of residence permits and they are provided with convenience. The conditions under which each residence permit type can be obtained and with which documents have been regulated. ”

RESIDENCE PERMISSION APPLICATIONS CAN BE MADE ONLINE
Preparations are being made so that permit applications can be made online. This now underway and approximately by November applying for permits will become easier.

ADDRESS AND MOBILE COMMUNICATION IS NOW REQUIRED 
Baybars added that in the new system, for a visa or residence permit to be issued to a foreigner, it is necessary that a mobile phone number and address be declared in order for notifications and information to be made. This information was not collected previously.

“The new regulations are necessary for the country and will make a more secure registration of foreigners staying here on visas and permits. The new regulations will come into force on October 23 and the public will be informed about the new system by this date. We will continue to work for the creation of a contemporary, safe and peaceful environment in all areas, always considering the interests of the country”. Bay Baybars concluded.

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