If you are a 'foreign' resident living in North Cyprus and want to work, you must have a working residency permit. You can only apply for a permit if you are 'legally' resident, so applicants must have a valid stamp in their Passport before making an application. Periodically, the authorities announce an amnesty which allows anyone who is not 'legally' resident, to apply for a work permit (if their residency visa expired and they did not leave the Country).
Obtaining a work permit for each 'foreign' employee is the responsibility of the employer. The first part of the process requires the employer to obtain a copy of the applicant's Passport which they need to start the application. To begin, they must notify the relevant government department that they intend to make an application on behalf of the applicant so that the relevant checks can be made.
If the applicant has made a previous, successful application and already has an existing, 'valid' work permit with another employer and all the relevant payments have been made during the course of the employment, the application should be relatively straight forward and may not take long to complete.
If the application for a work permit is the first one being made, the process could take up to 3 months, or even longer, depending on how busy the relevant government departments are at the time that the application is made. A first time applicant can apply for a one year working residency permit. Subsequent applications can be for longer terms.
Once the initial checks are complete, the employer is required to pay an amount of money into their chosen bank and block it (they will not be able to access this money during the course of the applicant's employment). The bank will provide them with a letter confirming that they have done this and this will be retained as part of the work permit application process. The amount of money which has to be blocked is determined by the applicant's nationality eg. Russian applicant - €400, British applicant - €750 and Pakistani applicant - €1,000.
Confirmation of the applicant's movements in and out of North Cyprus should be obtained from the Immigration Department at the nearest 'main' Police station to the applicant's residence (Girne, or Lefkosa). This is in the form of an authorised computer print out which must have the correct amount of stamps attached. At the moment, the total amount required is 12.10 TL. These are supplied by the applicant. The value of the stamps required periodically changes and may have changed since publication of this article (January 2018), so take varying denominations of stamps with you, up to say, a total value of 20TL, or visit the Police station first and find out exactly what value of stamps is required for an application.
The "In and Out" document is only valid for three months and although work permit applications are usually completed within this time, if it takes longer, a second document may be required to complete a successful application. Sometimes, the Immigration Department at the Police station can be very busy, so attend early and be prepared for a wait.
Work permit applicants also need to obtain and provide a proof of address from their local Muhtar's Office which costs 10 TL (approximately) and usually includes the cost of the stamps.
These documents and the applicant's Passport should be given to the employer's agent who should be able to complete the next part of the process and obtain the form which the applicant needs to arrange a medical examination at the local hospital (170 TL). Upon payment of the fee, the cashier issues a receipt, instructions and directions to the medical centre which is currently doing the tests. The applicant attends the medical centre to have blood taken and receive an injection to test for TB. The applicant must return to the medical centre a second time to complete the test for TB. Following this and usually a week later, the applicant should re-visit the hospital to collect the results. The applicant needs the receipt that was issued for the payment of the medical examination and their passport to collect their test results which are issued in a sealed envelope which must be returned to the employer's agent unopened.
At this stage, the applicant has completed the work permit application process and shortly after submitting the results of their medical test, should have their passport returned, containing their working residency permit stamp.
Including the actual permit, the cost of having an agent, accountant, or lawyer to complete the process to obtain a working residency is approximately 1,000 TL. The current minimum wage in North Cyprus is 2,175 TL. Provident Fund is 5% and Social Insurance is 20%.