Work Permit Procedures For Foreign Nationals

In accordance with the TRNC law, it is compulsory for non-TRNC citizens to obtain the legal permits necessary for them to work and reside within the country.

According to the law, when non-citizens are entering the country, the authorities issue them visitor visas of limited duration. These persons have to leave the country before the end of the duration or, in certain circumstances, have to extend the duration by contacting the relevant authorities before it expires. If the expiration date is exceeded, the person will be fined and have to pay the penalty when he/she leaves the country.Those who leave without paying the penalty are banned from entering the country again.

In order for a foreign national to reside and work in our country for a long period of time after his/her visitor status, he or she must act within the framework of the legal rules established by the official authorities. These laws also apply to the construction sector.

In order for a foreign national to work in a TRNC construction company, the necessary applications must be made by the company and a “preliminary permit” document issued on behalf of that person must be obtained.

It is compulsory to obtain a “work permit” within 1 month at the latest on condition that the person arrives in the country after the entry permit / preliminary permit has been issued.

The persons who have not obtained their legal permission are forbidden to work and if this person is found to be working without permission, the Ministry will initiate legal practice about the company and the unauthorized employee will be deported and prohibited to re-enter to the country (reason non-applicable). At the same time, a high amount of penalty is imposed.

Work Permit Services in CTBCA

In order to provide help to the members, CTBCA keeps track of and cancels the proceedings regarding work permits on behalf of the members upon their requests.

Membership criteria to be sought in the application;

  1. Payment of the annual fee
  2. Possessing a class card upon registration to the Committee

Applications for the work permits of member companies that have not paid their annual fees and/or failed to renew their Committee registration cannot be processed and CTBCA is not liable for the damage caused consequently.

Legal Compliance Criteria for the employee;

The foreign national applying for the permit must:

  1. Not have been deported from the TRNC previously
  2. Not have any criminal sanctions for any reason.

When the criteria mentioned above are met, the member company in need can initiate the process of obtaining the legal permission by applying to CTBCA together with the necessary documents.

Under the legislation, there are 4 main procedures within the scope of legal permits;

  1. Preliminary permit procedures
  2. Work transfer procedures
  3. Work permit procedures
  4. Work permit extension procedures

Foreign nationals who will be working in the TRNC are required to enter the country with a “preliminary permit” in order for them to obtain a work permit after they arrive in the TRNC.

  1. The newly dated “No Debt” document of the member company obtained from the Social Insurance Department
  2. Copy of employee’s passport

Important Notice: : It is compulsory for the employee to be outside the TRNC in order to obtain a preliminary permit. The fact that the application has been made does not mean that the application will be approved. If there is no legal obstacle, the applications usually result in 3 or 4 working days. In some cases, the duration of this process is under the authority of the Ministry and it is not advisable to set a date for the employee to come to the TRNC and to purchase a ticket without waiting for the preliminary permit. KTİMB will not liable for the delays which may arise, and any harm which may be caused by this will be the responsibility of the employee or the member company.

In the event that the determined criteria are met, the member company lodges an application to the KTİMB for the preliminary permit with the aforementioned documents. It is obligatory to specify the profession/job of the employee.

The employee must start work permit procedures within one (1) week at the latest after he/she has entered the TRNC with preliminary permission.

Member Company;

  • Prelimimary permit of the employee
  • Passport
  • Identity card (or copy)
  • Company obtains “No Debt” document from the Social Insurance Department and makes and application to CTBCA.

After the transaction fee determined by the official authorities is collected, the CTBCA processes the application by giving the necessary information, directs the application process and carries out the Ministrial procedures.

At the same time, the member company and the employee are obliged to complete the ‘health examinations’ which are under his/her responsibilitiy within the specified period. After entering the country, the employee must initiate the work permit within 20 days at the latest, have all the necessary health checks from the hospitals or the laboratories determined by the Ministry and submit to the CTBCA the report showing the health status. The work permit of employees who fail to provide a health report will be rejected by the Ministry and therefore the workers themselves will be liable for delays due to the negligence of the employee and/or the company and for the penalties to be imposed.

With the completion of the procedures, CTBCA informs the member company and delivers the related documents to the representative of the member company and the passport stamped with work permit.

The work permit is granted for 6 months or 1 year depending on the request of the member company. If the work permit expires and the company and the employee wish to continue working together, the employer must apply to the CTBCA again in order to extend the Work Permit. For the extention of work permit, it is required to apply 2 months before the expiry of the work permit or within 3 (three) months after the expiry. The documents and process required for the extension of work permit are the same as the work permit process.

If the employee wishes to continue working in another company while working in the TRNC, the company which the employee is planning to work for can transfer the current work permit of the employee to itself. In order to be able to start this process, the leave of the the worker must be informed by the company where he/she was working and the work permit has to be canceled. In addition, in order for the employee to obtain the right of transfer, he/she must have worked in a company in the TRNC for at least 6 (six) months without interruption. The member company is obliged to obtain a work permit for the employee if the transfer application is approved by the Labor Permit Center under to the Ministry. For this purpose, the member company initiates the procedures by applying to CTBCA.

Work permits in the construction sector in the TRNC include similar procedures for third country citizens and foreign students studying in the country.

Students are required to have a “student work permit” in order to be able to work within the limits of a certain period of time, with legal permission. Preliminary permit conditions are not required for students.

In addition to the documents required for the student work permit applications, a newly dated (available for the term) student permission on the student’s passport, at least 3 (three) months left before the expiry of the student permission, a student certificate of the current term and the course schedule are required.

With the required documents, the member company can start the procedures by applying to CTBCA.

The process for the legal permits of 3. country nationals includes a preliminary permit and a work permit after. In applications for preliminary permit, it is absolutely necessary for the person to be in the TRNC. Along with the required documents for the applications, the member company must submit the following:

  • Passport copy of the employee
  • Letter of guarantee including names of both employee and the employer
  • Written contract signed and sealed by the company
  • A4 Form obtained by Social Insurance Department of the name of the employer.

For the 3. country nationals, the approval period for the preliminary permit is at least 15 days. If the employee has already entered the island and left within 3 days, a police investigation carried out by the Police Department is not necessary and the application for preliminary permit can be approved within 3 or 4 days. However, if the person is not within this scope, he/she will be subject to police investigation in accordance with our Law and the preliminary permit process lasts at least 15 days. It is therefore advisable for both companies and employees to consider the abovementioned time periods before commencing proceedings in order not to have any problem.

Afterwards, the way to follow is the same as the permit process stated in the above sections and a work permit is required after the person arrives in the island.

If there is no legal obstacle, wives (and children under the age of 18) of employees who work with a work permit in our country may obtain a “residence permit” on request with the condition to submit the employee’s work permit to the authorities. Residence permit applications are reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Interior. These steps are not carried out by the CTBCA or the member company and they are under their individuals’ responsibility.

The monthly gross minimum wage determined by the TRNC official authorities is 2,365 TL. On the basis of this rate, hourly, daily or weekly rates are determined for legal working time. The wages to be paid to the employees are determined in accordance with the terms of the agreement between the member company/employer and the employee within the legal frameworks.