Living Here  

Animal and PetsLast Updated 25 Dec 2020

Whilst the UK is a nation of animal lovers, one cannot say that about Cyprus.  The majority of Cypriots, both in the North and in the South, have a different attitude to animals.  The subject of abandoned animals is a major problem here, and spaying/neutering is not a widespread practice.  You will often find stray dogs being abandoned near your home, knowing that the ex-pats will take pity and often provide a home for them.

For those of you that wish to bring your pets to the TRNC please visit the KAR website for up to date information.

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For those owners that want to return to the UK and bring their pets, there are vaccination requirements and again these are set out on the KAR website together with transportation information and prices.

New Microchip law for Dogs

We are grateful to Kyrenia Animal Rescue who have produced the following information sheet regarding the new Microchip law to help dog owners to understand the new regulations.

TRNC law states that all dogs over the age of six weeks should have a Microchip. All dog’s microchip details have to be registered with the Government Vet Dept and a card issued.

If your dog already HAS a Microchip:-

Visit a private Vet clinic and show your dogs Vet card/Pet Passport with microchip entry. They will complete the Gov Registration form. You pay a Government fee plus the vet’s clinic costs. The private Vet will send the form to the Government's Vet Dept where they will enter the details on their database and issue a card. This card will be returned to your vet for you to collect.

Or you can go to the Gov Vet Dept in Lefkosa who will give you the form to complete and then issue the card.

Note: At this time the Gov Vet Dept in Girne is unable to issue the cards until such times as their computers have been updated.

If your dog does NOT have a Microchip:-

Visit your private Vet clinic who will be able to insert a Microchip, complete the forms to register the microchip with the Gov Vet Dept and return the card when completed. You need to ask your Vet for a list of their charges.

You are required to complete the Microchip registration for each dog only once. This supersedes your annual registration/worming visit to the Gov Vet Dept.

You will only then be required to register annually at your local Belediyesi department. This should be done every January as your registration runs from Jan to Dec each year.

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British High Commission - Consular SectionLast Updated 19 Feb 2023

Contact Details

Irfan Siddiq OBE - British High Commissioner to Cyprus
Alexander Pallis Street, PO Box 21978, 1587, Nicosia.
Switchboard: +357 22 861100 / +90 392 228 3861
Website: Email:

Office hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 15:30
Consular appointments can be booked by appointment only for the relevant services on the following days:
Alexander Pallis Street (south) - Tuesday, Thursday 09:00 to 15:30
Mehmet Akif Street (north) - Wednesday, Friday 09:00 to 14:00

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Planning to move to North CyprusLast Updated 25 Mar 2022

There is “a lot of politics” in Cyprus which is beyond the remit of this fact sheet but which you might be interested in finding out about, if you are planning to retire to the island. What you do need to know is that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was formed in 1974 and, unlike The Republic of Cyprus in the south, is not a member of the EU. This has implications if you move here, although as an EU citizen you have right of movement across the whole island.

The TRNC encompasses about 30% of the island of Cyprus with about 25% of its population. The national language is Turkish. Northern Cyprus attracts a considerable number of UK retirees, drawn by its relatively unspoilt scenery, climate and affordability, as well as the fact that it is quiet and relaxed. If you are considering Northern Cyprus as a retirement destination, the usual advice applies so test it out in different seasons including winter, ask others who live here what they think, investigate healthcare options.

“Came on holiday several times per year for 3 years before deciding to buy.”

“A small proportion go back as they find they don’t like it. Come and rent in both summer AND winter before committing.”

“I visited twice a year for 3 years, checked banking facilities, housing, medical facilities.”

“Anyone considering retirement to North Cyprus should be very cautious. Remember there is no NHS in North Cyprus-you must budget for healthcare"

"We had to go back to the UK because I missed the grandchildren too much."


Removals from the UK will take around 6-8 weeks and many recommend using a door-to-door service to make life easier. Details of the process of importing your goods can be found on various websites.  

Customs duty is liable on all imported goods, although it may be waived on used household effects for those retiring to the TRNC, provided they are imported within 6 months of arrival.

Finally, please remember to translate all of the contents of your container into Turkish.

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DeathsLast Updated 11 Apr 2023

If you hear of the death of a BRS member, please use the Contact page to let us know.

The British Cemetery Committee Kyrenia

Honorary President: Harry Fellows MBE

Chairman:  Andy May 0548 888 2560  

Deputy Chairman : Bill Grundy 0542 889 0072

Famagusta British Military and Civilian Cemetery

Cemetery Committee Chairperson: Ann Kelly  0533 860 7258  or 0533 860 7695

Iskele Expatriate Cemetery

Contact person:    Pelin Nalbantoglu      Work: 0548 810 1121     Home: 0548 848 1592

In the event of a death in North Cyprus of a family member or friend, would you know what to do? Click See More for more information

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The members of the British Cemetery Committee (BCC) are here to help you

What is the BCC?

Following the events of 1974, it was decided that a committee should be formed to facilitate the burial of foreign, predominately British, residents. Since that time the procedures have been refined and the British Cemetery Committee is now responsible for the maintenance of the New British Cemetery (opposite the Pia Bella hotel), and the Green Hill Cemetery, in the hills above Karaoglanoglu, which since 2010 has been the cemetery in current use.

The BCC is an entirely voluntary organisation and our members are unpaid. There are no undertakers or Funeral Directors in North Cyprus and we must point out that as this is a Muslim country there is no Crematorium.

Where is Green Hill Cemetery?

Take the bypass west from Kyrenia . After about five kilometres you will pass the large yellow Pound Shop on your right.  Then look out for the big blue gantry over the road before the roundabout.  Turn left, off the bypass, towards the Eron supermarket (there is a small signpost to the cemetery). Follow  the road left past the main entrance to the Supermarket and then turn right up the hill. There are small signposts to guide you. The track is currently unmade although we understand that a tarmac road will be laid soon.

What must I do if there is a death?

In the event of the death of a British Passport holder, relative, or partner, please contact the chairman or deputy chairman by phone. We will give you help and advice regarding official requirements and will be able to make funeral arrangements for you.

What does the BCC do?

When we are contacted about a death, we arrange to meet the Next of Kin, partner or friend of the deceased. This can be at home, or in a quiet local café or hotel if you prefer. At this meeting we will guide you carefully through the necessary procedures and regulations. We will then talk with you about the funeral and the choices available.

Our Green Hill Cemetery is open to all denominations, or none. We can arrange for a Chaplain, Pastor or Priest to lead the funeral if you wish. A Humanist service can also be arranged. We will listen to your wishes and do all we can to help at this very stressful time.

What about the practical arrangements?

The BCC will provide a coffin. At the mortuary we will carefully place the body of the deceased in the coffin and we will then transport the coffin from the mortuary to the cemetery. We prepare the grave site, backfill the grave after the funeral, and provide a metal surround and a plaque giving the name of the deceased, their date of death and plot number.

We will place the coffin in the grave and organise all aspects of the funeral including seating, car parking and guidance for mourners.

The donation required by the BCC includes all costs, with the exception of the hospital autopsy fee (should it be necessary).

As weather conditions make it difficult to dig graves during much of the year, the Committee keeps several graves dug and will always use graves in sequence 

What is the cost of a funeral at Green Hill Cemetery?

The donation required by the BCC before the funeral is currently £1400. This is to cover the costs of the funeral and the maintenance of the cemetery, and is paid in sterling cash on or before the funeral. We hope that soon we will be able to take card payments.

There is an additional fee (usually £100) if a chaplain is required. This is payable by the next of kin directly to the chaplain.

As the BCC is an entirely voluntary organisation, any donations towards the upkeep of the cemeteries, and the work that we do, are always very welcome and very gratefully received.

Helping us at the BCC

If you would like to help us practically in our work we would be very pleased to hear from you. We welcome offers of help in the cemeteries for which we are responsible and the preparation of funerals. Sometimes this can be heavy work as we share the task of respectfully lowering the coffin into the grave. We have ‘friends’ of the BCC whom we call upon frequently and are always very grateful for their commitment. We regard these helpers as crucial and trusted members of our team.

What is not covered by the BCC?

We do all we can to support bereaved families in planning and organising the funeral. However, we have no involvement in probate nor acquiring the death certificate.

When can a permanent memorial be installed on a grave?

As the earth sinks gradually after a burial, it is necessary to wait at least eighteen months before placing a permanent stone surround, and headstone, on the grave. We provide guidance on this, and will give details of recommended stonemasons.

What about tourists who die in North Cyprus?

The Next of Kin is advised to check their relative/friend’s travel documents, as most travel insurance offers free repatriation. The committee can advise on repatriation if necessary.

British Cemetery Committee members

Chairman: Mr Andy May 0548 888 2560 
Deputy Chairman: Mr Bill Grundy 0542 889 0072
Honorary Secretary: Mrs Heather Bealer 0533 870 0797
Honorary Treasurer: Mr 
Bill Grundy 0542 889 0072 (Lay Reader at St Paul's Cathederal)
Mr George Marek 0533 845 8634
Mrs Ros Marek 0533 845 8633
Mr Simon Trimble 0542 874 2355

Mr Kim Tyler   0533 847 4333

Please do not hesitate to contact one of us if you need further information.

We are here to help you.

What about British residents in the Famagusta area?

Famagusta has its own Cemetery and Committee, so please contact Ann Kelly on 0533 860 7258.

The Famagusta Military and Civilian cemetery was established after Britain took over administration of the Island from the Ottomans in 1878. The cemetery is located on British sovereign territory & its maintenance is overseen by Ann Kelly, the Cemetery Committee Chairperson. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission provides a small stipend for maintenance of the 20 British First World War graves. Nevertheless support from volunteers in the general upkeep of the cemetery is most welcome.

The cemetery can be accessed by taking the Larnaca road from the Ataturk roundabout which is adjacent to the walled city. After approx. 300m take the left fork and the cemetery will be found on the left hand side approx. 200m further on.

In the event of a death, Ann Kelly should be contacted by telephone or email (see above). Ann will arrange to meet with the next of kin or a close friend to provide help and advice regarding the required contact with authorities and to discuss options for a religious or humanist funeral.

Funeral arrangements include provision of a coffin and all arrangements for a service at the graveside. The donation required by the Cemetery Committee is currently £650 plus minor additional charges payable to the municipality for preparation and transport of the body together with the charge for a gravedigger. The services of a chaplain, if required, would be payable separately. Plots may be reserved in the Cemetery for a deposit of £100.

What about British residents in the Iskele area?

In 2019 Iskele Municipality provided a cemetery area for the burial of foreigners.  The allocated area is adjacent to the Greek Cypriot cemetery and can be accessed by taking the road from the town centre that proceeds in a south westerly direction and connects with the main road to Geçitkale. The cemetery is approx. 1 km from the town centre roundabout and 800m from the connection with the Geçitkale road.

In the event of a death, Pelin Nalbantoglu should be contacted at her work no. during working hours, at other times on her home number. Pelin is an employee of the municipality and will arrange all aspects of the funeral. If a religious service is required, arrangements and payment for a chaplain should be made separately.   

There are additional small cemeteries at Lapta and Karmi for which we have contact numbers if required.

Contact person:    Pelin Nalbantoglu      Work: 0548 810 1121     Home: 0548 848 1592


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Customs and LanguageLast Updated 29 Nov 2020

Liaising and being friendly with the local community is more realistic than integration, given that it is very much family-based and considering language issues. The kind of behaviour which is culturally unacceptable and likely to upset your hosts is that of ignorant, thoughtless tourists, drunkenness and the associated rowdiness.

Most of the population are Muslims. They are fairly relaxed about religion, but tact is wise. Like mainland Turks, Ataturk is held in the highest regard. It would be most discourteous to be critical. People are generally considerate to the aged. There are formal sets of greetings for different times and to learn and use them is appreciated.

Generally speaking, Turkish Cypriots are kind and laid back. If you learn to adjust to the pace of life, you'll do fine - if you are impatient and expect UK with sun, you'll hate it!! Nice climate, nice people on the whole, gentle pace of life.

In addition to providing comprehensive advice and information on the bureaucratic procedures of residing in Northern Cyprus, the BRS also organises lots of activities and has links with St Andrew's Church. Another organisation well worth joining is The Anglo Turkish Association which, apart from running Turkish language courses also organises cultural events and trips and talks on a wide range of topics related to Northern Cyprus.

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ReligionLast Updated 5 Apr 2024

Everyone in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has the right of religious freedom in teaching, worship and observance, without any interference from the State. This is guaranteed by Article 23 of the Constitution of the TRNC under the heading "Freedom of Conscience and Religion". The main religion in Northern Cyprus is Islam, and Muslims make up 99% of the population. There is a mosque in almost every town and village. Four branches of Christianity serve the visiting and resident community of the TRNC:

Jewish Worship - Contact Rabbi Chaim Azimov on 0533-8770774

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TRNC ENTRY / RESIDENCY RULESLast Updated 21 Feb 2023

Once you arrive in the TRNC, you will normally receive an entry visa stamp in your passport. The stamp will have hand-written into it, the number of days that you are permitted to stay in the TRNC. If you do not see such a stamp in your passport when it is returned to you by the Immigration Officer, then you must ask how many days you are being permitted to stay in the TRNC 

There are THREE types of Visa

If you intend to stay in the TRNC in excess of NINETY DAYS then you MUST apply for Residency (See Members/Residency).

If your intention is to apply for a Residency Visa, then it will be beneficial for you, if you let the Immigration Officer know this, and if you are in possession of any documentation that identifies that you are a property owner, be prepared to offer the document for inspection.

Under normal circumstances the Immigration Officer should give you a sufficient length of time to allow you to complete your application process. 

The procedure outlined above is important as you must submit your application and have attended a police station appointment to formally submit your documents within the time period shown in your entry visa.


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Driving RulesLast Updated 11 Oct 2021

Comments on driving habits in Northern Cyprus are not entirely positive but as long as you drive carefully and not overly fast you should not generally experience major problems. The roads between cities have been upgraded and are good, although small roads and those in towns still need improving. 

Ideally you should carry your driving licence with you when driving and your tax renewal proof document should be kept in your car. Other original documents, such as insurance, log book, MOT and emissions certificate should be stored in a safe place and photocopies carried in the car. If stopped by the police, and you do not have the documents in the car you may be asked to produce originals at a police station within 48 hours. Failure to do so will result in a fine.

You must also carry two emergency triangles, first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher.  All the normal regulations like wearing a seatbelt, not drinking and driving and refraining from using a mobile phone apply in the TRNC.  Any infringements are punished heavily, especially for drink-driving.  In addition, drinking (anything), eating and smoking are not permitted while driving.


TRNC driving licences are operated the same way as UK licences in that if you are convicted of a motoring offence you will receive a fine, penalty points and possibly a disqualification from driving for a period,

The TRNC system provides for a driver to receive up to 100 points, and once this number is reached a period of disqualification is given.  However in the TRNC the points you incur are different from the UK.  For example penalty points for a speeding offence will be dependant on the speed and they increase as your speed does!  For using a mobile phone whilst driving incurs 15 penalty points.

So whilst the system is more lenient than the UK, you need to keep a record should you be given penalty points.  When issued with a ticket for a motoring offence the fine you will be required to pay AND the number of points given will be on the 'ticket'.

All motoring offences where a 'ticket' is issued MUST be paid within FIFTEEN days - or the fine will DOUBLE.

Unlike the UK the record of a motoring offence is 'wiped' from the system after EIGHTEEN months.

“A sudden rush of new found wealth from the sale of land has led to ownership of powerful cars and 4x4s by people with little or no experience. Care has to be taken, especially near nightclubs and of drivers from mainland Turkey who are used to driving on the right.”

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Work PermitsLast Updated 21 Feb 2023

Please note that every effort has been made to provide an overview that is both accurate and up to date.  However, regulations can change and individual circumstances vary, so independent professional advice must be taken and not simply based upon the following guidelines.  Should there be any significant change from the details provided in this section, please bring it to our attention by contacting us.

Introduction - Categories of Permits & Visas:

Permission to be in the TRNC is granted subject to having of one of the following:

  1. Visitor Visa –UK citizens are normally given 90 days. IT IS ILLEGAL TO WORK.
  2. Temporary or Permanent Residency Permits – available for foreigners who live in the TRNC. IT IS ILLEGAL TO WORK.
  3. Student Permit – for those studying at recognised educational establishments. IT IS ILLEGAL TO WORK
  4. Work Permits – For people working for TRNC companies, they do not own.
  5. Business Permits – For owners or part owners of TRNC businesses.

It is only legal to work if someone holds a valid work or business permit. To enquire about the latest regulations for your particular proposed business or occupation, first visit the Local District Labour Department’s office.

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Work Permits:

Work permits are initially for either six months or one year. Once a year has been completed, then 2 year permits are available. Permits, as at 1st February 2016 cost either 160TL for 6 months or 346TL/year or 692TL for 2 years. Work permits are issued for working at a specific company and location. Only one permit is allowed.

Before a permit can be issued, all taxes have to have been paid by the company to the Sosyal Sigorta (Health Insurance Dept) and Ihtiyat Sandigi (Pensions/Provident Fund) and not merely deducted from the employee. The rates, based upon gross monthly income, currently are: Ihtiyat Sandigi-11% paid by employer, 9% paid by employee. Sosyal Sigorta-5% paid by employee.

The first thing the employee needs to do is obtain,from the Police’s immigration department, a copy of their ‘ins & outs’. The form they issue requires a post office stamp (approx. 20TL).

If a foreigner has a kocan in their name, no bond is required, otherwise a bond of 750 Euros is required. This is usually arranged by the company. The money remains in the company’s bank account but is ‘blocked’ by the bank. It does not have to be in a special account, but merely one in Euros. It can earn interest for the company. Annually, a letter, from the bank to the ‘Social Security Department’, confirming that they have blocked the money is needed. This letter will be sent to the company’s accountants. The company can negotiate how much the bank charges, but it can be up to 700TL. If an employee leaves their employment within a year, the money still remains blocked until the year has finished.

The company’s accountants deal with the government. They will supply the employee with a form for obtaining a blood test and x-ray. The hospital will issue a pink booklet, which they must stamp; it also confirms that the employee is entitled to free medical care. The health check costs 135TL. The pink hospital booklet needs to be given to the accountants along with the employee’s passport. Both will be returned, along with a work permit stamped into the passport.

It is not possible to have both a work permit and temporary resident status.  If you have already been issued with one or the other, the one not required must be cancelled. Temporary residency payments are not refundable, if a work permit is subsequently applied for. If someone has been a resident for a number of years, then obtains a work permit, the years they had previously built up become void. The Government is currently reconsidering this situation. Other points to bear in mind:

  • A spouse’s residency permit must be dated the same as her married partner’s work permit.
  • If you have a work permit, then become "not employed", a residency permit must be obtained. There are a limited number of days allowed to obtain this and our advice is to action this within 14 days. The cost of a residency permit as of 1st February 2016 is 477TL
  • A work permit is still required for people over 65 years old. No Sigorta payments are needed, instead private medical insurance is compulsory. Some banks offer this as part of a discounted package along with the Euro bond.
  • If a company is caught employing someone without a work permit, the employee faces potential deportation. Furthermoreboth the employee and the employer face a fine of 5 x the legal minimum wage.(Currently 6,500TL each).

We have been advised that, in respect of, skilled tradesmen, the Government has recently authorised agencies to form companies, specialising in individual trades (electricians, plumbers, tilers etc).  These companies will then employ the foreign worker, obtain their work permit and deal with issues like tax and insurance. To be employed by the agency company , the tradesman will need to present a current certificate confirming they are members of an internationally recognised professional body. Any tradesman, whose certificate has expired, will be required to attend a one day training course in Lefkosa to be re-certified as competent. They are also forbidden to undertake work, unless they are accompanied by a company representative, until such time as they have proved their competence and obtained the appropriate certificate.

Typical Annual Costs (TL) for this service are as follows:

  • Work permit 260
  • Medical        135
  • Accounting fees 252
  • Bank bond letter 300 to 700 (this can usually be negotiated)

Additional fees that registered tradesman would need to pay are 10% + KDV (VAT) = 11.6% of the work’s price, after deducting the material costs.Currently KDV (VAT) is 16%. It is a legal requirement that tax and insurance will be deducted by the company.

Groups of workers, such as entertainers will require work permits for each individual.

Currently only one registered agency exists,which must be joined in order to obtain a work permit. It is ASAP  in Alsancak

Charity Workers

In respect of TRNC registered charities only:

  • Permanent, regular, unpaid volunteer workers require a work permit.
  • Occasional, non permanent, unpaid volunteer workers. e.g. manning a stall, permission is required from the local District Office. There is no fee charged.
  • Each permission is given, only for a particular activity.  The number of days it can be undertaken is also limited.
  • Occasional volunteer workers do not normally require a permit or permission. However, written notification to the Local District Labour Department is suggested.
  • Voluntary work with unregistered charities or organisations - A work permit is required.

Business Permits/Models:

  1. Companies owned by foreigners must have limited liability.
  2. Companies can be 100% foreign owned, except for certain types of businesses. This is where the rules of the ‘Union’ (this is the business federation and not a trade union) prohibit or restrict such ownership. The company’s accountants need to check the rules before forming the company.
  3. A maximum of 49% foreign share holding is allowed for such companies as: Estate agents, property owning companies (regardless of their main activity)
  4. Foreigners are not allowed to have any ownership of companies involved in businesses like Hospitals, Transport, Banks.

The company’s or individual’s bank needs to hold a bond for 15,000TL per foreign shareholder, to be held against unpaid tax. The money remains in the company’s bank account but is ‘blocked’ by the bank. It does not have to be a special account, but merely a deposit account in TL. It can earn interest for the company. Annually, a letter from the bank confirming that they have blocked the money is sent to the company’s accountants. This letter will be charged for, but the amount is negotiable.

Initially the business permit is for 1 year. However, after that year’s business has successfully been completed, a 2 year permit is available. Before business permits can be renewed, confirmation from the tax authorities is required, that the following have been paid: company tax, personal tax, employee tax and accounts have been filed. It is advisable to use an accountant who is close to the tax authorities. Rates as at 1st February 2016 are as follows:

  • 946TL for 6 months
  • 1,905TL for one year
  • 3,796TL for 2 years

Off-Shore non-TRNC trading Companies

It is possible to own an off-shore company. The rules aren’t complicated, but need to be followed and can vary according to the nature of the enterprise. An accountant is required and will give specific advice. However, it must be remembered that the company only trades overseas, with no transactions involving the TRNC, beyond the statutory requirements of:

  • Employing a Turkish Cypriot resident for a few hours/week paying at least the legal minimum hourly rate.
  • Filing accounts monthly, these can be undertaken by any competent person.
  • Filing annual accounts via the company’s accountants, in the same way as any other company.
  • The shareholders are paid through dividend income, which has a 2% tax liability.
  • No work or business permit is needed.


Ministry of Labour: Tel: 0392 227 3643

Labour Department, local district office: Tel: 0392 815 2112


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Utilities and ServicesLast Updated 21 Feb 2023

The infrastructure in TRNC is still developing in many respects.  This is largely due to the economic isolation of the island.  The message, again, is don’t expect things to be as they are in the UK.  Improvements are being made however.


An underwater pipeline has been constructed that will bring water from Turkey. 

A new feature of life in the TRNC will be the introduction of "Smart" water meters. We have reprinted a news article that explains how these new gadgets are used. The article is shown here.  A Manual (English Speaking) can be downloaded here.

Water Meters

All domestic water supplies are now metered.   At present each Beledeysi is responsible for installation and maintenance of meters.  Charges vary between local authorities. Initially all householders need to apply for a SMART WATER METER CARD at the appropriate Beledeysi office.

The documents required to receive a card are as follows:-

  1. ID.Card or passport photograph.
  2. Title Deed Copy - if not - The Sales Contract or Rental Contract (These must have been officially stamped and signed by the Appropriate Government Office).
  3. The form which came with the meter. 

This form contains only basic questions and can be filled in at the municipality.  

For current costs please click here

Customers can pay for the amount of water required and use this water for as longs it lasts. Water can now only be paid for on your card. Payment by Direct debit for water is no longer possible.

There is no longer a standard charge for 0 to 10 tons per month, this has been abolished and you now only pay for what you use.

There is no more "builders tariff". All houses are now on the same normal house tariff.

Please note - Before going to the Belediye to put money onto your water meter card, it is advised that you put your card into the water meter and press the black button once only, this downloads the information from the water meter to your card, so we may see the updated information on your water meter.


The supply and sockets are the same as in the Republic of Cyprus, ie 220/240v AC 50HZ, and European three-pin.  Electricity is supplied by Kibtek, a nationalised company.  Bills can be paid either directly to the meter reader, in which case ensure that you get a receipt, or at the local Kibtek office, by direct debit through your bank or using online banking. Since your supply will be cut off if you don’t pay within 30 days, you should add credit to your account prior to leaving the TRNC for any length of time. Power cuts are not uncommon for which reason some people choose to have a back-up generator. In any case it is advisable to use power surge protectors for your more sensitive and expensive electrical goods like computers to avoid them being damaged/destroyed from sudden surges and drops in supply.

A new style electric meter has been introduced in 2015 to most properties in the TRNC. To view the new style meter and an explanation on how to read one click here.

You may be shocked at the size of your electricity bill if you use electricity for heating and air conditioning extensively. Beware of the so-called  “builders tariff” – a much higher rate- charged on new-build property before a proper contract has been taken out with Kibtek.


There is almost no piped gas in the TRNC; instead gas bottles are used for cooking and heating, available at service stations, supermarkets and local stores. For central heating purposes gas will be delivered to a tank outside the house. In winter you have to be frugal with your use otherwise you could use around 1000 litres in a typical centrally heated, three bedroom  villa or bungalow.

To view the current tariffs and related information, please click here

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Permits for Storage of Petroleum Products (LPG, Fuel Oil Tanks etc.)Last Updated 21 Feb 2023

Before purchasing a gas tank, you should lodge a permit application together with the fee and the documents detailed below at the District Office. If you own a home with an existing gas tank that has no permit you should begin the application process as soon as possible. Please note that the initial application can take a few months to come to fruition.

Properties built with final approval obtained prior to December 2010 do not require a mechanical plan. However, for subsequent buildings a mechanical plan is required.

Once the application is made the District Office will arrange for the Fire Brigade to visit and inspect your property and will advise on the location and prepare a report for the District Office. As a starting point you should plan on siting the tank on a concrete plinth at least 5 metres away from boundaries/fences, dwellings, overhead power lines and manholes and 10 metres away from a BBQ.

The Fire Brigade will make an appointment with you to visit your property to inspect the proposed site and will wish to see the fire extinguisher which should be should be easily accessible.

Fire extinguishers are required to be inspected and re-charged by an authorised dealer every 12 months.

Gas tanks are to be inspected every 10 years for security and serviceability.

Failure to register a gas tank runs the risk of the District Office ordering compliance of its rules and the removal of the tank if it is not in line with positioning requirements. Gas companies may also refuse to deliver gas to un-registered properties.

To see the current costs please click here.

Payments must be made each January and late payment will attract an additional monthly fine of 3% cumulative for every month it is not renewed. If you are renewing, take the existing permit to the District Office and pay the fee.

If you rent a property that has a gas tank you should ask the owner or letting agent for the permit.

Permits are also required for the storage of other petroleum products oil and diesel tanks.

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Phones, Internet & Satellite ServicesLast Updated 21 Feb 2023

Wireless broadband and wi-fi are widely available. Speeds are typically lower than in the UK, with varying degrees of reliability. Charges are comparable to those in the UK. ADSL is also available but you may have to wait a long time to get a phone if there isn’t one already installed.

Because a ‘landline is expensive to install; typically £1,000, most MEMBERS rely on ‘Skype’ and similar  technologies via the Internet to keep in touch with family and friends back home.

Mobile phone costs are reasonable and the two main suppliers TurkCell and Telsim provide an acceptable level of service at a reasonable cost.


Since the beginning of 2016 a regulation was introduced which requires ALL mobile devices not purchased in the TRNC to be registered and for duty to be paid on their importation.

This applies ONLY to phones, tablets or other devices fitted with a TRNC Sim card.

We were told by a provider, in this case Turkcell, that any device using one of their sim cards (pay as you go OR contract) which was identified as a non – TRNC device would receive a text (see below) which required the recipient to attend the offices of BTHK in Lefkosa, to register the device.

Once the phone is registered you will need to pay the the relevant import duty dependant on the make and type of the phone/tablet to the Customs Office (located in the same building).

Payments for the Duty at this office can be made in cash, but you must be in possession of your Passport at the time of payment.

This is the text message you will receive : -

xxx IMEI numarali cihaziniz kayitsizdir ve 30 gun sonra kullanima kapatilacaktir.Cihazinizi sadece 533 xxx xxxx ile kullanabilirsiniz.Bilgi icin adresini ziyaret edebilir veya BTHK cagri merkezini 03924442845 arayabilirsiniz

The current process is shown below


In order to register your device, an appointment must be made with our Call Center by calling +90 0392 444 28 45

Unregistered devices will not be disconnected from the network until the 31st of May 2020, even if 90 days of active use time have surpassed.

Requirements for application are as follows:

If the device is found to be technically suitable for registration, the registration fee will be paid at the Registration Unit. The Registration Unit does not accept payment in cash. Payment can be made by a bank card or a credit card at the Registration Unit or deposited into the bank account of the authority (Bank Account Information will be provided during registration).

Upon completion of the transaction in the MCKS Registration Unit, you will receive your documents, invoices and receipts indicating that your device has been registered.

At this stage, the registration process of your device is not yet  completed.

Along with the documents received from the Registration Unit, the Customs Tax of the device must be paid to the Customs personnel located within the same building. The following must be submitted during the Customs Tax payment:

You can complete your registration by submitting the document received as a result of the payment made to the Customs and Registration Unit and the invoice or receipt received from the MCKS Registration Unit to the Subscriber Registration Unit within the same building or to Turkcell or Telsim Subscriber Registration Centers in the district.

If you do not submit your documents to the Subscriber Registration Unit/Centers, your registration process is not completed.

For more information, you can visit


Refuse collection is good and cheap with twice-weekly collections. As in Southern Cyprus, there is a local habit of dumping unwanted items anywhere, thereby spoiling the countryside. Recycling has yet to reach Northern Cyprus.

Security Systems

The whole of Cyprus has had a reputation for being a safe place, both in terms of personal safety and for property. In general there are few problems in Northern Cyprus although the number of burglaries is increasing, for which reason it makes sense to take normal security measures like fitting good locks on doors, windows and shutters, and installing burglar alarms in built-up areas.

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Passports and RenewalsLast Updated 5 Apr 2024

Taking care of and renewing your UK passport in TRNC

Your passport is an important legal document.  Identity theft, passport fraud and related crime are on the increase so you need to take good care of it.

Make sure that it is kept in a safe place, is valid and in good condition. At the back of your passport, fill in the contact details of two relatives or friends who can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Please click here to read the current British passport acceptability in the EU.


The British High Commission in Nicosia no longer processes passport applications.

Don’t book any travel until you have a valid passport.

For travel advice and information visit:

The renewal of your UK passport can now only be done online. To start the process go to the following link Overseas Renewal

You complete the form online together with your preferred payment method and submit the details to the passport office. You must print out the last page where a bar code will be shown. You must sign and date the last page.

A few important points when completing your application if you are using your TRNC address.

Having completed the form online you must then arrange for your passport to be returned to the UK.

It costs 90 euros per application ( AUG 2021 ) and takes about 4/6 weeks for return.

The passport is now returned to your home address. You must request the return of your old passport

There is no longer any facility at the British High Commission in Cyprus for dealing with this. The collection of passports is carried out by DHL. 

Note: there are DHL Service Points in Girne and Famagusta. Information on these is at the foot of this page.

If you are travelling to the UK it is easier, quicker and cheaper to make use of the Passport office Premium (1 day) or Fast track one week service while you are there. For more details please click here.  Appointments for the one day service should be made 3 weeks in advance.


Don’t book travel until you have a valid passport. If you need to travel more urgently, apply for an Emergency Travel Document.

Tracking your application

You can track your application online

or call the Passport Adviceline. +44 (0) 300 222 0000

Photographs Info

Once you have your new passport, you should change any local documents, such as residency visa, driving licence, car registration etc, by visiting the relevant offices with both your old and new passports.

Contact Points for handling Passport Renewals and Parcels

DHL Courier Service – Main Office Lefkosa

Tel: 0392 444 0505

The main DHL Office is in Lefkosa on the industrial estate. Sanayi Bolgesi 22. Sokak Harun Erhun Kargo Lefkosa
Coming from Kyrenia, turn left at the big roundabout in Lefkosa ( as though you were going to Famagusta or Ercan).  Continue for approx 1 mile and you will see a Mercedes dealership on the left. Take the first left after the dealership, then first left then second right. 

You can also contact the office in Lefkosa to arrange a courier.  DHL will then schedule a courier to go directly to your address.  If you are sending a passport, the courier will bring with them the paperwork for you to complete and for payment to be made.

Passport Renewals (subject to review)

DHL Courier Service - WEST OF GIRNE ( No Parcels )

Dagli Sigorta

Tel: 0392 822 4005/6 (2 lines)
Mob: 0533 880 0900

Location: Orhan Barut Sokak, Karaoglanoglu

This is a Passport renewal service only.  There is no parcel service available.


For members who live in the Karpaz area there is a DHL office located within the Famagusta Port facility. As you enter the port from the direction of Mosque island, take the first left, through the security barrier and then follow the signs for DHL.   


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InsuranceLast Updated 3 Dec 2020

Whilst the BRS cannot recommend any particular service or service provider, the following three well-known local companies provide a wide range of insurance cover; home, car, travel, emergency medical, etc.  In addition, each of them offers BRS Members a discount on their normal rates.

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British Library, GIRNELast Updated 21 Feb 2021

The library, situated behind the Girne Post Office, next to the NCCT and the BRS HUT offers members a huge range of books covering a wide choice of both fiction and non-fiction. The selection changes constantly, with most books being very recent publications.   There are membership choices to suit visitors, swallows and residents. Membership is open to anyone, you don’t have to be British, just have the ability to read English.  Please support your library.

To view further information on the library, please click here.

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PostcodesLast Updated 21 Feb 2021

For a list of local postcodes please click here

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If you are a member, for a detailed description of how to apply for a residency permit using the online residency system,
or details of the Motoring Rules, please login and go to the members area.

If you are not a member, please see the About Us page for information about how to join.