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Residency health checks scrapped

HEALTH checks for foreign nationals aged 60 and over applying for residency permits have been scrapped, a minister has told Cyprus Today, as “chaos” accompanied the introduction of tougher immigration rules last week.

“No health checks will be needed in the first or subsequent residency applications,” Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars said to this paper yesterday evening.

The decision was taken after the new residency regime, introduced on Wednesday, did away with the previous “gentlemen’s agreement” that allowed expat residents aged 60 and over to stay in the TRNC without any “legal” permission.

Mrs Baybars also said that she would be sending a “memo” to immigration officers telling them to give reassurances to such TRNC-based expats that they had a year to comply with the new regulations.

The pledge was made after some expats reported that they had had their passports stamped with new 30-day tourist visas – and warned that they would become “illegal” if they “overstayed” – after crossing back to the TRNC following a trip to South Cyprus.

“Irrespective of what is being said by an [immigration] officer, the new rules provide for a one-year transition period [for foreign residents aged 60 and over],” she said. Källa

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