Welcome to the first in a series of articles T-VINE is publishing in conjunction with the TRNC London Consular team to help people in Britain understand the criteria and processes to obtaining key consular services, such as a new passport or identity card, known as a ‘kimlik’ in Turkish.
Some of these services require a person to become a citizen of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC). Below TRNC London Consul General Buket Kop provides a step-by-step guide for people to achieve this.
Before submitting an application for your kimlik or TRNC passport, consider whether you satisfy the following criteria first:
- Are either of your parents a Turkish Cypriot? If the answer to this question is ‘yes’, then you are entitled to obtain TRNC citizenship and can apply at the Consular Section of the TRNC London Representative Office in Bedford Square.
- Are you seeking TRNC citizenship through marriage? You must be married for at least one year before you can apply for TRNC citizenship and your spouse must already be a TRNC citizen.
- Do you have a TRNC birth certificate? Even if you were not born in North Cyprus, you still need TRNC documentation in order to become a citizen. If you don’t have a TRNC birth certificate, you will not be able to make an application for a TRNC identity card or passport.
- Have you registered your foreign birth (any birth outside of the TRNC)? If you were born abroad and wish to obtain a TRNC identity card or passport, then the first step is to register your foreign birth with the Turkish Cypriot authorities. If you live in the UK, you can do this at the Consular Section of the TRNC London Representative Office. Once you register the birth, you will be issued with a TRNC birth certificate.
The TRNC Consul General Ms Kop says: “Becoming a TRNC citizen is a 3-step process. First you must obtain a TRNC birth certificate. Once this is verified and issued by the authorities in North Cyprus, you can then apply for a TRNC identity card, or kimlik. And only after this can you apply for a TRNC passport.”
Essentially if you are of Turkish Cypriot descent, once you have registered your foreign birth and obtained a TRNC birth certificate, you are now considered a TRNC citizen, and can apply for a TRNC identity card or passport.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, registering your foreign birth can now be done by post. However, all applications for an identity card, passport or citizenship by marriage must be made in person at the Consular Section of the TRNC London Office.
It should be noted that the TRNC London Consul Section does not issue TRNC birth certificates, identity cards or passports. These items are all produced by the TRNC Population Registration Department (KKTC Nüfus Kayıt Dairesi) in Lefkoşa.
Applications via London for a TRNC birth certificate or TRNC identity card can take several months to process. All applications are checked by the London Consul Section before being sent to the KKTC Nüfus Kayıt Dairesi, which must verify all the details submitted are correct.
The TRNC London Office does not have access to the records stored in Lefkoşa, so while all may appear to be in good order in the UK, applications may falter when checked by the relevant officials in North Cyprus.
“One of the most common problems from UK applications is the change of surnames in the TRNC to the ones families are using in Britain, which may require additional paperwork to verify the persons are the same. In some cases, an individual may need to make an application for a new TRNC surname,” explained Ms Kop.
The Consul General advises those who wish for a faster turnaround and are intending to travel to North Cyprus in the near future “can visit the Nüfus Kayıt Dairesi and make a direct application there.”
“Just take all the original documents listed below to the relevant department, and if all your paperwork is in order, the new TRNC certificate, identity card or passport can be issued within a few days,” she added.
How to register your foreign birth with the TRNC (‘Yurtdışı Doğumlar Kütük Kaydı’)
The first step to applying for TRNC citizenship for Turkish Cypriots born abroad is to register your foreign birth (birth outside of Cyprus). In Turkish, this is called “Yurtdışı Doğumlar Kütük Kaydı”.
In Britain, you can register your birth and apply for TRNC citizenship at the Consular Section of the TRNC London Representative Office either in person or by sending copies of the required documents by post.
You must submit the following documents when making an application for a TRNC Birth Certificate Application (‘Yurtdışı Doğumlar Kütük Kaydı Müracaatı’):
- 1. A certified copy of your British birth certificate from the UK’s General Register Office. This document will be retained by the TRNC authorities in Lefkoşa as part of your citizenship file
- If the applicant was born in Turkey, then a certified copy of their original Turkish Identity Card
- 2. UK passport (if over 18 years of age) – front page and inside page with your photo, name, date of birth etc.
- 3. Either the father or mother’s TRNC identity card (front and back) and, if they have, their TRNC passports
- 4. Parent’s marriage certificate and/or divorce certificate
- 5. Father’s or mother’s naturalization certificate (if applicable)
- 6. Fee for TRNC Birth Certificate is £3 – the Consular Section permits cash payments, or a postal order made payable to KKTC CONSOLIDATE FUND. If bringing cash, it is advisable to bring the exact amount.
How to apply for TRNC Identity Card / KKTC Kimlik Kartı Müracaatı
You will be required to submit the following documents when making an application for a TRNC Identity Card:
- 1. TRNC Birth Certificate
- 2. Biometric photograph x 1 (50mm wide x 60mm high)
- 3. Applicant`s UK passport
- 4. Father’s or mother’s TRNC Identity Card and, if they have, their TRNC Passport
- 5. For those who are qualified professions such as a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or teacher, should also bring their diploma or other professional certificate verifying their stated profession, which can then be written on their identity card under the `Job/Profession` section.
- 6. Fee for a new TRNC Identity Card is £41 – the Consular Section permits cash payments, or a postal order made payable to KKTC CONSOLIDATE FUND. If bringing cash, it is advisable to bring the exact amount.
How to apply for TRNC citizenship by marriage
A couple must be married a year before an application can be made for citizenship, and both spouses must attend in person when making the application at the TRNC London Representative Office.
The applicant is required to submit the following documents when making an application for TRNC citizenship by marriage:
- 1. Passport and Birth Certificate
- If the applicant is a citizen of the Republic of Turkey, then their citizenship record / birth record
- 2. Passport and TRNC Identity Card of spouse
- 3. Marriage Certificate
- 4. Proof of Residence (official document that has both the applicant’s and their spouse’s names and address. This can be a utility bill, or council tax bill, or a bank statement etc.)
- 5. Spouse’s consent: this form will be completed and signed at the TRNC Consulate
- 6. Passport-size photographs x 2
- 7. Fee for TRNC Citizenship by Marriage is £191 – the Consular Section permits cash payments, or a postal order made payable to KKTC CONSOLIDATE FUND. If bringing cash, it is advisable to bring the exact amount.
How to apply for TRNC passport
You can only apply for a TRNC passport if you have TRNC citizenship and all the listed TRNC documentation.
- 1. Completed TRNC Passport Application Form
- 2. TRNC Birth Certificate
- 3. TRNC Identity Card
- 4. Current TRNC Passport (if applying because existing one has expired or is damaged)
- 5. Biometric photograph x 2 (50mm wide x 60mm high)
- 6. Fee for a new 32-page standard TRNC Passport is £98 – the Consular Section permits cash payments, or a postal order made payable to KKTC CONSOLIDATE FUND. If bringing cash, it is advisable to bring the exact amount.
Passport applications are usually dealt with on Thursdays and a prior appointment is required.
TRNC London Representative Office
The TRNC London Office is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, but closed for lunch during 1pm and 2pm. However the Consular Section is only open to the public between the hours of 10am and 1pm each weekday.
Due to the coronavirus, a prior appointment is required. Please call or email with your contact details and required consular service, and a member of the team will inform you of your appointment date and time.
Address: TRNC London Office 29 Bedford Square, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3ED
The TRNC London Consular Section is located on the ground floor of the TRNC London Office.
Tel: 020 7631 1920 / 020 7462 9785
A list of consular services and required documentation, as well as fees, and much more can be found under the Consular Affairs section of the TRNC London website.