Baybars said that she had submitted the Draft Citizenship Law and Permanent Residence Permits Draft to the government and it is now being evaluated.
The Minister said that one of the reasons for the need for the statute was that social and economic services are constantly described as insufficient; providing services such as schools and hospitals had become a problem.
Baybars said that the population growth rate is 1.5 percent and this rate is above the average of the European Union, she said.
Meanwhile British residents remain uncertain as to how they will be affected. According to ‘Cyprus Today’, the previous “gentlemen’s agreement” which excluded ex-pat property owners aged over 60 from having to apply for residency permits, will be scrapped.
British Residents Society chairman Peter Wilkins told the paper that he was still “unsure” how the new residency permit system will work in practice following a meeting with Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars.
The changes will mean that a previous “gentlemen’s agreement”, which excluded ex-pat property owners aged over 60 from having to apply for residency permits, will be scrapped.
Foreign residents will now have to apply for permits on an annual basis if they are under 60. Over-60s will have to obtain a “temporary” 12-month permit, followed by a second application, which will also be valid for a year, said Immigration head Emre Hacılar, who was present at the meeting between the BRS and Interior Minister Baybars.
After that, residency permits will be valid for two years, he said. However “ambiguities” remain over how the process will work in practice, according to Wilkins.
“We met with Ms Baybars and [Mr] Hacılar, where we discussed the concerns of the [British ex-pat] community,” Mr Wilkins said.
Havadis, Cyprus Today