Alien Bureaucracy, Part #1

July 30, 2007

Us aliens are in danger of being worn out by the Cypriot bureaucracy.

When we arrived last year we were required to register as aliens, technically “unnaturalized foreign resident of a country“. The process requires the production of information and documents and payment of a fee in return for a temporary resident’s permit, known locally as a ‘pink slip’. The pink slip is valid until the government decline your resident’s application and deport you from the island, or agree that you can stay for the next five years or so. At that stage the pink slip gets replaced with a permanent resident permit aka the ‘yellow slip’.

The colour references add interest to the process, as apparently just before we arrived they swapped over the colour of the temp and the perm documents. Occasionally we still hear conversations along the lines of “my pink slip, the temporary one, the one that used to be yellow. I’m still waiting for my yellow slip, you know, the one that used to be …“. Confused yet? Welcome to government bureaucracy at its best.

Last September we got our pink (used to be yellow) temporary residence permits. As yet there’s been no sign of the yellow slip, but then it’s not been a year yet so maybe we’re being impatient, and possibly English. That wouldn’t be a problem but for the small matter of the car.

The abridged version, to date, is that we bought a new Honda CRV just before we left England and drove it here to Cyprus. Because we were removing it from the UK immediately we got the car at a duty free price, but knew that we’d have to pay duty or VAT or both when we arrived here. We arrived, by ferry, one a Friday afternoon about an hour before the official knocking-off time. About 1pm in case you want to feel depressed about your working day! The officials looked at our paperwork and decided that they didn’t really understand our strange logbook (different issue for duty-free cars) or the fact that our new car had a little over 2,000 miles on the clock.

So, they debated how to handle our unusual case and decided it wasn’t practical in the time available before going-home time. Instead they impounded the car. The following week we were able to, for a fee or two, rescue the car and transfer it to a bonded warehouse in Larnaca where it stayed until we were issued with a temporary import licence. The licence was renewable, for a period up to six months, while they considered our case and we were issued with our permanent resident’s permits, those pesky yellow slips.

So herein lies the problem. Until we get our yellow slips we have a problem with the car. The car people are getting increasingly reluctant to extend our temporary import licence. In fact they went as far as threatening to impound the car and prosecute us for non-compliance with, well, something bureaucratic. Apparently that was an error caused by one part of the car department not knowing that the other part existed or something similar. They phoned to apologise for the error but we are starting to feel that the noose is tightening and if can’t hurry along the yellow slip we really may have a problem with the car.

So, in desperation we headed to Nicosia last week to talk to the Aliens Immigration people to see if there was any way to hurry this along.

If you haven’t yet had an overload of bureaucracy this week then make yourself a cup of coffee and come straight back ;-)

Link to Alien Bureaucracy, Part #2
Link to Alien Bureaucracy, Part #3



  1. […] to Alien Bureaucracy, Part #1 Link to Alien Bureaucracy, Part […]

  2. […] to Alien Bureaucracy, Part #1 Link to Alien Bureaucracy, Part […]

  3. […] or two later he re-appeared. The office, he said, wants more information. Did we perhaps have our pink/yellow slips handy? We did so copied them both and handed them […]

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