Many visitors go to Turkey for their holidays. However, some of them wanted to stay in a country more than the time they were allowed to visit. Because of these people, the visa process has rapidly increased in the past years.
It is an important question for all of us “Do we need a residence permit in Turkey?” The answer to that question is not always easy – it depends on which country you are from, your reason for coming to Turkey, and how long you wish to stay.
As a foreigner, the first step to legally living in Turkey is to obtain a residence visa. With this visa, you can apply to enter Turkey and then if you wish, apply for Turkish citizenship.
There will be more than 50 million foreigners visiting Turkey, and out of these more than 10 million will be invited to live in the country. They also found that more than 70,000 people from around 80 different countries are currently living in Turkey.
A Turkish Residence Permit is an authorization to remain in Turkey for longer than three months in half a year, under purposes as settlement, working or studying.
Residence Visa In Turkey
A residence permit enables you to live in Turkey, study, get married, convert to Turkish drivers’ license, get tax number, open a bank account, purchase property, make investments, and much more.
If your purpose of moving to Turkey is working, you will only need a work permit, which also serves as a residence permit.
Who Needs a Turkey Residence Permit
Every person that moves to Turkey with the intention to remain in the country for more than three months needs to get a Turkey Residence Permit upon arrival. Without a residence permit, your stay in Turkey will be considered illegal.
You will be exempt from this requirement if one of the following applies to you:
- You have a “registration certificate” for international protection application.
- You are exempt from a residence permit pursuant to reciprocal or multilateral conventions to which the Republic of Turkey is also a party.
- You are a diplomacy or consulate officer that holds office in Turkey.
- You work for representative offices of international establishments in Turkey.
- Your identity card contains one of the following tags:
- “international protection applicant”
- “international protection status”
- You have a valid work permit.
Turkish Residence Permit Types
Depending on the visa type you hold, the purpose of application and the intended period of residence in Turkey, you can apply for one of the following residence permits:
Short-term residence permit
The Turkish short-term residence permit is the most sought after among all other residence permits. You can get this residence permit for any of the following purposes:
- for scientific research
- to establish commercial connections or business
- to participate in an in-service training program
- for educational or similar purposes in the framework of student exchange programs;
- for tourism purposes
- to receive medical treatment given that you do not carry one of the diseases which are considered as a threat to public health
- to attend Turkish learning courses
- You are a citizen of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Family residence permit
A family residence permit can be granted the foreign spouse of a Turkish national, his/her minor children and his/her dependent foreign child. The sponsor must have enough income to support those applying for a residence permit in order for them to get the permit.
Student residence permit
You can get a student residence permit if you are in Turkey under the purpose of enrolling in primary or secondary education. If you already have a family residence permit you will not need this one.
You will be eligible to apply for this residence also if you are planning to study at the levels of associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate, specialty training in medicine (TUS), and specialty training in dentistry (DUS) in a higher education institution in Turkey.
Long-term residence permit
If you have resided in Turkey for at least eight years uninterruptedly, under a residence permit issued by the Turkish authorities, then you can lodge an application for Turkish long-term permit which has an indefinite validity.
Note that if you have resided in Turkey for the specified period as a refugee, conditional refugee and secondary protection status holders, humanitarian residence permit holders and temporary protection you are not eligible to apply.
Humanitarian residence permit
You can apply for this residence permit if you are in Turkey without a valid visa or residence permit, but no deportation decision has been taken against you, you are waiting for your deportation, or you cannot return to your country of residence due to emergency reasons.
Residence permit for victims of human trafficking
If you are a victim of human trafficking, and you are in Turkey, you can apply for this residence permit.
How to Apply for a Turkey Residence Permit
To apply for a Turkish Residence Permit you need to follow a number of procedures. The first thing you should know is that you must apply for a residence permit within a month of arrival in Turkey.
Decide for which type of residence permit you want to apply for, and then complete the online application at the website of the Turkish Ministry of Interior https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/. You will have to give your name and surname, date of birth, parents’ names, nationality and contact info.
Then you should go to the “Central Appointment System” website and make an appointment at the nearest office of Directorate General of Migration Management. In fact, you will need to complete a form, with your information and address in Turkey.
Then you will be presented with the address of the nearest DGMM office and the list of the required documents, the available dates and times for the appointment and the application and card fee that you ought to pay.
Required Documents for a Turkey Residence Permit
On the day of your appointment, you will need to submit several documents at the nearest office of Directorate General of Migration Management. The required documents for a Turkish residence permit are as follows:
- Residence permit application form.
- Four biometric photographs.
- Original passport.
- Notarized copy of the passport or travel document.
- Proof of sufficient and sustainable financial resources for the duration of the stay. You must prove you have in your bank at least €500 for each month you spend in Turkey, or present proof that you will receive that amount monthly.
- Evidence of Health Insurance.
Note that according to your situation, the type of residence permit you are applying for and your nationality, you may have to submit additional documents. Make sure you submit them all on time, as required.
Residence Permit Validity
The validity of a Residence Permit in Turkey depends on the type of permit that you hold, as follows:
- Short-term residence permits can be issued for a maximum of two years at a time.
- Long-term residence permits are issued with indefinite validity.
- The validity of a Student Residence Permit depends on the length of studies. If your education period is less than one year, the residence permit period cannot exceed the education period.
- The family residence permit may be issued for a period not exceeding three years at a time.
- The permit for humanitarian residence is granted and extended for a maximum period of one year.
- The residence permit for the victims of human trafficking is issued for a period of thirty days.