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Residence permit in Turkey

Foreign nationals who wish to enter Turkey must have a visa (tourist visa - usually for 30, 60 or 90 days) or visa exemption. Foreigners that wish to stay within the borders of Republic of Turkey longer than their visa allows, must apply for a residence permit in Turkey.

Tourist visa allows foreign citizens to be in Turkey for maximum 90 days in 180 days period. All foreigners should be aware of the purpose of their stay and period of planned time to spend in Turkey. If the plans show that the period may be exceeded, foreign nationals must apply for residency in Turkey to not be fined or banned in case of exceeding the visa period. 

How to apply for residence permit in Turkey?

The citizens that wish to stay in Turkey longer than visa allows them to, may apply for residency in Turkey and obtain short-term residence permit for 1 or 2 years for touristic purposes and continues their legal stay in Turkey. The application must be filled up online in Turkey in official website of the Immigration Authority (Göç İdaresi), before the visa expires.

After applying online, online system determines the date of an appointment. Foreginers have to come in person to the nearest office of Directorate General of Migration Management with all documents needed for residence permit.

Residence permit is issued for each foreigner individually, depending on a purpose of stay.

After receiving the residence permit ID card (ikamet), foreign nationals are allowed to enter and exit Turkey as they please. There are no restrictions. Residence permit allows foreigners to live in Turkey, but not to work. For working purposes, they must apply for a working permit in Turkey.

Documents needed for residence permit in Turkey:

  • application form: the form must be filled up on the official site of Directorate General of Migration Management through the online system (e-ikamet)
  • passport and its photocopy: passport or travel document must be valid for at least 60 days longer than the requested period of recidency. If the passport information is not written in Latin letters, foreigners must add certified translation by a sworn translator or official authorities to the application.
  • 4 biometric photos: passport-size photos must be taken within the last 6 months
  • valid health insurance
  • proof of residential address: either a copy of signed and notarized rental agreement or proof of owning a property in Turkey, you will need a notarized title deed that proves the ownership of turkish real estate
  • paid tax fees: the amount will be written in the application form

Residence permit Turkey cost

The cost of ID card is 110 TL.  The residence permit in Turkey costs depend on the nationality of applicants. The total amount usually varies between 50-80 €.

The purpose of stay:

If foreign nationals apply for a different kind of residence permit, the Immigration Authority may ask for additional documents which depend on the purpose of stay.

There are different types of residence permit in Turkey

  • short-term residence permit
  • long-term residence permit
  • family residence permit
  • student residence permit
  • working permit and more.

Do you get the residency if you buy property in Turkey?

After buying a property in Turkey, foreigner is entitled for a residency in Turkey, thanks to the law from 2013. The real estate in Turkey can be in any value in order for non-Turkish citizen to apply for residence permit. The applicant can receive short-term residence permit (1 year) in Turkey that can be renewed.

Turkey residence permit 2020

The Immigration Authority in Turkey has decided to apply restrictions on extending touristic residence permits since 2020. The main purpose of those restrictions is to lower the amount of illegal workers and encourage the employers to get a working permit for them.

Foreigners from European Union, Russia, OECD countries and China are not affected by these restrictions. Foreign nationals of other countries will not be able to extend their short-term residence permits unless it is given a valid justification.

Benefits of residence permit in Turkey

Non-Turkish citizens with a valid residence permit can legally stay and live in Turkey. Many people come to Turkey with different purposes, residence permit gives them enough time to decide how to continue their way in this country. Many of them find a job and apply for a working permit in Turkey, others open their own business or invest in one, rent or buy a real estate in Turkey. The other benefits that residence permit in Turkey simplifies: applying for family residence permit for other members of the family, opening a bank account, registering for utilities, acquiring a driving license, buying a car and more. 

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