How to Get a Residence Permit in Turkey?
Residence Permit in Turkey
The residence permit is a legal document that enables foreigners -people that are not citizens of the Republic of Turkey- to stay in Turkey for a given period of time (Article 3/j of Law No. 6458). It is regulated under the Law on Foreigners and International Protection No. 6458, in Articles 19-49.
The residence permit is obligatory for foreigners who are going to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days or more than the period granted by their visa or visa exemption. According to Article 20 of the aforementioned law, there are exemptions from this obligation.
Those who are going to be in Turkey during their visas/visa exemptions up to 90 days, ones who have a “stateless person identification document” and those who renounced their citizenship are not obliged to get a residency permit to reside in Turkey. Diplomatic and consular officers -and their family members if they are reported exempted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs– and representatives of international organizations in Turkey are also exempted. Likewise, those exempted by agreements in which Turkey is a party or individuals under international protection, do not need to obtain a residence permit in Turkey either.
Additionally, valid work permits and work permit exemption confirmation certificates issued in accordance with Article 10 of Law on Work Permits of Foreigners No. 4817 are considered residence permits. In other words, work permit holders are entitled to reside in Turkey without a residence permit within the period of the said permit or certificate.
However, those who are not exempted shall apply for a residence permit type they meet the requirements of through the e-Residence system if they want to stay in Turkey.
Types of Residence Permit in Turkey
Types of residence permit that can be issued are listed in Article 30. This is an exhaustive list consisting of six types being short-term, family, student, long-term, humanitarian residence permits, and residence permits for victims of human trafficking.
For every residence permit, those who apply are under the obligation of presenting related information and documents needed within the scope of the relevant article. The current states of the applicants must not fall under Article 7 and they should be able to provide information on their correct and complete address of residence in Turkey. Additionally, foreigners are required to have health insurance that covers the requested duration of the residence permit in Turkey and submit their criminal records to the government.
How to Get A Residence Permit in Turkey? – Procedure
Residence permits are issued separately for each foreigner, depending on their purpose of stay, 60 days shorter than the validity of their passports or passport substitute documents. The form and contents of permits are regulated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Article 23).
The residence permit application procedures are stated in Article 21. The application is made to Turkish Consulates in the country where the foreigner is a citizen or legally located (there are exceptions to this rule that are regulated in Article 22 which will be discussed later). Foreigners who apply for a residence permit in Turkey must have a passport or a passport substitute document with a validity period of sixty days longer than the residence permit period they request.
The necessary documents must all be submitted. In case any information or document required is missing, the evaluation process may be postponed until the deficiencies are completed. The person concerned is going to be notified of the information and/or documents missing.
Consulates forward residence permit applications to the General Directorate of Migration Administration, along with their opinions. If necessary, the General Directorate can ask for the opinions of relevant institutions before deciding on the outcome. Applications are concluded in ninety days and if rejected, the relevant applicant is informed about the procedures followed. The result of the application is also notified to the consulate.
Residence permit applications that can be made from within Turkey are regulated exceptionally in Article 22. According to this regulation:
a. if the application is for a long-term, student or a humanitarian permit,
b. if a transition is made from a family residence permit to a short-term residence permit,
c. if the application in question is made for a newborn child whose parent(s) have a permit,
d. if the applicant completed their higher education and a transition is being made to a short-term residence permit,
e. if there is a new application because the purpose of stay changed, such applications can be made from within Turkey,
Additionally, applications regarding decisions or requests of judicial or administrative authorities or applications in the scope of the second paragraph of Article 20 can be made in Turkey. If it’s either unreasonable or impossible for the foreigner to leave Turkey, an exception can be made.
This application can be made by the foreigner themselves or through their legal representative or lawyer. In accordance with the provision added to Law No. 6458 with International Workforce Law No. 6735, resident permit applications can also be made through Authorized Intermediaries.[1,3]
Residence permit documents are valuable papers under the Law on Valuable Papers No. 210 and are subject to fees determined by the Ministry of Finance. The residence permit fee shall be issued and collected under the sixth tariff of Law on Fees No. 492.
Required Documents For a Residence Permit in Turkey
When applying for a residence permit in Turkey, there are various documents and information to be submitted. First of all, the residence permit application form must be filled and signed by a foreigner and/or their legal representative. Photocopy of passport or passport substitute document, four biometric photos, and receipts for payment of residence permit fee and card fee must be provided. A document proving the individual having sufficient and regular financial means for the time period of the permit and valid health insurance is required.
For all types of residence permits, the address, telephone number, and e-mail information stated by the applicant must be up to date. In case the address information changes during the residence permit, The Provincial Directorate of Migration Management and the Provincial Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship shall be notified by submitting necessary documents in twenty workdays.
According to the second paragraph of Article 26, foreigners who come to Turkey with valid work and residence permits are obliged to register in the address registration system within twenty workdays from the date of entry at the latest.
Extension and Transfer Requests of the Residence Permit in Turkey
According to Article 24 of Law No. 6458, residence permits can be extended by governorates. These requests shall be made within 60 (sixty) days before the expiry of the related residence permit and in any case, before the expiration date, to governorates. Following the application, required documents shall be sent by post to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management within five workdays. The extended permit starts on the expiration date of the previous residence permit.
Article 29 of the said law regulates the transitions between different types of residence permits or in other words, transfer. The aforesaid article states that foreigners may apply for a residence permit in Turkey in accordance with their new purpose of stay if the reason granting the permit expires or a different reason arises. In that case, they are required to make an application online via the e-Residence system and be present on the appointed date and time -with the necessary documents- at the relevant Provincial Directorate of Migration Management.
Residence permit applications or requests for an extension can be refused by authorities. When making this decision, matters like the foreigner’s family ties in Turkey, duration of their stay, their situation in the country of origin, and best interests of the child(ren), if any, are taken into account. If needed, the decision on the permit may be postponed (Article 25).
In case of rejection, as Article 25 provides, governorates shall notify related applicants, their legal representatives, or their lawyers with how they can use their right to object, their other legal rights, and obligations regarding this process.
If a permit holder foreigner is detained or convicted in prison or in a removal center under administrative detention, this shall not be deemed a violation of the residence permit period. However, the Republic of Turkey can revoke the residence permits they have (Article 26).
- GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY. (04/04/2013). LAW ON FOREIGNERS AND INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION. <https://www.unhcr.org/tr/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/02/law_on_foreigners_and_international_protection.pdf>
- Turkey: Law No. 4817 of 2003 on the Work Permit for Foreigners [Turkey], 27 February 2003, available at: <https://www.refworld.org/docid/4496b3d44.html> [accessed 1 July 2021]
- Aksaç, A. (2016b, August 24). New Law No. 6735 On International Labour Force. Immigration – Turkey. https://www.mondaq.com/turkey/work-visas/521762/new-law-no-6735-on-international-labour-force
- Obtaining a Work Permit – Invest in Turkey. (n.d.). Presidency of The Republic of Turkey – Investment Office. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://www.invest.gov.tr/en/investmentguide/pages/obtaining-a-work-permit.aspx
- “Documents For Residence Permit-Fee Amount”. 2019. En.Goc.Gov.Tr. Retrieved from: https://en.goc.gov.tr/documents-for-residence-permit-fee-amount.
- “First Application Processes Required Documents”. 2019. E-Ikamet.Goc.Gov.Tr. Retrieved from: https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/Ikamet/BasvuruIstenenBelgeler.
- “General Information”. 2019. En.Goc.Gov.Tr. Retrieved from: https://en.goc.gov.tr/general-information41.
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