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All You Need to Know About Turkish Residence Permit

Foreign nationals who want to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days, start a business, study, work or settle need a residence permit.  

A residence permit is an authorization issued by the Turkish government to those who want to live in the country for more than three months and this permit allows foreigners to study, get a driving license, start a bank account, purchase a property, make investments and get married in Turkey.  

If foreigners want to work in the country, they need to apply for a work permit which is considered equivalent to a residence permit.  

Who Needs a Turkey Residence Permit?

All foreign nationals who come to Turkey and intend to stay for more than 90 days need a Turkey residence permit. If they do not have this permit, their stay will be deemed illegal and will attract punitive actions.  

Foreigners belonging to some special categories are exempt from this rule if they 

  • Are diplomats working in foreign missions and consulates in Turkey
  • Are officers at the UN and related establishments in Turkey
  • Are stateless people
  • Are individuals applied for international protection tag or people with the tag

Foreigners with a valid Turkish work permit are also exempt from having a residence permit. 

Types of Turkish Residence Permit  

Turkey offers different types for residence permits. Foreigners can choose the type of residence permit based on the country they belong to, the kind of visa they hold and the intended period of their stay in Turkey.    

For applying for the residence permit, they have to personally go to the nearest Turkey mission in their home country. If they want to convert the eVisa for Turkey or the regular short-term visa, while in Turkey, they can approach the immigration office.    

Short Term Residence Permit  

One of the most preferred residence permits by foreigners, this is issued for a maximum period of two years. However, in unique circumstances foreigners who wish to invest in the country can get their short-term permit extended up to five years.  

Who can Apply for a Short-term Residence Permit?  

Foreigners can opt for this permit  

  • If they plan to conduct scientific research in the country
  • If they are coming to Turkey as a part of student exchange program
  • If they want to invest or start a business in the country
  • If they are visiting for tourism purposes
  • If they are undergoing medical treatment.

How to Apply for a Short-term Residence Permit?  

Foreigners can start their application process through the Turkish government’s e-residence system. They have to later go to the Turkey embassy or consulates in their country with all the required documents. They can also apply for the permit through their lawyers.   

The normal processing time for the permit is one to three months. The processing fee should be made through an online method or at the cash desks in the consulate offices. The documents needed to be submitted during the in-person interview are as follows:   

  • The completed application form
  • Valid passport to show nationality
  • Four biometric photographs
  • Proof of economic sufficiency – regular income to support themselves during the stay
  • Applicants who wish to start a business in the country need a letter of invitation from the company that they contacted and other documents
  • Applicants who own property is Turkey should bring the ownership papers
  • Valid health insurance

Short-term residence permits can be extended by submitting the required documents to the official online portal of the Turkish immigration at least 60 days prior to the expiry date of the original permit.  

Long-Term Residence Permit 

Foreign nationals who have lived in Turkey for eight years and more without any interruption can apply for a long-term residence permit.

The long-term permit has an indefinite validity and holders of the permit can apply for permanent residence and citizenship later on.   

However, refugees and those who stay in Turkey with protection status and on humanitarian grounds cannot apply for the long-term residence permit. 

The documents needed for the permit are the same as those for the short-term permit. Additionally, the applicants need to give copies of previous residence permit and police verification documents.     

The long-term permit will be deemed invalid or will be canceled if the holder stays outside Turkey for more than one year or for reasons other than education or health. They are allowed to go to their country of citizenship to complete compulsory public service for a period not more than 12 months.    

Family Residence Permit 

A family resident permit is granted to the legal spouse of a Turkish national and his minor or dependent children. He or she needs to show proof for funds to support the family.  

This permit is issued for a maximum of three years. The applicant must be staying in the country for over a year and should have a steady monthly income to sustain himself and the family members. He should also have a valid medical insurance and clear criminal records.  

The applicant should also have a resident address in the country. In some cases, the Turkish government also allows the spouses’ dependent children to get a family residence permit provided they have all the required legal documents. 

Student Residence Permit   

Foreigners can get a student residence permit if they are enrolling for primary, secondary or higher education in Turkey. Those staying in the country on a family residence permit do not apply for this.   

Foreigners who want to pursue their bachelor’s or master’s degree or do their research in Turkey can also apply for this permit.   

The permit validity ends when the course is completed. If they want to work in Turkey after their education, they need to get a work permit.  

Residence Permit on Humanitarian Grounds  

Turkey offers residence permits on humanitarian grounds. Foreigners can apply for a residence permit if they do not have a valid visa and do not face criminal or deportation charges.

Sometimes, foreigners who cannot return to their home country because of emergency situations like wars and natural disasters are also issued the residence permit. The validity of such permits is one year.  

The Turkey government also give residence permit to the victims of human trafficking. The validity is for 30 days. 

Foreigners need a resident permit to stay in Turkey for over 90 days. It is a legal obligation and if they do not use their residence permit within six months of the issuance, it will become invalid. 

Otherwise, they need to apply for a new residence permit.    

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