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 Turkish residence permit is an authorization issued by the country’s 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 Turkey residence permit.
All foreign nationals who come to Turkey and intend to stay for more than 90 days need a 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
Foreigners with valid Turkish work permits are also exempt from having a residence permit.
Turkey offers different types of residence permits. Foreigners can choose the type of Turkey residence permit based on the country they belong to, the kind of visa they hold, and the intended period of their stay in the country.
To apply for a 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.
One of the most preferred residence permits by foreigners, a short-term Turkey residence permit 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.
Foreigners can opt for a short-term Turkish 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:
Short-term residence permits can be extended by submitting the required documents to the official online portal of Turkish immigration at least 60 days prior to the expiry date of the original permit.
Foreign nationals who have lived in Turkey for eight years and more without any interruption can apply for a long-term Turkey 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 a long-term residence permit.
The documents needed for the permit are the same as those for the short-term Turkey residence permit. Additionally, the applicants need to give copies of previous residence permits 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 of not more than 12 months.
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 of 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 his family members. He should also have 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.
Foreigners can get a student residence permit if they are enrolling in 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 degrees 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.
Turkey offers residence permits on humanitarian grounds. Foreigners can apply for a Turkish 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 a 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.
A Turkish residence permit is mandatory for all foreign nationals who intend to stay in the country for more than 90 days. The permit allows foreigners to legally reside, work, study, invest, and carry out daily activities in Turkey. The types of Turkey residence permits vary based on the duration and purpose of the stay, and applicants have to personally visit the nearest Turkey embassy or consulate to apply for one. It is essential to comply with immigration and customs rules and regulations while staying in Turkey with a residence permit.