Residence Permit in Turkey

The process of applying for a residence permit is mandatory for all those who wish to stay in Turkey for more than 90 consecutive days. This process includes students, staff and foreigners who have married Turkish citizens and have not yet acquired Turkish citizenship, scientific researchers and foreign property buyers.

People staying less than this period (except for countries that have a visa agreement) can use the E-Visa system but cannot stay in Turkey for more than 90 days.

Why do I have to buy a property in Turkey to obtain a residence permit?

  • Title deed is the key to renewing a residence permit and obtaining Turkish citizenship in the future.
  • If the head of the household (wife or husband) is the owner of the property, one of them will obtain a residence permit and the rest of the family will automatically obtain the same rights.
  • Residence permits in Turkey under the rental contract is under the heading of tourist residency. Your application for an extension may be rejected in the future without reason.
  • A real estate residence permit allows you to apply for citizenship after 5 years, while with a tourist residence permit based on rent, this is not possible.

Types of residence in Turkey

Residence permits in Turkey are divided into 6 major categories according to residence.

  1. Short-term residence permit
  2. Long-term residence permit
  3. Residence permit to join the family
  4. Student residence permit
  5. The residence permit as humanitarian asylum
  6. Residence permit for victims of human trafficking

1- A short-term residence permit

There are several types of short-term residence permits in Turkey. They include:

  • Tourist residence permit

It is a residence for tourism purposes only, through which it is forbidden to work in Turkey.

Requirements and required documents:
  • This visa is valid for one year only.
  • The applicant must be over eighteen (18) years old.
  • Private health insurance documents in Turkey for applicants between eighteen and sixty five. Family members under the age of 18 and over 65 receive free legal health care in Turkey.
  • Property ownership documents or rental contracts in Turkey. (The documents must be in Turkish and registered by the notary).
    • Note: If the application is based on a title deed (Tabu), the title deed must be updated at the General Registrar and Cadastre office.
    • Note: If the lease contract is presented, the Turkish ID card of the landlord must be shown, and title deed with the lease agreement.
  • An account statement from a Turkish bank, to demonstrate financial independence and the applicant’s ability to support himself and other family members (husband and children under the age of eighteen).
    • Note: Financial independence is defined by the Turkish Immigration Service to establish the minimum wage in Turkey (currently $ 500 per month).
  • The residence request form must be filled and signed by the applicant. If you have hired a lawyer to submit your residence documents, a limited power of attorney must be issued and registered by a notary. To apply for a power of attorney, the applicant must be present in the notary’s office (because your signature will be required). The applicant must present his passport (the passport must be translated into Turkish by a sworn translator in the notary’s office). After the passport is presented in the Turkish language, the power of attorney will be processed and issued on the same day or the next day.
  • Original passport and certified copy.
    • Note: If the passport does not have a birth date, the applicant will need a valid ID. A valid Turkish translation is required for this document.
  • 4 photos with white background and according to the requirements of the biometric photo.
  • Residence Permit in Turkey by renting a property

Foreigners may obtain a residence permit in accordance with the Law on Protection of Foreign Citizens and International Relations, Article 6458. If you are a foreigner and come to Turkey for the first time, you can obtain a residence permit by renting a property.

Despite the fast and efficient process, there is one important thing to be aware of. This residence permit is valid for one year and cannot be renewed by renting a property. Residence permit with real estate rent does not grant Turkish citizenship after 5 years.

How do I renew tourism residency in Turkey?

You must submit an application for renewing the tourist residency in Turkey (60) days before the expiry date of your current residence permit. This is done online at https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr.

Note: If you attempt to apply to extend your stay sixty (60) days before the date of the expiration of your current residence permit, your application will not be accepted.

If foreigners who have obtained a short-term residence permit for a maximum period of one year, and do not provide a valid reason for the extension, then their residence permit in Turkey application will not be accepted.

You can select one of the following four (4) languages ​​to complete your request:

  • English
  • Turkish 
  • Russian
  • Arabic
  • Commercial residence permit in Turkey

Commercial residence permit allows the applicant to obtain the right to short-term residence in Turkey to visit exhibitions and conferences and conduct business.

Conditions and documents required:
  • The visa is valid for one year.
  • The applicant must be over eighteen years old.
  • Private health insurance documents in Turkey for applicants between eighteen and sixty five. Family members under the age of 18 and over 65 years receive free legal health care in Turkey.
  • An account statement from a Turkish bank, to demonstrate financial independence and the applicant’s ability to support himself and other family members (husband and children under the age of eighteen).
    • Note: Financial independence is defined by the Turkish Immigration Service to establish the minimum wage in Turkey (currently $ 500 per month for residency).
  • Residence permit application form signed by the applicant.
  • The original passport and a translated copy of it (from the Turkish Documentation Office).
  • 4 photos with white background and according to the requirements of the biometric photo.

Residence permit in Turkey through the purchase of real estate

This residence permit is a means to obtain Turkish citizenship, and the applicant can get a Turkish passport immediately. If he fulfill one of the following conditions:

  • Depositing an amount of no less than 500,000 USD, for a period of no less than three (3) years in a fixed account in a local Turkish bank, or buying government bonds or investing in the Turkish Real Estate Association (REITs).
  • Buying a property or group of real estate with a value of $ 250,000, with a promise not to sell the property for 3 years.
  • Providing job opportunities for no less than 50 people, securing all employees who have social security, and maintaining work, employees and insurance for a period of at least three (3) years.

Short-term residence permits include foreigners who come to Turkey for the following reasons:

  • Scientific research (archaeological excavations, surface research, documentary filming, filming and searching for filming locations).
  • Medical treatment.
  • Exchange short-term training programs (non-educational programs).
  • Court permission (victims of domestic violence and foreign citizens who have married and divorced Turkish citizens and thus require a residence permit in Turkey issued by the court).

2- Long term residence permit in Turkey

Applicants who live in Turkey can apply for long-term residence if the following conditions are met:

  • Residence in Turkey for a period of not less than 8 consecutive years.
  • Financial self-sufficiency, and not receiving any financial support from the Turkish government in the past three (3) years.
  • Private health insurance.
  • The absence of a criminal record or any incident that poses a threat to the Turkish people or has no problem with public safety.

How to apply for long-term residence in Turkey

  • Applicants who comply with the above criteria must go to the regional security department or the immigration office in the region in which they reside with their original passport and Turkish residence card.
  • The long-term residence permit is valid if the person has not been residing outside Turkey for more than one year.

Holders of long-term residence permits in Turkey enjoy the same rights as Turkish citizens, except for the following:

  • Compulsory military service.
  • The right to vote and be elected.
  • Log in to public services.
  • Customs exemptions when importing cars.

3. Residence permit in Turkey to stay with the family

These residence permits are mainly for foreign spouses and / or relatives of Turkish citizens who wish to join their families in Turkey.

Conditions and the required documents:

  • The validity of this residence is up to three years.
  • Apply online: https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr
  • Under Article 28 of Law No. 5901, this permit includes foreign nationals who hold residence permits, refugees or minors.
  • Private health insurance documents in Turkey for applicants between eighteen and sixty five.
  • Property ownership documents or rental contracts in Turkey. The documents must be in Turkish and notarized.
  • A bank statement proving the financial independence and ability of the applicant to support himself and his dependent family members (husband and children under the age of eighteen).
  • Fill in the residence permit request form and sign it.
  • Original passport and a certified copy. From the Turkish notary’s office
  • Four personal photos.

4- Student residence permit in Turkey

This is a residence permit to study in one of the accredited educational institutions in Turkey.

The required documents:

  • Fill in the residence request form and sign it.
  • Submit a letter of acceptance from a Turkish educational institution based on the type of study, the duration of the course, the date of the start and end of the course, the location of the course, the name of the provider training organization and the level of study: graduate studies, research, training, etc.
  • If the applicant is less than 18 years old, the parents must agree to attend the course in Turkey.
  • The original passport and a certified copy. From the Turkish notary’s office.
  • 4 personal photos
  • Private health insurance documents in Turkey for applicants between eighteen and sixty five.
  • A bank statement proving the financial independence and ability of the applicant to support himself and his dependent family members (husband and children under the age of eighteen).

5- The residence permit as humanitarian asylum

This type of residence permit in Turkey is granted for a period of one year, to those suffering from civil war displacement, human rights violations, refugees and a wide range of individual inhumane cases, which are approved on a case-by-case basis.

This license is regulated by Articles 46 and 47 of the Law on Foreign Citizens and International Protection No. 6458.

Note that this license is not a means for resettlement in a third country via Turkey. All resettlement is done directly by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Note: Unlike other types of residency, you cannot use the services of a lawyer to apply for a residence permit as humanitarian asylum.

The required documents:

  • The applicant should go directly to the immigration department as soon as possible.
  • The application form must be signed and completed and submitted to the General Directorate of Immigration Department in the governorate.
  • This residence permit is valid for one year, and it can be extended after that. At the discretion of the head of the department.
  • The residence permit in Turkey application form must be completed and signed.
  • Two personal photographs.

6- Residence permit in Turkey for victims of human trafficking

The government issues this thirty-day residence permit to foreigners who are victims of human trafficking or to residents of places where there is strong evidence that they may be victims.

Residence permits for victims of human trafficking can be extended for up to six months.

Note: the extension of this type of residence cannot be more than three years.

Turkish citizenship instead of residence permit in Turkey

Any foreigner who meets the following conditions can apply for Turkish citizenship directly instead of residency. These conditions include:

  • A fixed investment of $ 500,000.
  • Buying a property in Turkey worth $ 250,000 and keeping it for three years.
  • Providing job opportunities for 50 Turkish citizens.
  • Depositing $ 500,000 in Turkish banks or buying government securities equivalent, (for a period of 3 years).