How to get a residence permit in turkey: all you need to know

If you are planning to stay more then more than 90 days within a 180-day period, for any reason, you must obtain a residence permit in Turkey. This might seem difficult and very complicated at first, but I can assure you that’s it not. It’s just a typical annoying and confusing process, but if you just follow the steps in the online system, make sure that you have all the required documents, and show up at your appointment, there basically can’t go anything wrong. Unless you are me. You can read all about my residence permit in this story here (in Dutch). There are several types of residence permit:

short-term residence permit
family residence permit
student residence permit
long-term residence permit
humanitarian residence permit
victim of human trafficking residence permit

Applications for short term residence permits can be from one month until a year at most, applications for long term residence permits can only be made once you are in your 8th year of holding continuous residency permits. Family residence permits are only issued to married couples and children. I don’t know anything about the other residence permits, but you can find more specific information on the website of the Commitment to Migration Management in Turkey.

Once you have you have made your choice of permit application, you go to this website. Follow the steps that apply for your personal situation and start inputting your details. You have to upload a bio-metric photo and also your the details of your insurance, so make you have this at hand. You will automatic be given an appointment. The appointment date can be up to a few months after your visa or existing residence permit has expired, but this is no problem. After filling in the application you can also pay the fees for your residence permit card and the taxes online through the system. On the date of appointment you’ll go to the immigrant office in your district or city and hand over your application form and the required documents. Once you’ve applied you will receive your residence permit by post within a maximum of tree months, but usually it takes six weeks. If you haven’t got your residence permit by then I highly recommend you to ask for it at the local postoffice. The last two years mine has been delivered over there without giving me any notification about it. After your application is submitted, you can leave or re-enter Turkey multiply times but for a maximum of 15 days. Ask for a ‘Proof of Application’ document signed and stamped by the migration officer on the date of your appointment. Carry this document and photocopies of your payment receipts with you while traveling because these will be needed to be shown on exit and entry at the Turkish Passport control.

General required documents for any type of residence permit. Additional documents can be required and depends on the type of residence permit you apply for.

    • 1. A print of your application form.
    • 2. Your passport.
    • 3. Coloured photocopies of your passport and the pages which has your visa stamps.
    • 4. Four passport-sized photos
    • 5. Proof that you have the financial means to stay in the country for the length of time you require, i.e. $500 per month or its equivalent in another currency. This has to be presented in the form of a statement from a Turkish bank. If you don’t have a residence permit yet you can open a bankaccount at Ziraat Bankasi with a copy of your passport and your Turkish tax-number.
    • 6. Notarised copy of your rental contract. If you do not have a rental agreement and are staying with a friend or relative, they can sign a form at the notary which states that you live with them.
    • 7. Proof of your adres from the Nüfus office (population registration document).
    • 8. Receipts of the payments (Residence permit fee and taxes)
    • 9. Valid Turkish medical insurance. I can highly recommend Güneş Sigorta if you need a private one.
    10. Certificate of No Criminal Conviction. In Istanbul this can be obtained from the Çağlayan Justice Palace (Çağlayan Meydanı, Abide-i Hürriyet No. 223, Şişli).

Important notes

  • If your passport has been renewed, you must apply for a first application, and not for a renewal of your existing residence permit.
  • If you want to apply for a residence permit, you need a passport/travel document valid for at least 60 days after the expiration of the requested residence permit
  • Once your application has been generated, you can legally remain in Turkey until the appointment date even if your visa or existing residence permit has expired.
  • In cases where a passport is not written in Latin letters, certified translation by a sworn translator or official authorities shall also be added to the application.
  • If you want to renew your residence permit you can apply for a new one from 60 days until 1 day before your permit expires.
Let me know what your experiences are in the comments, they might help other readers as well!
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