How to get a Turkey Residence Permit: Ways & Requirements

Foreigners in Turkey who want to stay longer than their visa prescription need to get a residence permit. Just like there are different types of visas to come to Turkey, there are different types of getting a residence permit, too.

Of course, if you intend to get a residence permit in Turkey as a foreigner, you need to know how this process works and whether if you are eligible for the residence permit type you want to apply for. Please note that fees for residence permit cards and residence permit visas change yearly, and it would be best to check the official websites to see the latest update on fees to avoid misunderstandings.

In this guide, I will share the residence permit types, how to get a residence permit in Turkey, and what are the requirements of getting a residence permit.

Types of Residence Permits and Requirements in Turkey

The first thing one needs to do to get a residence permit is to find out which residence permit type they are eligible for and which one they need. There are six types of residence permits, all for different purposes. In each residence permit type, the requirements to apply will be shared.

Short-Term Residence Permit

A short-Term residence permit is the most obtained residence permit in Turkey since its scope is pretty comprehensive.  A short-term residence permit can be only two years long in each case, but there are two exceptions (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus citizens and investment issues). The following are the conditions in which one can obtain a short-term residence permit in Turkey.

  • Foreigners who want to extend their stay in Turkey for tourism purposes: In this case, the matters such as where they will stay and for how long they will stay will be evaluated.
  • Foreigners intending to get medical treatment if they prove they do not have a condition that threatens public health: The residence permit will be given according to the duration of treatment.
  • Foreigners who want to transfer from a family residence permit
  • Foreigners who attend a Turkish language education course, or any other educational program in Turkey
  • Foreigners who are a part of an educational exchange program: The residence permit duration cannot be longer than the educational program in this case.
  • Foreigners who come to Turkey for scientific research
  • Foreigners who will be a part of job training programs
  • Foreigners who will purchase immovable property in Turkey
  • Foreigners who will start commercial connections or a business

Family Residence Permit

A foreigner can apply for a family residence permit if they have a Turkish citizen as their spouse, parent, spouse’s minor children, dependent children, or spouse’s dependent children. The Turkish citizen mentioned can also be an individual who is holding a residence permit, a refugee, or subsidiary protection beneficiary.

Family Residence Permit

If there is a case of polygamous marriage in accordance with the country’s regulation, only one of the spouses can be a part of a family residence permit. But children from other spouses can be a part of the family residence permit.

Custody is necessary if the children have a parent living abroad. In some cases, people who hold a family residence permit can apply for a short-term residence permit. The cases include a divorce (if the family resided with the permit for more than three years, but if there is a documented violation of the foreign spouse, this duration is not sought), if the sponsor dies, or children who reach the age of 18.

A family residence permit can be given for a maximum of three years in each application. Under no circumstances, the family residence permit can exceed the sponsor’s permit. To apply for a family residence permit, the sponsor must have the following:

  • Health insurance that covers everyone involved,
  • Monthly income that each member of the family can take at least one-third of the minimum wage,
  • Proof of a clean criminal record against family within five years,
  • Residing in Turkey for at least one year.

Student Residence Permit

A student residence permit can be given to those who entered Turkey with an education or student visa for attending education. The following are eligible for getting a student residence permit:

  • Foreigners who do not have a family residence permit but will get secondary or primary education
  • Foreigners who will participate in undergraduate, associate, graduate, or post-graduate programs in addition to those who will get education for specialty in medicine or dentistry exams

Those who are only a part of the Turkish language learning program may not be eligible for a student residence permit. A student residence permit can be renewed with an application. Foreigner work permit ID cards can be given to those who completed one year in Turkey with a student residence permit.

If it is determined that the student residence permit has been used for purposes other than its purpose or that the student studies have failed, the residence may be deemed invalid.

Long-Term Residence Permit

One can apply for a Turkish long-term residence permit with an indefinite validity if they have lived in Turkey for a minimum of eight years continuously on any residence permit given by the Turkish authorities.

Those who spent their last eight years in Turkey as a refugee, secondary protection status holders, or conditional refugee might not be eligible for applying for the long-term residence permit. The following are requirements for getting a long-term residence permit in Turkey:

  • Continuous residence for at least eight years
  • Adequate and stable income
  • Valid medical insurance
  • Not being received any social assistance within the last three years
  • Not creating public order or public security threat, except those who are approved by Migration Policies Board

Humanitarian Residence Permit

Those who meet the following requirements can apply for a humanitarian residence permit:

  • Foreigners in Turkey without a valid residence permit or visa (but has no deportation decision made against you)
  • Foreigners cannot go back to their country of residence because of emergency reasons
  • For the best interest of children
  • Extraordinary circumstances
  • Even though there is a removal or ban decision of entering Turkey, the departure of the foreigner is not reasonable or possible.

The duration of a humanitarian residence permit is decided by the governorates in authority.

Residence Permit for Victims of Human Trafficking

Victims of human trafficking can apply for a residence permit for victims of human trafficking. This type of residence permit can be issued for 30 days and can be renewed for a duration of 6 months. But, the total duration of residence permits for victims of human trafficking cannot exceed three years.

In the cases where victims reunite with their perpetrators with their own acquiescence, the victims were not actually victims, or the compelling conditions do not apply anymore, the residence permit can be canceled. If it is detected that any of the mentioned circumstances occur outside of the victim’s will, their cancellation is out of the question.

Steps of Getting a Residence Permit in Turkey

To get a residence permit in Turkey, a foreigner needs to follow a sequence of steps after deciding which type of residence permit is the best for them.

Steps of Getting a Residence Permit in Turkey

The first step of getting a residence permit is applied. The application process takes place online, and you will need the following documents:

  • Your detailed address in Turkey
  • Four digital passport photo which is taken within six months has a white background, and biometric.
  • Your passport
  • Valid health insurance of yours
  • Turkish phone number (not obligatory)
  • Residence permit application form
  • Notarized rental agreement (if applicable)
  • ID photocopy, income document, certificate of identity register copy, and criminal record of the Turkish citizen spouse (for family residence permit)
  • SSI provision document (for family and student residence permit)
  • Student certificate (for student residence permit)

A crucial point in this step is the accuracy of documents. All the documents need to be accurate and valid; if not, rearrangements of the documents will take time and effort. After you make your online application, the next step is showing up to the appointment.

As you arrive and migration experts start to check your documents, you will need to pay a residence permit card fee if everything is accurate and valid. For the year 2021, a residence permit card fee is defined as 125 Turkish liras. In addition to this fee, you will need to pay for residence permit visa fee, which depends on your duration of stay in Turkey and your nationality.

The next step is to wait for your application to have resulted. It is important to remember that if you are planning to leave the country after your appointment, you will need to request a residence permit application form. This form will allow you to travel for 15 days until your residence permit card is given to you.

As you receive your first residence permit, you will get a foreigner identity number. Remember that a residence permit card typically arrives within four weeks. If your card is not ready within four weeks, you can call 157 to get information about the residence permit card’s situation.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

You may also like...