Residence Permit in Turkey

Anyone who intends to stay in Turkey for longer than 90 days will need to apply for a residence permit. Students, employees, foreigners married to Turkish nationals who have yet to get citizenship, anyone performing scientific research, and foreign property buyers are all included in this category.

People who want to stay for less than that amount of time (except for some countries with visa agreements) can apply for a tourism e-visa, however, they can only stay in Turkey for 90 days out of 180 days.

If a foreigner owns property in Turkey, he or she is granted a residency permit, which is renewable every year as long as the property is maintained.

Residence Permit in Turkey

Types of Residence Permit in Turkey

The types of stay permits in Turkey differ based on the reason of the resident's presence in Turkey, and the ways of obtaining stay permits in Turkey vary as well short term residence permit, long term residence permit, family residence permit, student residence permit, humanitarian residence permit and a residence permit for human trafficking victims.

1. Short Term Residence Permit

There are a variety of short-term resident permit possibilities available. Each form of short-term residence permit is only acceptable in certain situations. These are the following: 

1.1. Permit for Tourist Residency

A tourist visa is a short-term residence permit that does not allow you to work in Turkey.

Important facts and required documents:

•  The validity of the residence permit is limited to 1 year.

•  Applicants must be over the age of 18.

•  A valid medical insurance policy. Foreigners under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 are exempt from this requirement.

•  In Turkey, property ownership documents or rental contracts. Documents must be written in Turkish and notarized by a Turkish official. If the application is presented with the title deed, the (Tapu Office) General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre must provide a document proving that the title deed is current. If a rental contract is presented, your landlord's Turkish ID and the property's title deed must be submitted along with the rental contract.

•  A local Turkish bank statement demonstrating financial independence and the ability to support the applicant and any dependent family members (spouse and minor children). Turkish immigration defines financial independence as proof of finances equal to the Turkish minimum salary index.

•  A completed and signed resident application form by the applicant. If you have hired a lawyer to submit your documents, the notary office must grant your lawyer a limited power of attorney. To arrange a power of attorney, the applicant must be physically present at the notary office (as your signature will be required). A passport must be presented by the applicant. The power of attorney can be processed and issued the same day or the next day after the passport has been translated into Turkish.

•  Original passport, photocopy, and original passport or travel document that has been notarized (by Turkish Notary). A notarized Turkish translation is not required if the passport features a Latin alphabet. Note that if the passport does not include a date of birth, the applicant will need a birth certificate that has been approved. This document requires a notarized Turkish translation.

•  Each applicant must submit 4 biometric passport photos. A white background is required, as well as biometric criteria.

•  Submit sworn Turkish translations of the kid's birth certificate and the spouse's marriage certificate when applying for a spouse or dependent child (under eighteen years). An apostille (if your nation has an agreement) or a stamp from the Turkish consulate in your country may be required for a birth certificate or marriage certificate. This is a time-consuming process that requires an appointment. You must go personally, but anyone with a power of attorney can accompany you to the appointment and perform the procedure on your behalf. To operate on your behalf, the original power of attorney must be produced at the time of the appointment at the Consulate and Foreign Ministry.

•  These documents must be e-signed/signed and stamped/sealed if obtained from Turkish authorities; if obtained from other countries, they must be apostilled and have notary public certified translations. If the applicant is a citizen of a country that has not signed the Apostille Convention, the documents must be approved by the authorities in that country (consulate approval and by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Competent Turkish Authorities authorized therefor).

Obtaining a Rental Agreement and a Short-Term Residence Permit

Foreigners may apply for a residency permit under the Foreigners and International Protection Law, No. 6458. If you are a foreigner visiting Turkey for the first time, a rental agreement can be used to obtain a residency permit. Even though the procedure is quick and painless, there is one important factor to remember: this residency permit is only good for one year.

How Do You Renew Your Touristic Residence Permit?

You must apply for a renewal of your Turkish tourist residence permit within 60 days of the expiration date of your present residence permit. This can be done via the internet at https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr. If you try to renew your residence permit more than 60 days before it expires, your application will be rejected.

From the date of 01.01.2020, If the foreigners who have got a short-term residence permit for a term of up to 1 year do not provide a new reason with justified purposes, applications for a residence permit will not be admitted.

Before you begin your online application to renew your tourist residency permit, make sure your biometric photo (with a white backdrop) is on your computer and ready to upload. Your biometric photo should be no more than 6 months old.

Required documents:

• Notarized your passport copy. (A sworn translator will be required to translate the passport at the Turkish Notary office.)

• 4 biometric photos (with a white background) to upload during your online application. Your biometric photo should be no more than 6 months old.

• A statement of financial self-sufficiency (that you declare in the application form). The Directorate of Immigration, on the other hand, may request a local Turkish bank statement demonstrating your financial independence and ability to support yourself and each dependent family member (spouse and children under the age of eighteen years).

• A valid medical insurance policy. Foreigners under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 are exempt from this requirement.

• A copy of your tenancy agreement in Turkey or a copy of your property ownership documentation. Documents must be written in Turkish and must be notarized by a Turkish Notary.

These documents must be e-signed/signed and stamped/sealed if obtained from Turkish authorities; otherwise, they must be apostilled and have notary public certified translations if obtained from foreign nations. If the applicant is a citizen of a country that has not signed the Apostille Convention, the documents must be approved by the authorities of that country (consulate approval and by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Competent Turkish Authorities authorized therefor).

1.2. Permit for Business Residency

A short-term residence visa that allows the applicant to review business opportunities, meet with suppliers and buyers, perform market research, attend trade fairs and conferences, and incorporate a company, among other things.

Important facts and required documents:

• Validity of the residence permit is 1 year.

• Applicants must be over the age of 18.

• A valid medical insurance policy is required. Foreigners under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 are exempt from this requirement.

• Proof of financial independence and the ability to support oneself and any dependent family members (spouse and children under the age of 18. Turkish immigration defines financial independence as proof of finances equal to the Turkish minimum salary index.

• A completed and signed resident application form by the applicant. If you have hired a lawyer to submit your documents, the notary office must grant your lawyer a limited power of attorney. 

• Original passport, photocopy, and original passport or travel document that has been notarized (by Turkish Notary). A certified Turkish translation is not necessary if the passport features a Latin alphabet. If the passport does not indicate a date of birth, the applicant will need a birth certificate that has been approved. This document requires a notarized Turkish translation.

• Each applicant must submit 4 biometric passport photos. A white background is required, as well as biometric criteria.

• A certificate from the police.

These documents must be e-signed/signed and stamped/sealed if obtained from Turkish authorities; if obtained from other countries, they must be apostilled and have notary public certified translations. If the applicant is a citizen of a country that has not signed the Apostille Convention, the documents must be approved by the authorities in that country (consulate approval and by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Competent Turkish Authorities authorized therefor).

Procedure for Renewing the Business Residence Permit

Documents required:

• Notarized copy of your passport. (A sworn translator will be required to translate the passport at the Turkish Notary office.)

• 4 biometric photos (with a white background) to upload during your online application. Your biometric photo should be no more than 6 months old.

• A statement of financial self-sufficiency (that you declare in the application form). The Directorate for Immigration, on the other hand, may request a local Turkish bank statement demonstrating financial independence and ability to support the applicant and any dependent family members (spouse and children under the age of 18 years).

• Proof of private health insurance in Turkey.

• A certificate from the police.

These documents must be e-signed/signed and stamped/sealed if obtained from Turkish authorities; if obtained from other countries, they must be apostilled and have notary public certified translations. If the applicant is a citizen of a country that has not signed the Apostille Convention, the documents must be approved by the authorities in that country (consulate approval and by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Competent Turkish Authorities authorized therefor).

1.3. Residence Permit by Purchasing a Property

If you buy real estate in Turkey, you can get a residency permit, according to Turkish law. You can receive a one-year permanent residency that can be renewed annually if you choose. Property owners can relocate to Turkey and establish a second house there, in addition to visiting the nation on vacation. If you stay in Turkey for five years, the Turkish government will also grant you Turkish citizenship.

You can apply for a residence permit without regard to the cost of the property. All you'll need is the Tapu (Title Deed), which is the basic document that the permanent authorization is based on. The buyer might obtain a touristic residence permit that is valid for three months during the transaction of the permanent residency.

The owner of a one-year residence permit may renew it year after year without restriction for as long as he owns the property. The process of renewing a residence permit can be completed in Turkey. If a property owner does not intend to stay in Turkey for longer than a year, the time duration may be reduced.

Permanent residency may be granted not only to the property owner but also to his or her family members, such as his or her spouse and children. The mere possession of a residence visa does not entitle foreigners to work in the nation.

This residence permit is a step toward Turkish citizenship, and following successful completion of the application, the candidate receives a Turkish passport.

To be considered, a candidate must meet one or more of the following criteria:

• Invest a minimum of $ 500,000 in a fixed deposit with a local Turkish bank, Government Bonds, or Turkish real estate investment trusts for a minimum of 3 years (REITs).

• Purchase real estate for at least $ 250,000 and sign a contract stating that you will not sell the property for at least 3 years. The investing source of cash must be self-funded and paid in full (no bank finance or credit permissible under this category of permit).

• Employ a minimum of 50 people, give social security to all employees, and keep the business, employees, and social security payments for at least 3 years.

Important facts and required documents:

• Applicants must be over the age of 18.

• A Turkish Notary notarizes a copy of your passport. (A sworn translator will be required to translate the passport at the Turkish Notary office.)

• 4 biometric photos (with a white background) to upload during your online application. Your biometric photo should be no more than 6 months old.

• A valid medical insurance policy. Foreigners under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 are exempt from this requirement.

• Proof of investment: A property title deed from the Land Registry, with a three-year restriction on sale, noted on the title deed, as well as earthquake insurance.

• A document from Turkey's Ministry of Treasury and Finance or the Capital Markets Board demonstrating a minimum investment of $ 500.000 over 3 years.

• A document from the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services demonstrating the creation of at least 50 jobs.

These documents must be e-signed/signed and stamped/sealed if obtained from Turkish authorities; if obtained from other countries, they must be apostilled and have notary public certified translations. If the applicant is a citizen of a country that has not signed the Apostille Convention, the documents must be approved by the authorities in that country (consulate approval and by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Competent Turkish Authorities authorized therefor).

Other alternatives for foreigners who come to Turkey on a short-term basis are included in the Short-term Residence Permit:

- Scientific studies (archaeological and excavation digs, surface research, filming activities for documentaries, movies, film location research, etc.),

- Medical assistance,

- Internships and short-term training programs (non-education programs),

- Courts of Justice (Victims of domestic violence and foreigners married to Turkish citizens who divorce, and therefore require an alternative right to residence as issued through the courts).

Short-Term Residence Permit

2. Permit for Long-Term Residency

Applicants who have resided in Turkey for a period of time are eligible to apply for long-term residency if they meet the following criteria:

• Have lived in Turkey for at least 8 years in a row and consistently. Short-term absences are permissible, but any period of time over 6 months in total within 1 year forfeits the opportunity to apply for long-term residency.

• Financially self-sufficient; with a condition that the Turkish government has not provided any financial assistance in the last 3 years.

• A valid private health insurance policy.

• No criminal record, as well as no record or incident that poses a public safety or security risk.

What is the Procedure for Applying?

• Applicants who match the above conditions must bring their current passport and Turkish ID to their provincial security directorate or immigration office to apply.

• The long-term residence visa is valid as long as the holder does not spend more than 1 year outside of Turkey. Exiting Turkey for more than 1 year for health, education, or compulsory public duty in the beholder's native homeland are exceptions to this law.

Holders of long-term residency permits enjoy the same rights as Turkish citizens, with the following exceptions:

• Military service

• The right to vote and run for office

Important facts and required documents:

• Passport (original and photocopy). The Turkish Notary has notarized a copy of your passport. (A sworn translator will be required to translate the passport at the Turkish Notary office.)

• A valid residence permit as well as a Turkish ID.

• 2 photos (one of which must be biometric) that are no more than 6 months old.

• A document stating that no financial assistance from the Turkish government or organizations has been received in the previous 3 years.

• Demonstration of financial self-sufficiency. Note that Turkish immigration defines financial independence as proof of finances equal to the Turkish minimum wage index.

• Medical insurance that is current.

• A certificate from the police.

These documents must be e-signed/signed and stamped / sealed if obtained from Turkish authorities; if obtained from other countries, they must be apostilled and have notary public certified translations. If the applicant is a citizen of a country that has not signed the Apostille Convention, the documents must be approved by the authorities in that country (consulate approval and by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Competent Turkish Authorities authorized therefor).

Family Residence Permit3. Family Residence Permit

It is possible to apply for Turkish citizenship after marrying a Turkish wife / husband for a year, two years, or three years, depending on the application submitted, and the applicant has the right to apply for Turkish citizenship after three years.

This type of residence visa is mostly for foreign wives and/or relatives of Turkish citizens who wish to bring their families to Turkey. The family residence permit permits children under the age of 18 to continue their education without the need for a student residence permit.

Important facts and required documents:

• You can apply online at https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr for a three-year residence permit. Before you begin your online application to renew your residence permit, make sure your biometric photo (with a white backdrop) is on your computer and ready to upload. Your biometric photo should be no more than 6 months old.

• Applicants who fall under the provisions of Article 28 of Law No. 5901, such as foreign nationals with a valid residence permit, refugees, and minors.

• Proof of Turkish private health insurance for applicants aged eighteen to sixty-five years.

• Turkish property ownership documents or rental contracts. Documents must be written in Turkish and must be notarized by a Turkish Notary. Note that if a rental contract is presented, your landlord's Turkish ID and the property's title deed must be submitted along with the rental contract.

• A local Turkish bank statement demonstrating financial independence and the ability to support the applicant and any dependent family members (spouse and minor children). Turkish immigration defines financial independence as proof of finances equal to the Turkish minimum salary index.

• A completed and signed resident application form by the applicant. If you have hired a lawyer to submit your documents, the notary office must grant your lawyer a limited power of attorney. 

• Original passport, photocopy, and original passport that has been notarized (by Turkish Notary).

• Each applicant must submit 4 biometric passport photos. A white background is required, as well as biometric criteria.

• Submit sworn Turkish translations of the child's birth certificate and the spouse's marriage certificate when applying for a spouse or dependent child (under 18 years). An apostille (if your nation has an agreement) or a stamp from the Turkish consulate in your country may be required for a birth certificate or marriage certificate. This is a time-consuming process that requires an appointment. You must go personally, but anyone with a power of attorney can accompany you to the appointment and perform the procedure on your behalf.

• A certificate from the police.

These documents must be e-signed/signed and stamped/sealed if obtained from Turkish authorities; if obtained from other countries, they must be apostilled and have notary public certified translations. If the applicant is a citizen of a country that has not signed the Apostille Convention, the documents must be approved by the authorities in that country (consulate approval and by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Competent Turkish Authorities authorized therefor). 

4. Student Residence Permit

For the duration of a course offered at an accredited Turkish educational institute, a residence permit is provided for tertiary studies.

Important facts and required documents:

• A completed and signed residency application.

• A letter of acceptance from a Turkish educational institute stating the type, of course, duration of the course, start and end dates of the course, location of the course, name of the educational institution.

• A letter from the applicant's parents granting permission to attend a course in Turkey if the applicant is under the age of 18.

• 4 biometric photos (with a white background) to upload during your online application. Your biometric photo should be no more than 6 months old.

• Proof of Turkish private health insurance 

• Notarized copy of your passport. (A sworn translator will be required to translate the passport at the Turkish Notary office.)

These documents must be e-signed/signed and stamped/sealed if obtained from Turkish authorities; if obtained from other countries, they must be apostilled and have notary public certified translations. If the applicant is a citizen of a country that has not signed the Apostille Convention, the documents must be approved by the authorities in that country (consulate approval and by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Competent Turkish Authorities authorized therefor).

5. Humanitarian Residence Permit

Individuals fleeing civil conflict, human rights violations, refugees, and a wide range of other humanitarian situations are eligible for one-year residence permits, which are granted on a case-by-case basis. Articles 46 and 47 of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection number 6458 govern this permit.

This permit does not provide a means of resettling in a third country through Turkey. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees is in charge of all resettlement (UNHCR).

Unlike all other types of residence permits, you cannot utilize a lawyer to file your humanitarian permit application.

Important facts and required documents:

• Applicants must apply directly to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management as quickly as feasible, regardless of how they entered the country (legally or illegally).

• One-year validity with the option to renew. Renewal is done on a case-by-case basis and at the Directorate's discretion.

• 2 photos (one of which must be biometric) that are no more than 6 months old.

6. Human Trafficking Victims' Residence Permit

Foreigners who are victims of human trafficking or who have strong circumstantial evidence that they may be victims are granted a 30-day residence visa by governorates. Human trafficking victims' residence permits may be renewed for a maximum of 6 months. Extensions are limited to a total of three years.

Important facts and required documents:

• The documentation required for other residence permits is not required in the application for this residence permit.