Residence Permits for Foreigners in Turkey

by in Genel

Today, “Turkish Law Related to Residence and Travels of Foreign Subjects” numbered 5683 is applicable regarding the residence permits of foreign subjects in Turkey. This law will be in force until the new Code of “Law on Foreigners and International Protection” will be in force on 11 April 2014. Detailed information regarding the residence permits, which are indicated in this Code, is as follows;

General Terms of Residence Statement 

According to the residence statement general term, which is regulated in Article 3, foreigners intending

to live and/or work in Turkey are required to obtain a residence permit. If visa exemption or the term stated in their visa is adequate, foreign visitors may stay in Turkey for 90 days without residence permit (either consecutively or separately) per 180-day period. After 90 days, in order to stay in Turkey, the foreign visitor should apply for residence permit for tourist purposes in order to continue to stay in Turkey. If visa exemption or the term stated in their visa is not adequate, 90 to 180 per day rule is still applicable. At the end of the visa period, to continue to stay in Turkey, foreign visitor should apply for residence permit for tourist purposes.

In all circumstances, after obtaining work permit or after their arrival to Turkey with work visa, foreign employees are required to apply for Work Registered Residence Permit to the Alien’s Branch of the Local Police Department within 30 days. This rule is also applicable to the extension applications of work permits. The foreigners who arrive in Turkey under cultural activities such as conferences, concert etc. are excluded from this condition provided that these activities should not exceed one month. This means; the foreign subjects who arrive in Turkey under cultural activities may not obtain residence permit unless their activities last more than one month.

Requirements for Obtaining a Residence Permit 

There are several types of Residence Permits, depending on the purpose of the residence decision of the foreigner. These types include; a Long- Term, Tourist, Education, Work, Internship and Companionship permit. The required documents that shall be submitted to obtain a Residence Permit are often the same, namely photos, a valid passport (both the original and a photocopy) and banking account statements showing the required amount in accordance with the sector which the foreigner is employed, additional documents may require by the Authorities.

Duration of the Residence Permit 

The Residence Permit durations shall be determined in accordance with the interrelations and reciprocity principles of the foreigner’s country and citizenship. Also, the Residence Permit type shall be effective on this decision on the duration. Nevertheless, as per Article 9, it can be submitted for a maximum duration of 5 years. However, according to the “principle of reciprocity” duration may be determined longer or shorter than five years by the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the same Article, it is also regulated that residence permits are issued personally. However, it’s also allowed to be issued “joint residence permits”.

This type of residence permit could be issued to both spouses and to their children who did not reach eighteen years old. It could also be issued to children by inscribing them in “accompanied by” sections of the father or the mother. It is also mentioned that the ones who run business in Turkey are liable to obtain “personal residence permit”. In the same Article it is also stated that the residence permits could be extended maximum four times right after the end of the duration.

As mentioned above, the duration of the residence permit is 5 years, however, it could be less or more in accordance with the applicant and it can be extended 4 times. Since this particular Code shall be in force until 11 April 2014, the procedure of the residence permit shall be the same. The difference between the current Code and the Law on Foreigners and International Protection shall be explained thereinafter.

Required Documents to Apply for a Residence Permit 

In regards to the information we have received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; For long-term residence in Turkey, the applicant should submit the following documents to the local Police Department:

  • 4 passport-size photos
  • Passport
  • Photocopies of the following pages of the passport: the page bearing the applicant’s photo, the page stamped at the last entry, the page indicating the validity and expiry dates of the passport
  • A bank statement or a currency exchange slip testifying to an asset in the amount of USD 300 for each month
  • Documents required applying for a residence permit for work purposes:
  • 4 passport-size photos
  • Passport
  • Photocopies of the following pages of the passport: the page bearing the applicant’s photo, the page stamped at the last entry, the page indicating the validity and expiry dates of the passport
  • The original and a copy of the work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security The above-mentioned requirements are received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs however, in case of a requirement of an obtainment of a residence permit, we hereby would like to mention that it would be more beneficial to ask once more the required documents. Legal Fees for Residence Permit Legal fees for residence permit are regulated in “Turkish Legal Fees Code” numbered 492. According to the Article 83 of this Code, residence permits are subject to the legal fees. In the following Article, it is stated that foreigner who want to have a residence permit shall pay the required amount of legal fee.

Residence Permit for Foreigners who bought a Property in Turkey 

In the past, owning property in Turkey was not an element of qualification to get a Turkish residence permit. Foreign nationals were previously allowed to stay for 90 days without a residency permit. Following the recent revision in the law governing residency rules and regulations for foreigners which is published in the official gazette on 11.04.2013, property buyers from other nations are granted a year-long residency permit that could be extended indefinitely if the individual remains in the possession of the property acquired in Turkey. Among this new law, Turkish Government extended the duration of the initial residence permit from the current three months to up to one year for foreigners buying property in Turkey.

There are several kinds of residence permits in Turkey. The foreigners need to apply for a Short Term Residence Permit when they buy a real estate in Turkey. The duration of the Turkish Short Term Residency is 1 year. Regarding the reciprocity principle the Foreign Ministry of Turkish Republic have right to change the duration of the residence permit. The residence permits should be renewed 1 month prior to the expiry date and not later than 15 days after the expiry date of the existing residence permit.

If the foreigners with existing residence permit stays outside Turkey for more than 6 months in a year or more than 1 year in 5 years period than this stoppage of residence permits occurs. This means that the foreigners who residence permits are stopped they have to apply again as if they are applying for the first time. It should be noted that compulsory public services, educational and health factors are exceptional. Foreigners who reside 5 years without a stoppage can apply for the citizenship.

Required Documents for the Application of Short Term Residence Permit:

  • Declarations of Residence Permit Form
  • 4 pieces of passport size photo
  • Original passport (the validity date of the passport shall be at least 60 days more than the validity date of the applied residence permit)
  • The copy of the passport
  • 2 copies of the title deed
  • Turkish potential tax number
  • The bank statement or foreign exchange receipt for the amount of 350 USD for every month. (3600 USD for 1 year)