How to obtain a residence permit in Turkey? How many types of residence permits are there? What are the documents required for a residence permit application? What should be considered in the application?
A residence permit is a legal permission that foreigners who wish to live in Turkey for a certain period of time are obliged to obtain. This permit allows foreigners to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days and grants them legal status. In order to obtain a residence permit, foreigners must first enter the country in accordance with the provisions of the Passport Law. Persons who are in Turkey illegally cannot apply for a residence permit. Residence permit applications can be made from within or outside Turkey. For a residence permit to be issued in Turkey, a preliminary application is first made through e-ikamet. Then, an appointment is made with the Directorate of Migration Management. After the application to the Directorate of Migration Management, the residence permit may be approved or rejected.
Importance of Residence Permit
This permit signifies not only a person’s right to stay in Turkey, but also that they are legally protected in the process. It also gives foreign nationals the right to stay in Turkey longer or to apply for citizenship after a certain period of time. The permit can be used instead of a visa at border crossings and is accepted as a basis for official procedures.
Residence Permit Process
The application for a residence permit is submitted to the Ministry of Interior, Directorate General of Migration Management. The application process starts online via the e-residency system. Individuals who have completed their application must be present at the relevant migration administration directorate on the appointment date. In case of failure to be present on the specified date, the application is deemed to be incomplete and the re-application process must be initiated.
Types of residence permits
Residence permits are divided into 6 categories: short-term residence permit, family residence permit, student residence permit, long-term residence permit, humanitarian residence permit, and trafficking victim residence permit.
1- Short-term residence permit
Who are the foreigners who can be issued a short-term residence permit?
1- Foreigners with immovable property in Turkey: Foreigners with immovable property may apply for a short-term residence permit if their immovable property is used as a residence. This immovable property must be of a certain value. Family members may also apply for a residence permit in this context if they have a shared or joint ownership right over the immovable property. Family members are the applicant’s spouse, minor child and dependent minor child.
2- Foreigners staying for tourism purposes: It is also possible to apply for a short-term residence permit for tourism purposes. In such an application, the applicant may be asked to submit information regarding his/her travel plan. If deemed necessary, the applicant may be asked to submit information or documents. However, the submission of additional documents may increase the likelihood of approval of this application.
3- Foreigners who will establish a commercial connection or business: Foreigners requesting a residence permit for this purpose must have an invitation letter or similar documents from the persons or companies they will contact and these documents must be submitted. If a business is to be established, the company to be established must be above a certain value.
4- Foreigners coming for scientific research: Foreigners requesting a residence permit for this purpose are required to obtain permission documents from the relevant institutions and organizations if the scientific research is subject to permission, and to submit a declaration on the subject of the research if the service is not subject to permission. At the same time, in order to be granted a residence permit for this purpose, a visa must be obtained for scientific research.
5- Foreigners who will participate in an in-service training program: Foreigners requesting a residence permit for this purpose must submit certain documents related to the institution or organization that will provide in-service training, such as the content, location and duration of the training. The residence permit is also determined according to this period.
6- Foreigners who will come for education or similar purposes within the framework of agreements to which the Republic of Turkey is a party or student exchange programs: Foreigners who request a residence permit for this purpose must submit documents to be obtained from the relevant institution and the duration of the residence permit cannot exceed the duration of the education.
7- Foreigners who will undergo treatment provided that they do not have one of the diseases considered as a threat to public health: Foreigners who apply for a residence permit for this purpose shall be admitted to the relevant public or private hospitals. The applicant may request information or documents regarding the treatment of the foreigner from the hospital or public institutions and organizations. The duration of the residence permit shall be regulated in accordance with the duration of the treatment.
8- Foreigners who are required to stay in Turkey depending on the requests or decisions of judicial or administrative authorities.
9- Foreigners who will switch to a short-term residence permit if they lose the conditions for a family residence permit: Foreigners who have stayed in Turkey with a family residence permit for at least 3 years, those who have completed the age of 18, foreigners who are married to a Turkish citizen and divorced after staying with a family residence permit for 3 years, and those who stayed with a family residence permit under this person in case of the death of the sponsor can apply for a short-term residence permit without the duration requirement.
10- Foreigners who will attend Turkish learning courses: Foreigners who request a residence permit for this purpose can apply for this way with a document to be obtained from the institution authorized to provide Turkish courses. This residence permit can be issued for a maximum of 2 times and if the duration of the course is less than 1 year, the duration of the residence permit cannot exceed the duration of the course.
11- Foreigners who will participate in education, research, internship and courses in Turkey through public institutions: The duration of the residence permit of the foreigner applying for this residence permit cannot exceed 1 year. The applicant is asked for a document to be obtained from the relevant public institutions.
12: Foreigners who complete their higher education in Turkey and apply within 6 months from the date of graduation: Foreigners who apply for a residence permit for this purpose may be granted a one-time residence permit for a maximum period of 1 year if they apply within 6 months from the date of graduation.
13- Foreigners who do not work in Turkey but will invest in the scope and amount to be specified by the Council of Ministers and their foreign spouses and their foreign spouses’ minor or dependent foreign children: Foreigners who request a residence permit in this way, which was introduced in order to contribute to the country’s economy, may be granted a residence permit for a maximum period of five years. The applicant must invest in the scope and amount to be specified by the Council of Ministers.
14- Foreigners who are citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus: Foreigners who are citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus may also apply for a short-term residence permit for a maximum period of five years each.
2- Family residence permit
Family residence permits may be issued to the foreign spouse, minor foreign child of Turkish citizens, persons who have lost their Turkish citizenship by obtaining an exit permit, or foreigners holding one of the residence permits, refugees and subsidiary protection status holders, or to the dependent foreign child of Turkish citizens or their spouse.
Children’s family residence permit requests must have the consent of the mother or father.
The family residence permit provides the right to study in primary and secondary schools until the age of 18 without a student residence permit.
How many years can a family residence permit be issued?
The family residence permit may be issued for a period not exceeding 3 years at a time. The duration of the family residence permit cannot exceed the duration of the sponsor’s residence permit. In order to obtain a family residence permit, there are some conditions such as having a monthly income not less than one-third of the minimum wage per family member, with a total income not less than the military wage, staying in Turkey with a residence permit for at least 1 year, and being registered in the address registration system. If all conditions are fulfilled and documents are submitted, it is possible to apply for a family residence permit.
3- Student residence permit
A student residence permit may be issued to foreigners who will receive primary and secondary education without a family residence permit and to foreigners who will receive education in a higher education institution in our country at the levels of associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate, specialty training in medicine, specialty training in dentistry. If the duration of the student residence permit is shorter than 1 year, the duration of the student residence permit cannot exceed the duration of the education. Foreigners who will come through public institutions and organizations to receive education in Turkey may be granted a residence permit for the duration of their education.
There are some conditions for a student residence permit, such as providing the address where the student will stay in Turkey, submitting the necessary information and documents, and not falling under Article 7. If these conditions are met, a student residence permit can be applied for.
4- Long-term residence permit
Foreigners who have stayed in Turkey with a residence permit for at least 8 years without interruption or who meet the conditions set by the Ministry may be issued an indefinite residence permit by the governorships with the approval of the Ministry. Long-term residence permits cannot be issued to refugees, temporary protection status holders and humanitarian residence permit holders. Long-term residence permits are issued indefinitely.
For a long-term residence permit, it is required to have lived in Turkey with a residence permit for at least 8 years without interruption, not to have received social assistance in the last 3 years, to have sufficient and regular income to support oneself or one’s family, to have valid health insurance, and not to pose a threat to public order or public security.
5- Humanitarian residence permit
Humanitarian residence permits may be issued in extraordinary cases when the best interests of the child are in question, when foreigners cannot be removed from Turkey or when it does not seem reasonable or possible for them to leave Turkey even though a deportation or entry ban has been issued against them, or when a deportation order has not been issued against the foreigner. Humanitarian residence permits may be issued and extended by governorates with the approval of the Directorate General, provided that they are limited to the periods determined by the Ministry.
6- Residence permit for victims of human trafficking
Foreigners who have a strong suspicion that they are or may be victims of trafficking in human beings may be issued a Victim of Human Trafficking residence permit. This residence permit is issued by the governorships for 30 days and can be extended for a maximum period of 6 months each, and the total of these periods cannot exceed 3 years.
Documents Required for Short-Term Residence Permit:
- General Documents:
o Residence Permit Application Form (Signature of the foreigner and/or legal representative)
o Passport or equivalent document (Original and photocopy)
o 4 Biometric Photograph (taken within the last 6 months, white background)
o Statement of financial means (Supporting documents may be requested)
o Valid health insurance (covering the desired period of residence)
o Criminal Record (Optional, can be requested by the administration)
o Proof of Address:
- Lease Agreement (Notarized sample)
- Photocopy of Title Deed, Current Letter and Numbering Letter
- Additional Documents for Children:
o Birth Certificate (if the parents cannot be identified from the passport)
o Spousal Consent Declaration (for death or divorce)
o Certified Certificate of Custody of the Child (in case of divorce)
o For minors under 18 years of age, a letter of consent from the legal representative abroad
- Document Approvals:
o Documents from Turkish authorities: E-signed/signed and stamped/sealed
o Documents obtained from abroad: Apostilled and notarized Turkish translation.
Short Term Residence Permit Documents Required for Reasons of Stay:
- Scientific Research:
o Appropriate Visa (for excavation and survey)
o Document Indicating the Duration and Location of the Research (e-signed/signed and sealed/stamped)
- Immovable Property Owners:
o Title Deed (e-signed/signed and sealed/stamped)
- Establishing a Commercial Connection or Business:
o Invitation Letter or Similar Documents
o Supporting Documents (Notarized company documents)
- In-Service Training:
o Document Indicating the Duration and Place of Training (e-signed/signed and sealed/stamped)
- Training for Internship Purposes (Non-Learning):
o Training/Internship Certificate (e-signed/signed and sealed/stamped)
- Tourism Purposes:
o Travel Plan and Accommodation Information (upon request of the Administration)
- Transition from Family Residence Permit to Short-Term Residence Permit:
o Previous Residence Permit Certificate
o Information and Documents Regarding the Reason for Transition (Divorce Decree, Death Certificate, etc.)
- They will receive treatment:
o Treatment Certificate (Chief physician and physician signature, sealed/stamped)
- Request/Decision of Administrative and Judicial Authorities:
o Document Indicating the Reason for Staying (e-signed/signed and sealed/stamped, including the period of Law No. 6458)
- Higher Education Completers:
- Diploma or Temporary Graduation Certificate
- Education in the Framework of Agreements:
- Training/Internship Certificate (e-signed/signed and sealed/stamped)
- Turkish Learning Course:
- Certificate of Training (e-signed/signed and sealed/stamped)
- Training/Research/Internship/Course through Public Institutions:
- Document Indicating the Duration and Location of the Program (e-signed/signed and sealed/stamped)
The right to file a lawsuit against the refusal of a residence permit:
Residence permit requests of foreign nationals who fulfill certain conditions are evaluated by the competent administrative bodies. However, sometimes these requests may be rejected for various reasons. The reasons for this rejection may be that the required documents are incomplete or inaccurate, or that the legal requirements have not been met, or they may be taken at the discretion of the administration.
If a foreigner whose request for a residence permit has been rejected believes that the rejection is unlawful, he/she may file a lawsuit for the annulment of this decision. Such lawsuits must be filed before the administrative court in the district where the refusing authority is located. There is a right to file a lawsuit within 60 days from the date of notification of the decision.
Since decisions to reject or approve a residence permit request are administrative decisions, administrative decisions must be in compliance with the law. In administrative law, an annulment action is a judicial process initiated by aggrieved persons in the event that such actions are contrary to the law in any of the aspects of authority, reason, form, subject matter and purpose.
Residence and residence permits are critical for foreigners who wish to stay and work legally in Turkey. As “Güneş Law”, we are here to guide you in your application process and help you complete the process easily and quickly. You can contact us from the contact section.