Turkish residence permits

Applying for a residence permit

If you apply for a residence visa, work visa, or student visa, you are required to apply for a residence permit (ikamet tezkeresi) within 30 days of your arrival. If you marry or are married to a Turkish national, you are also eligible to apply for a residence permit.

Apply for your residence permit at your local police headquarters. If you are working in Turkey, consider applying at the police headquarters (emniyet) closest to your employer. This makes it easier for the authorities to communicate with your employer during the application process.

You will need several documents to apply for a Turkish residence permit:

  • Valid passport
  • 5 passport-size photos
  • Work permit (if you are working in Turkey)
  • Valid visa (this will be either a work, residence, or student visa)
  • Letter of employment (if you are working)

If you are working, you should also bring proof of your tax registration. If you are not working, you should make sure to bring financial records (bank statements, pension receipts) proving that you are able to support yourself financially while living in Turkey. Students should substitute a letter from their Turkish school, university, or language program for the letter of employment

You will be required to pay a small fee before you are issued your residence permit. Turkish residence permits are usually valid for between 1 and 5 years.

Renewing your residence permit

To renew a residence permit, take your current permit to the Foreigners´ Branch of the local police headquarters. The officials there will tell you exactly what they need to see. This will vary depending on the officials themselves – some will want more documentation, others less. Make sure you have all the required documents on hand, just to be safe, and above all be patient throughout the process.

Once your renewal is approved you will have to come back and pick up your new permit in exactly one day.

Again, you will be required to pay a small fee.

Long-term residence permit for Turkey

If your spouse is a Turkish national, you are eligible to apply for a residence permit regardless of what visa you hold. When you apply at the police station, make sure you bring your marriage certificate and a marriage registration certificate with you. After completing the application forms and paying a fee you will be issued a residence permit valid between 1 and 5 years.

Note that if you apply for a residence permit through marriage to a Turkish national, the permit is invalidated if you later divorce (legally, this occurs the instant a divorce is granted). Technically, you are personally responsible for notifying the authorities that your residence permit is invalid.

However, under no circumstances should you attempt to deceive Turkish authorities to prolong the validity of your residence permit - you risk deportation to your home country or a term in Turkey´s infamous prison system.

Further reading

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