Living in Turkey

Turkish residence permits

On this page you will find information about applying for a residence permit for Turkey.

Applying for a Turkish residence permit

If you want to apply for a work visa, student visa or residence permit for Turkey, you must do so within 30 days of your arrival in Turkey. The Turkish name for a residence permit is "ikamet tezkeresi" It is important to know that if you are married to someone who has the Turkish nationality, then you are eligible for a residence permit. A residence permit is valid between one and five years.

You can apply for a residence permit via the DGMM website. If you are applying for your first residence permit you may be requested to visit the office. If you want to apply for a work visa, it is best to go to the head office of the company you will be working for and ask for their assistance. The Turkish authorities can then easily communicate with your office about any questions regarding the process for obtaining a work visa.

Do not forget to bring the following documents with you if you are going to apply for a Turkish residence permit:

  • A passport that is still valid
  • You must bring a minimum of 5 passport photos.
  • If you are going to work in Turkey, you must bring the work permit.
  • You must be in possession of a valid visa. This can be a student, work or residence visa.
  • If you work, please include proof of your employment.
  • If you are employed, you must have insight into all tax communication.
  • Financial file (bank statements, etc.).
  • You should be able to prove that you can financially support yourself if you are in Turkey.
  • Are you a student? Then take a letter from your educational institute.

You will be charged for applying for your residence permit.

Renewing your residence permit?

If you are planning to renew your residence permit, do not forget to have your current residence permit with you when you visit the 'Foreigners Department'. Upon arrival, you will be asked which forms and documents are mandatory. Unfortunately you may find there are differences in the working process when speaking to others who have applied for a permit, this is common as each official worker may have their own way to process your request. Keep in mind that the process can take a while. After you have gone through the official process you will have to come back the next day to pick up your new permit on the desk.

A long-term residence permit in Turkey

You may be able to apply for a long term residence permit which has an indefinte stay period. If you are married to someone of Turkish origin, you will be eligible for a residence permit at all times. It does not matter what kind of visa you have at that moment. When applying for a long-term residence permit, you must hand in a certificate of loyalty. If you divorce during these years, there is a chance that your residence permit will be declared invalid. You must also provide all correct information when applying for your residence permit. If you try to "hack" the Turkish government or provide false information and you are exposed, this can result in severe punishment.

Short term residence permit in Turkey

If you only intend to live in Turkey for a short period of time the short term residence permit may be applicable, it has a maximum stay of 2 years. The Family residence permit has a maximum stay of 3 years and the student residence permit is valid for the length of your study. Please ensure you are choosing the correct permit for your requirements and needs.