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Residence Permits in Turkey from 11 April 2014 (still applicable summer 2017)

The Foreigners & International Protection Law No. 6458 has been amended yet again, but this time to the benefit of many of us foreigners.

There are basically 2 changes:

Individuals can now apply for a Residence Permit of up to 2 years (previously just 12 months).

Family permits can be granted for up to 3 years instead of 2.

The 120 day limit to stay out of Turkey to avoid cancellation of Short Term permits is removed. – There is now no set limit to stay abroad.

The 180 day limit to stay out of Turkey to avoid cancellation of Family permits is removed. – There is now no set limit to stay abroad.
(A family permit is generally only allowed if the applicant has a Turkish spouse).
Residence Permits are required if you wish to obtain the following in Turkey:
  • Register any motor vehicle (car, van, motor cycle, scooter etc.).
  • Get landline telephone and/or internet service in your home.
  • Import any personal goods, furniture, car, etc.
  • join Turkish National Health Service.
  • Open some bank accounts.
  • Obtain some insurances.
Stay in Turkey for more than 90 days in any 180 day period.

The issuing of Residency Permits is the responsibility of the Interior Ministry’s "General Directorate of Migration Management" (GDMM). Offices have been set up in all provinces. All applications should be made in Turkey.

Important note if you are renewing an old style (Blue Book) existing Residence Permit:

Although it states in your existing blue book you have up to 15 days following the expiration to apply this is not now the case. You can now apply up to 60 days prior to the expiration, if you apply for renewal after the expiration date you will be fined.

There are 6 categories of Residence Permits:
  1. Short-term residence permit.
  2. Family residence permit.
  3. Residence permit for students.
  4. Long-term residence permit.
  5. Humanitarian residence permit.
  6. Residence permit issued to victims of human trafficking.

Most people will be applying for Short-term residence permits.

Documents required for Short Term Residence Permit - First time and renewal applications:
A copy of the documents is required for each person applying, even if you are a married couple with a joint account and joint rental agreement etc. take a copy each.
  1. Your passport. All applicants need to hold a valid passport with at least sixty days beyond the duration of the requested residence permit, i.e. 14 months from the start date of a new 12 month permit or 26 months for a 2 year permit.
  2. 4 biometric passport-size photos. A digital photo that meets biometric requirements. The photo must be such that facial recognition programmes can read it.
  3. Photocopies of the following pages of your passport: the page bearing your photo, the page stamped at your last entry, the page where the validity and expiry dates are marked.
  4. A very recent bank statement or letter from your bank showing a balance of at least 10,200 TL for a 12 month permit or 20,400 (850 for each month) or foreign currency equivalent. OR documentation to show you have a regular monthly income of not less than 850 TL per month or foreign currency equivalent.
  5. Proof of a valid full health insurance (unless you are over 65, see yellow box below). The policy and a photocopy (the policy must state it is valid in Turkey and you must also provide an officially translated copy if it was not issued in Turkey). OR proof from the Social Security Institution in your home country to the effect that you are covered in Turkey for health insurance (you must also provide an officially translated copy). Turkish SGK is also acceptable but no good for first time applications as to join the SGK you must have already lived full time in Turkey (with a Residence Permit) for over 12 months.
  6. Photocopy of your Tapu and Dask (earthquake) insurance or rental agreement and usually sight of the original.
    Note: If you are a married couple and only one of your names is on the Tapu you will need to provide a translated copy of your marriage certificate and a photocopy.
  7. Your Turkish tax number to pay the fee at the tax office (obtained free from Didim tax office).
  8. Your existing residence permit if you are applying for renewal.
  9. In most cases a Recent Place of Residence Certificate obtained from the Civil Registry Office (Nufus) showing your address in Turkey, the Nufus office is located close to the police station in Didim.
  10. In some cases a Police Check Record (Adli Sicil Kaydi) obtained from the Didim Courthouse across the road from the police station. The check should be done while you wait and you are issued with a paper which must be signed & stamped by a court officer.
  11. A dossier folder which holds all the documents.
If you are 65 or over you are NOT required to have medical insurance for Short-term permits.

Whilst it might sound bizarre that younger people require medical insurance yet pensioners do not, that's the way it is. Of course if you intend to live in Turkey full time it would be wise to get cover.

All Long-term Permit applications require medical insurance regardless of age.
For applicants below 18, if the child is covered by a family insurance policy then there is no need for a separate insurance for the child.
Fees for 2 year Short-term Residence Permits.

The cost is 140 USD (for most nationalities) paid in Turkish Lira at whatever the exchange rate is on the day.
Children's permits are half the cost of an adult permit.
In addition there is a fee of 58.50 Turkish Lira (2016) for the registration card.

Long-term Residence Permits.

Those who have resided in Turkey, with a residence permit, uninterruptedly for at least eight years can apply for a Long-term (Permanent) Residence Permit.

Requirements for a Long-term Residence Permit:
Define "uninterruptedly":

If you have stayed outside of Turkey for a period of more than 6 months within 1 year, or more than 12 months within the last 5 years for reasons other than health or study, that will be classed as "interruptions" and the 8 year count would start from after the "interruption".

Fees for Long-term Residence Permits.

The price of the permit should be free.
In all cases there is a fee of 58.50 Turkish Lira (2016) for the registration card.

The procedure:
You now need to apply oniine in the first instance at least.

The British Embassy Ankara issued this statement on 14 May 2015.

Basically you complete an application form online which generates an appointment for you to attend with your documents. In the case of this region the only office is in Aydin.

However if you are just renewing your RP you may be able to deal with the renewal by post, providing you have not renewed your passport since your last RP was issued or some other major details have not changed.

All applications for long-term permits need to be in person.

Please note: This is a new system there are likely to be problems.

We have discovered various pages which do not have the information they purport and other parts could be made a lot clearer.

For your convenience here is a direct link to the application/appointment form but you should read the British Embassy statement above first.
Different regions may administer applications slightly differently so your mileage may vary
When you obtain your first Residence Permit you will be allocated a Foreigner Identity Number (Yabancı Kimlik Numarasi YKN in Turkish). This is an important number and you will need it a lot in Turkey, it is on your permit.