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Prykhodko Andrii


Recently, Turkey has been viewed by many as not only a popular tourist destination but also a country for permanent residents. Turkey is not a member of the European Union, so when it comes to obtaining a residence permit, there are its own rules and procedures.

In the article, we will discuss what gives a residence permit in Turkey, how to get it, and on what grounds you can stay in the country.

What gives a residence permit in Turkey

According to the Law on Aliens and International Protection No. 6458, a residence permit means permission to stay in Turkey in a certain place and for a certain period of time. This document is necessary for everyone who is going to stay in the country for more than 90 days, or more than the period required by the visa.

There are several types of residence permits in Turkey. To obtain any of them, you will need health insurance, as well as documents confirming your right to stay in the country (for example, if this is a family residence permit, you must provide a marriage certificate).

It is also worth noting that a residence permit does not give the right to work. For this, there is a work permit, a separate document, the presence of which eliminates the need to apply for a residence permit.

Short-term residence permit

Short-term residence permit in Turkey is regulated by Articles 31-33 of the Aliens and International Protection Law No. 6458 and Articles 28 and 29 of the Regulation on the Application of the Aliens and International Protection Law.


It can be obtained by foreigners who:

  • came to Turkey to engage in scientific research;
  • own real estate in Turkey or are engaged in investments;
  • are engaged in business and received an invitation from business partners;
  • came to study on an exchange program or Turkish language courses;
  • arrived for tourism purposes and are going to stay in the country for more than 90 days, and at the same time they are ready to inform the authorities about their future plans (that is, a tourist residence permit in Turkey is a short-term residence permit);
  • came to the country for treatment;
  • were married to a Turkish citizen for more than 3 years and had a family residence permit, and are currently divorced;
  • are graduates of Turkish universities (in this case, you can apply for a residence permit within 6 months after graduation).

A short-term residence permit is issued for a maximum of two years. This option is suitable for those who have a permanent place of residence in Turkey (for example, you rent an apartment), as well as a stable income (not in Turkey).

Family residence permit

The spouses of citizens and their minor children can apply for a family residence permit in Turkey. This document gives children the right to study in primary and secondary educational institutions in the country without obtaining a student residence permit.

A family residence permit is issued for a maximum of 3 years. In this case, it is necessary to indicate who is the sponsor of the foreigner. The sponsor must live with the applicant, have health insurance, and have a monthly income that is at least one-third of the minimum wage per person.

Student Residence Permit

A student residence permit can be obtained:

  • foreigners who study at a primary or secondary school in Turkey and do not have a family residence permit;
  • students who study at a Turkish university (at the level of associate, bachelor, or master).

The period of validity of a student residence permit cannot exceed the period of study.

Humanitarian residence permit

A residence permit for humanitarian reasons is issued for a maximum of 1 year. The basis for obtaining this document may be the following:

  • Emergency situation: for example, if a foreigner cannot leave Turkey and return to his country due to hostilities or for another reason (in this case, the applicant is not able to apply for a residence permit of another type, including a student one).

It is worth noting that in Turkish law there is no clear definition of what an emergency is. Therefore, each application is considered individually.

  • If a foreigner has a child and wants to protect him.
  • If a foreigner has applied for international protection of the Republic of Turkey.

Article 46 of the Aliens and International Protection Act contains the main rules and regulations on this matter. The application is submitted to the migration department at the place of residence.

Foreigners who received a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, like all other applicants, must have health insurance, and no later than twenty working days from the date of issuance of the permit, they are obliged to register in a special system, indicating their Turkish address.

This type of document is different from refugee status, which is governed by the “Geneva Convention Relating to the Legal Status of Refugees”. In this case, it is the opportunity to reside in Turkey for a certain period of time on the basis of a residence permit (resident of the country).

It is also worth considering that having a residence permit for humanitarian reasons, you cannot apply for a long-term residence permit. To do this, you must have another residence permit (for example, short-term or family).

Long-term residence permit

A long-term residence permit is issued with the approval of the Ministry to those foreigners who have been continuously in Turkey for at least eight years or meet the conditions determined by the Ministry. A long-term residence permit is not Turkish citizenship: its holder is not required to join the army and cannot vote in elections.

Refugees, as well as persons with a humanitarian residence permit in Turkey, will not be able to receive this document.

Residence permit for victims of human trafficking

The residence permit for victims of human trafficking is regulated by articles 48 and 49 of the Law on Aliens and International Protection No. 6458. The document is issued for 30 days. Then each next time it can be extended for 6 additional months (up to a total of three years).

Residence permit for citizens of Ukraine

In connection with recent events, many refugees from Ukraine arrived in the country. Since Turkey is not a member of the EU, Ukrainians cannot receive temporary protection status, which is issued by other European countries.

It is possible to apply for:

  • short-term residence permit as a tourist;
  • humanitarian residence permit;
  • international protection status.

You can familiarize yourself with the conditions for obtaining a short-term or humanitarian residence permit in the previous sections of the article. As for the status of international protection, it should be borne in mind that this is not a residence permit, but a special refugee status, which can be assigned to those who do not want to return home because it is not safe there.

Refugee status does not give you the right to move freely around the country. If you are going outside of Turkey, it is important to check with the relevant authorities whether this will deprive you of international protection.

How to get a residence permit in Turkey: steps

To obtain a residence permit in Turkey, you must do the following:

  1. Apply online at the government website.
  2. Collect the necessary package of documents (if you want to extend the residence permit, you should provide a notarized copy of the previous document).
  3. Come on the appointed day to the office of the migration service.

According to paragraph 21 of Law No. 6458 “On Aliens and International Protection”, the application is considered within 90 days.

Documents for applying for a residence permit in Turkey

To apply for a Turkish residence permit, you will need the following documents:

  • a questionnaire filled out by a foreigner;
  • passport and its photocopy;
  • 4 photographs (taken against a white background within the last 6 months);
  • a notarized copy of the previous residence permit (if any);
  • a document confirming the availability of permanent income (in the case of a family residence permit, a certificate of income and identity documents must be submitted by the spouse of the applicant);
  • health insurance that is valid for the entire time of residence in the country (both public and private will do);
  • a document indicating the place of residence of a foreigner (for example, a notarized rental agreement or a document confirming that you are the owner of the property);
  • a document confirming registration in the Turkish address system (you can get it from your local office at the place of residence or online at the government website );
  • other documents indicating the reason for staying in Turkey (for example, in the case of applying for a short-term residence permit for tourism purposes, it is necessary to provide documents confirming the travel program and future plans).

Typically, the range of services includes:

  • translation of documents into German and their certification by a notary
  • advice and legal services
  • assistance in filling out the application and questionnaire
  • interview advise and guidance
  • accompaniment to the interview
  • translation services if necessary
  • help with housing and transportation

The cost of obtaining permanent residence in Turkey depends on the scope of services that our migration lawyers will provide.

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