Permission to Reside in Turkey for Non-Turkish Nationals

Turkish law governs six different sorts of resident licenses for foreigners who wish to stay in Turkey. These include working, learning, starting a business, diplomatic asylum, traveling, and so on. For foreigners residing in Turkey for more than 90 days, a residence permit is required. A foreigner who is not a Turkish citizen must also apply for a residency permit.

In a nutshell, obtaining a foreigner’s residency permit is required by law:

  • Who will spend longer than 90 days in Turkey or,
  • Who, for whatever reason, intends to stay longer than the visa or exemption allows.

In this bulletin, we’ll cover the most often asked questions concerning the resident permit, which allows foreigners to stay in Turkey legally, as well as the persons who must obtain a residence permit, as well as the applications and procedures that these people must follow.

1. Various Residence Permits under Turkish Law

Individual residence permits are provided based on the purpose of the foreigner’s visit to Turkey. Turkish law regulates six different categories of resident permits.

These are the following:

  • Short-term residence permit,
  • Long-term residence permit,
  • Family residence permit,
  • Student residence permit,
  • Humanitarian residence permit,
  • Residence permits for victims of human trafficking.

2. Application Requirements for a Resident Permit

A foreigner must have a passport or a document that replaces a passport with a validity of at least 60 days longer than the required period, depending on the duration of the residence permit application.

The foreigner must state that he or she has an adequate and consistent source of income, which must be documented along with the amount for some types of licenses. If he/she owns an immovable that generates revenue in Turkey instead of income, or if he/she has enough money in his/her bank account to make a livelihood in Turkey, the criteria can also be regarded as met.

3. Who is excluded from the requirement to obtain a residence permit? (Which individuals are exempt from the requirement for a residency permit?)

Turkey allows foreigners who enter the country with a visa or visa exemption for up to 90 days to stay in Turkey without having to apply for a residence permit, according to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Turkish government officials. MFA: Visas are not required to be valid for more than 90 days.

  • A Stateless Person Identity Document holder is exempt from the requirement for a residency permit.
  • Due to agreements reached by Turkey, foreigners who apply for a residency card are denied.
  • The citizenship of those who were born in Turkey but lost their citizenship as a result of renunciation, as well as their descendants, is now being processed.
  • Residents with International Protection Status who do not have identification are not required to obtain a residence permit.

4. Is a Work Permit also a Residence Permit?

One of the most perplexing questions is whether a work permit can be used in place of a residence visa. Let us state right away that there are no additional steps needed to apply for a residence permit. This does not, however, imply that a foreigner with a residential permit also has a work permit.

Foreigners who are not required to obtain a work permit are also excused from obtaining a residency permit. Foreigners who are not in Turkey are exempt from work permits and employment permits.

Work permits provided to international protection seekers, conditional refugees, and foreigners with temporary protection status are not the same as permanent residency permits.

5. How Can I Get a Residence Permit?

With the exception of Turkey, the majority of applications for residency are submitted from overseas. Applications to the Provincial Directorates of Migration Management in Turkey can only be submitted from within the country’s borders. The process of applying for e-residence begins online and concludes with the submission of the required documentation.

Applicants for a residence permit can submit their applications in person, through an agency, or through their attorney. Our international clients who are in need of a residence permit can count on us to provide them with support.

Applying for residency through the e-residence system allows applicants to submit their first step online. Your documents must be submitted to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management on the scheduled submission date in order to be considered complete.

The application must be accompanied by the payment of the residency permit and documentation costs. Payments can be paid using the internet, tax offices, cash desks at the Ministry of Finance, or contractual bank counters at participating banks. If the application is approved by the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management, the foreign national will be issued a residency authorization card.

6. What is a Short-Term Residence Permit?

A short-term resident permit is a temporary residency permit that can be obtained by foreigners for a period of up to two years in duration. In practice, it is typically granted for a period of one year. This time frame is determined by the appropriate authority.

The Presidency has approved a 5-year short-term residence visa for foreigners who do not work in Turkey but invest in the scope and amounts set by the Presidency.

This benefit is extended to the foreign investor’s foreign spouse as well as the foreign investor’s minor or dependent foreign children. Furthermore, citizens from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus can apply for a temporary residence permit that would last for five years. Visit for more information about obtaining a short-term resident permit.

7. Who Is Eligible to Apply for a Short-Term Resident Visa?

Foreigners who wish to apply for a short-term residency permit must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Arriving for the goal of scientific research,,
  • Having a piece of real estate in Turkey can be quite rewarding,
  • Creating a commercial tie or a business enterprise,
  • Creating a commercial tie or a business enterprise,
  • People who come to Turkey for educational or similar purposes in the framework of agreements or student exchange programs to which the Republic of Turkey is a party have come for educational or similar purposes.,
  • Staying for the purpose of tourism,
  • Being treated as long as they do not have one of the diseases that are deemed to be a concern to public health is acceptable.,
  • In the event that you are required to remain in Turkey as a result of the requestor decision of the judicial or administrative authorities,
  • Changing from a family residence permit to a short-term residence permit, and enrolling in Turkish language classes are all examples of what you can do,
  • Participating in educational opportunities in Turkey through public institutions such as universities, research institutes, internships, and courses,
  • Applicants who have completed their higher education in Turkey must submit their applications within six months of the date of graduation,
  • People who do not work in Turkey and their foreign spouse, or a minor or dependent foreign child of their own or their spouse who is not working in Turkey can make investments within the scope and quantity established by the President,
  • Citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have the right to vote.

8. Documents Required for a Temporary Resident Permit

  • Form for requesting a residence permit,
  • The original and a copy of your passport or alternative identification document,
  • 4 biometric photos,
  • Documents and information linked to the purpose of stay in Turkey,
  • Upon request, a copy of the person’s judicial record from the country of citizenship or legal residence,
  • For those staying in hotels, a rental contract, an undertaking, if they are staying with family or friends, or a letter of intent, is required,
  • A statement stating that you will have sufficient and regular income or assets during your stay,
  • If the applicant is a property owner, they will be required to provide an official document stating that the dwelling is theirs,
  • Invitation letters or other comparable documentation should be obtained from individuals or businesses demonstrating their relationship,
  • Valid health insurance that covers the term of the application.

In order to obtain full information on a short-term residence permit, please see our “HOW TO OBTAIN A SHORT-TERM RESIDENCE PERMIT?” section.

9. What is a Long-Term Residence Permit?

It is a sort of residency permit that is granted to foreigners who have lived in Turkey for at least eight years without interruption or who meet the requirements set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Long-term resident permits are not available to anyone who hold refugee, conditional refugee, or secondary protection status.

Long-term residence permits are revoked if a foreign national remains in the country for more than one year without returning home for any reason other than education, health, or mandatory public duty in the country of citizenship of the foreign national.

Except for the requirement that the foreigner has been in Turkey for a continuous period of at least 8 years without interruption, it is also needed that the foreigner

  • Have not received any form of social aid in the last three years,
  • In possession of a stable and sufficient source of income to support himself or herself and, if applicable, his or her family,
  • To be covered by valid health insurance,
  • Do not constitute a threat to public order or public safety.

10. How to Apply for a Long-Term Residence Permit?

For a long-term residence permit application, a foreigner who fits the standards set forth in Article 43 of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, as we discussed in the previous title, must submit the following documents to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management:

  • The original and a copy of your passport or alternative identification document,
  • Please include a copy of your prior residency permit papers,
  • 4 biometric photos,
  • Evidence proving the applicant has not received public assistance in the last three years,
  • A declaration of regular income or assets throughout the stay,
  • Providing a criminal record from home or previous place,
  • That you have current health insurance coverage.

11. What is a Family Residence Permit?

It is a form of family residence permit that is granted to individuals.

  • Wife from abroad,
  • A foreign child or spouse’s child,
  • Own or spouse’s dependent foreign child.


  • Turkish citizens,
  • Those who were born in Turkey but lost citizenship through renunciation,
  • Foreigners and refugees have one the residence permits,
  • A family residence permit is valid for 3 years. The family residence permit cannot be longer than the sponsor’s residence permit.

According to the law of the country of citizenship, a family residence permit is granted to only one of the spouses of a person who is married to more than one spouse. However, children who are from other spouses can also be granted a family residence permit.

In family residence permit requests, the following conditions are sought from the sponsor:

  • Staying in Turkey with a residence permit for at least one year,
  • Having accommodation conditions that are safe and healthy,
  • Having health insurance that covers all members of the family,
  • Having a monthly income not less than the minimum salary per family member,
  • Not having been convicted of any family law violation in the last five years,
  • Being enrolled in the NUFUS address registration system is a prerequisite,
  • Foreigners married to Turkish nationals do not need to stay in Turkey for a year if they have a residency or work permit for scientific research purposes. The criterion of living in Turkey is not required for persons born in Turkey who lost their Turkish citizenship by renunciation of their nationality.

Foreign spouses and children applying for a family residence visa in Turkey must meet the following criteria:

  • Providing proof that the family meets the residency requirements,
  • Demonstrating that they are currently living or want to live with sponsors who match the requirements,
  • Not having married to obtain a family residence permit,
  • Each spouse must be over the age of eighteen,
  • In some cases, refugees and those with subsidiary protection status in Turkey may not need a sponsor.

12. How Long Does It Take To Apply for a Residence Permit?

It is completed within 90 days after the date on which the required documents are submitted to the proper authority. The processing periods vary from one week to twelve weeks in different towns around Turkey.

13. How to Activate One’s Residency?

  • Unused residence permits expire after 6 months. So it must be utilized within 6 months or the process must be restarted,
  • Foreign residents must register their addresses in the system within 20 working days of approval.

Note: Foreign investors in Turkey can apply for a residence permit to live and work in Turkey within the scope of business or business partnerships to be established in Turkey. For more details on obtaining a Turkish residence permit, see our “INVESTMENT GUIDE IN TURKEY FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENTS”.


If foreigners desire to continue their business and private lives in Turkey for a period of time or indefinitely, they must get a residence permit. Turkish law regulates six different types of residency permits based on the purpose of the foreigner’s arrival and stays in Turkey. Which sort of residency permit is more advantageous depends on the individual.

Foreigners can apply in person or through their attorneys for a residency permit. We, Ikamet Sigorta, and the Consultancy team strive to complete our overseas clients’ residence and work permit applications as quickly as possible without wasting their time with procedures. Unfortunately, we frequently see foreign people being victimized by various intermediate institutions and individuals in the process of acquiring a residence permit, for example, by giving fraudulent paperwork. To avoid such problems, we advise you to engage with reputable and competent organizations in this industry.