A residence permit, known as "ikamet izni", "ikametgah" or "ikamet tezkeresi" in Turkish, is a mandatory document for foreigners who have decided to settle or stay in Turkey for an amount of time longer than 90 days or allowed by their visa for various reasons. A residence permit can be issued for short- or long-term stays, exchange students, families, and humanitarian reasons. Applications are made online to the Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management.

Here, we will cover the 2 most common types you’ll need: permits for short-term and long-term residency.

As of Spring 2020, every person who has an appointment relating to residency procedures or bureaucratic procedures at governmental institutions should apply to get a 10-digit HES (Hayat Eve Sığar) code to enter government buildings.

The code is essential for safe travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more info, visit: https://hayatevesigar.saglik.gov.tr/index-eng.html

Short-term residence permit for foreigners

If you own real estate in Turkey, intend to establish a business or business connections here, want to overstay your tourist visa, or study here, you will need to apply for a residence permit.

You will need to make an application through the e-residence system and then submit the following documents to the relevant Provincial Directorate of Immigration Administration (Göç İdaresi) on the day of your appointment.

***Your passport must have at least 60 days more validity than the duration you have requested for your residence permit.***

Documents you’ll need when applying for the first time:

  • Residence permit application form, signed (by you or your legal representative)
  • Your passport and its photocopy (or travel document and its copy)
    The pages bearing your photo, the stamp of your last entry, and indicating the validity and expiry dates of your passport must be photocopied.
  • 4 biometric photographs
  • Self-declaration that you have the means to finance your stay (roughly $500 for every month of stay, varies according to the city)
  • Your visa
  • Proof of address (notarized rental contract or original title deed)
  • Health insurance*

*One of the following documents will be required to show as proof:
- Within the scope of bilateral social security agreements, proof of access to the health services in Turkey
- The provisioning document issued by the Turkish Social Security Institution (SGK – Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu)
- The document detailing your application to the SGK to be covered by the general health insurance
- Health insurance (issued for a year)

For more on the documents required for short-term tourism stays, click here.

Note: If your passport has not been issued in the Latin alphabet, migration authorities may ask you to get it translated and notarized before submitting it. You may also be asked to provide your birth certificate, as well as a letter of consent from your parents if you are under 18.

Residence permit payment

After making an application through the e-residence system, you will be given a number to track your progress. With this number, you can make payments for your residence permit and card through the Interactive Tax Office https://ivd.gib.gov.tr. Look for the words “Göç İdaresi İkamet Tezkeresi Harç Ödeme”.

The residence permit card fee for 2022 is TL 160. Click here to download country-specific fees for residency permits, which will depend on the length of your stay.

How long to wait to hear back + what to do if you are asked to provide additional documents

The official timeframe for the evaluation of residence permits is 90 days upon your appointment date. If you have insufficient proof and missing documents, you will be given 20 days to provide them, which could affect the time of your evaluation. The evaluation time is also largely dependent on which city you are in. (Istanbul is always busy, other cities may be less crowded.)

You will be informed about the final status of your application via text message. You should also keep an eye on your e-mail for any updates.

Warning: Short-term residence permits are issued for a maximum of 2 years at a time. If you do not use your residence permit within 6 months, it is invalidated.

If you have any other questions or concerns about residence permits, please give us a call.

How can I apply for an extension for my residence permit?

You can make an application to renew/extend your residence permit within 60 days before it expires; however, you cannot submit an application for extension after your residence permit has expired.

First, you will need to apply for a residence permit through the e-residence system by giving us a call.

After gathering the required documents, you should send or attend an interview at one of the related Provincial Immigration Administration Office (Göç İdaresi) in one of the following provinces: Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Bursa, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Mersin, Muğla, Samsun, Şanlıurfa or Tekirdağ.

You should send these by post within 20 business days.

The documents you will need are:

  • Residence permit application form
  • Notarized (and translated) copy of your passport or travel document
  • 4 biometric photographs
  • Your previous residence permit(s)
  • Proof of address (notarized rental contract or original title deed)
  • Health insurance

If you own immovable property in Turkey, you will also be asked to provide your residence ownership deed. If seeking to establish a business, you will be asked to provide your invitation letter or documents such as commercial activity and tax certificates.

Note: Having a residence permit does not mean you can work in Turkey. For that, your employer must apply for a work permit.

Long-term residence permit for foreigners in Turkey

To apply for a long-term residence permit, you must have continuously resided in the country for at least 8 years. Then you will be asked to submit the following documents to the relevant provincial migration authority:

  • Residence permit application form
  • Your passport or travel document and its photocopy
  • Copies of your previous residence permits
  • 4 biometric photographs
  • Financial proof sufficient to cover your stay
  • Proof that you have not received any social aid from the government in the last 3 years
  • A criminal record obtained from the police
  • Valid health insurance (see short-term residence permit above)

Unlike short-term residence permits, long-term residence permits are issued indefinitely. Therefore, you will not need to periodically apply for an extension.

How to follow up

You can check your application’s status online or by calling 157, the emergency helpline of the Directorate of Migration, and have your passport ready.

If your residence permit card has not arrived despite receiving a text message saying it is ready, ask your local post (PTT) office.

Sample SMS: Please submit your e-residence documents (2021-20-1234567) at the district migration office, where you made your application, by post within 20 business days.