Foreigners in Turkey are issued over one million residence permit cards, or Ikamet, each year. You can live and work in the country with these cards.
Turkey issues one-year residence permits as well as long-term permits that do not need to be renewed. Any residence permit application can be submitted online. The procedure takes between one and three months.
The guide explains who can obtain the status, under what conditions, and what benefits it provides to foreigners.
The Benefits of a Residence Permit in Turkey
Possibilities for business. Because of the country's advantageous location, you can conduct business with partners from Europe and Asia.
Turkey's pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries have grown. Tourism, textile, leather, and construction industries are all increasing.
The country's largest companies are ENKA, which built the Empire and Eurasia towers in Moscow City, Efes beer, and the financial and industrial holding Koç Holding.
Because attracting foreign investment is one of the Turkish government's top priorities, the country has simplified registering a business.
To establish a business in Turkey, you will need:
- Turkish TIN;
- receipt for payment of the state fee;
- bank statement indicating the balance on the current account.
The founder or accountant personally submits an application and documents for company registration to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. You must also contact the bank in person to open a current account.
Low living expenses. Analysts at Numbeo compared consumer prices, rental costs, utilities, public transportation, taxi tariffs, and average restaurant checks in 139 countries. Switzerland leads the rating with 123 points and has the highest cost of living.
Turkey ranks 130th in the rating, with 28 points. Living costs are lower here than in the EU, Russia, and Belarus. France is ranked 19th, Germany is 34th, Poland is 86th, Russia is 101st, and Belarus is 120th.
Renting real estate in Turkey is less expensive than in the EU and Russia. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs $ 194 in Ankara, $ 380 in Istanbul, and $ 210 in Izmir.
They mortgaged real estate. Foreigners with residence permits in Turkey can purchase real estate with a mortgage under Turkish law. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, Iraq, Iran, and Russian citizens are the most likely to buy property in Turkey.
Turkey's minimum monthly interest rate on mortgage loans is 1.2%. Each bank sets its own pace based on the property's value, the amount of the down payment, and the loan's terms.
In Halk Bank, for example, you can get a loan for up to 15 years at 1.3% per month. The transaction amount cannot exceed 10 000 000, equivalent to 675 000 $.
The loan down payment at Deniz Bank is 20% of the property's value. The maximum loan term is 25 years. The monthly minimum is 1.5%. The bank withholds a commission of 0.5% of the total loan amount, which is paid once.
To obtain a loan, you must personally contact the bank and submit the following documents:
- Turkish TIN;
- original and notarized copy of passport;
- bank statement on account status for the last three months;
- credit history extract;
- certificate of income;
- ownership of the real estate in the home country;
- certificate of ownership of the selected real estate (TAPU);
- valuation of the property by an independent appraiser
Good medicine. Turkey is a popular destination for medical tourism. The government allocates 5% of GDP to health care each year.
Many Turkish clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International JCI, which attests to the high quality of medical services. People travel to Turkey for treatment for cancer, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease.
Koch University Hospital is a university-affiliated medical center specializing in treating the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems. Transplantation of organs and bone marrow takes place here.
Medipol University Hospital is a JCI-accredited medical center in Istanbul. The center includes 246 polyclinics and four complexes: a general hospital, an oncological center, cardiovascular surgery departments, and dentistry.
Liv Hospital is a private medical center in Ankara and Istanbul that includes six hospitals. JCI has accredited the medical center. Liv Hospital's doctors are experts in kidney transplantation and non-surgical oncology treatment. Robots are used to perform heart bypass surgery here.
Who Is Eligible for a Short-Term Residence Permit in Turkey?
Short-term residence permits are valid for up to a year. Foreigners who plan to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days can apply for the status.
You can apply for any residence permit and track its status on the Turkish Migration Service's website or reach out to us.
A short-term residency permit is granted to foreign nationals who:
- travel around the country;
- pay for medical treatment in local clinics;
- learn Turkish, study at local universities, or conduct scientific research;
- came in search of business partners or to negotiate
Tourist residence permit. Foreigners can obtain up to a one-year residence permit. To be granted temporary status, you must apply to the Migration Service. The administrative fee for issuing the card is TL 356, which is approximately $20. A tourist tax is levied based on one's nationality.
A detailed travel itinerary listing activities, hotel rooms or car rental, air tickets, and tickets to exhibitions and attractions must be attached to the application.
Residence permit for treatment. Foreigners who come to Turkey for medical treatment can also apply for a short-term residence permit. A temporary residence permit is issued for the duration of the treatment. To obtain the status, you must provide a contract with the clinic and payment for medical services through checks.
Residence permit for the business. Foreigners who want to start a business or find business partners in Turkey can apply for a three-month residence permit. In this case, you must provide an invitation from a partner to the Migration Service.
A student residence permit is issued for the duration of study at a Turkish school or university. Students from both private and public universities are eligible to apply.
International students are paid to attend universities. Turkey has more than 100 universities. The prestige of the faculty determines the cost of training and the specialty chosen. For example, training at Hacettepe University's medical faculty will cost $6,000, with an economic cost of $1,000 per year.
Admission applications are accepted online at many Turkish universities. The websites specify the deadlines for accepting applications.
Most universities hold classes in Turkish. Some lectures are given in English at some universities, such as Istanbul University.
Applicants who intend to study in Turkey must demonstrate proficiency in Turkish at a level no lower than B1.
The Cost of Attending University in Turkey
- Between $13,000 and $14,400 at Bilkent College
- Sabanci College begins at $18,000 per year.
- The Middle East Technical University (METU) costs between $500 and $1,000 (TL 7,500 to TL 15,000).
- The cost of attending Koç University ranges between $8,000 and $10,000.
Students who came on exchange programs or participated in research can apply. Foreigners who paid for Turkish language courses are also granted a short-term residence permit. The status is given for a year before being extended for the duration of training.
Family residence permit. Foreigners who marry Turkish citizens are eligible for such a residence permit. The Migration Service must provide the following information to obtain the status:
- a notarized copy of the marriage certificate;
- four photographs;
- a notarized copy of the passport;
- medical insurance;
- bank statements, employment records, or financial statements;
- criminal record;
- documents confirming the place of residence, such as a rental agreement or a guarantee from a Turkish citizen
There is no requirement to pass exams in the Turkish language or historical knowledge. Up to a three-year residence permit is issued. You can apply for Turkish citizenship after three years of living together.
Family members of specialists working in Turkish companies can also obtain a residence permit. The status is granted for a maximum of three years, after which it must be renewed.
In Turkey, Who Is Eligible to Apply for a Long-Term Residency Permit?
Foreign citizens who have lived in Turkey for the past eight years can apply for a long-term residence permit.
The Ikamet card is issued indefinitely, unlike a long-term residence permit with an expiration date. If a foreigner spends more than a year outside Turkey, their residence permit may be revoked. The only exceptions are for treatment or study abroad.
The status entitles foreigners to free education and medical care, the right to work, the ability to open bank accounts, and the ability to purchase real estate with a mortgage.
If you intend to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days, you must have a Turkish residence permit.
In Turkey, any real estate transaction grants the right to a residence permit. It is sufficient to sign a 12-month lease agreement to obtain the status. You can stay in the country for a year with this residency permit.
The entire family, including children under 18, can obtain the status. Two prerequisites must be met:
Before you relocate, have your state apostilled your children's birth and marriage certificates.
Each family member is named in the lease agreement.
A foreigner must re-register their electricity and water bills to obtain a residence permit card. Then he applies to the migration service department in the city where he rents real estate. Along with the application, you will require:
Along with the application, you'll also need:
- a notarized copy of the tenant's passport;
- a notarized lease agreement;
- the landlord's notarized passport;
- a copy of the certificate of ownership of real estate (TAPU);
- medical insurance;
- Turkish TIN;
- four biometric photographs;
- copies of re-issued utility bills for light and water to the tenant
Foreigners who purchase property in Turkey may also apply for a residence permit. Objects from any region of the country are suitable for this.
The homeowner and his closest relatives (spouse, parents, and children under 18) can obtain a two-year residence permit. The residence permit can be extended after two years, and after five years, you can apply for citizenship.
To keep your status, you must spend at least six months of the year in Turkey.
What Documents Will Be Required to Obtain a Turkish Residence Permit?
To obtain a resident authorization card, you must first:
- completed application form;
- individual taxpayer number;
- four biometric photographs;
- original and certified copy of passport;
- income or bank statement;
- medical insurance;
- notarized lease agreement or certificate of real estate ownership (TAPU).
The card comes with a TL 356 administrative fee, approximately $20.
Suppose a foreigner obtains a residence permit in Turkey for real estate ownership. In that case, their meeting with potential business partners and an invitation from the company with planned negotiations are required.
The Procedure for Obtaining a Turkish Residence Permit
You must take steps to obtain a Turkish residence permit.
Purchase a Turkish mobile operator's SIM card. Its price is determined by the number of minutes of conversation and Internet traffic included in the package. For example, a Turkcell SIM card, 20GB, has a minimum cost of TL 200, equivalent to $10.
Find a place to live and sign a lease agreement. The main requirement is that the landlord's identity card data and TIN be included in the lease agreement, as well as a list of all adult tenants who will live with him and apply for a residence permit. A certificate of real estate ownership (TAPU) will be required in addition to the contract. A notary must certify the lease agreement.
Purchase health insurance. A medical policy can be obtained online or by contacting any insurance company directly. The policy has a one-year minimum term and an insurance limit of TL 5000, starting approximately TL 700+.
Translate into Turkish and certify copies of documents. Convert and authenticate documents in Turkish. Sometimes, the passport and other documents must be translated, notarized, authenticated, or apostilled.
Take four pictures. To obtain a residency permit, biometric images are required.
You can apply for a residence permit online or at a Migration Service office. When applying, you must specify the day and time of the interview. After registering, you will not be able to change the meeting date.
Consider the interview. The main goal of the interview is to learn why a foreign national is granted a residence permit.
- The originals and copies of the documents listed on the application for a residence permit will be required at a meeting with a migration department representative.
- The department's employees communicate in both English and Turkish. If necessary, the applicant may hire an interpreter.
- If a foreigner fails to appear for the interview, their application for a residence visa is rejected.
The Turkish tax service will issue you a tax number similar to the TIN or EIN in most other countries.
Ikamet is delivered. The card proving residency is mailed to you. To track the package, the applicant receives an SMS with a tracking number or logs into obtaining it.
A residency permit application can take one to three months to process. You can check the status of the migration service on its website. To accomplish this, provide the application number, contact email, phone number, and passport number.
In What Circumstances Can a Turkish Residence Permit Be Denied?
If the applicant meets the following criteria:
- For the previous three years, he had received social assistance.
- unable to demonstrate sufficient revenue to support themselves in the country
- chose not to purchase health insurance
- poses a threat to society
The decision can be appealed in court. If you are denied a residence permit, you must file a lawsuit within 60 days of receiving notice of denial.
If the judge rules that the refusal was legal, the foreigner will have 10 days to leave the country.
Validity and Extension of Turkish Residency Permits
A temporary residence permit is issued for up to two years. If the alien met the requirements for maintaining his status and did not violate any laws, he might be eligible for an extension of his residence permit.
A request for a residence permit extension can be made online or in person at a Migration Service office.
Foreigners who have lived in Turkey for at least 8 years are eligible for long-term residency. A card of this type does not need to be renewed and has no expiration date.
How Does a Foreigner Become a Turkish Citizen?
Foreigners who have married Turkish nationals can apply for a Turkish passport. After three years of living together, a couple can apply for citizenship.
Foreigners with a residency permit who have lived in Turkey for at least five years may also apply to become citizens.
The quickest way to obtain a Turkish passport is through investment. The investor is not required to take Turkish language or history exams, nor are they needed to give up their current citizenship.
If you have a Turkish passport, you can travel to 110 countries without a visa, including Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar, and Indonesia.
Despite Turkey's desire to join the EU, its passport currently does not allow visa-free travel to Schengen countries.
To become a citizen, the investor selects one of the following options:
- depositing in a Turkish bank
- acquiring bonds or currency; or acquiring bills of exchange
- Purchasing investment fund shares, launching a business with a $500,000 investment, or hiring at least 50 new employees
All options have a three-year return on investment.
Purchasing real estate is the most common way to obtain a Turkish passport. The minimum required investment is $400,000. The investor may buy a variety of items for this sum. The essential requirement is a two-month time limit between transactions.
Alternative investments require a minimum investment of $50,000 in non-metropolitan areas and $75,000 in metropolitan areas.
The program for obtaining Turkish citizenship through investment has changed in 2022. When purchasing real estate, all calculations are performed in US dollars rather than Turkish liras. As a result, the depreciation of the local currency does not affect the value of the real estate.
Frequently asked questions
Looking for more info? Here are some things we're commonly asked
In what circumstances can foreigners apply for a residence permit in Turkey?
A residence permit can be obtained by the following individuals:
Traveler's, students, clients of local clinics, businessmen who have registered a company in Turkey, and property owners are all examples of visitors.
Family reunification is another option for obtaining a residence permit.
What benefits does a residence permit provide in Turkey?
The following are the primary benefits of obtaining a residence permit in Turkey:
Opportunities for business A residence permit allows you to register a company in the country, open accounts in local banks in Turkish lira, dollars, or euros, and gain access to high-quality medical and educational services. Foreigners can be treated for free in local clinics, study at schools and universities, and buy a home with a mortgage. Turkey has lower mortgage rates than Russia.
How to obtain a residence permit in Turkey?
You will need the following documents to obtain a residence permit:
completed application form; Turkish TIN; four photographs; original and notarized copy of passport; income certificate or bank statement; medical insurance; notarized lease agreement or certificate of ownership of real estate.
Any application for a residence permit can be made online or in person at one of the Migration Service's offices.
In Turkey, why can a residence permit be revoked?
If a foreigner lives outside Turkey for more than a year, he will lose his status. Those receiving education abroad or undergoing long-term treatment are exempt.
Can non-Turkish citizens obtain Turkish citizenship?
In exchange for investments, foreigners can obtain Turkish citizenship.
The applicant selects one of the following alternatives:
Real estate; deposit funds in a Turkish bank; purchase government securities; purchase shares in investment funds; and start a business.
The initial investment is $400,000.