If you feel confused by the visa or residence permit you will need when in Turkey, keep reading.

Who Needs a Turkish Visa or Permit?

  • Visas

If you have an ordinary or service passport and are not a Turkish citizen or come from a country where you are not exempt from Turkey's visa restrictions, you must have a valid visa to enter Turkey.

*Turkey lifted visa requirements for Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, and the U.K. and Northern Ireland. The exemption is only for tourist travel and transit passage for visits that do not exceed 90 days, once every 180 days.

For some nationalities, getting visas are easier. For example, if you are from the Schengen area, the U.S., U.K., or Ireland, you will be able to obtain a 30 to 90-day single-entry visa or a multiple-entry e-visa at https://evisa.gov.tr/en .

  • Residence permits

Anyone who wants to stay in Turkey for more than 3 months within 6 months to work, study, or settle must apply for a Turkish residence permit.

It would help if you had a residence permit to study, get married, purchase property or make investments, among many other things.

If you plan to work in Turkey, you will only need to have a work permit as this also serves as a residence permit.

Turkish Work Permits: Who Can Work in Turkey?

As a foreigner, you can work in many jobs in Turkey provided you have a valid work permit first.

However, you cannot work as a dentist, nurse, vet, lawyer, notary official, private hospital director, tourist guide, personal security guard, captain, mariner, customs broker, or pharmacist unless you are a Turkish citizen.

According to Turkish child labor law, you must be at least 13 years old to start part-time work and on the condition that it is not hard physical labor and you continue to attend school. Those aged 13-15 are classed as child workers ("çocuk işçi") in Turkey, and laws are stringent to protect kids. The kind of jobs allowed is assistant jobs and paperboys.

Those aged 15-18 are classed as "young workers" (genç işçi) and may be allowed to work in butcher's, grocer's, and fisheries. They can also distribute flyers for fruit and vegetable processing and work in the service industry, excluding work in hotels, bars, and restaurants.

If you're working illegally in Turkey, you will be fined and may be detained or deported.

Types of Turkish Permits: Which One Do I Need?

Depending on the number of years you have spent in Turkey, there are 2 types of residence permits. These are:

  • Short-term residence permit
  • Long-term residence permit (also referred to as an indefinite permit)

*You can only apply for a long-term residence permit after having lived in the country for 8 years.

There are also different types of residence permits depending on your purpose of stay. These are:

  • Education – student residence permit
  • Humanitarian purposes – for victims of human trafficking
  • Family residence permit

Short-term residence permits can also be for specific purposes, such as scientific research, receiving medical treatment, or establishing a business. Your visa should also reflect these purposes.

For more, visit the "Visas & Immigration" category on our blog.

Costs of Turkish Visas and Permits

The cost of Turkish visas depends on the type and your nationality.

According to the 2021 visa fees announced by the Turkish government for touristic visits, a single-entry visa will start from TL 758.90, and a multiple-entry visa will cost TL 2,542.20.

However, these amounts may change depending on whether it is a regular visa (issued by a consulate) or an eVisa, or a visa on arrival (VOA).

For a Turkish residence permit, this is a cost breakdown:

  • Residence permit card fee: TL 125
  • Residence permit fee: TL 850+/- ($80* on average for most nationalities)
  • Health Insurance Fees: TL 125+ (dependent on health status and age)
  • Notary and translation fees: TL 250 (approximately)
  • Apostille certification fees: TL 75 per page
  • One-time exempt visa holders TL 758.90

Applying for Turkish Citizenship

After having lived a considerable number of years in Turkey without long periods of interruption, you can apply for Turkish citizenship and forgo the process of having to extend your residence permits.

If your children are born in Turkey, they may also be eligible for Turkish citizenship.

However, apart from this way of general acquisition, there are also special cases and government-backed schemes through which you can apply for and earn the opportunity to become a Turkish citizen. The most popular ones are through work, marriage, and investment.

Read more about it here.

Who Can Sponsor Your Stay in Turkey?

If you are applying for a family residence permit, your working spouse will become your sponsor. They will have to show proof of having lived in Turkey for at least a year, suitable accommodation and a registered address, the financial means to support you all during your intended stay in Turkey.

If you are applying for a residence permit for a minor, the mother-father or legal guardian will have to sign a deed of consent. You will also have to provide a letter of undertaking, either from a real or legal entity in Turkey.

If you seek to get a work permit, you will need a Turkish employer/company to sponsor you and lodge the application on your behalf. To aid the process for a work visa or work permit, your employer will send you an invitation/letter of reference to show authorities.

How to Renew or Extend Your Turkish Permit

To renew or extend your residence permit, you will have to apply for an extension within 60 days before it expires. If your residence permit has expired, you will not be able to apply for an extension.

To read more about it, head here.

Lost and Stolen Documents

If you lose your residence permit card or travel documents, you should go to the nearest police station to report the incident.

After issuing a police report, you will be asked to go to the provincial immigration department to give a new residence permit card. You will have to bring 2 biometric photos and pay the card fee.

If you lose your passport, it is best to contact your country's embassy or consulate-general as well.

Who to Contact

The Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management or Göç İdaresi is responsible for migration and international protection affairs.

If you would like to contact them or have any questions, call 157 or visit chat with us.