The number of rejected residence permit applications in Turkey may seem like they are on the rise recently, however, most of these rejections are due to ill-prepared applications with missing or incorrect documents. This has especially been the case since Turkish migration authorities overhauled the requirements for residence permits and have been more stringent in their approval process.

If you are a first-time applicant afraid of having your application rejected or a resident looking to appeal a rejection, here is what you need to know.

Why Has My Residence Permit Application Been Rejected?

You may have received a “notification form” (tebligat)  that lists the reason why your application was rejected.

The most common reason for residence permit applications to be rejected is the reasons listed in Article 32 (Madde 32) within Law no. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection.

According to Article 32, a short-term residence permit application may be rejected if:

  • Your application fails to cite one or more of the reasons listed in the first paragraph of Article 31 and the information and documents related to this request are not submitted in full (missing or wrong documents).
  • Your application is not covered by Article 7
  • Your accommodation (listed on your application) does not meet general health and safety standards
  • You fail to submit a valid criminal record document issued by the competent authorities of your country of citizenship or your legal residence.
  • You withhold or give the wrong address information for your stay in Turkey.

There are also several other articles within the same code that may explain why your application was rejected.

Article 33 states that a short-term residence permit will not be granted in the following cases, and rejected or canceled, while expired ones will not be extended:

  • One or more of the conditions sought in Article 32 are not fulfilled or is no longer applicable
  • Authorities determine that the residence permit is used for purposes other than the one for which it was issued.
  • A valid deportation decision is taken against the foreigner or an entry ban to Turkey is issued.
  • You exceed the maximum duration of stay abroad during your residence permit period contrary to the related regulations.

Article 15 also states that visas are not granted to the following foreigners:

  • Those who do not have a passport or substitute legal document with a validity of at least sixty days longer than the visa period requested
  • Those who are banned from entering Turkey
  • Those deemed a threat to public order or public security
  • Those who have a disease are considered a threat to public health
  • In accordance with the agreements to which the Republic of Turkey is a party, those who are accused or convicted of the crime or crimes that provide a sufficient legal basis for extradition.
  • Those who do not have valid health insurance covering the period of stay
  • Those who cannot justify their purpose of entering, transiting through, or staying in Turkey
  • Those who do not have sufficient financial means or regular income during their stay
  • Those who do not accept to pay the receivables arising from a visa violation or a previous residence permit or that need to be followed up and collected in accordance with Law No. 6183 on the Collection of Public Claims dated 21/7/1953, or in accordance with the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 dated 26/9/2004, those who do not accept to pay the debts and penalties and are being pursued by authorities.

How to File an Objection

After you have received your notification form, you should apply to an Administrative Court (İdare Mahkemesi), preferably 10 days.

If the rejection decision is taken by a foreign representation of Turkey, the lawsuit must be filed at the Ankara Administrative Court, and if taken by a governorship, it must be filed at an administrative court within the jurisdiction of the governorship.

Overstay Fees and Being Deported

Once you have received the rejection notification, you have 10 days to leave the country if you do not have a visa or visa exemption. If you have a visa, these 10 days start after it expires.

You may be in the process of launching a countersuit to your rejection, however, this does not stop deportation proceedings. If you are still in the country after the 10 days are up, you may be fined and deported.

Check out our articles on the consequences of overstaying on your Turkish visa and how to calculate what counts as an overstay for more guidance.

Reapplying for a Permit

If you want to reapply for a new residence permit, you will have to exit the country and wait 6 months if you want to apply for the same type of residence permit. However, you can try applying for another type without having to wait that time period.

You should expect to pay around TL 20,000 ($1,000) for legal advice from an attorney, in addition to expenses like travel and power of attorney.

Each case fee is determined by the complexity and extent of the case as well as other factors. The above is a base price that should help you gauge pricing/fees in advance.

As for an expected timeframe to reach a solution, due to the legal framework in Turkey, this can take many months or even longer than a year, especially in bigger cities like Istanbul and Ankara.

If in any case your case is rejected or your appeal is overturned, your overstay period will be backdated to the date your residence permit application was originally rejected.

You should take this into serious consideration as it might be easier to talk to Ikamet and take alternative action. You may be advised to leave Turkey and re-enter based on your passport access by doing a simple border run or take other steps of action

If you would like to speak to an attorney about residence permit rejections and appeals, click here to learn more about your rights.