Residency & Visas

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British passport holders can travel to Turkey for tourist or business reasons without a visa for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period (i.e. half a year). This will cover the vast majority of instances for holidaymakers or people visiting Turkey for client meetings, consulting etc. 

If, however, you plan to stay in Turkey for longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for either a longer-stay visa (before you travel), or obtain a residence permit from the Turkish authorities before the end of the 90 day period. 

This could apply if, for example, you came over to Turkey for a few months and rented somewhere while you were house-hunting. 

You will also need the correct authorisation if you plan on working in Turkey. 

More information on working in Turkey and the permits required can be found here:

You must abide by the conditions of your visa or work permit or you risk being fined, or even deported. 

Validity of Passports

Your passport must have at least 6 months to run before it expires from the date you enter Turkey. There must be a blank page for entry and exit stamps. 

Residence Permits 

As mentioned above, if you plan on staying in Turkey for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period, you can apply for a Turkish Residence Permit. This enables you to live in Turkey, and also opens up a number of other things you wouldn’t be able to do without it. These include: 

  • Study
  • Get married
  • Obtain a tax number
  • Open a bank account
  • Purchase property
  • Make investments 
  • Obtain a Turkish drivers’ licence

If you have a work permit, this will also serve as a residence permit. 

Do I need a Residence Permit for Turkey? 

The test is simple. Anyone who relocates to Turkey intending to stay for longer than three months will need to obtain a Turkish Residence Permit as soon as possible upon arrival. Don’t wait until the last few weeks and get caught out. You don’t want to be in a situation where your stay could be considered illegal. 

What are the different types of Turkish Residence Permits? 

Depending on your situation and the type of visa you hold, you can potentially apply for one of the following Residence Permits: 

Short Term Permit

This is the most sought-after residence permit, and there are a number of situations in which it can be obtained: 

  • For tourism reasons 
  • For educational or similar purposes (example: student exchanges) 
  • For scientific research purposes 
  • To develop and establish commercial or business connections
  • To receive medical treatment (as long as you are not a threat to public health!)
  • To take part in immersive Turkish language courses
  • You have a passport from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Regarding validity, short-term residence permits are issued for a maximum of two years at any one time, but can be renewed. 

Long-Term Residence Permit

Longevity has other benefits. If you have lived in Turkey for a minimum of 8 years without interruption, with a rolled-over short-term residence permit, you can apply for a long-term Turkish permit. 

This permit will last indefinitely. 

Family Permit 

A family residence permit can be granted to the foreign spouse of a Turkish national, their children (under 18) and any dependent foreign child. They must have sufficient income to support those applying for a residence permit. They cannot be a perceived drain on the state; the family must be able to stand on its own two feet. 

This permit may be issued for a period of no more than three years at time. 

Student Permit

You will be eligible for a student residence permit if: 

  • You are enrolling in primary or secondary school
  • You are planning to study at university for a number of different types of degree

The Student Residence Permit will be valid for the length of studies. If the qualification/course is less than one year, then the residence permit cannot be longer than this education period (i.e. you can’t stay for longer than you have agreed to study for). 

How to apply for the Turkish Residence Permit 

If you intend on staying longer than the 90 days, then you need to apply for a residence permit within your first month of arriving in Turkey. You must declare your intentions early. 

Once you have considered all the options of residence permits, and selected which one applies to you, you should complete an application online:

Next stop the ‘Central Appointment System’, to book an appointment with the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM). You will be provided with your nearest office and a list of all the documentation you will be required to present, along with available dates and times for a meeting. 

Documents Required for a Turkish Residence Permit

  • Application for the Residence Permit
  • 4 x biometric photographs 
  • Original passport
  • Certified/Notarised copy of passport (or equivalent travel documents)
  • Evidence of sufficient and sustainable financial resources – this equates (approximately) to demonstrating income of at least £450 for each month you plan on spending in Turkey
  • Health Insurance certificate

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