Majority of the inquiries from foreigners who are interested in Turkey in relation to Residence Permit in Turkey. Since such permit will allow foreigners to legally stay in Turkey. However, some of the entrepreneurs apply for company formation in Turkey does no focus on residence permit. Since their only aim is doing business in Turkey. On the other hand, if such business requires to stay in Turkey residence permit will be a requirement.  Thus, the visa of the investors will end somehow and if their business requires longer stay they need to justify this stay.

As a result of the such questions in this article we will deeply analyze residence permit in Turkey.


Do I Need to Have a Residence Permit in Turkey ?

Residence permit is a permit given to foreigners who want to stay in Turkey. Foreigners who will stay in Turkey for more than ninety days or the period granted by the visa or visa exemption are required to apply for the type of residence permit that they think meet the conditions through the e-residence system. Also, foreigners who have completed their application must be present at the provincial/district directorate of migration administration in the province where they want to live, on the appointment day determined by the system. Additionally, foreigners who are not present at the provincial/district directorate of migration administration on the appointment day without a valid excuse are deemed not to have made any application. In determining the valid excuse, some information and documents may be requested by the administration. As a rule, residence permit extension applications are made in the same way.

Can I Automatically Obtain Residence Permit When I Open a Company in Turkey ?

Some countries around the world such as UAE grants residence permit to the investors who open company in their country. Therefore, majority of the investors by referencing such situation thinks that in Turkey the situation is the same. However, there is no direct connection between residence permit in Turkey and company formation in Turkey. Both processes are followed by different administrative authorities. Therefore, if the main goal of the applicant is to obtain residence permit in Turkey, the company formation in Turkey for that reason will not ne meaningful. Quite the opposite if the investor merely wish to setup a business in Turkey, he or she may not require residence permit.

Can I Legally Work with a Residence Permit?

Residence permit and work permit are two different concepts. Therefore, the residence permit in Turkey does not grant you are right to legally work in Turkey. A foreigner who wishes to work in Turkey will require to obtain work permit. The conditions and requirements for residence permit and work permit are independent from each other. Relatively, the conditions for work permit is more difficult compared to residence permit in Turkey. If you work in Turkey without work permit you and your employer may face strict sanctions. Additionally, a foreigner who works without work permit might be deported. Therefore, please obtain required licensed to legally stay in Turkey.

What Are the Types of Residence Permit in Turkey?

According to Director General of Migration Department  there are 14 type of short term residence permits.

1-Foreigners who will come for scientific research;

For this purpose, foreigners who apply for a residence permit must obtain a permit from the relevant institutions or organizations (Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Energy, universities, etc.) subject to scientific research, if scientific research is subject to permission; If they are not subject to a permit, they are required to submit a statement on the subject of the research. In order to issue a residence permit for foreigners who will come for this purpose, a visa for “Scientific Research” must be obtained from our foreign representatives.

2-Foreigners who own Real Estate in Turkey;

In case foreigners who own real estate request a residence permit, the real estate must be a residence and used for this purpose. In addition, family members can apply for a residence permit in this context if they have a shared or joint ownership right on the residence. Family members refer to the applicant’s spouse, minor child and dependent adult child.

3- Foreigners who will establish a commercial connection or business;

If foreigners who will establish a commercial connection or business request a residence permit in Turkey for more than three months, an invitation letter or similar documents may be requested from the persons or companies that the foreigner will contact.

4-Foreigners who will participate in the in-service training program;

Residence permit in Turkey issued for this purpose are issued during the program based on the information and documents on the content, duration and location of the training provided by the institution or organization that will provide in-service training.

5-Foreigners who will come for educational or similar purposes within the framework of agreements or student exchange programs to which the Republic of Turkey is a party;

For this purpose, foreigners who apply for a residence permit in Turkey are required to submit information and documents to be obtained from the relevant institution.

The duration of residence permit cannot exceed the duration of education or similar purpose.

Students coming within the scope of student exchange programs (Erasmus, Mevlana, Farabi etc.); Health insurance is not required from those who make a request to become a general health insurance holder within three months from the first registration date. However, those who lose their right to be covered by general health insurance by not making an application within three months from the date of registration are required to take out private health insurance.

6-Foreigners who will stay for tourism purposes;

For this purpose, the statement of foreigners who apply for a residence permit regarding their travel plans (where, when and how long they will stay in the country) is evaluated. If deemed necessary, he may be asked to submit information or documents.

7- Foreigners who will be treated provided that they do not have one of the diseases considered as a threat to public health;

For this purpose, admission to public or private hospitals is sought for foreigners who come to Turkey. Health insurance is not required for those who certify that they have paid all treatment costs.

Residence permits are issued in accordance with the duration of treatment.

8- Foreigners who are required to stay in Turkey depending on the requests or decisions of the judicial or administrative authorities;

The duration of the residence permit to be issued for this purpose is determined by considering the period specified in the decision or request.

9- Foreigners who will be transferred to a short-term residence permit in case of losing the family residence permit conditions;

Among those who have stayed in Turkey for at least three years with a family residence permit, those who complete the age of eighteen, married to a Turkish citizen and divorced after three years with a family residence permit (three years for those who prove that they are victims of domestic violence with a court decision) and in the event of the sponsor’s death, those who remain with the family residence permit attached to this person can apply for a short-term residence permit without the requirement of time.

10-Foreigners who will attend Turkish learning courses;

For this purpose, it can be given to a foreigner who requests a residence permit and registers with the institution authorized to offer Turkish courses (must be authorized by the Ministry of National Education).

If the duration of the course is less than one year, the duration of the residence permit cannot exceed the duration of the course. The institution providing the course is obliged to inform the provincial directorate of the start and attendance status of the foreigner who has registered for the purpose of learning Turkish.

11- Foreigners who will participate in education, research, internship and courses in Turkey through public institutions;

The residence permit in Turkey period issued for this purpose cannot exceed one year. A valid health insurance condition is not sought for foreigners whose accommodation, subsistence or health-related expenses are covered by the relevant public institutions. Information and documents may be requested from institutions.

12-Foreigners who have completed their higher education in Turkey and applied within six months from the date of graduation;

For this purpose, foreigners who apply for a residence permit may be granted a residence permit for a maximum of one year, for once, if they apply within six months from the date of graduation.

13- Those who do not work in Turkey but will make investments within the scope and amount to be determined by the Council of Ministers and their foreign spouse, minor or dependent foreign child of himself and his spouse;

For this purpose, a residence permit can be issued for a maximum of five years for foreigners who apply for a residence permit.

With this amendment brought by the International Labor Law No. 6735 to the Law No. 6458, it is aimed to encourage qualified foreigners who will contribute to the country’s economy and to facilitate residence permit procedures for foreigners.

14-Foreigners who are citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,

For this purpose, a residence permit can be issued for a maximum of five years for foreigners who apply for a residence permit.

Can My Family Members Get Resident Permit in Turkey as Well ?

As explained above there are various types of residence permit in Turkey. Generally, those permits are linked to the individuals. Therefore, the individual only obtain such permit for himself or herself. However, on the other hand for some type of permits the family members including wife and dependent children may get benefit. Addition of family members to the program is an important factor for individuals when making their decisions. So, please be careful to check whether the residence permit in Turkey you applied covers family members or not.

Can I Renew My Residence Permit When it is Expired ?

Similar to the addition of family members the answer of this question is subject to the type of residence permit as well. Besides, the nationality and the conditions of the applicant plays an important role. Some applicants by considering that they may extent their residence permit they make plans. However, some type of residence permits in Turkey are not renewable. Besides, some nationalities may have some restrictions with this regard. Therefore please cross check this situation before taking any action.

Overall, the law regulations on immigration especially about the residence permit in Turkey changes very frequently. Therefore, please consult an expert before making your plans and taking an action.




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