TRA, Turkey Residence Agency.

Residence Permit

There are various rights and obligations of foreigners under rules of international law and in accordance with application of national law in parallel with such rules. Under such rights and obligations, one of the most important floors where legal connection between a foreigner and Turkey is established is residence permit.

The concept of Residence Permit in Turkey may be defined as a place where an individual shows volition of living in legal sense. Persons declare such place they live with their own volitions as their domicile through authorized agencies of the country. Such regulations an individual needs in according to social and legal rules are, without doubt, valid for foreigners present in the country.

Foreign national persons who hold a valid residence permit may enter into or exit from the country as exempt from visa.

Foreign nationals who will stay in Turkey longer than visa or time of visa exemption or ninety days must obtain a residence permit.

Who May File an Application for a Residence Permit in Turkey?

Residence permit application transactions may be carried out by a foreign national in person or by legal representative or lawyer of a foreigner. But, as per initiative granted to administrative unit on this matter, the authority accepting application may request that foreign national person is also present during application.

Where to File an Application for Residence Permits in Turkey?

Applications for a residence permit in Turkey are filed to Immigration Authority of the province you wish to domicile in Turkey. Prior to application, an appointment must be taken and documents must be in full. Calling our firm, you may get detailed information about applications for a residence permit.

Extending Residence Permit in Turkey

If a foreign national person who stays in Turkey with a residence permit still bears conditions of residence permit when permit is about to expire, she/he may, without need for exiting the country, file an application to governor’s office of domicile and extend his/her residence permit or if he/she meets conditions necessary for another residence permit he/she may switch to a residence permit in parallel with his/her new status.

Applications filed to extend residence permit duration must be filed from sixty days to expiration of residence permit duration and before expiry of residence permit under any circumstances. For an extension application, foreign national persons must file for a residence permit from e-ikamet system and complete documents asked and submit to directorate of immigration authority of province of domicile within five days via mail.

Types of Residence Permit in Turkey

Six residence permit types are regulated as per article 30 of foreigners and international protection law no. 6458.

  1. Short Term Residence Permit
  2. Residence Permit for Students
  3. Residence Permit for Families
  4. Long Term Residence Permit
  5. Residence Permit for Human Trafficking Victims
  6. Humanitarian Residence Permit

Condition of Health Insurance for Foreign Nationals in Turkey

Condition of health insurance is requested from foreign national persons in order to obtain residence permit. Valid health insurance must definitely cover duration of requested residence permit. One of the following health insurances is sufficient for residence permit application;

  1. Certificate with e-signature or wet signature and sealed or stamped obtained from provincial social security units regarding that healthcare services in Turkey are benefited from under bilateral social security conventions,
  2. Provision Certificate with e-signature or wet signature and sealed or stamped obtained from social security agency (provision certificates from SGK (Social Security Agency) must be both supportive and covering entire family members for residence permits for families.)
  3. Certificate with e-signature or wet signature and sealed or stamped regarding application filed to the Social Security Agency for the purpose of being a General Health Insured,
  4. Private health insurance.

Address of Domicile in Turkey

Foreign national persons must provide particulars of address they will domicile in Turkey. The address foreign national persons will domicile in Turkey must be a permanent address or an address from an accommodation facility. However, in both cases, foreign national persons must declare address particulars correctly and completely. In addition to this, in order to deliver residence permit document to the address of foreign national person, address, phone number or e-mail information must be definitely current.

In case of change at address information during residence permit duration, this must be reported within twenty (20) working days to provincial directorate of immigration authority or provincial directorate of population and citizenship affairs together with necessary documents.

Conclusion of Residence Permits in Turkey

According to provisions of article 21 of applicable law, applications for a residence permit are concluded within no later than 90 days. In addition this, according to article 22 of the regulation regarding application of foreigners and international protection law, the 90-day duration starts as of the date foreign national applicant submits information and documents in full to the competent authority. In case it gets longer, foreign national applicant is informed.

Who are Foreigners Exempt from Residence Permit in Turkey?

The conditions that must be satisfied by foreign national persons who can stay in Turkey without need for obtaining a residence permit are listed below.

  1. Persons who are in Turkey during visa duration or visa exemption duration,
  2. Persons who lose Turkish citizenship through exit permission,
  3. Persons holding international protection application registration certificate,
  4. Persons who are exempt from residence permit in accordance with bilateral or multi-lateral conventions to which Republic of Turkey is a party,
  5. Persons whose families are informed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided these are restricted to diplomacy and consulate official employees assigned to Turkey as well as their spouses and children they are obliged to support,
  6. Persons who work at representation offices of international organizations in Turkey whose statuses are established under agreements,
  7. Persons holding ID cards with international protection status holder,
  8. Persons holding ID cards with international applicant status,
  9. Persons holding stateless person ID cards,
  10. Persons holding a valid working permit do not need to obtain residence permit certificate.

Persons Who Lose Their Residence Permit Document in Turkey

Persons who lose their residence permit document are under obligation to immediately apply to the relevant authority and obtain new copy. Such persons will be issued residence permit document anew provided to be valid during residence permit document duration they lose. Half of duties set forth at the Duties law no. 492 is charged for those subject to duty among new residence permit documents which would be issued in lieu of residence permit document lost.

Interruption of Residence in Turkey

In the event of residence permit requests to be filed subsequently by foreign national persons who have a break of their residence in Turkey for a period longer than six months without excuse, total of previously obtained residence permits will not be considered. Action will be taken about such persons like foreign nationals who make a request for residence permit in Turkey for the first time.

However, if foreign national person is domiciled abroad due to force majeure incident like treatment, military service, studying, even if the period of interruption to residence permit passes six months, it will not be deemed that residence permit is interrupted. Information and documents that would prove excuse of such persons will be requested by relevant authorities. If such persons domiciled abroad for treatment, bill of health, if they domiciled abroad for education, certificate regarding education or certificates regarding military service must be submitted to relevant authorities.

Reasons for Cancellation of Residence Permit in Turkey

In some cases, residence permits granted to foreign national persons could be cancelled. These are listed in items below.

  1. If there is a restriction, prohibition of entry to Turkey or judicial investigation about foreign national person who holds a residence permit,
  2. If, despite being in Turkey in the past, they modify their personal particulars and enter the country with information of a different foreign national person,
  3. In case of breach of current procedures during entry into Turkey or exit out of Turkey,
  4. In case of name similarity during first time application transactions. Submission of birth certificate could be requested in such a case.
  5. If residence permit is used for a purpose other than its purpose of issue,
  6. If a person who obtained short term residence permit is domiciled abroad for a period longer than 120 days within last year, residence permits issued could be cancelled or applications for a residence permit may be rejected.

Status of Persons Deported from Turkey

If foreign national persons whose residence permits in Turkey expire and became illegal return to Turkey via illegal means despite being deported, they will be sentenced to imprisonment up to one year or judicial fine. Foreign national persons who are convicted in this manner will be re-deported after serving their convictions. Foreign national persons who do not wish to be exposed to this practice must file their application for a residence permit before expiry of their term.

How can Foreign Nationals Obtain TR Identification Number?

Foreign national persons will definitely need T.R. ID number if they will domicile for a period longer than 6 months. T.R. numbers issued by the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs are numbers starting with 9 and granted to foreign nationals temporarily. T.R. identification number issued for foreigners does not grant right of citizenship. It is used only for domicile records of foreigners and applications for work permit. Having taken a temporary T.R. identification number does not grant persons the right to permanently domicile in Turkey.

In order to obtain a foreigner T.R. identification number, one should first of all obtain a residence period for minimum 6 months. Temporary T.R. identification number could be obtained with residence permit number and date of birth information of foreign national person.

Residence Permits That May be Switched

  1. In the event conditions for obtaining a family residence permit arise for foreign national persons holding residence permit for students, family residence permit will be issued to such foreigners and they benefit from rights provided by residence permit for students as long as such student continues to bear conditions of residence permit.
  2. In the event conditions of obtaining a residence permit for students arise for foreign national persons holding residence permit for families, residence permit for families of foreign person will be continued, it will be ensured that he/she also benefits from rights provided by residence permits for students.
  3. In the event conditions of obtaining a residence permit for students arise for foreign national persons holding work permit, work permit will be continued, it will be ensured that such person benefits from rights provided by residence permit for students without switching to residence permit for students.
  4. In the event conditions of obtaining residence permit for students arise for foreign national persons who hold humanitarian residence permit and residence permit for human trafficking victims, such foreign national persons will benefit from rights provided by residence permit for students without switching to residence permit for students.
  5. Pursuant to Clause 2 of article 42 of the applicable law, the right to switch to long term residence permit is not granted to refugees, conditional refugees, holders of humanitarian residence permit, those under secondary protection and persons under temporary protection.   



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