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How to Obtain a Residence (Living) Permit


A residence (ikamet) permit is an official document that allows foreigners to live, work, or study in Turkey for a specified period. Turkey, known for its natural beauty, historical richness, economic opportunities, and strategic location, is an attractive destination for people worldwide. Foreign nationals wishing to stay in Turkey for a certain duration must obtain a residence permit, enabling them to live and engage in specified activities within the country. To obtain a residence permit in Turkey, certain conditions must be met, and specific documents must be provided.



What is a Residence (İkamet) Permit? How is a Residence (İkamet) Permit Obtained?


Types of Residence Permits


Residence permits in Turkey are categorized based on the foreign national's purpose of stay:


  1. Short-Term Residence Permit: This permit is issued to foreigners planning to stay in Turkey for a specific duration. As per Law No. 6458, Article 31, the short-term residence permit is initially granted for up to one year, with the possibility of extension under certain circumstances. This permit typically applies to purposes like tourism, business, or education.

  2. Family Residence Permit: The Foreigners and International Protection Law No. 6458 allows foreigners living in Turkey to obtain a family residence permit through family unification. Under Article 34 of this law, foreigners can apply for a family residence permit for their family members living in Turkey. This permit is granted to the spouse and children under 18 of the foreign resident.

  3. Student Residence Permit: Law No. 6458 also includes regulations for foreign students wishing to study in Turkey. According to Article 33, student residence permits are issued to foreigners coming to Turkey for higher education.

  4. Long-Term Residence Permit: Law No. 6458 regulates the granting of long-term residence permits to foreigners who meet specific conditions in Turkey. Under Article 44, foreigners who have resided in Turkey for a total of at least eight years can apply for a long-term residence permit.

  5. Human Resources Residence Permit: While Law No. 6458 and its implementing regulation outline various types of residence permits in Turkey, a specific 'human resources residence permit' is not explicitly mentioned. Instead, regulations exist for work permits for foreigners intending to work in Turkey.

What is a Residence (İkamet) Permit? How is a Residence (İkamet) Permit Obtained?


Required Documents


Generally, the following documents are required for obtaining a residence permit:


  1. Passport: The foreign national must have a valid passport or equivalent document.

  2. Financial Sufficiency Document: Proof that the foreign national has sufficient financial

  3. Health Insurance: The foreign national must have valid health insurance covering their stay in Turkey.

  4. Residence Proof: A document showing the foreign national's address in Turkey.

  5. Biometric Photograph: Current photographs of the individual that meet biometric specifications.

  6. Approval from Relevant Authority: The foreign national must obtain approval from the relevant authority in Turkey, according to their purpose of stay.

Additional documents may be required based on the foreign national's purpose of stay in Turkey. For example, foreign students coming to Turkey for education must submit an enrollment certificate from their educational institution.


Application Process


Foreign nationals can apply for a residence permit at Turkish consulates or the Directorate General of Migration Management in Turkey. The application process varies depending on the applicant's nationality and the type of permit applied for. Applications are typically made online, and the specified documents must be submitted. The applications are reviewed by the Directorate General of Migration Management, and the decision is communicated to the applicant. Once approved, the foreign national must arrive in Turkey within a specified period to obtain their residence permit.


Turkey continues to be an attractive destination for people worldwide. The residence permit process is a crucial step for foreigners who wish to live and engage in specific activities in Turkey. The process requires meeting certain conditions and submitting specific documents. A successful application allows the foreign national to legally reside in Turkey and enjoy certain rights. In case of application rejection, the applicant may face a lengthy legal process. Therefore, it is important for applicants to seek support from a lawyer specialized in this field.




This article is for informational purposes only.

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