In Turkey, foreign individuals hold rights and responsibilities arising from the application of our domestic law in conformity with international legal norms. These rights and obligations find their foundation in the paradigm of residency permits, a cornerstone under the legal nexus connecting foreign individuals to our country. The escalating tide of systematic migration accentuates the paramount significance of the regulations governing the habitation of foreigners in Turkey. These regulations concerning residency are comprehensively delineated under both the Law on Foreigners and International Protection and the Implementation By-law of Law on Foreigners and International Protection. This exposition aims to acquaint the reader with the various classifications of residency permits obtainable within the boundaries of Turkey.

What is a residence permit?

Residence permit is an official authorization required for an individual to enter a specific country and stay there for a certain period. The residence permit is regulated within the framework of immigration law and can vary from one country to another. This permit can be granted for various purposes, ranging from tourists to those seeking to stay in the country for work or education. Obtaining a residence permit usually involves a specific procedure. The required documents and conditions can vary depending on the applicant’s purpose and situation. It’s generally recommended for individuals to thoroughly research the immigration laws and requirements of the desired country before applying for a residence permit. A residence permit grants individuals a legal status in a country for a specified period. After this period, one might need to renew the permit or follow necessary procedures for other status changes.

How to Apply for a Residence Permit in Turkey?

A residence permit is a permit that grants foreigners the right to stay in Turkey. According to Article 19 of the LFIP, foreigners who will stay in Turkey for longer than the period granted by a visa or visa exemption or for more than ninety days must obtain a residence permit. Foreigners who will stay in Turkey for less than ninety days may also apply for a residence permit. These applications can be made online via the internet. The appropriate appointment date is determined through the “E-ikamet” system. The necessary documents are collected until the relevant appointment date and prepared on the day of the appointment. 

What Are the Types of Residence Permit in Turkey?

Turkey offers several types of residence permits for foreigners who wish to live in the country for an extended period. Residence permits issued in Turkey have been categorized into types with the LFIP and six different types of residence permits have been accepted. These are family residence permit, short-term residence permit, student residence permit, long-term residence permit, humanitarian residence permit and residence permit for victims of human trafficking. Different conditions are set for each type of residence permit, and its extension and revocation are regulated under separate provisions. 

What is a Short-Term Residence Permit ?

The short-term residence permit is an inclusive type of residence permit that can be applied for more general reasons than other residence permits under the LFIP, and therefore can be easily obtained by many foreigners. Since short-term residence permits can also be granted to foreigners coming for scientific research and commercial purposes, this type of permit stands out as an important instrument for attracting foreign capital and investments as well as scientific research and qualified labor force for Turkey. Who is eligible to apply for this residence permit is listed in Article 31 of the law. A short-term residence permit shall be granted to foreigners who: 

  1. a) Intend to conduct scientific research, 
  2. b) Possess immovable property in Turkey, 
  3. c) Intend to set up commercial connections or establish a business, 

ç) Intend to participate in in-service training programs, 

  1. d) Intend to come to Turkey for education or similar purposes under the scope of agreements that the Republic of Turkey is a party to or in the framework of student exchange programs, 
  2. e) Intend to stay for touristic reasons, 
  3. f) Will receive medical treatment on condition that they do not carry an illness considered to be a risk to public health, 
  4. g) Are required to stay in Turkey at the request or decision of judicial or administrative authorities, 

ğ) Are changing their residence permit from a family residence permit to a shortterm residence permit, 

  1. h) Intend to participate in Turkish language courses, 

ı) Who intend to participate in study, research, internship or courses in Turkey through the mediation of public institutions, 

  1. i) Who apply within six months as of graduation date, among foreigners who have completed their higher education in Turkey. 

What is a Family Residence Permit?

Family Residence Permit is regulated in Articles 34 and 37 of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, and it is a type of short-term residence permit granted to foreign national family members for the purpose of preserving family unity. It is granted to foreign nationals who have family status. It is issued based on the person mentioned in the law as a ‘supporting’ person.”. According to Article 34 of the Law:

A family residence permit for a maximum duration of three years at a time may be granted to the:

  1. a) foreign spouse; 
  2. b) foreign children or foreign minor children of their spouse; 
  3. c) dependent foreign children or dependent foreign children of their spouse; 

of Turkish citizens, persons within the scope of Article 28 of Law № 5901 or, foreigners holding one of the residence permits as well as refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries. However, the duration of the family residence permit cannot exceed the duration of the sponsor’s residence permit under any circumstances whatsoever.

As observed, the law provides several options for the family residence permit. Individuals who possess the characteristics mentioned above will be eligible to apply for a family residence permit.

What is a Student Residence Permit?

Foreign nationals wishing to reside in Turkey for the purpose of pursuing education are required to apply for a student residence permit as their preferred residence permit type. Foreign individuals planning to study at universities in Turkey or at language learning centers associated with these universities must apply for a residence permit within a maximum period of 1 month after their entry into Turkey. In accordance with Articles 38 and 41 of Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection, residence permits will be granted to individuals meeting the following criteria. According to Article 37 of the Law:

  1. A student residence permit shall be granted to foreigners who shall attend an associate, undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate programme in a higher education institution in Turkey. 
  2. To foreigners who shall receive primary and secondary education and whose care   and expenses shall be covered by a natural or legal person, subject to the consent of their parents or legal guardian a one year student residence permit shall be granted and renewed throughout the course of their study. 
  3. The student residence permit shall not entitle the parents as well as more distant family members of the foreigner the right of obtaining residence permit. 
  4. In cases where the period of study is less than one year, the duration of the residence permit shall not exceed the period of study.
  5.   (Annex: 28/7/2016-6735/27 article) To foreigners who shall receive an education in Turkey by coming via state institutions and organizations, a residence permit may be granted during their study period

What is a Long-Term Residence Permit?

Foreigners who wish to have an indefinite residence permit in Turkey can obtain a “Long Term Residence Permit” if they meet the conditions specified in the Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection. Long-term residence permits are issued by governorships with the approval of the Ministry of Interior. Foreigners who wish to obtain a long-term residence permit in Turkey must have stayed in the country with a residence permit for at least eight years without interruption. According to the 47 of the Law:

  1. A long-term residence permit shall be issued by the governorates, upon approval of the Ministry, to foreigners that have continuously resided in Turkey for at least eight years on a permit or, foreigners that meet the conditions set out by the Migration Policies Board. 
  2. Refugees, conditional refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries as well as persons under temporary protection or humanitarian residence permit holders are not entitled to the right of transfer to a long-term residence permit.


What is a Humanitarian Residence Permit?

A humanitarian residence permit in Turkey is a type of residence permit that foreigners apply for due to specific human rights reasons or the need for international protection. This permit is regulated within the framework of Turkey’s ‘Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection.’ A humanitarian residence permit is granted to foreigners who are forced to flee their countries due to reasons such as extreme violence, war, persecution, torture, and who are in need of international protection. This provides these individuals with a temporary or permanent right of residence in Turkey. The humanitarian residence permit is one of the two types of residence permits that are issued ex officio by the administration, unlike other residence permits that are issued upon request. The other type is the residence permit for victims of human trafficking. The impact of developments in the field of human rights and Turkey’s protective approach towards foreigners who are forced to leave their countries for humanitarian reasons is significant in the issuance of these permit types. On Article 46 of the Law, detailed information is given who can apply this type of residence permit. One of the most noteworthy aspects of this article is that the majority of the phrases are abstract. This is why, when applying, you must provide concrete details regarding your reason for the residence permit. 

What is a  Residence Permit for Victims of Human Trafficking? 

The residence permit for victims of human trafficking is defined as a thirty-day residence permit granted by governorates to foreigners who are strongly suspected of being victims of human trafficking, regardless of the conditions for granting other residence permits. This permit aims to enable them to recover from the effects of their experiences and to determine whether they will cooperate with authorities. According to the Article 47 of the Law:

(1) A residence permit valid for thirty days shall be granted, by the governorates, to foreigners who are victims of human trafficking or where there is strong circumstantial evidence that they might be victims with a view to allow them to break from the impact of their [negative] experience and reflect on whether to cooperate with the competent authorities.  (2) Conditions attached to other types of residence permits shall not be sought while issuing these residence permits. 

Why Should You Consult with a Lawyer During the Residence Permit Application?

Legal Expertise: Immigration laws and regulations can be complex and subject to change. A lawyer who specializes in immigration law will have a deep understanding of the legal requirements, procedures, and potential challenges associated with obtaining a residence permit.

Customized Guidance: A lawyer can assess your individual situation and provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances. They can help you understand the most suitable type of residence permit for your needs, ensuring you meet all the necessary criteria.

Documentation: Lawyers can assist in gathering and preparing the required documentation, ensuring that all necessary forms are correctly filled out and supporting documents are provided. This reduces the chances of errors or omissions that could lead to application delays or denials.

Application Process: Navigating the application process can be time-consuming and confusing, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the local procedures. A lawyer can guide you through the entire process, helping you complete forms, submit documents, and adhere to deadlines.

Legal Compliance: Lawyers ensure that your application is in compliance with the latest laws and regulations. This reduces the risk of mistakes that could result in a rejected application or future legal issues.

Appeals and Troubleshooting: If your application is denied, a lawyer can assist with the appeal process, increasing your chances of overturning the decision. They can also help if you encounter any issues during your stay, such as renewals or changes in your circumstances.

Language Barrier: If you’re not fluent in the local language, a lawyer can act as a translator and ensure that you fully understand the legal aspects of your application.

Changing Regulations: Immigration laws can change frequently. A lawyer stays updated on any changes that might impact your application, ensuring you’re well-informed throughout the process.

In summary, consulting with a lawyer can provide you with peace of mind, minimize potential pitfalls, and increase your chances of a successful residence permit application. It’s a proactive step to navigate the legal complexities involved in obtaining a residence permit in a foreign country.

Who We Are 

Çarşanbalı Law, along with its experienced team in the field of Foreigners Law, actively contributes to the resolution of many disputes. For detailed information about residence permit applications and legal consultancy services, you can get in touch with us.

Contact Us

Consultation services are provided at a fee, and you may secure a consultation appointment by reaching out to us at the phone number +90 0216 706 5285 or through the following email address: carsanbalihukukburosu@gmail.com





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