According to the Foreigners and International Protection Law (FIPL) no. 6458, residence permit refers to the certificate of permission issued to grant stay in Turkey. This permit issued by competent authorities grants the foreigner the right to live in our country for a certain period of time and in a certain location. The residence permit, which is important for the provision and protection of public order, is issued in the event the foreigner requests, applies with the required documents, and meets the conditions of the residence permit type for which they apply.
Six types of residence permits are regulated in the Foreigners and International Protection Law no. 6458, article 30.
RESIDENCE PERMIT TYPES:
- Short-Term Residence Permit
- Family Residence Permit
- Student Residence Permit
- Long-Term Residence Permit
- Humanitarian Residence Permit
- Residence Permit for Victims of Human Trafficking
1. SHORT-TERM RESIDENCE PERMIT
Issued under the Foreigners and International Protection Law and Regulation. It is a type of residence that is requested once the visa or visa exemption term has expired and allows short-term stay in Turkey.
Which Foreigners are Eligible to Apply for Short-Term Residence Permit?
1- Foreigners who will be staying for tourism purposes;
The declaration of foreigners requesting residence permit for this purpose is evaluated in accordance with their travel plans (i.e. when and where they will be staying in the country and duration of stay). In the case it is deemed necessary by the Administration, additional information or documents may be required to be submitted with respect to these issues.
2- Foreigners who will establish commercial connections or a business;
In the event that foreigners, who will establish a commercial connection or business, request a residence permit for more than three months, the foreigner may be
requested to prove their status with a letter of invitation from other people or companies or similar documents.
3- Foreigners who have immovable property in Turkey;
In the event that foreigners, who have immovable property in Turkey, request a residence permit, the immovable is required to be a residential property and used for this purpose. Additionally, in the event that family members have shared or joint ownership over the residential property, within this scope, family members are also eligible to apply for a residence permit.
4-Foreigners who will attend Turkish learning courses;
Foreigners enrolled in institutions authorized to give Turkish courses (must be licensed by the Ministry of National Education) are eligible to appy. The residence permit issued for this purpose can be granted on a maximum of two accounts.
If the course duration is less than one year, the duration of the residence permit cannot exceed the course period. The institution giving the course is obliged to inform the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management about the course start and continuation status of the foreigner who enrolls with them to learn Turkish.
5- Foreigners who will come for scientific research;
Foreigners requesting a residence permit for this purpose are required to obtain a permit from relevant institutions or organizations (Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Energy, universities, etc.) if the scientific research is additionally subject to the permission of an institution; in the case they are not subject to permission, they are requested to submit a statement regarding the research topic. However, foreigners who come to Turkey for academic studies should not apply for a “residence permit for scientific research purposes” but for a student residence permit or a work permit to be obtained from the university.
6- Foreigners who will participate in the in-service training program;
Residence permits granted for this purpose are issued for the duration of the program based on information and documents regarding the content, duration and location of the training supplied by the institution or organization that will be giving the in-service training.
7- Foreigners who are to come for educational purposes or other similar purposes within the framework of agreements to which the Republic of Turkey is a party or student exchange programs;
Foreigners who request residence permit for this purpose are required to submit the information and document to be obtained from the relevant institution.
The residence permit cannot exceed the duration of the training or similar purpose.
8- Foreigners who will receive treatment on condition that they do not carry one of the diseases considered as a threat to public health;
Foreigners who come to Turkey for this purpose are required to be admitted to public or private hospitals. Health insurance is not required for those who document that they have paid all treatment costs. Residence permits are issued in accordance with the treatment duration.
Where necessary, information or documents may be requested from the relevant hospital or public institution and organization in relation to the foreigner’s treatment .
The residence permit procedures for foreigners, who come to Turkey for treatment purposes within the scope of existing Health Cooperation Agreements (if there is no additional provision in the agreement regarding companions), are carried out in accordance with the general provisions.
9- Foreigners who are required to remain in Turkey based on the demand or the decision of judicial or administrative authorities;
The duration of the residence permit to be issued for this purpose is issued by taking into account the time period specified in the decision or demand.
10- Foreigners who will be participating in education, research, internships and courses in Turkey via public education institutions;
The duration of the residence permit issued for this purpose cannot exceed one year. Foreigners whose accommodation-, food- or health-related expenses are covered by public institutions are not required to have a valid health insurance upon proof of financial means. Additional information and documents may be requested from institutions.
11- Foreigners from among those who have completed their higher education in Turkey who apply within six months after their date of graduation;
Foreigners who request a residence permit for this purpose may be granted a residence permit one time only for a maximum period of one year, provided that they apply within six months after their date of graduation.
12- Those who do not work in Turkey but are going to make an investment within the scope and amount to be stipulated by the Council of Ministers, and their foreign spouses as well as their and their spouse’s minor or dependent foreign child;
Foreigners who request a residence permit for this purpose may be issued a residence permit for a maximum period of five years.
This change in Law no. 6458 with International Labor Force Law no. 6735, aims to encourage qualified foreigners who will contribute to the country’s economy and to provide ease to foreigners with respect to their residence permit procedures.
13- Foreigners who are Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus citizens;
Foreigners who request a residence permit for this purpose may be issued a residence permit for a maximum period of five years.
Short-Term Residence Permit General Conditions
Foreigners are required to meet the below conditions before a short-term residence permit can be issued:
- Submit supportive information and documents relevant to the purpose of stay in Turkey,
- Not be included within the scope of foreigners who are forbidden to enter Turkey as per article 7 of the Law,
- Posses accommodation conditions that comply with general health and safety standards,
- Upon request, submit the document showing their criminal record issued by the competent authorities in the country of their citizenship or their country of legal residence,
- Provide details of the real address where they will be staying in Turkey.
What are the reasons for the Rejection, Cancellation or Non-Extension of Short-Term Residence Permit?
- The failure to meet one or few of the conditions required for the short-term residence permit, or their elimination,
- Detection that the residence permit is used for purposes other than that which it was granted,
- Having a valid deportation or entry ban decision against them,
- Violation in terms of overstaying abroad.
In such cases, short-term residence permits are not granted; if they have been granted, they are canceled, and expired permits are not extended.
2. FAMILY RESIDENCE PERMIT
Family members of the applicant in the Foreigners and International Protection Law; regulated as the spouse, the couple’s minor children, and couples’ dependent children. Family residence permit can be granted to Turkish citizens’ and foreigners’ foreigner spouse, their dependent foreigner child.
Which Foreigners are Eligible to Apply for Family Residence Permit?
Turkish citizens, those who fall within the scope of article 28 of Law no. 5901, or foreigners who hold one of the residence permit types, as well as refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries;
Family residence permit can be issued for
a) Their foreigner spouse,
b) Their own or their spouse’s minor foreigner child,
c) Their own or their spouse’s dependent foreigner child.
In the case the foreigner who requests a family residence permit has more than one spouse, the family residence permit can be issued for one of the spouses only. However, the sponsor can provide the family residence permit for all of the sponsor’s children.
Foreigners with a family residence permit can request short-term residence permits in the following circumstances:
- In the case of divorce, if they remained in the country with the family residence permit for at least three years through their marriage to a Turkish citizen (however, foreigners who have proven by a court decision that they have been a victim of domestic violence are not required to fulfill the minimum three-year family residence permit condition.)
- In the case the sponsor dies, if the family remains in our country with a family residence permit dependent on the sponsor,
- In the case those who have stayed in our country with a family residence permit for at least three years reach the age of eighteen.
For What Duration of Years Can Family Residence Permit Be Issued?
- The family residence permit can be issued for up to three years each time.
- The duration of the family residence permit can in no way exceed the duration of the sponsor’s residence permit.
What are the Conditions of Family Residence Permit?
Foreigners must meet the conditions in article 35 of the Law before the family residence permit can be issued.
- Valid health insurance covering all family members,
- Having a monthly income of no less than one-third of the minimum wage per family member,
- Documenting with a criminal record that he/she has not committed a crime against the family order within the last five years,
- At least one year of residence in Turkey and being registered in the address registration system.
- Supplying supportive information and documents regarding their purpose of stay in our country,
- Proving that they live together with the sponsor or intend to do so,
- Spouses must be no younger than eighteen years of age,
- Not falling within the scope of foreigners not allowed entry to Turkey
- The marriage was not realized for the purpose of obtaining a family residence permit)
What are the reasons for the Rejection, Cancellation or Non-Extension of Family Residence Permit?
- The failure to meet the conditions required for the family residence permit, or their elimination,
- Detection that the family permit is used for purposes other than that which it was granted,
- A valid deportation or entry ban decision against the applicant.
In such cases, family residence permits are not granted; if they have been granted, they are canceled, and expired permits are not extended.
3. STUDENT RESIDENCE PERMIT
Foreigners and International Protection Law has regulated the residence procedure of foreign students according to general residence types so as to facilitate the applicant. Foreigners who are going to study an associate degree, undergraduate, masters or a Ph.D. at a higher education institute in Turkey, and foreigners who are going to receive primary and secondary education with their expenses met by real or legal entities can undertake studies by obtaining a ‘student residence permit’.
Which Foreigners are Eligible for Student Residence Permit?
- Foreigners without a family residence permit who will be undertaking primary and secondary education,
- Foreigners who will be undertaking associate, undergraduate, graduate, doctorate, Specialization Training in Medicine (TUS), Specialization Training in Dentistry (DUS) levels of study at a higher education institution in our country.
The student residence permit gives the student the right to be sponsor solely in their spouse and children’s family residence permit applications. It does not provide any right to their other relatives with respect to obtaining a residence permit.
For What Duration of Years Can Student Residence Permit Be Issued?
If the foreign student’s education period is less than one year, the student residence permit cannot exceed the education period.
Foreigners who will be coming through public institutions and organizations to study in Turkey may be granted a residence permit for the duration of the study period.
Foreigners who will be undertaking primary and secondary education, with their expenses met by real or legal entities, may be granted a student residence permit for up to one year, which can also be extended for the same time period, during their studies upon the consent of their parents or legal representatives.
What are the Conditions for Student Residence Permit?
Foreigners must meet the conditions in article 39 of the Law before the student residence permit can be issued.
- Submit supportive information and documents relevant to the purpose of stay in Turkey (Article 38 of the Law),
- Not falling within the scope of foreigners not allowed entry to Turkey
- Provide details of the real address where they will be staying in Turkey,
Health Insurance on Student Residence Permit
According to the provisions of the Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law, additional social insurance is not requested from foreign students who request general health insurance within three months from their first enrollment date.
Students’ Right to Work
Associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students undertaking formal education in Turkey may work on condition that they obtain a work permit. However, for associate and undergraduate students, the right to work begins after the first year. Work permit applications are made to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
What are the reasons for the Rejection, Cancellation or Non-Extension of Student Residence Permit?
- Failure or elimination of the conditions required for student residence permit,
- Evidence that they cannot continue their studies,
- Determining that student residence permit is used for purposes other than that which it was granted,
Having a valid deportation or entry ban to Turkey against them.
In such cases, student residence permits are not granted; if they have been granted, they are canceled, and expired permits are not extended.
4. LONG-TERM RESIDENCE PERMIT
Articles 42 and 45 of the Foreigners and International Protection Law regulate a long-term residence permit that entitles foreigners, who have been living in Turkey for long years, to rights similar to citizenship.
Which Foreigners are Eligible to Apply for Long-Term Residence Permit?
- Foreigners who have remained incessantly in Turkey for at least eight years on a residence permit or who meet the conditions stipulated by the Migration Policy Board,
- Refugees, conditional refugees and subsidiary protection holders, as well as those with humanitarian residence permits, those who are granted temporary protection, and those who are granted a work permit exemption are not entitled to transfer to the long-term residence permit.
For What Duration of Years Can the Long-Term Residence Permit Be Issued?
Long-term residence permits are issued indefinitely.
What are the Conditions for Long-Term Residence Permit?
- Living continuously in Turkey for at least eight years on the residence permit (In calculating the continuous eight years, half of the student residence permit duration specified in article 38 of the Law, and the total duration of all other residence permits are counted),
- Not having received social assistance in the last three years,
- Having sufficient and regular income to provide for their own livelihood or, if any, their family’s livelihood,
- To have valid health insurance,
- Not posing a threat in terms of public order or public security (except foreigners who are deemed eligible by the Migration Policy Board)
Rights provided by the long-term residence permit;
Foreigners holding a long-term residence permit;
- Are exempt from the compulsory military service.
- They are not entitled to the right to elect and be elected, to enter civil services and to import tax-exempt vehicles.
- Their rights to social security are reserved and can use it in accordance with the provisions of the relevant law.
- They are subject to legislation similar to Turkish citizens with respect to matters such as living, traveling, working, investment, commercial activities, inheritance, property acquisition and transfer in Turkey.
- They are eligible to apply for an indefinite work permit.
What are the reasons for the Rejection, Cancellation or Non-Extension of Long-Term Residence Permit?
- In cases which the foreigner poses a serious threat in terms of public order or public security,
- Remains outside of Turkey continuously for more than one year for reasons other than health, education and obligatory public service in their own country,
their long-term residence permit shall be canceled.
In the event their long-term residence permit is canceled on the grounds that they remained abroad continuously for more than one year, they may re-apply for the long-term residence permit within 10 days from the notification of the cancellation decision.
In cases of re-application, with the continuous eight-year residence permit, they are not required to remain in Turkey; applications are prioritized and finalized within one month at the latest.
5. HUMANITARIAN RESIDENCE PERMIT
The Foreigners and International Protection Law has regulated the humanitarian residence as a type of residence that aims to protect human life and dignity at the discretion of the administration in cases which the foreigner is not entitled to obtain the other residence permits.
Which Foreigners are Eligible to Apply for Humanitarian Residence Permit?
- Children observed to have high benefit,
- Foreigners who cannot be made to leave Turkey or whose departure from Turkey is deemed unreasonable or impossible even though there is a deportation decision or entry ban to Turkey against them,
- Foreigners against whom a deportation decision cannot be taken,
- Those who resort to judicial remedy against the deportation order,
- Those whose international protection applications are not accepted,
- Those whose international protection application is withdrawn or considered to have been withdrawn,
- International protection applicants for the duration of their process of reinstatement for the first asylum country or safe third country,
- Those who are required to be granted permit in terms of country interests,
- Those who are required to be granted permit in extraordinary situations at the discretion of the administration
For What Duration of Years Can Humanitarian Residence Permit Be Issued?
The humanitarian residence permit is granted and may be extended by governorships with the Ministry’s approval and on condition that the duration does not exceed one year.
What are the Conditions for Humanitarian Residence Permit?
The conditions required for the other residence permits are not sought for humanitarian residence permits.
What are the reasons for the Rejection, Cancellation or Non-Extension of Humanitarian Residence Permit?
On condition that it is approved by the Ministry, the humanitarian residence permit shall be cancelled and not extended by governorships in cases the conditions that entail the permit be granted are eliminated.
6. RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
The Foreigners and International Protection Law has regulated this residence permit type by evaluating the circumstances of foreigners who are victims of the human trafficking crime or are suspected of being victims of this crime.
Which Foreigners are Eligible to Apply for Residence Permit for Victims of Human Trafficking?
Foreigners who have a strong suspicion that they are or may become victims of human trafficking are issued a residence permit for victims of human trafficking.
What is the Duration of Residence Permit for Victims of Human Trafficking?
Residence permit for victims of human trafficking is issued by governorships for a maximum of 1 year with the approval of the Ministry of Interior. The residence permits for victims of human trafficking may be extended for a maximum of six months, however, the total of these periods shall not exceed three years.
What are the Conditions of Residence Permit for Victims of Human Trafficking?
The conditions required for the other residence permits are not sought for residence permits for victims of human trafficking.
What are the reasons for the Rejection, Cancellation or Non-Extension of Residence Permit for Victims of Human Trafficking?
• In cases it is determined that the foreigner has re-established ties with the perpetrators of the crime through their own initiative,
• The foreigner fails to comply with the obligations imposed,
• It is discovered that the foreigner is not a victim,
the residence permit for victims of human trafficking shall be canceled. However, the residence permit shall not be canceled upon determination that the listed circumstances happened outside their will, due to reasons such as coercion, intimidation, violence, threat.