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Expat Exchange - Guide to Residency in Turkey
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Istanbul, Turkey


Guide to Residency in Turkey

By Betsy Burlingame

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: Looking for guidance on obtaining residency in Turkey? Discover the steps involved and read advice from expats, nomads, and others already in Turkey.

Obtaining a residency visa in Turkey is not always easy, but our Guide to Residency in Turkey gives newcomers an overview of the steps involved and advice from others who have already navigated the process.

  • Gather the necessary documents for residency application:
    • Valid passport
    • Proof of address in Turkey
    • Proof of financial means
    • Proof of health insurance
    • Proof of criminal record
  • Apply for a Tax Number:
    • Visit the local Tax Office
    • Fill out the application form
    • Provide the necessary documents
    • Pay the application fee
  • Submit the residency application:
    • Visit the local Immigration Office
    • Fill out the application form
    • Provide the necessary documents
    • Pay the application fee
  • Wait for the application to be processed
  • Receive the residency permit

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What tips do expats have about residency and visas in Turkey?

"To live in Turkey it is best to obtain a residence permit. These are quite easy to obtain from an Emniyet office that are in all main towns and cities. You did have to obtain your first residence permit from the Turkish Embassy outside of Turkey, this however, may have now changed. The cost of a residence permit varies depending on which countries passport you hold. It is best to go online to check on the latest information. Before you can obtain a residence permit you need to have either a rental agreement, or a Tapu (house deed title). Your first residence permit will be for three months, with your next for either six months or one year. The longest you can obtain is for five years. Under a new proposed law, if you have had a residence permit for eight unbroken years, you will be given a permanent visa. At present a discussion is going on about compulsory health insurance. this is very important as if you are over 65 yrs old, it is virtually impossible to obtain your own health insurance policy. The government has what is called SGK, which an expat could join. However, at present this situation is unclear. The British government is now in talks with the Turkish government to sort this situation out," said one expat living in Antalya.

"If you plan to stay in Turkey for an extended period of time, you will need to obtain a residence permit. Depending on the length of your stay, you may need to apply for a short-term residence permit or a long-term residence permit. You may also need to apply for a visa, depending on your nationality," wrote a member in Turkey.

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"In order to visit Turkey, foreign nationals must obtain a visa prior to their arrival. The process of applying for a visa involves submitting an application form, a valid passport, and a passport-sized photograph to the Turkish Embassy or Consulate in the applicant's home country. Depending on the purpose of the visit, additional documents may be required. In order to obtain residency in Turkey, foreign nationals must apply for a residence permit. The process of applying for a residence permit involves submitting an application form, a valid passport, a passport-sized photograph, proof of financial means, and proof of health insurance to the local immigration office. Depending on the purpose of the residency, additional documents may be required," commented one member living in Turkey.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Istanbul, Turkey

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SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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