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How do I get a residence permit in Turkey?

Citizenship in Turkey

A residence permit in Turkey is required in order to stay legally in the country for a long period of time. With a tourist visa, you can stay in Turkey for a maximum of 60 days without travelling to your home country and a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period in total. If you plan to stay in Turkey longer to have a holiday or to look at the country for immigration purposes, you need to apply for a residence permit.

Ikamet - that's the name of this document, it enables:

  • treat in Turkish hospitals with insurance
  • get a local licence and buy a car
  • enrol your child in a public school

A residence permit in Turkey does not entitle you to work, you need a work visa or citizenship to work in Turkey

  • Ikamet – is a plastic card that is issued for a period of 6 months to 2 years.

Grounds for obtaining a residence permit:

  • Family Reunification
  • If your close relative is legally living in Turkey or has citizenship
  • Studying at a university
  • Student residence permit allows you to stay in the country for up to a year, then it can be extended until the end of your studies
  • Tourism
  • If you just go to stay in the country as a tourist for more than 3 months, you can also apply for a residence permit, but for this you need to rent an apartment
  • Business, investments, buying a home

When buying a property, it is important that the owner is registered in the Tapu (title deed).

The two most common types of residence permits:


This type of ikamet is issued on the basis of a lease agreement. The term of the residence permit will directly depend on the term of the contract. If the contract is signed for 6 months, then the residence permit will be issued for 6 months, if it is signed for a year, then the ikamet will be issued for a year.

Based on the purchase of real estate

When purchasing a residence permit property is also issued for a period of 6 months to two years. But on the basis of such a residence permit a foreigner, living in Turkey for five years, can apply for Turkish citizenship. Ikamet is issued to the owner or tenant, and on the basis of this document the whole family can obtain a residence permit.

Where can Ikamet be issued?

A residence permit can be applied for at the Ministry of the Interior at the General Directorate of Migration Affairs (İçişleri Bakanlığı Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü). The timeframe for obtaining an ikamet can vary from a week to several months.

What documents are needed for initial registration of ikamet?

  • Passport (a copy of the page with a photo and a page with a stamp on the date of entry into the country).
  • Application for residence permit (signed personally by the citizen or his/her legal representative).
  • 2 biometric photos + photo electronically on a white background
  • Turkish tax number
  • Address certificate, it can be obtained from the city administration
  • TAPU or notarised lease agreement, on the basis of which the residence permit will be issued
  • When submitting documents at the visa centre, you will be required to take out compulsory health insurance

If the residence permit is planned for the whole family, it is necessary to have documents confirming the kinship: marriage certificate, birth certificates of children, birth certificate of the owner - for parents.

Important! These documents must be apostilled.

Apostille is an international standardised form of filling in information about the legality of a document for presentation in the territory of countries that recognise this form of legalisation. Stamp «Apostille» is put on the originals and copies of documents.

After applying for an ikamet, the applicant can stay in Turkey legally without fear of violating the visa regime. You can leave the country only if your tourist period of stay has not expired yet. If the term is already over, it is better to wait until the ikamet comes. In urgent cases, it is necessary to obtain a certificate from the migration service that the documents for the ikamet have been submitted and the rendezvous has been completed, in order to return to the country without hindrance.

In February 2022, changes were made to the list of documents that will be required for the initial application for an ikamet. Foreigners must now have a certain amount of money in their account.

Changes have been made to the granting of a residence permit on the basis of a long-term lease:

  • Married couples will be asked for a marriage certificate with an apostille
  • Income certificate must also have an apostille. It can be absolutely any document confirming your income: bank card statement, tax returns, 2NDFL certificate. All necessary translations into Turkish should be done directly in Turkey
  • The first ikamet will be issued for 6 months only
  • The cost of insurance policies has been increased due to the growth of the exchange rate
  • On initial submission, you will need to deposit 40000 Turkish Liras per adult and 20000 into your account – per child

Important! It is not possible to deposit this money and withdraw it after submitting the documents. The Migration Service will monitor this. But you can use the money: pay in shops, withdraw it from ATMs.

After six months, you can apply for a residence permit for a year or two. There is no need to pay again, but it is important to have 6500 Turkish Liras per adult and 3250 Turkish Liras per adult in your account at the time of application – per child. These funds must be paid monthly for each adult and child. It can also be used to pay and spend during the month.

For those who are going to renew the ikamet: 6 months before the expiry of its validity it is also necessary to pay monthly 6500 Turkish Liras for an adult and 3250 – for a child.

These changes do not apply to those who obtain a residence permit as owners of Turkish property.

Mayalanya can provide all the necessary assistance in obtaining a residence permit in Turkey, we provide both counselling on this issue and help with the collection of all documents.Buy property in Turkey for residence permit.

Do you have any questions?

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    +90 507 261 37 78 +7 (901) 808 88 37 +380 443 370 883 info@mayalanya.com