There are numerous foreigners interested in acquiring "Short-Term Residence Permit in Turkey" because of financial, economic and humanitarian crises. This article mainly focuses on legal requirements, duration, refusal, non-renewal or cancellation of short-term residence permits in Turkey. The acquisition of Turkish citizenship does not fall within the scope of this paper.
For a detailed analysis regarding the issue concerned, see our article on "Turkish Citizenship Through Property Purchase".
For our work and all legal services on the matter of citizenship, please click our "Practice Areas", titled "Citizenship".
2. What is the meaning of residence permit?
"Residence permit" refers to 'an official document that allows you to live in a country that you were not born in'.1 The term "residence permit" does not imply permanent residence. It contains a "temporary residence permit", granted to a foreigner for a specified period of time. Thus, residence permits need to be renewed regularly.
3. What are the main principles of the Turkish legal framework on residence permit?
At the outset, it is remarkable to state that the Law on Foreigners and International Protection Law (No:6458) is intended to provide 'the principles and procedures with regard to foreigners' entry into, stay in and exit from Turkey'. The said Law plays a central role in regulating main standards and types for residence permit.
The Law in question is available online here.
4. Which Types of Residence Permit Is Possible in Turkey?
Article 29 of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection Law (No:6458) regulates the following six types of residence permits:
- short-term residence permit,
- family residence permit,
- student residence permit,
- long-term residence permit,
- humanitarian residence permit,
- victim of human trafficking residence permit.
Since this paper will entirely deal with short-term residence permits, other types of residence permit go beyond the present text. This work will specifically concentrate on short-term residence permit in Turkey, as stressed above.
4.1. Which Types of Short-Term Residence PermitIs Possible in Turkey?
Pursuant to Article 31, short-term residence permit in Turkey may be given to the foreigner who:
- conducts scientific research,
- owns immovable property in Turkey,
- establishes business or commercial connections,
- participates in on-the-job training programmes,
- arrives to attend educational or similar programmes as part of student exchange programmes or agreements to which the Republic of Turkey is a party to,
- wishes to stay for tourism purposes,
- intends to receive medical treatment, provided that they do not have a disease posing a public health threat,
- is required to stay in Turkey pursuant to a request or a decision of judicial or administrative authorities,
- transfers from a family residence permit,
- attends a Turkish language course,
- attends an education programme, research, internship or, a course by way of a public agency,
- applies within six months upon graduation from a higher education programme in Turkey,
- does not work in Turkey but will make an investment within the scope and amount that shall be determined by the Council of Ministers (foreign investors and his/her spouses, minor children or foreign dependent children,
- is citizen of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
5. Is There Any Time Limit or Duration for a Short-Term Residence Permit in Turkey?
General principle about the time limit is a two-year period. Of course, there are also exceptions and following conditions. The duration in question is not the case for people who do not work but will make an investment in Turkey. Also for those who are citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Five year duration is given to them.
As for follow-up requirements, residence permits issued for people attending a language course shall only be issued twice.
Residence permits granted to those foreigners who apply within six months upon graduation from a higher education programme in Turkey shall only be issued once with a maximum one year duration.
6. What Are the Conditions for a Short-Term Residence Permit in Turkey?
The involved foreigner is required to fulfill the following conditions regulated in Article 32 of the Law in question:
- the submission of supporting documentation and information regarding the reason of stay in Turkey,
- not to fall within the scope of Article 7, designed for foreigners who shall be refused to enter into Turkey,
- to live in accommodation conditions that conform to general health and safety standards,
- upon request, the presentation of criminal record certificate issued by the competent national authorities in his/her country of citizenship or legal residence,
- the submission of information on their address of stay in Turkey.
7. What Are the Reasons for Refusal, Non-Renewal or Cancellation of Short-Term Residence Permit in Turkey?
Under the following situations, a short-term residence permit shall not be granted, shall be cancelled if has been issued, and shall not be renewed when,
- one or more of the conditions provided for in Article 32 are not met or no longer apply;
- it is established that the residence permit is used outside the purposes of those it is issued for;
- there is a current removal decision or an entry ban to Turkey in respect to the foreigner,
- upon violation regarding the period which is lived outside of Turkey.1
Having regard to the aforementioned observations, even the types and legal requirements of short-term residence permit is not simple; albeit very confusing. As observed above, a foreigner should be aware of his/her desire, interest and personal necessities about residence permit. But that is not enough. In order to avoid any unexpected challenges, every single step should be taken carefully. Therefore, a foreigner also needs high-quality and on-the-ground advice and support in all stages of his/her citizenship journey.
1 See e.g. for the description, official website of Cambridge Dictionary, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/tr/sözlük/ingilizce/residence-permit, accessed 9 April 2022.
Originally published 20 April 2022
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.