TURKISH RESIDENCE PERMIT (UPDATED 2024)
What is Turkish Residence Permit? (also known as TRP, TRC, Turkish Residence Card, Turkish Touristic Permit or Turkish Red Card)
Turkish residence permit allows foreign nationals to stay in Turkey after their visa (or the period of their visa-free stay) expires. With Turkish residence permit, foreign nationals may reside in Turkey, travel around Turkey, freely exit and enter Turkey.
Those who do not need a visa to enter Turkey still need Turkish residence permit to stay in Turkey after their visa-free period, which is usually 3 months, expires.
How to Get Turkish Residence Permit?
There are several types of residence permit, depending on the legal grounds to apply. Here are the 2 most common types of Turkish residence permits:
a) Touristic Residence Permit in Turkey
Turkish Touristic residence permit means the foreign national is not in Turkey for work, investment, study or any other similar purpose but only for leisure. In touristic residence permits applications, the applicant must prove an address of residence by either rental contract on a residential property, a pre-paid hotel reservation or a notarized permission to stay with a close relative.
b) Residence Permit Based on Real Estate in Turkey
Foreign nationals may apply for residence permit by investing into a residential real estate in Turkey. As of December 2023, the minimum investment amount for residence permit is 200,000 USD. To qualify for this permit, all 3 of the following figures must be equal to or greater than 200,000 USD:
a) Amount of sale price paid by the buyer to the seller by bank
b) The property’s value assessed by the certified surveyor
c) The sale amount that is declared by the seller to the title deed office
How to Apply for Turkish Residence Permit?
Residence permit applications are made online on the official website of the immigration office.
Upon the completion of the online application, the applicant is notified of an online in-person appointment in the local immigration office. On the date of the appointment, the applicant is required to present the documents to the immigration office in person.
What are the Documents Needed for Turkish Residence Permit?
For the main applicant, the required documents include but are not limited to:
- 4 Biometric photos
- Potential tax ID
- Photocopies of the pages of the passport that bear Turkey stamps and visas
- Receipt of payment for residence permit taxes and duties
- Bank statements and proof of income
- Either a) Notarized lease agreement for the residential property along with the owner’s ID and copy of the title deed, b) Prepaid hotel reservations, c) Title deed of the residential property that the applicant has bought and paid for
- Health insurance for the duration of the residence permit
- Power of Attorney, if any
How to Avoid Rejection for Turkish Residence Permit
In 2023 and 2024, touristic residence permits were denied by the Turkish government in many instances due to the increasing restrictions on granting residence permit to foreign nationals.
To increase the chances of getting granted residence permit, applicants may:
- Provide proof of income abroad
- Declare sufficient funds in a Turkish bank as a means of living in Turkey without needing to work
- Submit pre-paid hotel reservation and a valid reason to extend their stay in Turkey after their visa or visa-free period expires as proof that the applicant intends to stay in Turkey only temporarily
Can you Live in Any City in Turkey Based on Turkish Residence Permit?
Residence permit allows the holder to reside within the boundaries of the city where it was issued. To move to a different city, the permit holder needs to apply for a new permit.
Furthermore, residence permit holders need to notify the immigration office of any changes in their addresses. This is not an application for a new permit but still a required formality.
Can You Work in Turkey Based on Turkish Residence Permit?
Residence permit does not allow foreign nationals to legally work in Turkey. To be legally employed in Turkey, foreign nationals need Turkish work permit (also known as Turkish blue card). Once a Turkish work permit is obtained, a residence permit is neither required nor valid. In other words, Turkish work permit includes the legal right to reside in Turkey, as well as the right to work in Turkey.
Why Should I hire a Turkish Immigration Lawyer for Turkish Residence Permit?
a) Residence Permit Applications are not always accepted
Turkish touristic residence permit is not a right by law but a permission granted by the government. All touristic residence permit applications are subject to the standards and the final approval of the government. The government may reject applications, halt them for further examinations or change the criteria for applications altogether. In fact, in Turkey the rules of application for touristic residence permit often changes without an advance warning, although these changes do not affect those who already have valid residence permits. In order to have the best chance of acceptance, residence permit applications should be made and pursued diligently by a Turkish immigration attorney who is qualified, experienced and knows the latest regulations that may affect your application.
b) Only Turkish Lawyers May Represent You in Immigration Offices
Furthermore, only Turkish lawyers are authorized to represent foreign nationals in immigration office. Those who are not licensed Turkish lawyers cannot represent you or accompany you in the immigration office, even if you provided them with a power of attorney. “Residence permit consultants” or “ immigration experts” who offer services for residence permit can only help you put together the paperwork and fill out the application forms; they may not even enter the immigration office with you. This is why it is essential to hire a Turkish immigration lawyer for representation before the immigration authorities.