Getting a Turkish residence permit has always been a pain in the neck. In April 2014, a new law regulating work and residence permit processes came into force. This new law brought widespread changes in rules and procedures. Consequently, obtaining a Turkish residence permit is now even more difficult. To help you get through all the new information we decided to publish an article on it. However, the information in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. We Love istanbul does not accept any liability for actions you take or fail to take based on this advice.
HOW TO GET INTO TURKEY with a TOURIST VISA
In the past, you could always purchase a tourist visa at the airport upon your arrival in Turkey. Since the law has been changed, tourists are now required to obtain an electronic visa before flying to Turkey. The process is very easy. You should visit the following website (https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/) to apply, pay for and then download the visa. A tourist visa is good for 90 days. In the past, it was possible to go to another country and come back into Turkey with a new tourist visa but now that's not the case. What if you stay more than 90 days with your tourist visa? It's not recommended. You'll be fined upon leaving the country and will be subject to a travel ban preventing you from re-entering Turkey for a period between three months and five years depending on how long you overstay. If you leave Turkey while your tourist visa is still valid, the 90 days countdown will stop and will be activated again when you re-enter Turkey.
HOW TO STAY IN TURKEY with a RESIDENCE PERMIT
First of all, it is recommended that having a single entry student visa before your arrival. You should go to a Turkish Consulate in your country and have it by paying 60 Euros to not to pay 355 TL (~135 Euros) while getting your permit in Turkey. But if you are planning to leave country during your education for holidays and your appointment is later than your travel your single entry will be cancelled and in this case you will pay this 355 TL.
If you are planning to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days, you must get a Turkish residence permit. In order to get it, you should contact the Foreigners Police Office in your area. The first important thing you should know when you apply for a residence permit (“ikamet” in Turkish) is that there are different procedures depending on your citizenship. The second important thing you should know is that residence permits are usually valid for one year, depending on the amount of money you can show proof of (usually with a bank slip). Lastly, there is often someone who speaks English at the police office. However, this is not guaranteed. Your best course of action would be to take a Turkish speaker along with you to avoid any issues due to the language barrier. This just might save the day…
The information for how to get a Turkish residence permit listed below is for citizens from EU countries (European Union) and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) members which are Australia, Belgium, Canada, cyprus (Southern cyprus), Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia.
Step One: Make an Appointment
To get these appointments can be very difficult because they are usually booked out for months. For this reason you should better book one as early as possible. It may happen that the first available date you can get is after your 90 days tourist visa expires. In that case you don't need to panic. You're permitted to stay in the country as long as you're in the process of obtaining a Turkish residence permit.
To make an appointment, you should visit the “e-randevu” website of the istanbul Police Department. Choose English as your language and after clicking “New Appointment” option fill in the required information and select “First Application” from the drop-down menu under the heading “Purpose of Your Request for a Residence Permit”. Every detail you enter to system HAS TO be same with your passport. If you have a middle name written in your passport, you should put it also. System only accepts Turkish and English letters if you have a special character in your name like “Ž“ , “é” , “Ѐ” etc. don't use them in your form. (Exp. Žostautaitė should be written Zostautaie)
You will then be presented with a drop-down menu to select the “Unit Location”. Previously, all first applications used to go through the Foreigner's Department at the central police station in Fatih. (It's listed as “YABANCILAR ŞUBE MÜDÜRLÜĞÜ (VATAN). Since the new law came into force in April 2014, it's possible to apply at the Foreigner's Department of your local police station. You can prefer to go to the central police station in Fatih in order to be on the safe side. By the way, all renewals and applications for change of address will take place at your local police station.
Then you should choose your reason for application to get to appointment selection part. After arranging your appointment time site will show you the list of items you should bring with you to appointment. You can see them explained in details at step two part.
Finally, you must print a colour copy of this form. If you have no chance to print it immediately, write down the reference number because in that way you can go back later to the e-randevu website and get access to your form.
We also recommend to take picture or screenshot of your reference number. In case you lost your paper or have to make some changes you may need it.