A foreigner who wishes to stay in Turkey for a longer period than the visa or visa exemption grants him/her must obtain a residence permit. Again, foreigners who want to be in Turkey for more than 90 days must obtain a residence permit. Different types of residence permits are regulated in Turkish law according to the purpose of the foreigner’s arrival and stay in Turkey. The amount of legal periods granted to foreigners by these types of residence permits to stay in Turkey is different.
A short-term residence permit is a type of residence permit that is recognized for foreigners for a maximum of 2 years. It is the most preferred type of residence permit, especially by foreigners who will establish a business or invest in Turkey. You can access detailed explanations on how to obtain a short-term residence permit, the rights it provides and the issues that are curious about the application procedures from this bulletin.
1-) What Is A Short-Term Residence Permit And How Long Is It?
A short-term residence permit is a type of residence permit issued to foreigners with certain conditions for a period of no more than 2 years. In practice, it is also seen that it is given for 1 year. The determination of this period is made by the competent authority.
For foreigners who do not work in Turkey but invest within the scope and amounts determined by the Presidency, a short-term residence permit can be issued for a maximum of 5 years. The foreign spouse of the foreign investor, or minor or dependent foreign child of their own or their spouse can also benefit from this right. In addition, citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus can also be granted a short-term residence permit for a maximum of 5 years.
2-) Who Can Obtain A Short-Term Residence Permit?
A foreigner who wishes to stay in Turkey for a longer period than the visa or visa exemption must declare and document the reason for his/her stay in the country to obtain a short-term residence permit. Because the short-term residence permit application of a foreigner who wants to stay in Turkey only for one of the reasons listed below will be accepted.
2.1.) Foreigners who will establish or develop business or commercial relations in Turkey
It is possible for foreigners who want to evaluate their investments in Turkey, to document their purpose of stay in Turkey by requesting an invitation letter from the people with whom they will establish business or commercial contacts in Turkey or by submitting documents related to this business, in their application for a short-term residence permit. Especially if a residence permit for longer than 3 months is requested, such documents should be requested from the people in contact in Turkey and submitted to the competent authority in the application.
2.2.) Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey
For a foreigner who has real estate in Turkey to obtain a short-term residence permit, it is necessary that the type of real estate he/she owns must be a residence and be used as a residence. If more than one member has a common right to a residential property with a share or in cooperation, other family members who have a share can also apply for a short-term residence permit.
2.3.) Foreigners who are not in Turkey but invest in the scope and amount determined by the Presidency, their spouses, and minor children
In terms of short-term residence permits, foreign investors and their elementary family are subject to a special arrangement. The residence permit period to be granted to these persons is determined as 5 years at the most, not 2 years. Thanks to this regulation, which aims to encourage foreign investment, it is possible to obtain a short-term residence permit for up to 5 years for foreign investors who are not in Turkey personally, and their spouses, minor or dependent children of themselves or their spouses.
2.4.) Foreigners who must stay in Turkey for scientific research purposes
To obtain a short-term residence permit for a foreigner who wishes to stay in Turkey for scientific research, he/she must have obtained a visa for scientific research from the consulates (or embassies) in his/her home country before coming to Turkey. If the scientific research is not subject to any permission, it is necessary and sufficient to make a statement about the content and details of the research. But if it is necessary to obtain permission from official institutions in Turkey to conduct scientific research, first, a permit must be obtained from the relevant organizations. The authority from which the permit will be obtained will vary depending on scientific research. For instance, there are types of scientific research that require permission from the Ministry of Industry and Technology, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
2.5.) Foreigners who will participate in the in-service training program
A foreigner who will participate in in-service training in Turkey must obtain a short-term residence permit to legally remain in Turkey during the training period. Foreigners who apply for a short-term residence permit for the purpose of in-service training must submit to the competent authority the documents that show the subject, place, time, and duration of the training, issued by the institution or organization where they will receive training.
2.6.) Foreigners participating in student exchange programs within the framework of agreements to which Turkey is a party
The short-term residence permit to be obtained by foreigners who want to come and stay in Turkey within the scope of student exchange programs is given for a limited period of study and can only be used for this purpose. The foreign student must prove the reason for the student exchange program with the documents they receive from the relevant institution during the application.
2.7.) Patients who will receive treatment
Foreigners who must come to Turkey for the treatment of their disease and stay for a long time are also required to obtain a short-term residence permit. For this reason, foreigners who want to obtain a residence permit must submit admission documents from one of the public or private hospitals. At the same time, it is essential that these people do not have an infectious disease of the kind that can endanger public health and safety. Additional health insurance is not sought if it is proven by documents that all costs of treatment have been paid. General residence provisions apply to the companions of the foreign patient. Additional health insurance requirements are also not required for up to two people of foreigners who come as companions.
2.8) Foreigners who want to extend their stay for tourism purposes
Short-term residence permits are also given to foreigners who will visit our country for touristic purposes. It is required to document the travel plan for short-term residence permits to be issued for this reason. Application procedures can be carried out by submitting documents showing where and when the foreigner will be in the country and for how long.
2.9.) Foreigners who have lost their family residence permit because they can no longer meet the conditions of the family residence permit
If certain conditions exist, it is possible to convert the family residence permit into a short-term residence permit. People who have a family residence permit with the following conditions can apply for a short-term residence permit:
- Those who remain in Turkey with a family residence permit of at least 3 years and have just reached the age of 18,
- Foreigners who are married to a Turkish citizen and stay in Turkey for at least 3 years with a family residence permit (3-year substitution requirement is not required if there is a court decision that they are victims of domestic violence),
- After the death of the supporter, those who receive a family residence permit depending on the supporter (in this case, the term requirement is not required.)
2.10.)Foreigners who must remain in the country by decision of judicial and administrative authorities
For this reason, a short-term residence permit is granted to a foreigner, considering the period specified in the court’s decision or request.
2.11.) Foreigners who have completed their higher education in Turkey, who apply within six months from the date of graduation
Foreigners who have completed higher education in Turkey are granted a residence permit for a maximum of one year, limited to one time, if they apply within the first six months from the date of graduation.
2.12.) Foreigners enrolled in a language course to learn Turkish
A short-term residence permit can be granted to a foreigner who will be in Turkey to learn a language, upon his/her application to be made by registering with one of the institutions authorized to offer Turkish courses. If the duration of the course is less than 1 year, the residence permit cannot exceed the course period.
2.13.) Those who will participate in research, courses, internships or training in Turkey through public institutions
Residence permits issued in Turkey can be issued for a maximum of one year. If the expenses are to be covered by public institutions, the foreigner is not required to document his/her financial situation or health insurance.
2.14.) Foreigners who are Turkish citizens of Northern Cyprus
Citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are granted a 5-year short-term residence permit upon their application.
3-) What Are The Conditions Requested In The Law To Get A Short-Term Residence Permit?
According to the Article 32 of the Foreigners and International Protection Law, the foreigner who will obtain a short-term residence permit must meet certain conditions. First, the foreigner must certify that he/she is one of the persons who can obtain a short-term residence permit, which is listed in Article 31, and we have mentioned in the previous heading. In addition, the foreigner must meet the conditions of:
- Providing the necessary documents for applying for a residence permit (you can find out which of these documents are in the continuation of our article.)
- Having general health and safety requirements and being able to document them
- If necessary, submitting a judicial registration document organized by the competent authorities of the country of citizenship or residence
- Providing information and documents about the address to have resided in Turkey
- Not being one of the foreigners who will not be allowed to enter Turkey as specified in Article 7 of the Foreigners Law.
4-) How To Apply For A Short-Term Residence Permit?
Applications start online through the e-residence system and are carried out with the delivery of the necessary documents to the competent authority. You can request an appointment via the e-residence system. Applications to be made from Turkey are made to the Provincial Directorates of Migration Management; Applications to be made from abroad are made to the Turkish foreign representatives upon the delivery of the necessary documents on the appointment date.
Residence permit applications can be made by the foreigner him/herself or through an attorney (As Solmaz Law and Consultancy Office, we provide the legal services needed in this process to our foreign clients who want to obtain a residence permit).
During the application, the residence permit fee and the document fee must also be paid. Payments are made via virtual pos over the internet or under certain codes from tax offices, Treasury and Ministry of Finance or bank cash desks contracted with the Ministry. If the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management accepts the residence permit application, it sends a residence permit card to the foreigner to certify the residence permit.
5-) What Are The Necessary Information And Documents For Applying For A Short-Term Residence Permit?
- Residence permit application form
- Original and a copy of passport or substitute document
- 4 biometric photos
- Supporting information and documents related to the purpose of stay in Turkey
- If requested, a document showing the judicial record issued by the competent authorities of the country in which he/she is a citizen or legally residing
- Address information to stay in Turkey
- The declaration that you have sufficient and regular income or assets in the period to stay
- An official document showing that the residence belongs to the applicant (Requested from people who own real estate in Turkey)
- Invitation letter or similar documents to be received from persons or companies to be contacted (Requested from persons who will establish business or commercial contacts in Turkey)
- Valid health insurance
6-) How To Extend A Short-Term Residence Permit?
Short-term residence permit extension applications are made to the governorships. An application for an extension must be made 60 days before the expiration of the valid short-term residence permit. In any case, the application for an extension must be made before the current short-term residence permit expires.
The foreigner makes the extension application via the e-residence system by submitting the extension request online. The application whose online process has been completed and the required application documents listed below must be submitted to the relevant Provincial Directorate of Migration Management in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Bursa, Gaziantep, İstanbul, İzmir, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Mersin, Muğla, Samsun, Şanlıurfa, and Tekirdağ. It must be delivered by mail within the next day.
- Residence permit application form
- Notarized copy of passport or substitute document
- 4 biometric photos
- Previous residence permit
- A declaration that having sufficient and regular income or assets during the stay
- Official document indicating that the residence belongs to the applicant
- Invitation letter or similar documents to be received from persons or companies to be contacted in Turkey
- Valid health insurance
7-) How To Document Current Health Insurance And Address?
The existence of one of the following documents is sufficient to ensure the current health insurance requirement:
- Document on the use of health services in Turkey under bilateral social security contracts
- Provision certificate obtained from Social Security Institution
- Document on application to Social Security Institution to have a general health insurance
- Private health insurance
- Private health insurance covering the extension period, if an extension application is to be made
Address information and documents must be presented in the following forms:
- Notarized lease agreement for people living in a rented house
- If you are staying in accommodation such as hostels, hotels, a document confirming your stay in these places,
- If you are staying in places such as dormitories or guest houses, a signed and sealed/stamped document stating that you are staying here,
- If you are staying with your friend or relatives, the addresses and notarized commitments of those who will invite you
Conclusions And Recommendations
In Turkish law, the type of residence permit granted for a maximum of 2 years and exceptionally for up to 5 years is called a short-term residence permit. Foreigners who will invest or establish a business in Turkey and foreigners who own real estate in Turkey have the right to stay in Turkey legally by obtaining a short-term residence permit. Applications for short-term residence permits are initiated online and the necessary documents must be delivered on the date of appointment issued through the system to complete the application. The foreigner can make applications in person or through his/her lawyer. However, since that the documents to be submitted are subject to the format conditions and that some intermediary institutions and persons who forge the documents victimize foreigners who want to obtain a residence permit, we recommend receiving legal support services in this process.
As Solmaz Law and Consultancy team, we provide the legal services that our foreign clients need to obtain residence and work permits in Turkey with practical solutions. You can contact our team to request legal assistance.
ÇİÇEKLİ, Bülent, 2014, Yabancılar ve Mülteci Hukuku, Seçkin Yayıncılık, Ankara, pp. 95-103.
Foreigners and International Protection Law.
Regulation for Implementation of Foreigners and International Protection Law