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Get Your Residence Permit in 14 Easy Steps

First things first: who exactly needs a residence permit? Anyone who enters Turkey as a tourist can usually stay for up to 90 days without a residence permit. If you plan to stay longer than that, you need it. Otherwise, you will pay a fine when you leave the country and be barred from Turkey for some time. It’s best to make your appointment as soon as you have decided to stay in Turkey.

Types of Permits:

Short-term Residency: For anyone not married to a Turkish citizen and living in Turkey for less than eight years. Will be valid for up to one year for first-time applicants. Renewals tend to be slightly more complicated in regards to length of validity.

Long-term Residency: For anyone not married to a Turkish citizen and living in Turkey for at least eight years without interruption. Indefinite validity.

Family Residency: For those married to a Turkish citizen and/or foreign minors dependent on a Turkish citizen or a residence permit holder.

Student Residency: For those studying in associate’s, bachelor’s or graduate degree programs in Turkey.

The following steps apply largely to short-term residence permits. We advise those applying for student residence permits to consult with their university about the most up-to-date requirements.

1) Get your tax ID number. You will need this number to open a bank account and get insurance. Look online to find the nearest tax office (vergi dairesi) and go there with your passport. Tell them “Vergi numarası başvurusu yapmak isterim.” They will help you write a short petition called a dilekçe, which is a formal requirement for them to do anything for you. Sign it and they will produce a little card with your tax ID number written on it. When getting your tax number, bring a photocopy of your passport photo and information page with your father’s name, mother’s name, Istanbul address, email and phone number written on it.

2) Get your insurance. The easiest and most affordable way to fulfill this requirement is to get a private insurance plan that you pay in one shot. All insurance companies offer a special plan specially designed for the residence permit that meets all of the requirements. The plans range greatly for one year of coverage depending on the insurance company, your age and a number of other factors, so shop around. These plans cover 100% of emergency services and around 60% of inpatient and outpatient coverage. No coverage for check-ups is provided, but you can also opt for a more comprehensive plan.

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