Tourist Visa & Residency Permits in Turkey
Tourist Visa and Residency Permits
Depending on which country you are entering Turkey from will depend on whether you need a visa.
For example if entering from the UK. Diplomatic and ordinary passport holders (British Citizens) are exempt from the visa up to 90 days in any 180 days (this is a rolling period), However if entering from United States of America, Official and ordinary passport holders are required to have a visa to enter Turkey. Full information for these are other countries are available on www.evisa.gov.tr website .
As you can probably imagine to explain each countries requirements is quite in depth and complicated, so for the purpose of this blog we will use the example of a British Citizen wanting to move to Turkey permanently and apply for Short Term Residency.
There are several reputable agents around the area that can assist with Residency Applications and other official matters, in our experience and that of our clients it is easier on your first application to pay the small fee and use an agent, to ensure you get everything right. However if you wish to make your own application it can be done via https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/ BUT, you must be in Turkey when you submit your application. Once the application is made, then you make an appointment to attend your local GOC office for your interview.
So let image, you have just landed in Turkey, perhaps you have a home already, whether renting or buying, or perhaps you need to search for one. What you must remember is that before your 90 day (in 180 days) is up, you need to apply for your Short-Term Residency Permit (STRP) if you want to remain in the country. Once you have submitted your STRP application and printed it off, you are covered to stay in Turkey until your interview and its outcome.
Perhaps one of the first things to do though, if you haven’t already is to get a Turkish Tax Number. This is available free of charge from your local Vergi Dairesi (Tax Office). You will need your passport and your address (this can be that of the hotel, you are staying in). You will be given your tax number there and then. Do not be worried if this is hand written on a scrap of paper, this is quite normal, but it is so important you do not lose it. You will need this for several things in Turkey including opening a bank account and buying property.
As of 1st January 2020 Non property owners will be granted up to 1-year STRP on first application and then 1-2 years for renewal (but his is at the discretion of your GOC office)
Property owners normally automatically get granted 2 years (however this also can be at the GOC office discretion
- Ensure your passport has 60 days expiry past the period of STRP you are applying for. For example if you applied for residency on 1/2/2022 and wanted 1 year, but your passport expires on 1/2/2023 – you will only be given up to the 4/12/2022 (not the 12 months, because of the expiry date on your passport)
- If you have a TAPU in single name, but are married, ensure you get your marriage certificate apostilled in the UK (link on gov.uk website) before moving to Turkey. This will ensure you both (property owner and spouse) get the same length of STRP. You may ask why a married couple may have just a single name on a TAPU, in many cases this is because of Turkish inheritance law around immovable property. Something we will explain more in a future blog.
So what do you need to support your first STRP application?
- 4 x biometric photographs (biometric photos are created based on precise facial feature measurements of a person). There are several shops in and around Fethiye that provide this service and will send you an electronic copy via email too.
- Your latest/expired visa
- If you own a property – you need the original Tapu
- If you are renting – you need a notarised copy of your rental agreement (notarising is easy and you will see several official notary offices around Fethiye)
- You will need valid private health cover for the period of the STRP application (if aged 18 – 65). Please note this may be accident insurance only – SGK (Turkish Government Health Insurance) is not available for first time applicants and this or private insurance will not normally cover any pre-existing medical conditions
You will also need to keep the original signed STRP application form and the original receipts of payment.
So what is the cost for you first STRP? (as of January 2022)
There is a single fee of 1033tl (because from the UK you enter Turkey without an evisa)
There is a 160tl fee to cover the card.
This is where it can get a little confusing as the rest of the charges are in USD – which are normally converted on the day of application to the appropriate USD – tl exchange rate.
The tax is $80 for a 1-year STRP and a further $60 for the 2nd year.
If you are applying for a child, it is 50% of the tax but 160tl for the card
Remember you must not move home while your application is in progress.
It is advisable not to leave the country after your interview whilst you are waiting for your RP to be delivered. You normally receive at text from the Post Office advising you that your card is ready for collection. You must attend the local collection office with your passport as proof of identification.
All STRP are individual to the person, similar to your passport or driving licence.
So there you have it! It’s quite easy when you know how. But if you are unsure don’t be afraid to ask for help or use a reputable agent.
All information correct as of 10/1/2022