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Visa, Residence Permit, and Turkish Citizenship

Visa, Residence Permit, and Turkish Citizenship
Publication date: 2017-12-10 Category: Tax & Legal

If you want to go to Turkey for tourism, trade, asylum, education, etc… you have to know the conditions of residence in Turkey in accordance with the laws in force. Here in this article, we will provide you with the information about residence in Turkey, how to obtain a visa in Turkey, and how to obtain the Turkish citizenship, if interested.

Residence in Turkey:

There are many types of residence in Turkey according to the current Turkish law. We will explain them hereunder:

Residence Permit in Turkey:

To obtain one-year residence permit in Turkey, you have to book a rendezvous online through the following website: https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/

Documents Required for One-Year Residence Permit in Turkey:

  • Four personal photos of the same size of the passport photo. Two photos only are required if you just want to renew your residence permit in Turkey.
  • Valid passport with visa entry for the citizens of the countries that have to obtain a visa entry to Turkey.
  • Photocopy of the following passport pages: the page containing the applicant's photo, the page stamped at the last gate of the airport, the page showing that the passport is valid, and the visa page.
  • An account statement showing the existence of assets equivalent to six thousand US dollars, it is not a constant requirement, as it is only required while doing the procedures of issuing a resident permit, and this also include the case of renewing the residence permit in Turkey.
  • Health insurance covering the duration of the residence in Turkey.

Conditions of Residence Permit in Turkey:

If you have a residence permit in Turkey, you have the right to travel and return without any visas and enter any type of vehicles to the country- but remember that the duration of the stay of the cars is the same of the legal duration of residence permit in Turkey. However, as a tourist you are not allowed to travel to the countries that require a visa as you are not treated like the Turkish citizens at all in this regard.

The Cost of Residence Permit in Turkey:

The cost of residence permit in Turkey differs according to the applicant’s country as follows:

  • The cost of the health insurance during the period of stay in Turkey differs according to the age of the applicant.
  • Fee for the residence card, which is 60 Turkish lira, is fixed for all ages and nationalities.
  • Annual residence fee for citizens of the following countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, and Morocco is about 11 US dollars.
  • Annual residence fee for Kuwait, Jordan, and Algeria is about 37 US dollars.
  • From all around the world, it is about 85 US dollars.

Asylum Permit in Turkey:

Asylum permit can be defined as: (the right to obtain permission to work from the Turkish Ministry of Labor in accordance with certain mechanisms and conditions, to get free education at all the Turkish educational levels, and to get free and integrated medical and health care in all the governmental centers and hospitals in Turkey.)

Conditions for Asylum in Turkey:

  • Turkey signed the Geneva Convention in 1951, according to which citizens of the European states can file an asylum application and also obtain permanent residence in Turkey as refugees in accordance with the above-mentioned convention.
  • For asylum seekers from non-European countries, they will be granted asylum as asylum seekers and will be resettled under the auspices of the UNHCR under the name of international protection.
  • A refugee can be defined in accordance with the 1951 Geneva Convention as: "a person who is outside the country of origin and has fear of persecution because of religion, race, gender, or political opinion and does not feel protected by the authorities of his country of origin. And in the case of applying for asylum to Turkey, the application will be assessed in accordance with the criteria for refugee rights in the 1951 Geneva Convention.

Residence in Turkey by Investing and Establishing a Company:

This type of residence is granted to businessmen who invest their money on Turkish land after establishing their companies in accordance with the Turkish laws and after obtaining the needed work permit. This residence gives their owners the right to acquire Turkish citizenship after filing the application, after residing in Turkey five consecutive years.

The law of attracting investments within Turkey recognizes equality in treatment of Turk and foreign investors, thus foreign investors obtain the same rights. In this context, foreign investors are subject to the same conditions of establishing business and trading shares in the stock market.

Conditions for Establishing a Company to Obtain a Residence in Turkey:

  • Contracts of incorporation and memorandums should be filed online through the MERSIS system or the so called Central Registry System, which is a central information system for recording electronic trade records data. Then after that, the incorporation contracts, which are documented by the concerned authorities, are submitted along with four copies. However, if the foreign partner is an individual, two copies of his/her passport are required, while if the partner is a legal entity, that is, a company, the certificate for that legal entity is required, and that certificate should contain all the information about the current situation of the company, and who has the right to sign.
  • For non-Turk business shareholders in the company, they should take a tax identification number, open bank accounts, and then start their business whatever its kind is.

Investing in Turkey is one of the best ways to obtain a residence or citizenship in Turkey since the Turkish market has attracted all investments worldwide. The Turkish government supports this by creating the suitable environment and enacting the laws and regulations that facilitate relevant things such as granting residence in Turkey.

Residence in Turkey by Buying a Property:

Owning properties is one of the most popular forms of residence in Turkey. Properties are available in all Turkish provinces, especially the capital of Ankara, and Istanbul, both the Asian and European sides of it. This is one of the residence types in Turkey that is recently introduced; meaning any foreigner obtains one-year residence and the same thing for his wife and children in the case of owning one or more property within the territory of Turkey, and they can renew this residence permit as long as he own the property by providing documents that prove it.

Work Permit in Turkey:

It is a type of residence in Turkey that is granted to foreign employees working in the Turkish companies. This can be done through the directors of the companies such as the heads of boards or managers who grant this privilege to the workers through the foreign ministry of labor, and thus applying for the residence for them. However, the Turkish law requires recruiting five Turk employees for every one foreign employee, excluded from these the Syrian employees in light of their suffering and difficult circumstances.

How to Obtain the Turkish Citizenship:

Many people wish to obtain Turkish citizenship, and there are several ways in which Turkish citizenship can be obtained as follows:

  • In accordance with the current Turkish citizenship laws, foreigners can acquire the citizenship by buying a property valued at one million dollars with a pledge not to sell it for three years. This option is considered one of the fastest ways to obtain the Turkish residency and citizenship, without any obstacles or routine procedures required by other options. In this case, the citizenship is given to the owner of the property, as well as members of his family of the first degree, such as wife and children.
  • Turkish citizenship can be obtained through children born within the State of Turkey, yet in this way one of the parents has to be Turkish.
  • The competent authorities may also grant foreigners the right to acquire Turkish citizenship; under certain conditions, such as staying in Turkey for five consecutive years without interruption with the good behavior of the applicant.
  • Turkish citizenship can be obtained by marrying a Turkish citizen, but in this case, foreigners can apply after three years of marriage. However, this also goes under certain conditions; the spouses are living together, clear from the acts and behavior punishable by law, and not to represents a threat to the safety of the Turkish society and the national security.
  • Business and investment owners are entitled to obtain the Turkish citizenship after five consecutive years.
  • In some special cases of foreigners studying in Turkey, Turkish citizenship is granted where the completion of the educational stages is requested as well as the completion of the required period.
  • It is possible for some people to acquire the Turkish citizenship due to their importance and impact on the Turkish society, such as being an expert or scientist in a particular field. In the light of the relevant law, some foreigners can be granted citizenship.

Turkish Citizenship Application Conditions:

The applicant must have reached the age of majority and completed the continuous five years of residency within the Turkish territory. It is allowed to reside abroad for a period not to exceed six months though. The applicant must submit the documents and papers stipulated in the law, which grant the foreigner the requested Turkish citizenship. The applicant must know the Turkish language to the extent that it allows him to deal with others. He also has to be a decent person who respects all the Turkish rules and laws that maintain the public order.

How to Obtain the Turkish Visa:

Many ways there are to obtain the Turkish visa, such as receiving an invitation from a friend in Turkey. In this case, the visa is submitted through the website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or through consulates and Turkish embassies around the world:

  • The visa application form is filled out through the official website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • The applicant must have a passport not to be valid for at least six months.
  • Two personal photographs should be attached to the application with a white background.
  • A bank statement must be attached to the submitted papers for applicants with only travel invitations.
  • The visa applicant in Turkey provides medical insurance for the duration of stay in Turkey.
  • The waiting period for obtaining a visa in Turkey varies from two to three months, and varies from country to country, depending on the number of applications submitted to the consulate in the country where the applicant is applying for a visa.

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