Permanent Residence In Turkey: Expats Guide

Permanent Residence In Turkey

Dreaming of making the picturesque landscapes of Turkey your forever home? Don’t worry! we’ve got you covered!

Securing permanent residence might sound like a daunting task, but with the right insights, it’s a breeze. Read our guide and discover the roadmap to making Turkey your long-term haven.

Let’s dive in!


What are Turkey Residence Permits?

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A Turkish Residence Permit is an authorization to remain in Turkey for longer than three months in half a year for purposes such as settlement, working, or studying.

A residence permit enables you to live in Turkey, study, get married, convert to a Turkish driver’s license, get a tax number, open a bank account, purchase property, make investments, and much more.

If your purpose of moving to Turkey is working, you will only need a work permit, which also serves as a residence permit.

Who Needs A Turkey Residence Permit?

Every person who moves to Turkey intending to remain in the country for more than three months must get a Turkey Residence Permit upon arrival. With a residence permit, your stay in Turkey will be considered legal.

You will be exempt from this requirement if one of the following applies to you:

  • You have a “registration certificate” for international protection applications.
  • You are exempt from a residence permit according to reciprocal or multilateral conventions to which the Republic of Turkey is also a party.
  • You are a diplomat or consulate officer who holds office in Turkey.
  • You work for representative offices of international establishments in Turkey.
  • You have a valid work permit.
  • Your identity card contains one of the following tags:
  1. “international protection applicant”
  2. “international protection status”
  3. “statelessness”

What are the Types of Turkish Residence Permits?

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Depending on the visa type you hold, the purpose of application, and the intended period of residence in Turkey, you can apply for one of the following residence permits:

Short-Term Residence Permit

The Turkish short-term residence permit is the most sought-after among all other residence permits. You can get this residence permit for any of the following purposes:

  • for scientific research
  • to establish commercial connections or business
  • to participate in an in-service training program
  • for educational or similar purposes in the framework of student exchange programs;
  • for tourism purposes
  • to receive medical treatment given that you do not carry one of the diseases that are considered a threat to public health
  • to attend Turkish learning courses
  • You are a citizen of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Family Residence Permit

A family residence permit can be granted to the foreign spouse of a Turkish national, their minor children, and their dependent foreign child. The sponsor must have enough income to support those applying for a residence permit in order for them to get the permit.

Student Residence Permit

You can get a student residence permit in Turkey to enroll in primary or secondary education. If you already have a family residence permit, you will not need this one.

You will be eligible to apply for this residence also if you are planning to study at the levels of associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate, specialty training in medicine (TUS), in a higher education institution in Turkey.

Long-Term Residence Permit

Suppose you have resided in Turkey for at least eight years uninterruptedly under a residence permit issued by the Turkish authorities. In that case, you can lodge an application for a Turkish long-term permit with an indefinite validity.

Note that if you have resided in Turkey for the specified period as a refugee, conditional refugee and secondary protection status holder, humanitarian residence permit holder, and temporary protection, you are not eligible to apply.

Humanitarian Residence Permit

You can apply for this residence permit in Turkey without a valid visa or residence permit. Still, no deportation decision has been taken against you, or you cannot return to your country of residence due to emergency reasons.

Residence Permit For Victims Of Human Trafficking

If you are a victim of human trafficking and you are in Turkey, you can apply for this residence permit.

How To Get A Long-Term Residence Permit In Turkey?

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Foreign nationals in Turkey on several short-term visas are eligible for long-term residency permits. A permanent residency permit may be obtained in Turkey after eight years, allowing you to remain permanently.

Several requirements must be met in order to be eligible to apply for a long-term residency visa in Turkey. These include:

  • A continuous stay in Turkey for eight years without interruption.
  • Have not gotten any form of social aid or help during the last 3 years.
  • Sufficient income to support yourself and your family or dependents.
  • Being covered by a valid health insurance policy.
  • Have not threatened public safety.
  • Not being a refugee, conditional refugee, recipient of subsidiary protection, or holder of a humanitarian residency visa.

What Is Interruption And How Does It Affect Your Residency?

In order to be eligible for permanent residency in Turkey, you must have lived in Turkey for a minimum of 8 consecutive years without interruption.

Suppose you’ve spent more than 6 months or 1 year abroad in the previous 5 years. A gap in your time in Turkey might prevent you from achieving the year requirement for long-term residence. 

When your residence is interrupted, your past residency won’t count toward your residence permit application or be transferred into another permit.

What Documents are Needed To Apply For Permanent Residence In Turkey?

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  • Residence permit application form.
  • Valid passport, notarized and translated photocopy.
  • 4 biometric photos.
  • A document showing you have a sufficient and regular income.
  • Valid and comprehensive health insurance.
  • Receipt of payment for the residence permit application and card fee.
  • A notarized lease contract or a notarized photocopy of the title deed of the property you own as evidence of your address in Turkey.
  • Photocopies of previous residence permits.
  • The original document from Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundations in Turkey shows that you have not received any social aid in the last 3 years.
  • Criminal record (can be obtained via e-devlet).
  • Signed document showing that you are registered with the Turkish Address Registration System.

You will present your application materials to the Directorate General of Immigration under the Turkish Interior Ministry after you have started your application online and gathered the required documentation. 

A final decision on your application might take up to 90 days. Following approval from the Interior Ministry, the Governorates provide your long-term residence permit card and deliver it to your address.

Why Should You Move To Turkey?

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Turkey is becoming a popular destination for highly skilled expats and thousands of foreigners who are flocking worldwide.

The Weather Suits Everyone

With its four seasons, Turkey is one of the few countries with a climate spanning from the Mediterranean to the Oceanic. The country’s residents enjoy thousands of natural beauties surrounded by vast seas and mountain ranges. 

The northern regions have an oceanic climate, whereas the southern sections have a warm Mediterranean climate. Turkey’s diverse climate, lush greenery, and majestic forests are nature’s miracles. 

Summers are lengthy and hot in the south. Because Turkish houses are built with natural materials resistant to the elements, they can withstand temperatures as high as 35° in July and August. 

For maximum sunlight efficiency, buildings include huge windows and balconies.

Cost Of Living Is Inexpensive

Turkey has a cheaper cost of living than the majority of European countries. Living in Turkey is affordable for EU and US citizens. With the exception of a few locations, housing and living costs are cheaper than in their home countries. 

Rents, transportation, food, and other necessities are substantially less expensive than in the EU or the US, notwithstanding regional differences. Apart from that, Turkey’s housing costs are lower, with possibilities ranging from villas to apartments.

The Food Is Delicious

Turkey’s cuisine is diverse and will appeal to all tastes. Turkish cuisine is known for its freshness, low cost, and high nutritional value. Almost every vegetable and fruit on the planet is accessible. 

The country’s restaurants and street cuisine continue to entice visitors with unique appetizers and flavors. There are also marketplaces selling local goods and honey from local beekeepers. 

The most popular meat meals include kebab, çiğ köfte, lahmacun, and kokoreç, but there are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

Refreshing Outdoor Lifestyle

The outdoor lifestyle is better for your health and brings you greater social connection, both beneficial to your mental and emotional well-being.

Most individuals feel happier and healthier when sunny outside in the summer because their vitamin D levels are elevated.

Instead of paying for movie tickets or a family day at a pricey theme park, many spend time outside, having barbecues, visiting the beach, sailing, strolling, and socializing with friends.

Turkey is one of the few nations in the world where you may engage in a wide range of activities throughout the year because of the country’s climate. 

In the summer and winter, you can go skiing, sailing, rock climbing, golfing on historical excursions and safaris, rafting, hiking, swimming, island tours, mountain biking, and paragliding. 

Golf courses and sports fields of the highest caliber may be found across the Mediterranean region, particularly at Belek. 

Turkey’s diverse social and sporting activities meet the expectations of many individuals in nearly every field due to its geographical and natural characteristics.

Rich History & Cultural Heritage

Turkey’s cultural heritage is as rich as its tourist attractions. The country, rich in culture and history, has numerous old structures worth seeing, many of which are free. \

The Basilica Cistern, a feat of Byzantine engineering, and the Topkapi Palace, a symbol of the Ottoman Empire, are all worth seeing. 

Sumela Monastery, Cappadocia with its fairy chimneys, Nemrut Mountain National Park with its ancient city of Kommagene and its remains, and Kaunos King Cemetery with its rock-cut tombs for kings all attract visitors from all over the world. 

Turkey’s treasures include St Nicholas Church, the most important Byzantine building, the Aphrodisias Museum, and Gobekli Tepe, 7000 years older than the Egyptian Pyramids and is currently being excavated. 

The ancient city of Ephesus, one of the world’s seven wonders, and the Lycian ruins in Patara are other must-sees. Only a few countries allow you to live history as if it were everyday life, and Turkey is one of them.

Quality Of Life In Turkey

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According to Turkish tradition, a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered a guest from God.

As an expat in Turkey, you will often experience cordial hospitality, which is typical in this country. This attitude attracts expats but many tourists as well. 

Turkey’s currency is the Yeni Türk Lirasi (New Turkish Lira, TRY). It was introduced in 2005 and is widely used. However, if you’re living in a tourist area, you may even find shops and restaurants that accept foreign currency. 

If you still carry USD or EUR, you can spend them.

The Turkish Healthcare System

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Healthcare in Turkey is part of the country’s social security system. You will find that with one single contribution, you are covered in case of illness, accident, or retirement. The same institution organizes all these insurances.

The SGK (Social Security Institution) and the Ministry of Health sometimes run their own medical establishments. 

You will have to visit these in case of an accident or illness. If those facilities do not provide sufficient services, patients living in Turkey can be transferred to other hospitals or clinics.

The Turkish healthcare system has improved significantly in recent years. Hospitals, clinics, and practices offer many facilities and types of treatments. Unfortunately, infectious diseases and parasite-related illnesses still occur in the country. 

The costs for a visit to the doctor in Turkey typically start around 140 TRY; a visit to the dentist may cost you 40 TRY and more. 

This price, however, can be significantly higher, depending on the type and quality of treatment and the city where you live.

You may also face high costs when checking into a Turkish hospital. Inquire about the exact treatment prices and your insurance coverage beforehand. Depending on the reason for hospitalization, the costs may vary enormously.

Accommodation In Turkey

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Before renting an apartment or house, you should know that rents vary enormously depending on the location and facilities

Especially in larger cities, rents can be relatively high for expats. For instance, the average rent for a 4-bedroom apartment in Ankara ranges from around 1,200 TRY to 2,000 TRY and more, but Istanbul can easily be much more expensive.

Most apartments in Turkey come with a living room, three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Generally speaking, these are unfurnished. Furnished rooms are relatively simple, with only essential equipment and furniture included. 

As a foreigner, you may be asked to pay your rent in USD or EUR. Advance payments of 6 to 12 months’ rent are average.

Good sources for finding housing are the Internet and the classified sections of local newspapers. 

Daily newspapers such as Hürriyet or Milliyet are a great place to start. If your Turkish language skills are not fluent, you may want to hire a real estate agent instead.

The Turkish Education System

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School is obligatory for all children from ages 6 to 14. While attending primary school, Turkish children usually wear school uniforms.

As part of the school reforms in 1997, compulsory education was extended from 5 to 8 years. In this way, children receive three more years of compulsory schooling at public institutions. Public primary schools are free of charge for all children.

Private schools, which may require tuition payments, are an exception to this rule. However, many of these private schools cater to the needs of certain minorities (Greek, Jewish, Armenian) or to the children of expat families. 

After attending primary school for 8 years, students receive a diploma. They may then choose which type of secondary school to attend.

Low Cost Of Living

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When it comes to the cost of living in Turkey, there’s a surprising range of options depending on which city you choose. The good news about this range is that your money goes much further in Turkey than other parts of Europe. 

In comparison, average rent in London, Paris, and Istanbul costs $3,544, $1,860, and $618, respectively! But with more affordable housing come more affordable salaries. 

If you’re moving to Turkey with dreams of making a fortune, you might want to pause before booking the first flight — For example, the average salary in Turkish is around $1,400 per month.

Transportation And Infrastructure

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Turkey’s infrastructure is impressive, given the country’s emerging market status. 

However, it will need to be able to accommodate its exploding population in the coming years. Still, Turkey’s infrastructure measures up favorably when compared with EU-member nations. 

Turkey has an excellent communications infrastructure, with 70% of its borders being coastlines. Turkey’s economy depends heavily on merchant marine and fishing fleets from its surrounding seas and its national road system. 

The largest cities in Turkey—Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, and Bursa—all have some metro or light rail system, as do Antalya, Konya, and Gaziantep. 

Some smaller cities are also well-served by bus and dolmuş, but the lack of route maps can make this a tricky way to get around for visitors. The smallest towns and villages might have only infrequent minibus service.

Points To Consider Before Moving To Turkey

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Obtaining Residency & Health Insurance

First, you should obtain a resident visa and health insurance coverage to move to Turkey. Many foreigners join the government-run SGK scheme, which covers couples as well as those over 65. 

Getting A Work Permit

Before moving to Turkey, expats should look for work because getting a job in Turkey can be challenging. Employers in Turkey who wish to hire a foreign worker must adhere strictly to a set of regulations.

Additionally, owning a business only inevitably provides you with employment opportunities. Lastly, do not work illegally; you risk being penalized and deported instantly.

Preparing Your Finances 

It would help if you first determine your monthly expenses in order to determine whether you can financially make the move. When the exchange rate fluctuates on a daily basis, converting between your home country’s currency and the Turkish lira might be challenging. 

Having multiple residences in many countries necessitates high financial management expertise. Make sure you are on top of your money by tracking your income, expenses, and savings.

Renting Or Buying A Property In Turkey

Some people buy property right away, while others rent for six months or a year to evaluate if they enjoy where they are living before making a commitment. Please browse our selection of apartments and villas for sale in Turkey to find the perfect place to call home. 

Price, location, home features, and contact information are included in each listing so you can quickly learn more or schedule a viewing. 

Learning The Turkish Language

Learn Turkish if you want to live in a small village in central Anatolia or southeast Turkey. Similarly, even though the majority of Turks in Istanbul know English, you will still need help, particularly if you enter the workforce. 

Many foreigners relocate to tourist cities along the Aegean and Mediterranean shores, where inhabitants are fluent in English, German, and Russian.

As a result, their daily lives are unaffected, and they rely on Turkish friends for translation services when needed. The linguistic barrier can be easily crossed. 

It would help if you learned as much as possible to enhance your overall well-being and happiness. It will add up even if you only say one word a day.

Choosing Where To Live In Turkey

Turkey is a very diversified country when it comes to its geography and society. Decide whether you want modern, metropolitan-style cities or smaller towns that keep their traditional Turkish charm.

A move to Istanbul will be your best bet if you’re looking for the energy and excitement of city life. Istanbul is a one-of-a-kind city that welcomes people from all walks of life. Istanbul is much less expensive than other major European cities, which gives it a great advantage.


There you have it – your pathway to permanent residence in this beautiful nation. Turkey, with its rich history and vibrant culture, awaits you.

With the right steps and a touch of persistence, you’re set for a lifetime of Turkish delights!

Residency Ready!

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