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Knowledge Bank » Legal Matters » Residency and Visas


The 2016 KTLN Guide to Short Term Residence Permits (STRP) PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 November 2015
2.8/5 (13 votes)

Short Term Residence Permit (STRP)

The Foreigners & International Protection Act - Law No. 6458 came into effect on 10th April 2014.  This law governs the way in which foreigners can obtain residence permits.  It also covers eVisas for tourists.  This link takes you to the English translation of Law No 6458

It's taken a while to develop an understanding of how the new rules work.  This KTLN guide was completely re-written (December 2015) and reflects the updated position as at March 2017.  It has been drafted with the help of local DGMM officials and also foreigners who have gone through the permit application process.

With help and feedback from KTLN readers we aim to keep it up to date as a valuable resource for people who wish to apply for a residence permit.

Disclaimer
We are aware that foreigners in different parts of Turkey may experience something different from what we have been told.  Our report is written in good faith, and reflects what we have found locally, but we strongly advise you to make your own personal enquiries.  KTLN cannot be held responsible if your personal experience differs from what we set out below.

Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM)
The laws on residence permits are overseen and managed by the DGMM - a part of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior.

Their head office is in Ankara but they have provincial and district offices.  Our nearest provincial office is in Antalya, and our closest district office is in Kaş.  For foreigners in Kaş district (including Kalkan), the office that you should deal with is the local one in Kaş.  We provide contact details below.

Do I need an eVisa or residency?
If you are coming to Turkey on holiday then you can continue with the normal 90/180 day eVisa.  This allows you to stay in Turkey for a maximum of 90 days, out of a period of 180 consecutive days.  You can make as many trips as you like within those 180 days, providing you don't stay for more than 90 days in total.

For most tourists the visa will suffice.  If that is enough for you, there is no need to look into residency.  Otherwise, please read on.

N.B. There are some circumstances where you will need to have a residence permit - for example if you want to own a car, install a phone/internet service in your Turkish property or if you wish to benefit from the state health insurance SGK.  (There is more on SGK later in this article).  Interestingly you don't need to have a residence permit to own property in Turkey.

UK in Turkey advice
To see the latest advice on residency from the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) UK in Turkey website click on this link: UK in Turkey

DGMM Helpline
If you require assistance there is now a dedicated helpline with operators who speak several foreign languages, including English.  Dial 157 to get assistance.

DGMM Website
Here is a link to the DGMM web page about residency in English, where you can find lots of useful information.

DGMM Helpline

Types of residence permits
According to Article 30 of the new law, the types of residence permit you can apply for are as follows:
  • Short Term Residence Permit (STRP)
  • Family residence permit
  • Student residence permit
  • Long Term Residence Permit (LTRP)
  • Humanitarian residence permit
  • Residence permit to victims of trafficking in human beings

In this article, we look at STRPs only, as this is the type that is likely to be of most interest to KTLN readers. 

Short Term Residence Permit (STRP) requirements
Foreigners may apply for an STRP up to a maximum of two years.  This may be suitable for people coming for extended holidays, or perhaps property owners. 

When applying for a permit you must:

  • demonstrate that you have financial means to support yourself;
  • demonstrate that you have somewhere to live;
  • have valid health insurance (not required for applicants over 65 years of age);
  • not be considered a threat to public order or public security.

Where do you apply?
Currently all first time STRPs must be applied for in person at your local DGMM office - in the case of Kalkan/Kaş residents that's the Kaş office.  You first need to make an appointment online using the official secure DGMM website, as we go on to explain below.  You also need to submit certain documents and information via the website prior to your appointment.

Following the opening of the Kaş DGMM office in December 2015 if you went online to book an appointment initially you could only see an option for the provincial office in Antalya but from early 2016 an option to select Kaş has become available.

Renewal STRPs can be done online using the official secure DGMM website.  It is not usually necessary to visit the DGMM office.  Having said that please note that if you have the old style ikamet (blue book) you have to go through the process as if it was a first time application rather than a renewal.

Kaş Foreigners Department (DGMM)

DGMM Kaş office contact details

ADDRESS:  Andiflil Mah. Halk Konutlari Sokak, Yeni Halk Çarşısı 10/3-9, Kaş, Antalya
EMAIL:  We are advised that an email address for the Kaş office will be provided in due course.
PHONE:  0242 836 3159
FAX:  None
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Friday between 08.00 and 17.00 with one hour for lunch between 12.00 and 13.00.

Currently the office has two members of staff - the manager and one assistant.  We have met with them and they are genuinely helpful people. 

Below: A map showing where the new office is - round the back of some new office units on Halk Konutları Sokak.

Kaş Foreigners Department (DGMM)

Kaş Foreigners Department (DGMM) 

Kaş Foreigners Department (DGMM)

Kaş Foreigners Department (DGMM)

What happens if you have an old style blue book (ikamet) permit?
If you already have an old style ikamet this remains valid, because you have applied for, and paid for residency, and permission has been granted by the Turkish authorities.  You have got permission to reside in Turkey until the expiry date shown in your ikamet.  Just to repeat what we mention earlier, please note that if you have the old style ikamet (blue book) and you wish to renew your permit you have to go through the process as if it was a first time application rather than a renewal.

How soon before an existing residency expires can you apply?
You can apply to renew your residency within 60 days of the expiry of your existing permit.

How many times can I apply for a STRP?
There is no limit to the number of times you can apply for a STRP.  Please note that for couples applying, each of you has to produce the relevant documentation for each application. 

Residency documents

What documents are required?
The following link will take you to the page on the DGMM web site that explains what is required for different types of permit: Documents Required for Residence Permit ApplicationsLater in this guide we explain in more detail exactly what documents are expected and we give you some tips on how to obtain them. 

The DGMM application online portal
IMPORTANT:
We strongly recommend that you complete your online application yourself.  You are personally responsible for the details entered and the screens include a declaration that you must make.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2017: It has come to the attention of the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) that an increasing number of foreigners are using third parties to complete their residence permit applications, and they are not happy about it.

  The DGMM has taken the step of issuing a notice on their web site to warn people against doing this.



They say that they have discovered that most of this third party assistance comes from individuals or businesses working for a fee and they expressly say you must not use these services to complete applications.

The DGMM announcement goes on to say that legal action will be taken under Article 206 of the Turkish Penal Code No 5237 against foreigners who have made a false statement while applying for a residence permit.

They say that in such circumstances “Their residence permit application will be refused, their residence permit will be cancelled if it has been issued and removal procedures will be initiated for them”.

Of course you can still ask others for advice, which KTLN has always been happy to give for free, but we do caution against using the paid services of others because we know the DGMM are particularly unhappy about people making money from permit applications.  The manager at the local office in Kaş is extremely helpful and if you need any help or advice he has made it clear that it is him you should be speaking to - free of charge.

Be aware that the system is not perfect.  From our own experience and from feedback we have received it is fair to say that sometimes it is not possible to get all the way through the online process.  Do as much as you possibly can, and if you encounter problems our advice is to contact the local DGMM office in Kaş and ask for guidance.

N.B. Before you start make sure you have an electronic copy of your biometric photo on your computer as you will need to upload it as part of the online application process.  If you don't upload a photo you can not continue with the application.

Also please be aware that when you input your date of birth the format is MM/DD/YYYY - example 27th June 1960 would be entered as 06/27/1960.

Here is the link to the web page where you start the application process:  Apply here for STRP

Please note that you can’t log in to do this from outside Turkey. 

Choose either First Application or Application for Extension.

FIRST APPLICATION
Read and accept the terms then select "Short Term".

Complete the online form.  Details in red must be completed.  Details in black are optional but it may help to smooth the application process if you answer these questions.

Choose "Antalya/Kaş" then select an appointment date and time.  Note that the date you book your appointment must be before your existing residence permit or e-Visa expires, however the actual appointment date may be after your permit/e-Visa expires.  Once your application is in the system you have a right to stay in Turkey pending the completion of the application process.

You should be provided with a list of Documents Required for Residence Permit ApplicationsMake sure you take them to your appointment.  Note that you need to print off your completed application form that you have filled in online.  This may be downloaded as a PDF document.  (We will go into the documents in more detail later in this article).

Once your online application details are completed you will be allocated a unique application reference number which you should make a note of.  You will need it when dealing with your local DGMM office.

N.B. We are aware of problems with making appointments via the DGMM web site.  Sometimes it is not possible to make an appointment, in which case we suggest you telephone the DGMM office in Kaş for assistance.  Also, we are aware that it is sometimes difficult to obtain an appointment in the near future.  The local DGMM office in Kaş suggests taking the first available date but you can in fact go to their office earlier than the appointment date and providing they have time they will see you.

Paying the fees
There are two fees to pay.  We recommend that you visit the DGMM office first before attempting to pay any fees.  They will provide you with a note to take to the Maliye showing exactly how much needs to be paid (according to current exchange rates).

The permit application fee (İkamet izin harcı müracaat bedeli) is charged at the equivalent of $25 for one month and $5 per month for each subsequent month.  The approximate cost in Turkish lira, for 1 year's residency, using a US$/TL exchange rate of 3.1 (as at November 2016) is 250TL.  For 2 years the cost is about 435TL.

The second fee (İkamet tezkere harcı izin belgesi) is for your plastic residency card, and costs a further 63TL (as at January 2017.

So the total cost for 12 months residency will be around 310TL, and for 24 months 500TL.  

You can pay both these fees in Turkish lira at the tax office (Maliye) in Kaş. The tax office is in the same building as the Police station and is adjacent to the district Governor's (Kaymakam) office.  See map below.

Foreigners Department Kaş

Walk through the doors into the Maliye main office and pay at the "Vezne" window on the right hand side.  You will be given receipts for these fees which you should keep and take with you to your appointment as proof of payment.

N.B. You will need your tax number with you when making these payments.  Also, you may need to quote tax reference number "9069".

If you prefer you can also pay these fees at Ziraat Bank, Vakıf Bank or Halk Bank in Kaş.

Your appointment in Kaş
When you go for your appointment make sure you have all relevant documents with you.  If you do not have all the required documentation you will be given 30 days to provide it.  If you fail to do so your application will be cancelled.

If your application is in order you will be provided with an official document (see example below) which is your proof of application.  This must be signed and stamped by the DGMM manager in Kaş.

Temporary permit

It bears your photo and can be considered to be a kind of temporary residence permit document.  It allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days, until you receive your official permit card.

If you need to travel abroad whilst your application is being processed, this document enables you to leave Turkey for up to a maximum of 15 days only.  If this number of days is exceeded a fine may be levied, and the application process will have to begin again.

One important point to note here is that you must keep with the above document your receipts which prove that you have paid the necessary residence permit fees. 

Turkish residency

Permits are posted to you
When your application has been processed your residency permission (see plastic card right) will be posted to your Turkish address.  The reality in Kalkan however is that you will probably have to pick up your card from the Post Office (PTT).

You will receive an SMS text message on your Turkish mobile phone containing a bar code number so you can track where your permit card is.  Please click here for more information on how your permit will be delivered and how you can keep track of where it is.

Feedback suggests it is taking less than 4 weeks to process applications, but this may vary depending on how many applications are in the system at any given time. 

Your residency should be dated from the date you hand in your application, or if a renewal, it will follow on from the date your previous permission expired.

Residence permit posted

APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION/RENEWAL
On the DGMM website read and accept the terms then select "Application for Extension".

The process for renewals is similar to first time applications except you do not need to make an appointment to go to the local DGMM office in person. 

If you have the old style ikamet (blue book) you have to go through the process as if it was a first time application rather than a renewal.

Once your online application details are completed you will be allocated a unique application reference number which you should make a note of.  You will need it when dealing with the DGMM.  After completing all the details online and paying your fees, you simply post all the documents (or hand them in) to the DGMM office in Kaş.

Your proof of application document (shown above) will be posted to you.  In due course your permit will be posted to you - see section above.

KTLN advice on documentation - it's as simple as A B C...
Below we provide you with advice on what documentation is required and in some cases how to obtain it.

Passport requirements

A. Residence Permit Application Form
Complete details online on the DGMM website, then download (PDF document) and print off.

B. Passports, existing permits and visas
Photocopy your passport on the photograph page and also the page showing the latest visa stamp when you entered the country.  Your passport must have at least 60 days more than the period of residency you are applying for. 

If you have residency already you will need your plastic card or your blue book to hand for the relevant details.  If you don't already have residency you will need your eVisa document.  You should have this from when you arrived in Turkey. 

Do not post your original passport or existing ikamet.  For first time applications you must take the originals with you to your appointment.

C. Biometric passport photograph
You need 4 photos for a first time application and 2 photos for a renewal. You are also required to upload your photo to the DGMM web site as part of the application process, so you need the photo in electronic format on your computer too (e.g. a jpg file).

Essentially the term "biometric" in this situation means the type of photo required for a passport.  It can't be any old photo.  The photo must be less than 6 months old, at the time of your application.  Feedback we have received suggests the background colour must be white.  (Biometric photos with a cream background that were accepted for a UK passport application were rejected due to the background colour not being white).

As mentioned above you must also have an electronic copy of your biometric photo on your computer when you do your online application process.  If you don't have this file available to upload you can not continue with the application. 

Money in the bankD. Supporting yourself financially
You need to demonstrate that you have financial means to support yourself, for the period of residency you are applying for. 

This is currently the equivalent of US$500 per calendar month

Typically, you will demonstrate you can support yourself in one of two ways:
  1. showing that you have money in the bank, OR
  2. a regular pension income.

1. Money in the bank
You should ask your Turkish bank to provide a letter confirming the funds that are in your account.  This should be dated as close as possible to your application date - ideally within one week of your application.  Banks are entitled to make a small charge for providing you with this.  

If you are married and your bank savings are in the name of one of you, rather than in joint names, you will need to prove that you are married.  A translated and notarised copy of your marriage certificate may be required. 

Alternatively, you may wish to consider having your savings in joint names.  The authorities will assume that for a couple, money in a joint account, is held on a 50:50 basis.

For a 12 month STRP, you will need to show you have the equivalent of US$6,000.  At current exchange rates (November 2016) that's about 18,600 TL or just under £4,900.

KTLN tip! - For a married couple, how many bank letters do we need?

  • If you have a joint bank account, just get one letter from your bank, confirming the funds you hold.  One of you can place the original letter in your application folder, whilst the other can use a photocopy of the original, in their folder.
  • If the money is in one name only,  just get one letter from your bank, confirming the funds you hold.  The account holder can place the original letter in their application folder, whilst the non-account holder can use a photocopy of the original, in their folder.  (Plus the copy marriage certificate mentioned above).
  • If each of you have funds in your own accounts (i.e. not a joint account), then each of you needs to obtain an original letter from the bank.

The Kaş office tells us that UK bank balances are acceptable, however getting an up to date letter from your UK bank, and then having it translated may be quite a challenge.  We don't know anyone who has done this, so if you have we would be delighted to hear how you managed it.

2. Pension income
If you do not have sufficient funds in your Turkish bank account, and are perhaps relying instead on a regular pension income, then providing you have documentary evidence of this income, duly translated and notarised, this will be acceptable. Please note, you still need to take along the original document, as well as the translation.

KTLN tip! - If you are asking your pension provider for a letter, to confirm your pension income, ask them to make it as brief as possible, as any translation and notary charges tend to be made per word.  All the authorities want to know is how much you receive.  

It is useful for the letter to include words which confirm payments will be made for the rest of your life.  You may say this is obvious, but including these words may mean that you don't have to obtain another letter if you are renewing your residency.

If you are married and one person is reliant upon the other's pension income you will need to prove that you are married.  A translated and notarised copy of your marriage certificate will be required. 

Money in the bank plus a pension income
In some circumstances, where your bank money alone, or your pension income alone, is not enough, you may combine the two together, to get you to the required level.

E. Demonstrating you have somewhere to live
If you own your property, copy your tapu (title deed).  Furthermore you must obtain a document from your local tapu office (in Kaş) that shows you are still the owner.  Ask for a "Tapu Kaydı" (details of your Tapu in the official register).  There is a very small charge for this - less than 10TL, which has to be paid at a nearby bank.  You will need to provide the tapu office with a copy of your passport and give them your mobile phone number.  Once you have made your request you will have to wait for a short while (perhaps up to 30 minutes) after which you will receive an SMS message providing you with a reference number.   You need this number when paying the fee in the bank.  Once you have your receipt issued by the bank you return to the tapu office to collect your document confirming you still own the property.  This is what you need to hand over to the DGMM office with your application.

The DGMM  aslo want to see an official document that confirms you are living at your stated address.  This can be one of the following:

  • An official letter from the Belediye.  You need to ask for an 'Oturma Izni' letter, (residency permission).
  • Place of residence and address document from the Nüfus office "Yerlesim yeri ve diğer adres belgesi" - see below.

Also, if you are living together as a couple, any one of the above will probably be in the name of just one of you.  This is not a problem.  The original can go in one application folder, and a copy in the other folder.

If you are renewing your residence permit, there is an official Turkish form that you can get from the Nüfus office in Kaş on the second floor of the government building.  It is called a "Yerlesim yeri ve diğer adres belgesi". (Place of residence and address document).  It's issued free of charge.  Once the DGMM see this form, it is definitive proof of your address. 

The reason you can only use the above document for renewals, rather than first applications, is that to get one, you need to have a kimlik number, (also called a "TC number"), and normally you only get one of these once you have got your residency.

You may be asked to show that you have Dask (earthquake) insurance.  This is mandatory in Turkey. 

Living in rented property
If you are renting, you need to provide a copy of your rental agreement, as evidence that you have a place to live.  This must be a formal rental agreement, in Turkish, and according to feedback we have received, the term of your lease must be at least as long as the period of residency you are applying for.

The DGMM office wants to see the rental agreement confirmed as authentic by a notary.  Alternatively if the rental agreement is not notarised, the property owner will have to provide proof of identification plus proof of ownership of the property (see section above on tapus).

Moving - change of address
It is worth remembering that once you have residency and you move from one Turkish address to another you need to inform both the Nüfus offıce and the Kaş DGMM offıce within 48 hours.

F. Valid health insurance
You must have current and valid health insurance. The only exception to this is if you are over 65 years of age, where the need for this type of cover has been dropped.

You can have either Private Health Insurance or Public Health Insurance/SGK.  You need to show your private health insurance policy, or if you are on SGK, proof of current SGK cover.  You should obtain a letter from the local SGK office, confirming this.

You can't join the Turkish government's SGK health insurance scheme until you have been officially resident in Turkey for at least 12 months, so SGK is not an option for first time applicants.

KTLN has a separate guide on SGK health insurance

With Private Health Insurance, the policy must have the following clause in Turkish:

İşbu poliçe 06.06.2014 tarih ve 9 sayılı İkamet İzni Taleplerinde Yaptırılacak Özel Sigortalarına İlişkin Genelge' de belirlenen asgari teminat yapısını kapsamaktadır.

Here is a translation: “This policy covers the minimum indemnification that is required by the 6/6/2014 dated and 9 numbered memorandum for those applying for residency that need to be covered by a private health insurance”.  If it does not have this clause it will not be accepted.

A two year permit needs a two year health insurance policy
If you are applying for a STRP for two years you must demonstrate that you have health cover for the whole period.  If you are already on the SGK scheme this is accepted as proof that you have ongoing cover.  If you have private health insurance (Özel Sigorta) then your insurer must provide a policy (or policies) that show you are covered for the entire period you are applying for.  Hitherto most insurance companies only provided a policy for a maximum of 12 months, however it is now possible to find insurers who will cover you for up to two years. They may issue two separate policies - one for the first year and another for the second year, and you will have to pay premiums for both up front.

If you have a policy issued by a non-Turkish company - for example PPP in the UK, then this may be acceptable providing that the insurer has a recognised representative based in Turkey.  This representative will be asked to confirm that the policy complies with the above special wording.

Many companies offer private health insurance - you can ask banks or insurance brokers to get you a quote.  Some private health insurance providers operate age limits beyond which they will not take on new customers.  And if they do take on new customers of any age, premiums for older people may be quite expensive, and normally any pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered.

If you are married to a Turkish person, you may be covered under your spouse's SGK/Bağkur policy.

N.B. Please note that a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in Turkey, and will not be accepted as proof of health insurance.

Other things
As part of the application process you are asked about your education level but providing this information is not mandatory and no proof is asked for.

If you have existing SGK health insurance and you are renewing a STRP make sure you notify the local SGK office of the renewal otherwise your cover will expire.  This should be done as soon as possible after renewal.

Finally a reminder that if your circumstances change in a significant way you should contact the DGMM as soon as you can.  For example, if you marry or divorce or a partner dies.  And as we mentioned above, if you change address you need to notify the authorities (including DGMM) within 48 hours. 

Feedback please
If you apply for your residency, please take the time to provide us with feedback as to how it went, and let us know if our guide needs changing in any way.  Your privacy will be respected, as no personal details will appear in any KTLN report.  You can get in touch using the Contact Us tab at the top of this page.

If you are applying for a Long Term Residence Permit (LTRP) click on the following link:  The 2016 KTLN Guide to Long Term Residence Permits (LTRP)


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Last Updated on Friday, 10 March 2017