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|The KTLN Guide to the 120 day rule for Short Term Residence Permits (STRP)|
|Monday, 28 December 2015|
This article has been updated following a Twitter announcement by DGMM on 16th August 2016.
N.B. The Twitter announcement said that the 120 day rule was being abandoned. Initially this relaxation was widely interpreted as only applying to new STRPs issued, and it would not apply retroactively to all existing permits. However as far as the Kaş office is concerned the 120 day rule is history, and no penalties will be incurred by anyone who has fallen foul of this rule. So the way in which this is being applied in Kaş will be to drop the 120 day rule completely, irrespective of when your permit was issued.
The rest of this article is retained purely as a reference to how the 120 day rule used to be applied before it was annulled. Please be assured that this rule is now history.
Original article follows:
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. There have been some inconsistencies in how the law has been interpreted and the application process has evolved over time.
This KTLN guide explains one specific rule that has been especially hard to figure out - the so called 120 day rule. It applies to Short Term Residence Permits (STRPs) only.With a STRP, if you stay out of Turkey for more than 120 days, your residency permission will be cancelled.
The 120 day rule explained
For UK citizens this is what the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) web site says in relation to this subject:
No problems at border checkpoints - so what's the fuss?
Your SGK (if you have it) will continue as before. If you have a car or scooter and are subject to a routine traffic check nothing will be said about your residency status.
For all intents and purposes everything will continue as before, however in the eyes of the DGMM if you choose not follow the official advice to buy an eVisa when you return to Turkey you are in the country without legal permission. This will become apparent when you need to deal with the DGMM - for example if you wish to renew your STRP.
The reason that you won't be challenged by other government departments and agencies is because they don't have access to the the full DGMM computer system, so as far as officials and officers outside the DGMM are concerned you appear to have a residence permit and a kimlik number. It would seem that the status of your residence permit is a matter of concern for the DGMM only.
What are the consequences?
If 90 days is not enough you can apply for a STRP, however even if you had residence permission before, your application will be treated as a first time application and not a renewal. If you have been accruing residency years to go towards the eight years required to apply for a Long Term Residence Permit (LTRP) you will find that by staying out of Turkey for more than 120 days you will have lost all the time you had accrued. The clock is reset to zero. If there are extraordinary circumstances that meant you had no choice but to stay out of Turkey there is an appeals procedure but we don't know of anyone who has tried to use it.
If you didn't follow official advice to buy an eVisa and you contact the DGMM within 90 days of re-entering Turkey our understanding is that you should be able to sort things out easily and you will pay a relatively small fine. But if you return to Turkey, don't buy an eVisa and you then stay for more than 90 days the penalty will be greater. We can't say exactly what the penalty would be.* If you go to the DGMM office in Kaş they will refer the matter to head office for a ruling, taking into account your particular circumstances and the amount of time you have spent in the country illegally. Any fine needs to be paid at the Maliye office in Kaş.
That's KTLN's take on the "120 day rule".
* One person told us that her fine for exceeding the 120 day rule was 150TL.
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|Last Updated on Monday, 17 October 2016|