Turkey Visas, Permits and Immigration

by Jose Marc Castro on August 11, 2009

VISAturkey200Issuances of Turkish passports are for Turkish citizens who wish to travel outside of the country. Turkish passports are valid for at least 6 months from the date of entering Turkey. Turkish passports are required from almost all nationals except those in identified exempt properties.

The basics are provided for in Rest of the World Expat Forum last May 24, 2007:

According to the provisions of Law no.5683 of 15 July 1950, persons who come to Turkey as tourists may stay Four months without a residence permit, unless there is a restriction in their visa or a separate provision in the visa agreement between Turkey and their country of origin. Generally the period stipulated in visa agreements is three months. ( NOTE İS SAY’S THREE MONTH’S ON YOUR VİSA THE ACTUAL REAL TİME İS 90 DAYS..!! )Persons who wish to stay longer in Turkey are required to apply to the security authorities for a residence permit.

Turkish Passport

Nationals of the countries mentioned below are free to enter Turkey provided they present a legitimate ID card. ID cards must be valid for at least a year.

•    France
•    Belgium
•    Greece
•    Germany
•    Italy
•    Luxembourg
•    Liechtenstein
•    Spain
•    Malta
•    Netherlands
•    Switzerland

Types of Turkish Passports

Regular Passport – Referred to as the Navy Blue Passport, this passport is issued to a Turkish citizen who is not qualified for any type of passport. Another name for this passport is Turkish Navy Blue Passport. To obtain a regular passport, you must present the following requirements such as birth certificate, proof of citizenship, certificate of identity, copy of a passport type photograph and self-addressed stamp in an envelope.

Special Passport – Called the Green passport, the issuances of this type of passport are for former members of the National Assembly, Mayors, Academicians, first, second or third public servant, pensioners, and spouses of the special passport owners. The daughter of the special passport owner can keep their passport until the time of employment or marriage. Another popular name for this passport is Turkish Green passport.

Diplomatic Passport – This is called the Red passport and passport are for members of the National Assembly, non-PM ministers, Head judges of the judicial organs and their deputies, negotiators that are to deal with international issues, diplomats, and spouses of the diplomatic passport owners. These nationals can also use this passport when accompanying the primary passport holder. Another popular name for this passport is the Turkish Red passport.

Service Passport – The other name for this passport is the Turkish Gray passport. Issuances of this kind of passport are for people who are qualified for the diplomatic and special passport as well as national athletes and Turkish citizens working for the international organization, employees of the Red Crescent and Turkish Aeronautical Association and spouses of the service passport holders.

It has been reported that the Turkish government will soon be issuing biometric passports by January 2010 to replace the existing passport system with special colors for the individual designations.

Turkey Immigration and Visa

Applicants can obtain a 3-month tourist visa upon arriving at Turkey, but this depends on the foreigner’s nationality. Foreign nationals should obtain the appropriate visa from the Turkish Embassy when they need to work or study in Turkey.

Foreign students planning to study in Turkey need to acquire a student visa from the Turkish Consulate or Embassy before entering Turkey. The student visa is valid as long as holders are enrolled in a Turkish school.

Foreign nationals must apply at the Turkish consulate or embassy to obtain a working visa and work permit. This will allow the foreign national to work in Turkey. These foreigners have 90 days before applying and getting a residence permit. This will legalize their stay in Turkey. Foreign visitors are required to carry several forms of identification such as diving license and national passport before they get a residence permit.

This was echoed in a post at Rest of the World Expat Forum last March 4, 2009:

if you are going to stay in Turkey its not really need to take a special visa in the embassy…You can just come to Turkey you have all rights to stay here 3 month….before 2 weeks your 3 month visa will finish you just can go to the police station to get a new one it takes just an hour or maximum 2 days ….If you want to get some job here its also no problem you can speak english and its enough to get a nice work…im living in Turkey now but still didnt learn turkish…actually didnt need everyone can speak english…and in my office everyone speaks english…actually in our office only one turkish the others all from different countries Sweden…Russia….Germany…England
About your boyfriend sorry i dont know if it is the same with visa….i dont know all specification of your boyfriends job now but i think if he works in the united states air force…could be some problems with going abroad…Sorry dont know really about US but in some other countries it is forbidden

Foreign nationals not intending to stay in Turkey for more than 30 days to work or study can obtain the the Turkish visa at the foreigner’s port of entry such as Turkish airports or piers. Foreigners planning to stay in Turkey for more than 30 days need a special Turkish visa obtained from the Turkish Embassy. Foreigners who wish to stay in Turkey for over thirty days on a special visa will need to get a residency permit from the Turkish Security Directory. Applicants can obtain their Turkish visas at the Turkish Immigration Embassy or purchase it at the airport counter upon entering the country.

2 Types of the Turkish Tourist Visa

Turkish Single Entry Visa – The Turkish single entry visa allows foreigners to enter Turkey once. If foreign nationals leave the Turkish territory, then they need to obtain a separate visa to re-enter. This visa is valid for 3 months. And the requirements for this visa are the following:

i.    original signed passport valid for six months;
ii.    1 blank visa page available for a visa stamp; and
iii.    a copy of a 2×2 passport-type photograph.

Turkish Multiple Entry Visa – A Turkish multiple entry visa allows foreigners visiting Turkey for tourism to enter the country several times as long as it’s within the duration of the visa’s validity. It is valid for 3 months from the date of issuance. The requirements for this type of visa are:

i.    original signed passport with a validity of 6 months beyond the intended stay;
ii.    1 blank visa page available for visa stamp; and
iii.    a copy of a two by two passport-type photograph.

Turkey Immigration Permits

Work Permit

Foreign nationals must have an official work offer from an employer in Turkey to work in this country as individuals. Foreigners who plan to work in Turkey need to obtain a working visa, work permit, and residence permit. These permits will grant these foreigners the eligibility of working and living in Turkey. Foreign nationals are required to request for a visa within 90 days and a residence permit within 30 days to work in Turkey. The requirement for this permit is a valid work visa.

Residence Permit

Residence permits are required from foreign nationals who intend to remain for more than a month in Turkey. Applications should be filed at Turkish Consulates and Embassies, and foreign nationals must obtain the duration of their residence in their visa before entering Turkey. Foreign nationals excluded from getting visas are also exempted from residence permits limited within the visa exemption period.

The maximum length of residence permits is a year. Local security authorities can extend this once they state a valid reason on why the foreign national wants to extend the residence permit. Foreign nationals with a residence permit can apply at the security authorities in case they leave Turkey for a temporary period. The requirements for a residence permit are the following:

i.    student certificate;
ii.    5 copies of a passport-type photograph;
iii.    a copy of the passport with valid student visa; and
iv.    a residence permit fee.

Student Permit

The Turkish government allows foreign nationals to work while studying if they continue following Turkish rules and regulations. The non-EEA nationals need a study permit before they can apply for a work permit.

The study permit gives the foreign nationals permission to work within a limited basis. Foreign nationals can work as part-time employees or seasonal workers. They must also work up to 10 hours a week throughout the year or work full-time during the months of June, July, and August.

Turkish Immigration Policy

The new Turkey law  No. 4817 focuses on work permits issued to foreigners. This law is the national law regarding the employment of foreign national workers. It came into effect in September of 2003. This No. 4817 law has eliminated the multi-faced and scattered structure of previous foreign worker laws in Turkey. The Turkey law No. 4817 states the issuance of work permits from a single Turkish Authority.

Turkish law No. 4817 establishes the principles for the granting limit and cancellation of work authorization documents in Turkey. The No. 4817 law also establishes a category of foreign nationals who may not be eligible for the authorization of documents in Turkey and the responsibilities assumed when work authorization documents is granted to a foreign national.

Turkey Visa Rules for GCC Nationals

The Turkey immigration government issued visa rules for nationals of the GCC or Gulf Cooperation Council States including Saudi Arabia. This grants them long-term entry visas upon arrival at Turkish entry points. A Saudi Arabia passport holder can get a visa immediately on arrival at any port of Turkey, Turkish airport, or upon arrival at the Turkish Embassy. The Turkish Ambassador Ugur Dogan issued this Turkish visa rule.

Turkey Asylum Policy

The new Turkey national program concerning the European Union has raised analysis for its breakdown to align the country’s asylum and immigration policies with European Union standards granting refugee status to asylum system searcher from outside Europe. This policy is expressed in the third Turkish National Program for the adaptation of the European Union Acquis that runs opposing to Ankara bracing the geographic barrier of Europeans.

Occupational Prohibitions for Foreign Nationals in Turkey

The only citizens permitted to work as State employees in Turkey are Turkish citizens. For the sake of the general welfare, the government prohibits the practice of other professions to foreigners. This includes law, dentistry, and medicine, pharmacy, and nursing. The government also prohibits foreigners from permanently or temporarily working at lighting, water and heating installation areas.

Turkish Point System

Turkish Point System

The Turkish point system was developed partly from the Australian and American models. It is designed to allow only foreign skilled workers to work and live in Turkey. The new scheme allows the Turkish government to effectively track down and control illegal immigrants. The point system ensures that only people from other countries with special skills can migrate to Turkey. Foreign nationals will be given points based on their work experience, age, qualification and language ability. Citizens of countries that have an agreement with the Turkish government will have to get a certain number of points to qualify for the new scheme. Low-skilled workers can also work in Turkey to fill specific job vacancies for a fixed period. This new point system of Turkey was issued in 2007.


{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Teko July 28, 2013 at 12:10 am

I wanna know all the requirements and detailed steps to migrate with my little family to work and live in Istanbul, I'm 33 yrs old working as an assistant radiologist, married and got one sibling

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