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Friday, 19 March 2010

Boring, but vital: Talk about Turkish visas.

YES, it’s a boring subject. But it’s also a necessary one. Anyone thinking of moving to Turkey really needs to know this stuff. Which is why we’ve compiled an easy how-to guide that will hopefully take the pain out of the paperwork.

Depending on your nationality and your length of stay and what you intend to do in Turkey, there are a number of different visa requirements.

Tourist visa

Most foreigners visiting Turkey will require a visa. The good news here is, you can apply for your tourist visa at any major Turkish port. The visa will cost around 23TL (£10) for three months, but fees vary depending on your nationality. Check with your local Turkish embassy before you head off.

Some expat residents prefer to hold a tourist visa and leave the country every three months, travelling to the Greek Islands or back to Europe.

Tourist Residence Visa and Full Residence Visa

If you don’t own property or have a job in Turkey, you can get a tourist residence visa, which is valid for between six and 12 months and costs around 345TL (£150). If you’re living in Turkey will need a full residence visa. It’s really best to apply for this when you’re in Turkey as it will be cheaper and easier, but if you really want to take care of this before you leave your home country you can head to your nearest Turkish consulate and sort it out there.

Here’s how you obtain your residence visa:

Head to the Foreign Police Bureau in the area where you live. This will normally be found in the capital city of the province where you live, or where you’re hoping to move to.

OR

If you’re still in your home country, head to the nearest Turkish consulate.

What you’ll need:
1. Residency permit request forms. You can pick these up at the bureau or download them here. This is where you put all that important personal information: sources of income, your parents’ names, and why you want to stay in Turkey. The bureau prefers the forms typed, so you may find it easier to print them out beforehand.
2. Six passport-size photos
3. Evidence that you have at least 2000 Euros, or the Turkish Lira equivalent, in a Turkish bank. This can be done by simply presenting your bank deposit book at the bureau. You can deposit the money just before your application and then withdraw it afterwards if necessary. (Note: if you are married to a Turk, you may not need to prove you have money. Call ahead to the bureau to make sure – these kinds of things can vary from place to place).

4. Your property rental contract, or your TAPU (title deed). You’ll need both the original and a copy.

5. Your residence permit (if you hold one already and are after an extension).

6. Your passport, along with a copy of the photo and the visa page.

7. Visa fees: 888TL (for a year’s permit – check prices for different lengths of stay here: , plus 8.90TL for the processing fee. These are the 2010 prices – they tend to change each year.

And then?

You’ll be issued with a small receipt. Keep hold of it just in case any powers-that-be ask you about your presence in Turkey over the next few days. Wait seven days and then return to the bureau to pick up your newly minted or renewed permit.

Work permits

In order to work in Turkey you will need an official job offer from an employer. Then you can apply for your work permit. The process here is twofold: you apply to the Turkish consulate in your own country, while your employer applies permission to employ you from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Department. It’s quite straightforward to gain this permit if you get the ball rolling before you leave your own country. If you’re already in Turkey you may have to return to your home country to apply from there.

Now what?

If you're still confused, visit your local Turkish consulate's website. Or better still, talk to us and have it explained to you in clear English: +44 208 371 0059.

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