7 June 2018

TURKEY: Stricter rules for short term permits

The Turkish Immigration Authority, the Migration Directorate, have issued stricter rules regarding short term residence permit applications.

The reason being that they want to crack down on misuse of the permit for work purposes, for which it is not intended. Short Term residence permits in Turkey are intended for residence purposes only and not work.

The main changes are as follows:

  • The validity of the permit will be reduced to a maximum of 1 year with the possibility to extend it only once for a period of 5 months;
  • It will now be required to submit a legalised police clearance report from the country of nationality (no older than 6 months at the time of submission);
  • The requirement to show sufficient funds to cover the stay in Turkey will be made stricter and more specific. The income must be shown to be continuous or as assets in Turkey rather than just one lump sum deposit in a foreign bank account for example. Bank letters are no longer accepted and if there really is no other option than to show a lump sum deposit in a foreign bank account (often the case for unmarried partners) then the sum should be significant (for example, $50,000);
  • For the initial permit application applicants must request online an appointment from the Migration Directorate, the confirmation will be sent within 14 calendar days. In case the applicant cannot make the set appointment the application will have to be cancelled and applied for again. Previously applicants could select their own date for the appointment.

Although the regulations for initial applications are stricter the bigger challenge will come for renewal applications. The Migration Directorate are trying to dissuade (albeit unofficially) people from submitting renewals, preferring them to make a whole new initial application instead by leaving the country and then applying afresh.

Currently renewals can be done by post and only if there is a specific query related to the application is the applicant required to appear in person.

One big change related to renewals that should be mentioned separately is that if an applicant presents a new passport at the time of renewal then it will actually not be possible to do a postal renewal anymore, they will have to go through the initial application procedure and appear for an interview in person.

This might impact family’s with children whose passports are only valid for 5 years whereas the parents passports are valid for 10 years for example. If the application procedures would differ between family members then it could create problems for their status.

How does this affect the client?

The changes will have considerable impact, especially, for example, on unmarried partners for whom the permit is frequently used and for families where the passports are all issued at different times. Employers should inform affected foreign nationals of the changes as soon as possible. With the new documentation requirement there will be an increase in the lead time for obtaining the permit and applicants will have to create time to attend the appointments which could affect work schedules and plans.



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