Living in Turkey

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

You can get an e-visa for Turkey at www.evisa.gov.tr for US$20. It is still possible to get visas at the port of entry from visa kiosk for $30. However, Turkish government encourages obtaining e-visas prior to travel to Turkey . PLEASE NOTE: E-visas are for travelers entering Turkey for tourism or short-term business travel.  For any other purpose of travel, the applicant must obtain a Turkish visa in advance from the Turkish Embassy/Consulate.

Official/Diplomatic Passport holders: Holders of official and diplomatic passports on official business must obtain a visa from a Turkish embassy or consulate before arrival in Turkey.

The Turkish authorities have implemented new regulations allowing a maximum stay of 90 days within a 180 day period.  If you are planning to stay in Turkey more than 90 days within a 180 day period, you must get a Turkish residence permit.

The Embassy is unable to provide any information regarding the renewal or extension of Turkish visas or residence permits. Holders of these documents are encouraged to contact Turkish authorities.

 

Please visit the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey to learn more about the process and requirements to apply for visas for study or research in Turkey.  A letter of acceptance from an accredited Turkish educational institution is also required.

I have my visa.  What do I do now?

U.S. citizens planning to remain in Turkey for more than 90 days must also obtain a residence permit after arrival in Turkey. Please check requirements for residence permit blow.

U.S. citizens who would like to work in Turkey should first contact their prospective employer. It is the responsibility of the employer to obtain approval from the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security to hire foreign employees and also to obtain the specific employee’s work permit. Employers may obtain work permit application forms at the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Upon approval from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the prospective employer should notify the U.S. citizen candidate and send the work permit and all appropriate documents to the individual.  The U.S. citizen should then apply for a Turkish work visa.

I have my visa.  What do I do now?

After obtaining your work permit and work visa, U.S. citizens planning to remain in Turkey for more than 90 days must also obtain a residence permit after arrival in Turkey. Residence permits are available through the Directorate of General of Migration Management (DGMM) website.

If you are planning to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days within a 180-day period, for any reason, including tourism, you must get a Turkish residence permit.  In order to obtain a residence permit, please schedule an online appointment at e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr before you contact Provincial Directorates of Migration Management Office in your area.

The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S Citizens not to overstay their visas and to maintain valid residence permits at all times.  Turkish authorities do enforce the laws, including those stipulating fines, deportation, and bans on future travel to Turkey for people who overstay their visas or do not maintain valid residency permits. If you stay beyond the date your visa or residence permit expires, even if only for a few days, you will be fined at the port of exit and will be subject to a travel ban preventing you from re-entering Turkey for a period between three months and five years (depending on the length of your overstay).  Monthly fines for overstaying Turkish visas or residency permits add up quickly. Travelers are encouraged to check with local authorities to ensure compliance with all Turkish immigration regulations.

U.S. citizens who have overstayed their visas, residence permits, or visa exempt periods and are subject to a fine can also benefit from the residence permit procedure as long as they pay the related fines.

If you are a tourist and want to stay longer in Turkey

U.S. citizens who enter Turkey with a tourist visa obtained at a Turkish Embassy or Consulate or who buy a tourist visa stamp at an airport or other port of entry or who are exempt from getting tourist visas, and who wish to stay in Turkey for tourism purposes longer than 90 days, are able to get a tourist residence permit for a maximum period of six months by scheduling an online appointment for e-residency applications at e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr for Provincial Directorates of Migration Management Offices.  The six month residence permit plus the 90-day initial entry permit will allow U.S. citizens to stay legally in Turkey for up to a total of 9 months.

Obtaining U.S. criminal records for residence permits

Information on how to obtain U.S. criminal records can be found here.

Do I need health insurance to get a residence permit in Turkey?

If you are obtaining residence permit, you will be required by the Turkish government to get health insurance that has coverage in Turkey.

The Turkish government implemented a general health insurance law called the Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law (GHI). You can find below some useful information and updates about the General Health Insurance Law (GHI) if you are applying for GHI in Turkey.

Where can I find more information about residence permits?

First time application in 3 Steps Brochure (Word 43 KB)
Application for extension (PDF 178 KB)
More documents on e-residency application
Further announcements on the Turkish residence permits

Passport Validity: Recommended six months beyond date of entry into Turkey

Foreigners traveling to Turkey should carry a passport or travel document with an expiration date at least 60 days beyond the duration of stay of expiration date of their visa, visa exemption, or residence permit. Turkish tourist visas are generally valid for six months; therefore U.S. citizens should have a passport that is valid for six months beyond entry date. Passports should have enough blank space to allow for Turkish entry and exit stamps. If there is not enough space for entry and exit stamps in your passport, you will be denied entry into Turkey.

What happens if you don’t have enough validity on your passport?

If your passport validity is less than 60 days, you will not be allowed to enter Turkey.
If your passport has a validity of 60 to 75 days, you will be allowed to enter Turkey with an approved stay of 10 days.
If your passport has a validity of 75 days to 6 months, you will be allowed to enter Turkey with an approved stay of 15 days.

If you stay longer than your approved stay, you will be subject to a fine. 

The procedures and legislation regarding the purchase of property in Turkey may differ from that in the U.S.  The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to contact the local District Land Registry Office (Tapu ve Kadastro Müdürlüğü), before making any payment.

Where can I find more information about purchasing property in Turkey?