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A few remarks on ikamet

The subject of sitting permit in Turkey is a very important issue for every foreigner who comes here and plans to stay here longer than allowed 90 days within the period of 180 days on the basis of standard touristic visa. As most of you who are interested in the subject know, the formalities connected with filing the documents for “ikamet” can be now sorted out in Alanya. Those ones who has already experienced this “pleasure” of striving with Turkish beaurocracy, and filed the application for “ikamet”, are aware of the fact that procedures and rules continue to change all the time. Every year there are new documents needed or the application is examined with accordance to new rules, which naturally causes quite a confusion. We did some research, as in November 2016 new rules entered into force, and that way perhaps our article shall be useful.



The first step on the way to apply for ikamet is of course on-line application – on the website https://www.eikamet.gov.tr you will find an application form, which step by step has to be filled in carefully; in practise fill in only the spaces marked in red, which are obligatory, which will save you a lot of time and nerves.
I didn’t use the word “carefully” for causing dramatic tension 😉 Pay attention on what information you put into each gap to avoid problems in the following years – because the system remembers your primary personal data, and it is not so easy to change them in the future. Mind especially the spelling with usage of Turkish letters, significantly “i” and „ı”.  Be careful on the date format – month-day-year instead of the one we got used to day-month-year. To avoid any mistakes, I recommend you to use a ready calendar. While filling in the on-line application you will already need to have the insurance policy – you will need its number and realise that its validity must be one day longer than the time for which we apply for ikamet – otherwise the system shall not enroll the application. Let’s not buy the insurance too early then otherwise we will unnecessarily lose the days of its validity. 
Note that the insurance policy is obligatory for those applicants between 18 and 65 years of age (persons who are younger than 18 and older than 65 are exempt from this obligation). We will not comment this in any special way, however it is quite obvious that frequency of experiencing sicknesses and accidents by children and elderly persons is much higher than those at the age between 18 and 65. Well, I assume that such a policy is just a result of distinctive Turkish logic…
Persons who apply for ikamet for the first time will have to go to a meeting with an officer of Göç İdaresi (which we call ““randevu”), the system will offer us the time of the meeting, and unfortunately they can be quite distant – sometimes even 3 months since the date of making an on-line application, however there is no rule about it, it all generally depends on the number of applicants in the specific time. Just at the meeting you will need to prepare all the necessary documents in order to obtain ikamet, and these are:

  1. A printed copy of on-line application, signed by the applicant (on behalf of children their parents put signature)
  2. 4 biometric photographs
  3. A copy of passport or passport substitute which allowed us to enter Turkey (pages allowing identification + page with stamp at the border which certifies our last entrance, it is good also to have a page with valid visa). We should also keep the original copy available for inspection (Note than the passport has to stay valid for at least 60 days after the expiry of ikamet that we apply for!!)
  4. Notification regarding sufficient and sustainable resources for the duration of stay (until now for all time the magic amount has been 500USD or equivalent of this sum in different currency for each month of stay in Turkey stored in an account in Turkish bank, but at the moment there are other documents accepted, which are from other bank than Turkish and show than the account is active and there are both cash in-flows and out-flows, that can prove income of these 500USD into account or even credit card statement which is acceptable abroad. If such a document comes from abroad, like all the documents from foreign country, must be apostilled.
  5. Valid health insurance stamped by the insurance company which covers all time of stay in Turkey for which we apply for ikamet
  6. A document showing the applicant’s place of residence – it can be TAPU (an extract from ownership deed of the property dated no sooner than 6 months before application) for persons owning their own apartment or rental contract drawn up by a notary.
  7. A receipt from making necessary payments (it can be made online or directly in tax office (Vergi Dairesi)  *amounts can differ when it comes to different nationalities.
  8. Moreover when applying for ikamet for minor children, there should be attached:
    1. birth certificate with apostille + translation into Turkish certified by a notary
    2. parents’ marriage certificate with apostille + translation into Turkish certified by a notary.
  9. Both parents should be present at making application; if one of the parents isn’t present, then his/her deed of consent in a form of notary act with apostille must be attached + sworn translation of this document into Turkish.


Note that additional information and documents may be requested by administration !!

A person applying for ikamet for the first time shall obtain foreigner ID (Yabanci Kimlik Numarasi) – this number will be generated after around 2 weeks since entering the application into the system, and only after getting this number we can register our stay under given address in Nüfus Idaresi.
After making application for “ikamet” generally the waiting time is 30-90 days, however in winter the ikamet can be ready within 4 weeks whereas in the summer when there are more applicants, the waiting period can be extended to 8-10 weeks.
In our article we are trying to bring closer the procedure and necessary documents which concern the applicants for ikamet for touristic reasons as these are majority of ikamets applied for – we should remember however that for other types of ikamet, depending on the reason of our stay in Turkey (e.g. studying or business activity) there can be different documents needed. More detailed information can be found on https://www.eikamet.gov.tr.
Those who are renewing the ikamet are in better position because if there are no changes in their significant personal information like for example name or surname, marital status or passport number, there is no need to participate in “randevu” with an official. The procedure only comes down then to making online application and sending the set of documents by post to Göç İdaresi Müdürlüğü in Alanya within 5 working days since the date of online application.
The necessary documents are:

  1. A printed copy of on-line application, signed by the applicant (on behalf of children their parents put signature)
  2. 2 biometric photographs
  3. A copy of passport or passport substitute which allowed us to enter Turkey (pages allowing identification). (Note that the passport has to stay valid for at least 60 days after the expiry of ikamet that we apply for!!)
  4. Notification regarding sufficient and sustainable resources for the duration of stay (as mentioned before at making new ikamet).
  5. Valid health insurance stamped by the insurance company which covers all time of stay in Turkey for which we apply for ikamet
  6. A document showing the applicant’s place of residence – it can be TAPU, rental contract, a document from Nufus Idaresi about our address status.
  7. A receipt from making necessary payments.

Online application can be the earliest filed 45 days before the expiry of the previous ikamet. Taking into account the fact that we have only 5 working days for sending all documents, we may not always be able to do this. The main obstacle to do so can be obtaining a new insurance in advance, if we want to continue the policy at the same insurance company – in that case we can get a new insurance only two weeks before the previous one expires. Therefore, if it is urgent for us to send the documents much earlier, it shall be necessary to change the insurance company – only then we can get a new polisy in a big advance. Let’s not forget that the policy must be valid at least one day longer than othe ilkamet that we apply for.
Any news, changes or interesting facts in the subject?

  1. On the basis of current rules we can leave Turkey for any period of time – our ikamet will not become invalid (*well known rule of “120 days” which has always been a source of stress is not in force anymore).
  2. It is possible now to apply for granting ikamet for 2 years – in such a case all the documents need to be valid for adequate period of time, which means we need an insurance policy for 2 years, we have to pay a higher administrative fee (the fee for second year of validity of ikamet is little lower). Let’s also remember that the passport has to stay valid for at least 60 days after the expiry of ikamet that we apply for!!
  3. It is possible to apply for a family ikamet, if you had ikamet earlier and now want to bring your family to Turkey, even if  none of the family members is of Turkish origin or citizenship (before this type of ikamet had been reserved only for spouses and children of Turkish citizens). You must be aware of the fact however that if before you had “standard” ikamet and now decide to change it into “family”, then for immigration system it means a significant change in your personal status, therefore you will need to have “randevu” at Immigration Office. That type of ikamet can be granted for up to 3 years.
  4. Having sent application documents we need to have patience – the clerks of Immigration Office are not obliged to give us any information about the status of our application, its completeness, both to the applicant or a third party. If the application is incomplete or the officer will expect to be presented some additional documents by the applicant, then shall contact us. Otherwise, we can only wait for the postman who brings us our ikamet.
  5. Sending documents – activity rather common, but in the matter of applying for ikamet rather significant. Members of family applying for a family ikamet can send applications and all the accompanying documents in one envelope, whereas persons who aren’t related to each other cannot send the documents in one package.
  6. The fact which will interest all persons waiting for ikamet, who have a need of leaving Turkey and going abroad in that time – a necessary document to obtain in such a situation was IKAMET IZNI MÜRACAAT BELGESI which if carried by us, secured us from paying fine at the Turkish border for excessing the period of visa. The abovementioned document needed to be stamped by the official from Göç İdaresi, which was proving that the person has filed a full ikamet application on time. It appears now however that since now the immigration office clerk will be able to stamp us this document but will not have any obligation to do so. So if it must be dependant on the good will and recognition of the immigration officer, then maybe it will be better not to plan any trips outside of Turkey while waiting for the new ikamet.
  7. The format of the photographs – they are acceptable in different sizes,  as long as the picture meets the requirements of a biometric photo.
  1. Those who are applying for ikamet for the first time, in the period between making application online and the time of randevu are not allowed to leave Turkey (!!), otherwise they will be fined at the border.

Let’s remember however that the online application can be sent from any place in the world, so if some important matters keep us abroad and there is no need to stay in Turkey, then probably it’s better to arrive to Turkey later, closer to the time of randevu and then patiently expect the time of it.

  1. Persons who are renewing ikamet, having sent the documents by post, shouldn’t leave Turkey for longer than 15 days, and they also need to have the document which I mentioned about in paragraph 6 – IKAMET IZNI MÜRACAAT – not to take risk of paying the fine at the border.

This article has been written in order to be of assistance while settling all the formalities when applying for ikamet, but does not concern all the issues connected with this process. Those who have already applied for ikamet before, know that “every person is a separate case”, so it is always worth checking the current information on the website www.eikamet.gov.tr.
Good luck in non-problematic ikamet application!! 🙂

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