TURKEY – Significant Delays to Residence Permit Application Appointments; and New Limits for Stays Abroad for Residence Permit Holders
The online system for booking appointments for first-time residence permit applications in Turkey is currently issuing appointments up to 90 days after the booking date, putting applicants’ legal immigration status in Turkey at risk.
In addition, a law which entered into force in May 2014, regulating the length of stays abroad for foreign national residence permit holders, has recently begun to be enforced.
Appointments for initial residence permit applications can be booked online before the applicant’s arrival in Turkey, but as the applicant must attend the appointment in person, the appointment date must be set for after the applicant’s arrival in Turkey.
Applications for residence permit renewals do not require the applicant to attend in person, and therefore an appointment is not required.
Law no. 6458 (On Foreigners and International Protection), which entered into force on 1 May 2014, regulates the amount of time a foreign national residence permit holder may stay outside Turkey without their resident permit being cancelled.
A short-term residence permit may be cancelled or not renewed if the holder stays more than 120 days outside Turkey during the permit’s validity period.
A family residence permit may be cancelled or not renewed if the holder stays more than 180 days outside Turkey during the permit’s validity period.
These rules have not been enforced until now. However, in early November 2015, at least one case for renewal of a short-term residence permit was rejected for infringing these rules.
- Ensure that foreign nationals travelling to Turkey on a tourist visa but intending to obtain a residence permit to extend their stay book an appointment for the residence permit application as early as possible, to avoid problems.
- Ensure that resident permit holders do not spend more than the maximum length of time outside Turkey during the permit’s validity period.