Instructions: How to Get a Residence Permit in Turkey

In the world of bureaucracy, we need less stamps and more action. Unfortunately Turkey is a perfect example of standing in queues and getting stamps on pieces of paper for seemingly pointless reasons.

Here is a step-by-step guide demonstrating how to get a residence permit in Turkey from someone who has just obtained a Turkish residency permit.

Note- Read the update at the end of this post.

1. Make an appointment with your local police station. In Istanbul you can book an appointment here. Leave yourself several hours to do all the form stamping.

2. Get:

  • 4 passport photos. This can be done in any photo shop for around 10 TL.
  • A home address in the same postal area as the police station you are visiting. [This home address does not need to be where you live (of course it should). Walking into a nearby English language school, picking up a flyer, and using their address as yours still gives you a valid address.]
  • A receipt showing that you have US $500 for every month that you wish to stay in Turkey (1 year = $6000). Going into an exchange office and asking for a fake receipt will cost you around 50 TL and save you having to exchange (or have) several thousands dollars.
  • Your original passport.
  • 3 photocopies of your passport information page.
  • 3 photocopies of your Turkish entry stamp in your passport.

3. Go to your meeting.

4. Spend several hours following their pointless direction and getting stamps before handing over around US $70 (converted into Turkish Lira).

5. Act bemused as you get all your documents handed back to you and told that you are now a resident in Turkey. That’s it that’s all. For all the faff it takes, it is in fact, a fairly painless procedure.

UPDATE- My residence permit is invalid because I did not go back to the police station to pick it up. This may soon prove to be a legal problem.

By | 2013-12-22T01:00:57+00:00 February 27th, 2013|Advice|4 Comments


  1. Maria 26/11/2017 at 13:51 - Reply

    You still need to get a job first in order to be able to get a residence permit right? Now i understand this an old post but since i am considering such a move to Istanbul i would really want to know as much as possible and the job part is missing from this post.

    • Jamie 27/11/2017 at 20:27 - Reply

      The residence permit does not allow you to work – you need a separate permit / visa for that and I never went through that process.

  2. Eleonora Oliveira 30/09/2013 at 02:21 - Reply

    As I am planning to move to Istanbul next year and work there as an English teacher, all the experiences/information you have been posting here are priceless 🙂
    Thank you so much!!

Leave A Comment