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Ken Grubb

Before you apply for a residence permit in Turkey, you must have health insurance. Most foreigners buy private health insurance policies specifically designed to meet the minimum requirements for a residence permit. These policies are commonly called "Expat Insurance," an expat being a foreigner who lives in Turkey. They usually cost a few hundred Turkish Lira, but the price varies according to age and other factors.

Buy Health Insurance Before You Apply Online

Residence permit applications are made online, at https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/. During the application process, the application system will ask you for your health insurance policy information, including the insurance company name, start and finish dates of the policy, and the policy number. So you must get a health insurance policy before you even begin.

When you're finished with the online application, you'll include a copy of your health insurance policy with your residence permit application package.

Learn more about Turkish private health insurance policies and how to buy them.

Required information

Insurance companies usually have a web page about their policies and what they cover, and a form you can fill out and submit for a free quotation. They usually need your:

  • Name*
  • Date of Birth
  • Height
  • Weight
  • City and Province in Turkey
  • Father's Name**
  • Requested Start Date (see above)
  • Number of Years of Coverage***

*Make sure you write your name exactly as it's written on your passport. If the name on your policy is different from the name on your passport, the immigration office won't accept it, and you'll have to go back and change the name on your insurance policy.

**They won't need your father's name for a price quotation, but they'll need it to create a policy if you buy one.

***Some foreigners have applied for a two-year residence permit and only gotten one year, or even less! If you buy two one-year policies but are given a residence permit for one year or less, contact your insurance copy about canceling the second-year policy and getting a refund.

One and Two-year Policies

All insurance policies are issued for one year. Since foreigners can apply for a short-term residence permit for up to two years, most insurance companies give you two policies. The first will cover the first year, and the second will cover the second year. The second policy's coverage will begin the day after the first policy's coverage ends.

When Your Insurance Coverage Should Start

First-time Applications

Your health insurance coverage should start the day after your visa expires, or the day after you reach the maximum number of days your visa allows you to be in Turkey. 


If you're extending your residence permit, your new health insurance policy should start on the day after your current health insurance policy expires.

Note: The last day of validity of the residence permit you're applying for can never exceed the last day of validity of your health insurance policy. Whenever your health insurance coverage expires, your residence permit also expires.

Delayed Health Insurance Policy Start Dates

You're likely to need an insurance policy with a start date in the future, so most companies will offer you a policy with a start date from 60 to 90 days in the future.

Paying the Premium

Most insurance companies accept payment by bank transfer. The insurance agent will give you the bank name, IBAN, account number, and a payment code. You can then pay by logging in to your account at your bank's website and following your bank's procedure to transfer the money.

Mertsel Health Insurance and Residence Permit Application Service

Mertsel Insurance provides residence permit application services and health insurance policies (among other services) for the Turkey Central community. Mertsel charges only according to what you need. You won't find a better price for the services they offer.

Within 24 hours after you send them all of the required information, Mertsel will:

  • Get you a tax number
  • Create your health insurance policy
  • Apply for and get your Residence Permit Registration Form
  • Set up your appointment at the immigration office and
  • Send you the documents for your application package.

You can get a free price quote from Mertsel according to your needs. Contact them by clicking below:

Ken Grubb, author.

As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.


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