One of the most important things you must do while living in Turkey is informing and updating the immigration office about where you're living. This begins when you first register your address as you're applying online for your residence permit.
Foreigners applying for a residence permit in Turkey may use the following types of address::
- 1. A property they rent
- A property they own
- A friend's home
- A hotel
Each address type has different required documents, and a change of address must be reported to the immigration office.
In this article, I'll explain how Turkey's Address Registration System works and how it connects with the online residence permit registration system at https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/. I'll explain what documents you'll need for each address type, and what you must do if you move somewhere else.
- Using a Property You're Renting in Turkey as Your Address
- Using a Property You Own in Turkey as Your Address
- Using a Property Your Spouse Owns or Rents as Your Address
- Using a Friend's Home in Turkey as Your Address
- Using a Hotel in Turkey as Your Address
- Using Student Housing in Turkey as Your Address
Before You Begin Your Turkey Residence Permit Application
Before you begin your online registration for your residence permit, you must have your address information ready. You don't need any documents that prove you have an address, you just need to know what your address is.
After you complete the online registration, you can get the documentation and add it to your application package.
Entering Your Address Into the Online Residence Permit Registration System
One of the pages you'll see while registering is an interface which is linked to Turkey's Adres Kayıt Systemi (Address Registration System), which is managed by the Nüfus ve Vatandaşlık İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs, or Nüfus).
The central Address Registration System is a database of all registered addresses in Turkey, including houses, apartments, hotel rooms, and school dormitory rooms. It's integrated into the online residence permit registration system, so you can select your exact address using a series of drop-down menus.
After you finish your online registration, the next step is to get the documents required to prove you're living at your address.
Documents Required to Prove Your Address in Turkey
At the end of the online registration, you'll download your İkamet İzni Kayıt Formu (Residence Permit Registration Form). On the first page, at the bottom, will be the address of the local immigration office and a date and time you must be there for an appointment. So you'll have time to get documents proving you live at the place you declared during your online registration. Here's what you'll need, according to your situation.
Using a Property You're Renting in Turkey as Your Address
You'll need a notarized copy of your kira sözleşmesi (rental contract). To find a notary, you can walk into town and look for a "noter" sign, or you can search Google Maps using the name of your district and the word "noter." The notaries in Turkey also have a website that displays the locations of all notaries in Turkey, here:
Take your rental contract to the notary and ask them of for a noter tasdikli kopya (notarized copy). For 2021, the cost for this is around ₺140. Add the notarized copy with your residence permit application package, and keep the original.
Insider Tip: On the back of your notarized copy will be a notary stamp with a registration number. Make a copy of this, or photograph it with your mobile phone and save it. When you extend your residence permit and need another notarized copy, you can take that number back to the same notary and they'll give you another copy from their records. It will save you the time and money you would spend to have another notarized copy made.
Using a Property You Own in Turkey as Your Address
You'll need your tapu (property title deed) and a regular (non-notarized) copy of it. Because property title deeds are issued by the Turkish government, there's no need to get a notarized copy. At your appointment, you'll give the copy to the immigration specialist, and keep the original.
Using a Property Your Spouse Owns or Rents as Your Address
If Your Name is on the Rental Contract or the Property Title Deed
Follow the instructions above for using a property you're renting as your address or using a property you own as your address. Otherwise you'll have to prove, with a marriage certificate, that you're the spouse of the person who is renting or who owns the property.
If Your Spouse is a Turkish Citizen and You were Married in Turkey
Your Turkish spouse can use e-Devlet to download their Vukuatlı Nüfus Kayıt Örneği (Population Registry Document). E-Devlet, meaning "e-government," is the Turkish government's online portal where citizens (and in most cases, foreign residents), can access and download official documents. The Population Registry Document is a record of a Turkish citizen which includes their marital status and spouse's information. Because it's e-signed, you can use a regular printed copy of it.
If Your Spouse is a Foreigner and You Were Married in Turkey
You can use your Uluslararası Aile Cüzdanı (International Family Book) which was issued just after you were married. You don't need to make a copy of it, just show the original to the immigration specialist. You can also use this if married to a Turkish citizen.
If You Have a Foreign Marriage Certificate
Foreign documents aren't accepted by the Turkish government unless they're authenticated by the government that issued them. The authentication is done with a stamp or attached document called an apostille. Apostilles are issued and accepted according to the International Apostille Convention, of which Turkey is a member. Each government member of the convention has a special office that issues apostilles. So to use your foreign marriage certificate to prove your marriage in Turkey, you must:
- Learn which office of your home government maintains marriage certificates.
- Get your marriage certificate sent to you.
- Learn which office of your home government issues apostilles.
- Send your marriage document to that office.
- Receive your marriage certificate with the apostille.
- Have your marriage certificate and the apostille translated into Turkish by a sworn translator.
The sworn translator will have their translation notarized, and give you a Turkish copy of your marriage certificate and the apostille. At that point, the translated and notarized copy of your marriage certificate will be as legal in Turkey as your original marriage certificate is in your home country.
You can learn the entire process for getting a copy of your foreign marriage certificate, the apostille, and the Turkish translation in this article:
Using a Friend's Home in Turkey as Your Address
You can get a residence permit in Turkey using a friend or distant family member's home as your address. But your host(s) must sign a declaration, before a notary, stating they'll make sure you extend your residence permit or leave Turkey when required, and pay any debts you fail to pay.
- A copy of your host's ID card.
- If your host is a Turkish citizen, a Nüfus Kayıt Örneği Belgesi (Population Registration Document), which they can download using the e-Devlet (e-government) website.
- A copy of the host's criminal record, which both Turkish citizens and foreign residents can download from e-Devlet.
- A notarized copy of your host's rental contract, or a regular copy of your host's property title deed.
- A taahhütname.
What is a Taahhütname?
In Turkey, a taahhütname (literally, a notarized legal undertaking), is a declaration that a person will do a certain thing, under penalty of law if they fail to do it. If a resident of Turkey allows a foreigner to use their home as an address, the host must sign a taahhütname declaring responsibility for the foreigner.
Everyone whose name is on the rental contract or title deed must sign a taahhütname (pronounced tah-hoot-nah-meh). What your host(s) will be responsible for is making sure you leave Turkey or extend your residence permit when the time comes, and for paying any unpaid debts you incur while living in Turkey at their address.
You can get a taahhütname at any notary. The notary will probably know what you need and have a pre-existing template they can use If any of the signers don't speak English, a sworn translator will verbally translate the taahhütname to make sure everyone understands it.
Your host(s) don't have to go to your residence permit application interview with you. The taahhütname is enough.
Insider Tip: In Istanbul, the immigration specialists are sometimes not approving residence permits for foreigners who are using someone else's address unless the host is an immediate family member. Also, the duration of the residence permits they approve may be for less than one year.
Using a Hotel in Turkey as Your Address
You can use a hotel as your address when applying for a residence permit in Turkey as you look for a property to rent or buy, or while traveling and sightseeing. If you are looking for a property to rent or buy, you'll need a letter from the hotel stating that you're staying there. If traveling, you'll also need a written itinerary.
If You're Looking for a Property to Rent or Buy
You can apply for a residence permit with a duration of up to two years while you're staying in a hotel and looking for a property to buy. You apply for a touristic residence permit while you're at the hotel, using your hotel room as your address.
After you find and buy a property, and move from the hotel into your home, you must take your new property title deed, and a regular copy, to the immigration office to report your change of address. You have 20 working days to do this after you move in to your new property.
There's no need to re-apply for a new residence permit as a property owner. You can simply wait until it's time to extend your residence permit, then renew it as a property owner residence permit.
A stamped and signed letter from the hotel management, using the hotel's letterhead, stating your dates of stay, the address of the hotel, and your room number.
If You Want to Stay in Turkey to See the Sights and Travel
If you just want to stay in Turkey as a tourist, and take time to see the country beyond what your visa allows, you can get a touristic residence permit for however long you need one. You can even visit multiple places in Turkey and stay in different hotels.
- A stamped and signed letter from the hotel management, using the hotel's letterhead, stating your dates of stay, the address of the hotel, and your room number
- A written itinerary explaining where you will be traveling in Turkey and where you plan to stay during your trip.
You don't have to make all of the reservations or pay hotel bills in advance. When you go to your appointment, explain your itinerary to the immigration specialist. If they need more information or documentation, they'll let you know, and give you time to get whatever else you need.
Using Student Housing in Turkey as Your Address
Before you apply for your residence permit, coordinate with your school's student affairs office. They'll help you with your application.
If You're Living in Student Housing
Your school will give you a document stating what building and room number you'll be living in. Add that document to your residence permit application package.
If You're Renting Your Own Apartment
You'll need a notarized copy of your rental contract (See Using a Property You're Renting as Your Address).
Using Utility Bills to Prove Your Address
Although utility bills aren't on the official list of documents for residence permit applications, immigration specialists consider them to be some of the best proof of address you can have. So if you have any utility bills in your name, showing your address, bring them to your appointment.
Change of Address in Turkey
If you live in Turkey with a residence permit and have a change of address, you must report it to the immigration office within 20 working days. If you move to another address in a different province, you must also apply for a new residence permit.
Don't Change Your Address During the Residence Permit Application Process!
If you declare your address during the online registration, then change it to another address before you go to your appointment, your application will be canceled. If your current visa or residence permit is expired, you must leave Turkey within ten days, paying a fine at the airport or other exit point for any overstay. If your overstay doesn't result in a reentry ban, you may re-enter with a Conditional Entry Information Form, then reapply for a residence permit. But it's a huge hassle you can avoid by just staying at the same address until you receive your residence permit card. You can change your address after that.
Updating Your Address in the Address Registration System
You can report your change of address by going to your local immigration office. No appointment is required. An immigration specialist will update your address in the central Address Registration System. If you've moved to another place with a different immigration office, report the change at the immigration office responsible for the place you've moved to.
Insider Tip: You may hear that you must also report your new address at the Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs. This is no longer required. The immigration office now updates all changes of address.
Change of Address Within the Same Province
If you have your residence permit card and move to a new address in the same province, go to the immigration office with your property title deed and a regular copy of it, or your rental contract and a notarized copy of it. It will be the same documents you used to prove your address when you first applied. If you have any utility bills listing you at your new address, take them too.
Change of Address to a New Province
If you move to a new address in a different province, you must apply for a new residence permit. That means you must register online again and get the same documents you needed when you first applied for your residence permit. You must also pay the fees again. Your new residence permit card will have the name of your new province printed on it instead of the old province. The new application will be a "first time" application, and not an extension.
Note: If you later intend to apply for a long-term residence permit after living in Turkey for eight uninterrupted years, the making of another first-time application won't be a disqualifying break in residence. Interruptions in residence only occur when you leave Turkey. And the only type of residence permit that doesn't contribute to the eight-year requirement is the student residence permit.
Change of Address if You're Within 60 Days of the Expiration of Your Current Residence Permit
In this case, you must extend your residence permit anyway. So as long as you haven't gone past the 20 business days deadline to report your change of address, you can simply enter your new address when you register online to extend your residence permit. If you're going to go beyond the 20 business day limit, then report the change to the immigration office, and then register online for the extension.
Other Address Documents the Immigration Office Might Ask For
After your online application, you may receive an SMS message or e-mail (depending on the communications preference you selected) asking for additional documents. The following are those the immigration office might ask for. You only need to get these documents if you own the property where you live and you are specifically asked for them.
The Tapu Kaydı Örneği
A Tapu Kaydı Örneği (Property Title Deed Registration Sample) is an official document that contains detailed information about the owner(s) and specifications of real property. It is often used to prove ownership when applying for a loan or residence permit in Turkey.
While you may have a title deed for your property, the Tapu Kaydı Örneği is updated whenever ownership of a property is transferred. It's also e-signed or signed and stamped, so it's more reliable than a property title deed when proving ownership. So the immigration office will ask for one in addition to your property title deed if your title deed is more than two years old.
You can get the Tapu Kaydı Örneği for your property by downloading it from e-Devlet, at https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/tkgm-tapu-kayit-belgesi.
You can also get it from the Tapu ve Kadastro Genel Müdürlüğü (Title Deed and Land Registry General Directorate) responsible for the place where your property is. Just show them your current residence permit and property title deed and ask for it. You can find your local title deed office using Google maps.
The Numarataj Belgesi
A Numarataj Belgesi is a government document which lists your property's official address, location, and function. It's issued by the belediye (municipality) responsible for the district in Turkey where you live.
You can get your Numarataj Belgesi (Address Numbering Document) from the belediye (municipality) or the Title Deed Office. At the municipality, find the office called "Bünyesinde İmar ve Şehircilik Müdürlüğü" (Directorate of Reconstruction and Urbanization) or something similar. Or ask for the "Numarataj Ofisi."