All children of foreign parents require residence permits, the same as adults. If you are entering Turkey for the first time, you will have to apply for a residence permit for your children when you apply for your own. Applications for residence permits are made at the offices of the Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate General of Migration Management, or DGMM).
Children Born in Turkey
If you have a child born in Turkey, the birth certificate will be sufficient for the child to stay in Turkey for 180 days. You should apply for a residence permit for your child during those 180 days.
Children Not Born in Turkey
If the mother and/or father of the child can't be determined from the child's passport or passport substitute, you will need a birth certificate. If either the mother or father of the child is absent, the DGMM may request
- a parental consent declaration
- a death certificate if the other parent is deceased
- a document granting you custody and guardianship of the child if you are divorced or separated.
- An "undertaking" (pledge to provide parental support and supervision) which you can obtain at any Turkish noter
Legalization of Documents
If the documents involved are obtained from Turkey, they must be e-signed, or stamped/signed or sealed. If they are obtained from foreign countries, they must be apostilled, then translated by an official translator and notarized by a Turkish noter (notary).
If you leave Turkey while the child is less than six months old, and the child doesn't yet have a residence permit, the birth certificate will not allow the child to re-enter Turkey. You will need to apply for a tourist visa for the child to enter, then get a residence permit for him or her before the tourist visa expires.
Type of Residence Permits Available
If you or your spouse is a Turkish citizen, or have been legally residing in Turkey with a residence or work permit for at least one year, the child is eligible for a family residence permit, which has a duration of three years. If you or your spouse is not a Turkish citizen, and you have been in Turkey for less than one year, the child will be eligible to apply for a short-term residence permit.
Turkey's Foreigner Communications Center
The DGMM has a number you can call to speak to an immigration specialist. Call 157 from any telephone within Turkey. The call will be free. From outside of Turkey, call +90 312 157 1122. Long-distance charges will apply.
Contact an English-speaking Turkish insurance agent (Ankara Sigorta): You'll need health insurance if you are applying for a residence permit in Turkey. If you want to buy Turkish health insurance, Ankara Sigorta provides policies specifically designed to meet the minimum requirements. Based on the information you provide, they'll give you a free quote.
Foreign Children Born in Turkey
Residence Permit Forum: If you have any questions or comments about the residence permit application process, please ask them in our forum.
Turkey Residence Permit Law (PDF): The Law on Foreigners and International Protection, Dated April, 2014. In English, this is the Turkish law which governs residence permits.