Family residence permits may be issued to dependent family members of a sponsor who is a Turkish citizen or who has been a legal resident of Turkey for at least one year. They are applied for and obtained from the Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate General of Migration Management, or DGMM), which is usually in the capital city of the province where the sponsor lives.
Each family member must apply for his or her own family residence permit, separately.
All applications are first made online, at e-ikamet.gov.tr.
While near the end of your online application, the system will ask you to select a convenient date and time for an appointment at the local DGMM office. The sponsor must also be present. During the appointment, an immigration specialist will review your application, identification, and hard-copy documents in person, and ask questions about anything which might be unclear. If your package is in order and there are no missing or inadequate documents, your application package will be sent to the DGMM headquarters in Ankara for approval. Once approved, your residence permit will be mailed to you by registered mail.
When the time comes for you to extend your family residence permit, you can also do it online. The main difference is that instead of an appointment option, the online system will give you an address to which you must mail your application and documents, with a notarized copy of your identification (don't send original passports or ID cards). There have been exceptions to this, since some provinces, and under some circumstances, personal appointments are also required for extensions. If that is the case, the online system will let you know and ask you to choose a convenient time and date for the appointment. If you are told to mail in the package, you must do so by taahhutlu posta (registered mail), using the Turkish national postal system (PTT), or by using a Turkish cargo delivery company. The package must be mailed within five business days. All applications must be in separate packages.
Note: Before starting the online process, have your photos already taken, and your health insurance policy, since the system will require you to upload one photo (it must be the same as the ones you include with your application). It will also ask you for your health insurance policy information, including start and end dates, and policy number.
For more specific information on documents and requirements, please use the links below.
Those fitting into one of these categories may apply for a family residence permit.
- Foreign spouses of Turkish citizens (first time, extension)
- Foreign spouses of foreign legal residents (first time, extension)
- Foreign minor children of Turkish citizens (first time, extension)
- Foreign minor children of foreign legal residents (first time, extension)
See this article for children of foreigners born in Turkey.
Rights for Education
For first-time applications, the online system will allow you to select an appointment date and time to go to your local DGMM office with your documents. Both the sponsor and the applicant(s) must be present at this appointment.
For extensions, the system will give you the mailing address for the local DGMM office. There is no appointment, and you don't have to go there in person.
Family residence permits are are issued for up to three years at a time, or until the expiration date of the sponsor’s residence or work permit. If the applicant's passport is due to expire any sooner than 60 days past the duration of the residence permit being applied for, this will also shorten the duration of the residence permit.
The family residence permit entitles the holder to education in primary and secondary educational institutions until the age of 18.
Family Members Remaining in Turkey After Age 18
Family members who reach age 18 may apply for a short-term residence permit, or any other residence permit for which they meet the conditions, provided the family member has resided in Turkey on a family residence permit for at least three years.
If the family member is being cared for under the legal obligation of the sponsor, they may remain in Turkey with a family residence permit, even when they are over age 18.
If a foreign spouse and holder of a family residence permit divorces the sponsor, the spouse may apply for a short-term residence permit, provided the foreign spouse has resided in Turkey on the family residence permit for at least three years. If a court has determined that the foreign spouse has been the victim of domestic violence, this three-year residence requirement will be waived.
Death of the Sponsor
If the sponsor dies, the family residence permit holders may continue to stay in Turkey until their family residence permits expire. If they want to stay in Turkey, they may apply for a short-term residence permit (within 60 days prior to the expiration of their family 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.
What Happens After You Apply For Your Residence Permit
Family Residence Permits Forum: If you need additional assistance, or have a question or comment, please post them in our family residence permits forum.
Frequently Asked Questions about Family Residence Permits: Covers some of the more specialized questions about family residence permits, based on official documentation, interviews with immigration officials, and the experiences of Turkey Central members.
The Four Basic Steps of Applying for or Extending Your Residence Permit
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.
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.