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Frequently Asked Questions About Residence Permit Health Insurance in Turkey

Ken Grubb
  • These FAQS were compiled from interviews with immigration officials at the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), Turkish insurance professionals, and official documentation from the DGMM.

A doctor examines a patient who is covered by health insurance.My country has a bilateral agreement which says that I am covered for my medical needs in Turkey. Will that suffice for the residence permit requirement?

Yes. If your country has a bilateral agreement with Turkey which allows you to get health care services while in Turkey, you don't need to buy another health insurance policy. You can present documentation of your health insurance coverage as proof of insurance. This involves obtaining document(s) from your home country, then taking them to the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (SGK). The SGK will then give you a document which proves that you are entitled to health insurance coverage by the SGK. Take that document to your residence permit interview.

How can I apply for Turkey's national health insurance coverage (SGK)?

After you have legally resided in Turkey for one year on a residence or work permit, you can apply for coverage under the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu, or SGK. This must be coordinated with your residence permit application, since you have to have a valid residence permit to apply for SGK insurance, and you have to have insurance coverage when you apply for your residence permit. So you will have to apply to SGK, which will give you a provizyon sorgulama cevap (provisional inquiry reply) document. Submit that document with your residence permit application, then take your residence permit application back to SGK to finalize your application for health insurance coverage. When you receive your actual residence permit, go back to the SGK so they can enter the expiration date of the SGK coverage (which will be the same as your residence permit expiration date). You will need to keep your SGK coverage up to date for the duration of your residence.

Where can I buy private health insurance for my residence permit?

Some companies, such as Ankara Sigorta or Groupama, have health insurance policies specifically designed to cover foreigners who are applying for a residence permit. You can just walk in to one of their offices and give them your information, and they will give you a quote. If you want to buy the policy, they will print it up on the spot. The whole experience takes less than an hour. Learn more about Turkish private health insurance policies.

Unfortunately, the Turkish private health insurance policies don't cover everything in the first year. They do this to prevent people with undisclosed preexisting conditions from being covered. Learn more about what a Turkish private health insurance policy covers.

You can get a free online quote from an Ankara Sigorta agent by filling out a form here: Ankara Sigorta residence permit health insurance free quote.

I'm applying for a two-year short-term residence permit. How can I get health insurance coverage for two years, if insurance companies only issue one-year health insurance policies?

Ankara Sigorta now offers a two-year health insurance package. It consists of two separate one-year health insurance policies. When the first one expires, the second one activates. They both have to be purchased at the same time.

How can I get the validity period of my health insurance policy to line up with the validity period of my residence permit?

Firstly, make absolutely sure that your health insurance policy is active on the date of your appointment. This may result in some time being chopped off the end of the validity date of your residence permit (since the expiration date of your residence permit cannot be beyond the validity date of your health insurance policy). But that is better than having your application rejected at your interview.

Ankara Sigorta allows their residence permit health insurance policies to be purchased up to 60 days in advance. So you can use that leeway to set up your health insurance policy to be active on the date of your appointment, without being double-covered, say, by your travel insurance.

I have health insurance from my country which covers me in Turkey. Will this be accepted for my residence permit?

Yes, but only if the policy must say you are covered worldwide, meets or exceeds the minimum coverage requirements, and the company which issued the policy has an office in Turkey. You will need to have certain pages of the policy translated and notarized, including the identity information, the start and end date of the policy, the coverage provided and cost share information.

What if my health insurance policy is not accepted?

If you are a first-time applicant for a residence permit, then when you go to your appointment, an immigration specialist will tell you if your insurance policy doesn't meet the requirements. If you are renewing your residence permit and mail your application package, an immigration specialist will send you an e-mail and/or an SMS (text) message to your mobile phone and alert you to the problem. You will then have to go to a Turkish private health insurance company, such as Ankara Sigorta, and buy a Turkish residence permit health insurance policy.

You can have a Turkish private health insurance policy issued in less than an hour. If you want a free quote from an Ankara Sigorta representative, please use our health insurance quote and inquiry form.

I don't need a residence permit for a whole year. Can I use travel insurance to meet the health insurance requirement?

No. You have to buy a health insurance policy from a private Turkish insurance company. While the coverage technically goes month-to-month, these insurance companies require payment, in advance, for one year. Before you leave Turkey, you can go to the insurance company where you bought the policy, and get a refund for the unused portion.

I'm over 65 years old. Do I have to have health insurance for my residence permit?

It depends. For a short-term residence permit, people over age 65 are not required to have health insurance coverage. But for a long-term residence permit, it is required.

Are children required to have health insurance for their residence permits?

It depends. For a short-term residence permit, people under age 18 are not required to have health insurance coverage. But for a family residence permit, it is required, either with coverage under a parent's policy or their own policy.

Need to buy the required health insurance coverage for your residence permit? You can buy it online, or just get a free quote, by using our Expat Health Insurance Inquiry Form.

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.

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