When you apply for a residence permit in Turkey, on their online system, you will be asked to state that you can support yourself financially during the validity period of your residence permit. This declaration is often sufficient. However, when you go to your residence permit appointment, the immigration specialist at the Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate General of Migration Management, or DGMM) may ask you for proof that you can support yourself. So be prepared in case they do.
You can express your ability to support yourself with anything which provides income, from any country. This may include incoming rents from properties you own, business profits, a trust fund or other income from an estate, or savings. If another person is providing your financial support, you must get a notarized document stating this.
Money in a Turkish Bank
Until recently, the standard of proof that you had enough money to live on was the equivalent of $500 USD in a Turkish bank account, for each month you wanted to live in Turkey. While this standard hasn't been "abolished," per se, the immigration specialists at the DGMM don't insist that everybody meet it. Of course, if you have this amount of money in a Turkish bank, you'll have no problems convincing the immigration specialist that you can support yourself for a year in Turkey. But you probably won't need that much.
And if you apply for a two-year residence permit, you definitely won't need to come up with 24 x $500 = $12,000!
Money in a Foreign Bank
You can show bank statements from your foreign bank account.
For rental income, the DGMM may ask for the title deed of your rental property, and a rent contract not older than two years. If you property is being managed by someone else, you can also present documents for the management of the property showing incoming rents.
If you have income from a pension, you can use a “proof of income” letter or pension certificate from the institution which provides your retirement income, or whatever documentation has been provided to you concerning your pension. It should say how much monthly income you will be receiving, and for how long. The DGMM may also ask for a bank statement showing receipt of the income.
If you have an investment portfolio which generates dividends or interest, you can also use this as proof of income. The same rules apply for investment portfolios as they do for pensions (see above).
Ownership of a Company
If you own a company and receive income from it, the DGMM may ask for and accept the following:
- Copy of tax documents
- Entry in the trade registry gazette
- Certificate of signatures, balance sheet, and income statement for the last three years, as approved by the tax office or certified public accountants
- Current year's trial balance sheet
- Company registration certificate
Credit Card Statements
You may also show credit card statements displaying account activity, such as payments and expenditures, for the previous six months.
Family Residence Permits
To apply for a family residence permit, you must be able to show a monthly income equivalent to at least the minimum wage for duration of the residence permit. For each family member, you must be able to show an additional monthly income of at least one third of the minimum wage (See "External Links" below).
Long-term Residence Permits
To apply for a long-term residence permit, will need to show a continuous income (for life), such as a pension, or proceeds from investments, equivalent to at least the minimum wage in Turkey.
Documents from Other Countries
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.
Minimum Wage in Turkey: From Fedee.com, the minimum wages of various countries, including Turkey, updated annually on 1 January.
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.