Interruptions in Residence Before You Apply for a Long-term Residence Permit
To be eligible for a long-term residence permit, you must have eight years of continuous, uninterrupted years of legal residence in Turkey. If you are out of Turkey and your short-term or other residence permit, or work permit, expires, you will have a break in your total time of residence. Then when you return and get a new residence or work permit, you will have to start accumulating the required eight years again.
Interruptions in Residence While You Have a Long-term Residence Permit
Once you have a long-term residence permit, the maximum amount of time you can stay outside of Turkey is one year at a time. If you stay out of Turkey for a longer period, your long-term residence permit may be canceled.
An exception to this rule is if your absence from Turkey was for reasons involving health, education, or compulsory public service in your home country. So when you return to Turkey, bring with you whatever documentation you can, such as health records, documentation of attendance at an educational institution, or documentation proving that you were performing compulsory public service. These documents must have an apostille, then they must be translated into Turkish by an official translator and notarized.
Checking Your Status with the DGMM
If you have been outside of Turkey for more than one year, the border control officer may allow you to enter with your long-term residence permit. This does not necessarily mean that your long-term residence permit is still valid. So you should go to the Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate General of Migration Management, or DGMM) to learn your status and apply for a new residence permit if necessary.
If you don't do this, then when you try to extend your residence permit, or try to leave Turkey again, the system may flag you as being in Turkey on a canceled residence permit. And that can involve fines and even a ban from re-entering Turkey.
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.
Long-term Residence Permit Forum: An entire forum dedicated to long-term residence permits. If you have questions or comments, please post them there.