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How to Get a Long-term Residence Permit in Turkey

Ken Grubb
  • Learn about Turkey's long-term residence permit, which is valid for life, and is available to foreigners who have lived in Turkey for at least eight years.

A retired couple enjoy their time in Turkey because they have long-term residence permits.You may apply for a long-term residence permit if you have been a legal resident of Turkey for at least eight (8) years.

They never expire, and are free of charge, except for a 58.50 TL (2016) fee for printing the residence permit itself.

Because you will be converting from one type of residence permit to another, it is considered a first-time application. It is not an extension of your current residence permit.

Applications are made online, on the  Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate General for Migration Management , or DGMM) residence permit application website, e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr. Near the end of the application process, the system will tell you what documents are required and allow you to choose an appointment day and time to go to the DGMM office with your documentation. During your appointment, an immigration specialist will review your package. If you have any missing or inadequate documents, they will tell you what you need to do to complete the application package. Once accepted, your application will be sent to the main DGMM office in Ankara for final approval.

Appointments for long-term residence permits are typically at the DGMM main office in each province.

Rights of a Long-term Residence Permit Holder

You will have the same rights and duties as a Turkish citizen, except for

  • Compulsory military service
  • The right to vote and be elected
  • Entry into public service
  • Exemption from customs duties when importing vehicles.

Working Rights

A long term residence permit does not give you the right to work in Turkey. However, once you have one, you can get an unlimited work permit from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. With this type of work permit, you can work for any employer you choose to, without the restrictions of a regular work permit. The unlimited work permit also never expires.


To qualify for a long-term residence permit, you must

Long-term Residence Permits for Spouses

If you are the spouse of someone who has continuous income, you may also apply for a long-term residence permit, by providing proof of the income of your spouse.

When You Can Apply

You can apply for a long-term residence permit as soon as you have reached the eight-year mark for your time living in Turkey. You don't have to wait until your current residence permit is about to expire.

Documents Required

Please see our article about what documents are required to apply for a long-term residence permit.

How Much Time it Takes

It usually takes around six months for a long-term residence permit to be processed. What you are requesting is tantamount to Turkish citizenship, so more time for approval is required.


Under some circumstances, a long-term residence permit may be canceled. See our article about cancellation of long-term residence permits.

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.

See Also

Long-term Residence Permits Forum: A forum dedicated to the process of getting a long-term residence permit. If you have any questions or comments, please post them there.

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