After you are accepted by a Turkish university, you'll apply for and receive a student visa to enter Turkey. After you arrive in Turkey, you'll apply online for your student residence permit. At the end of the online application, you'll select a date and time for an appointment at the Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate General of Migration Management, or DGMM), where an immigration specialist will go over your application and paperwork to make sure everything is in order. Once it's accepted, they'll send the package to their main headquarters in Ankara, where your student residence permit will be printed. Then they'll mail your student residence permit to you by registered mail.
Coordinate With Your Student Affairs Office
Your student affairs office will give you a briefing about how to go about applying for your student residence permit, and make sure you have what you need before you make an online application.
Please see our article detailing the commonly required documents for a student residence permit in Turkey.
Make sure you have your photos and your insurance policy (or your document from the SGK if your country has a bilateral agreement with Turkey for healthcare coverage) before you start the online application. You will need to scan and upload one photo of yourself. That photo must be the same as the ones you take to your appointment. Also, you will need to enter the information from your healthcare insurance or SGK document (such as the policy number and start and end dates).
At your appointment, if any of the documents are missing or inadequate, the immigration specialist will tell you, and give you time to go get the documents and return with them.
What Student Residence Permits May Be Issued For
- Associate, undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate study
- Primary and secondary education, as long as care and expenses of the student are provided by a natural or legal person.
Student residence permits are not required for open education programs or courses, such as Turkish language courses. They are also not issued if you are attending a university as a guest student or as part of a research program. For these, you can use an e-visa or a short-term residence permit.
Working as a Student
A student residence permit does not automatically give you permission to work. If you want to work, you must apply for a work permit.
Reporting Changes in Your Location
If you transfer to a different department of a university, or move to another university, you must inform the DGMM of the transfer within 20 business days.
If you move to a university in another city or province, you must inform the DGMM within ten business days. They will issue you another residence permit card for the new province. This only involves issuing you a new residence permit card, that is, you don't have to go through the whole application process again. The DGMM office you need to inform is the one in the province you have been transferred to.
Any change of residential address must also be reported to the Nüfus ve Vatandaş İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü (Population and Citizenship Directorate, or Nüfus).
Student residence permits may be renewed annually, or until the end of the period of study.
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.
If you need health insurance, contact our English-speaking agent of Ankara Sigorta, which provides health insurance packages for residence permits (in English and Turkish), using our Health Insurance Inquiry Form.
Turkey Residence Permit Forum: If you need more information, post your questions in our Residence Permits forum.
Four Basic Steps to Apply for or Extend a Residence Permit
Study in Turkey: From the Turkish government, a good source of information for anyone who wants to come to Turkey for education.
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.