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Turkey Residence Permit Questions

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I have a few questions regarding residence permits and will appreciate clear answers to the following:
 
1. My tourist visa is not for typical 90 days, but simply a 30-day visa on arrival. When making an online appointment (for residence permit) within 30 days of arrival in Istanbul, do I have to be careful about which police station I select? Or regardless of where I reside in Istanbul, I can select appointment at any station (throughout Istanbul) where the earliest date is available? I am asking because if I am living in a hotel near Taksim Square, the best date available at the nearest police station is about 6 weeks away. But if I can go to any station (and not just the one closest to Taksim), the police station about 35km away, on edge of the city, has even next day appointments available.On e-appointment website, it says in Turkish: İlk müracaat işlemleri Şube Müdürlüğümüzde yapılmakta olup, İlçe Yabancılar Büro Amirliklerinde ilk müracaat işlemleri yapılmamaktadır. What does it mean?
 
2. For showing USD 500 per month in a Turkish bank account, can I have a Turkish bank account on just a tourist visa (i.e. before even having the residence permit)? If yes, which bank would have English speakers, and has good online banking in English? I believe I will need a tax number which I am sure will not be a problem. Is this account in USD, or they open Lira account too?
 
3. Will bank require proof of address? If yes, will they accept foreign country's utility bill? As a tourist and just days after arriving in Turkey, it would obviously be difficult to have proof of 'local' address.
 
4. Can I apply residence permit for just 3 months, even though I have just read of 6 months or 1 year permits on these forums?
 
5. When they ask for a hotel booking or notarized rent agreement for duration of residence permit, how to get a non-binding rent agreement for an apartment? I mean: immediately after getting the permit, I might have to be away from Turkey for a few weeks, and so committing to a lease and continuing to pay rent in absence also, will be paying money for nothing.
 
6. Lastly, though not related to residence permit, I believe we have to pay 115 TL tax to register our foreign cell phone after getting a Turkish SIM. But, if we buy local Turkish phone (new phone at a local store in Turkey) and local SIM, do we have to pay tax and register our phone IMEI in that case too?

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1. My tourist visa is not for typical 90 days, but simply a 30-day visa on arrival. When making an online appointment (for residence permit) within 30 days of arrival in Istanbul, do I have to be careful about which police station I select? Or regardless of where I reside in Istanbul, I can select appointment at any station (throughout Istanbul) where the earliest date is available? I am asking because if I am living in a hotel near Taksim Square, the best date available at the nearest police station is about 6 weeks away. But if I can go to any station (and not just the one closest to Taksim), the police station about 35km away, on edge of the city, has even next day appointments available.

I didn't know you could go to any police station except for the big one in Fatih (I don't recall the exact location). I'm not sure what you're asking, if you have a choice of police stations to go to, according to date, just go to the one you want to go to.

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On e-appointment website, it says in Turkish: İlk müracaat işlemleri Şube Müdürlüğümüzde yapılmakta olup, İlçe Yabancılar Büro Amirliklerinde ilk müracaat işlemleri yapılmamaktadır. What does it mean?

I hope someone else can answer that, I'm not sure.

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2. For showing USD 500 per month in a Turkish bank account, can I have a Turkish bank account on just a tourist visa (i.e. before even having the residence permit)? If yes, which bank would have English speakers, and has good online banking in English? I believe I will need a Tax Number, which I am sure will not be a problem. Is this account in USD, or they open Lira account too?

Yes. It's hard to say which banks will have English speakers, usually they have at least one somewhere. Garanti Bank used to have commercials advertising English-friendly services, so you might try there. They have an English site at www.garantibank.com. 

You will need a tax number. The bank can probably tell you the nearest tax office to go to, if you can't find one on your own. Once you get your residence permit, you'll later be assigned a kimilik numerası (identity number) which you can obtain online.

The money you need in the bank needs to be equivalent to USD 500. It can be in Turkish Lira.

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3. Will bank require proof of address? If yes, will they accept foreign country's utility bill? As a tourist and just days after arriving in Turkey, it would obviously be difficult to have proof of 'local' address.

I am not sure if they require an address, but they will accept a foreign address. It would probably be a good idea to take the utility bill.

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4. Can I apply residence permit for just 3 months, even though I have just read of 6 months or 1 year permits on these forums?

I don't know. The shortest ones I have heard of are six months. But theoretically they could put any date of expiration on it.

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5. When they ask for a hotel booking or notarized rent agreement for duration of residence permit, how to get a non-binding rent agreement for an apartment? I mean: immediately after getting the permit, I might have to be away from Turkey for a few weeks, and so committing to a lease and continuing to pay rent in absence also, will be paying money for nothing.

 I have never gotten my rental contracts notarized. This might be a local thing. I am not sure about how you would get a non-binding rental contract, since a contract is binding by nature. You would have to show that you have a residence, perhaps you could get a letter from wherever you are staying. After you get your residence permit, usually a policeman will come by to make sure you are living there, so you would need to be living there.

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6. Lastly, though not related to residence permit, I believe we have to pay 115 TL tax to register our foreign cell phone after getting a Turkish SIM. But, if we buy local Turkish phone (new phone at a local store in Turkey) and local SIM, do we have to pay tax and register our phone IMEI in that case too?

If it's a Turkish phone you don't have to register it or pay the tax. The registration is only for foreign phones.

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Hi Ken, thank you for your answers.Based on your responses:1. What I meant was I will be living near Taksim square. So is it that I MUST go to police station that caters Taksim square, or I can go to a police station anywhere in the entire city of Istanbul - wherever the earliest appointment is available?2. When you say a policeman will visit to verify I am living at the address, what happens if instead of rent agreement or hotel reservation, I opt for the third option, which is to have a notarized letter from a Turkish citizen guaranteeing to look after my need when I am there. Do they visit in that case too? If yes, do I have to physically meet them or they just saying he lives here is sufficient?3. Can I leave Turkey and re-enter Turkey any number of times after grant of residence permit?4. When you say that an identity number will be assigned after residence permit, is it more of a Turkish photo identity card for foreigners? Is it valid just for duration of stay or has long term expiration dates?Yes, I hope someone else here who knows Turkish can translate that for us (the lines that I put from their official website in my point #1).Thanks.

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1. What I meant was I will be living near Taksim square. So is it that I MUST go to police station that caters Taksim square, or I can go to a police station anywhere in the entire city of Istanbul - wherever the earliest appointment is available?

Unfortunately, I don't know. I've never lived in a city which had multiple places where you could apply, I didn't even know that Istanbul worked like that. I thought they were all done at the big security directorate in Fatih.

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2. When you say a policeman will visit to verify I am living at the address, what happens if instead of rent agreement or hotel reservation, I opt for the third option, which is to have a notarized letter from a Turkish citizen guaranteeing to look after my need when I am there. Do they visit in that case too? If yes, do I have to physically meet them or they just saying he lives here is sufficient?

I would assume so.

The letter just serves in place of an actual rental contract. That's all. Normally a policeman comes and asks if you're living there, if anybody else is with you, like family, and if you're working, among other things. Yet I moved to Antalya about three months ago and the police still haven't been here yet. In similar situations, if there is somebody else there who says you live there but are away, I assume the police will just want to know when you will be back so they can re-schedule the visit.

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3. Can I leave Turkey and re-enter Turkey any number of times after grant of residence permit?

Yes, as much as you want. Instead of showing a visa when you re-enter Turkey, just show them your residence permit.

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4. When you say that an identity number will be assigned after residence permit, is it more of a Turkish photo identity card for foreigners? Is it valid just for duration of stay or has long term expiration dates?

See this article:

Getting your identity (kimlik number) in Turkey

When you go to get your bank account, they will want a "tax number." You'll get that from a tax office. Then you'll get your residence permit, which will have a residence permit number. It's really just a serial number for the residence permit and has no other purpose. After a time, like two months or so, a kimlik number will be assigned to you. They don't send it in the mail, and nobody even tells you you have one! But you can get it online by entering your residence permit number. Use the URL in the article, the article explains the process.

Once you have your kimlik number, it is the only number you will need. It also serves as your tax number.

Ask your question about the Turkish phrase in the Turkish Language forum, under the help desk forum. We have a Turkish teacher who follows that forum. If you ask the question there, she'll get an e-mail alert that someone has asked a question about Turkish, and she should be along to reply. I doubt if she follows this forum.

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Thank you. One more question:After submitting application in person for the residence permit, is it possible to leave the country (on a tourist visa that is still valid) and enter again on a tourist visa? And then going in to collect the residence permit when it is ready.I hope the airport officials won't object that I am going and coming back on tourist visas, while residence permit application is in process?

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I doubt it. You would have to ask them that. When I've gotten residence permits they took my passport. The only thing I had was a slip of paper from the foreigner's bureau, and had to use that until I came back to get my passport and residence permit. But I have heard of other cases in which they didn't keep the passport.

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After submitting application in person for the residence permit, is it possible to leave the country (on a tourist visa that is still valid) and enter again on a tourist visa? And then going in to collect the residence permit when it is ready.

IF you have your passport, you can leave and return to Turkey as often as you want on a tourist visa as long as you do not stay in Turkey for more than 90 days and as long as these 90 days are within 180 days from the date of your first entry on the tourist visa.

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After submitting application in person for the residence permit, is it possible to leave the country (on a tourist visa that is still valid) and enter again on a tourist visa? And then going in to collect the residence permit when it is ready.

No.I think Hobbit has misread your question. Your Tourist Visa (TV) is cancelled on the day that you apply for a Residence Permit (RP) therefore you cannot leave and return to Turkey while the application is being dealt with. Usually your RP will be ready for you to collect within a week of handing in your application so, if you need to leave Turkey, go out and return on your TV then apply for the RP when you return.

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Thanks everyone. An important question for me:When applying for 6-month residence permit, does it have to be hotel reservation for the entire 6 months, or simply a letter saying I have reservation for the next 7 days (for example) should work.One residence permit attorney told me that simply a reservation should work, regardless of the reservation period, but I am still not very sure, because don't want to take chances.I have other ends all covered, such as showing at least USD 500 in the bank account for each of the 6 months, total over USD 3,000.Please reply soon, as I am heading to Istanbul in a few days.Thank you.

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I haven't heard of anybody getting a residence permit with a seven-day hotel reservation, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. If you are able to do this, would you please post again and let us know?

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