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Omer Varol

Obtaining Turkish Citizenship via Parents

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Hey all, I'm 23 years old and a US Citizen, my father is a Turkish citizen and my mother is a foreigner. Both of them never got married and my birth was never registered in Turkey. My family in Turkey says that getting Turkish citizenship in Turkey is much easier since the embassy is giving me a hard time.

Anyone know the process I would have to follow?

I'm guessing I would have to register my birth?

Thanks all!

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It is the Turkish embassy or consulate where you would apply for citizenship, or if in Turkey, the Nüfus ve Vatandaşlık İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü (also called the Nüfus). The Turkish embassy or consulate would work with the Nüfus regarding your citizenship. If you have one Turkish parent, the Turkish government considers you to be a Turkish citizen, so it is just a matter of proving that you have a Turkish parent.

Are you saying that you have no birth certificate?

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Hey Ken and ibrahim, the problem is this: So, my birth certificate does have my father's and mother's name on it, and I have my father's last name, but since both were never married the embassy wants both of my parents present at the embassy right there, so that my mother can allow my father to do all of this. Which of course makes no sense cause I am over the age of 18 and shouldn't be needing permission from a parent. (My mother isn't able to get a US visa right now)

So rather than dealing with the embassy I'm guessing doing it in Turkey would be much easier or so I'm told by my family over there.

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Is your father in Turkey now or the USA? If he is in Turkey and you come to Turkey I think you should be able to get a Turkish birth certificate through the Nufus mudurlugu.

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After you come to Turkey with an e-visa, you'll have 90 days to stay in Turkey. In 30 days (60 days prior to your reaching 90 days in Turkey), you'll apply for your residence permit online. This article might help:

Applying for a Short-term Residence Permit

That article is in the process of being re-written with more detail, but it gives you a general idea. Before you apply online, you'll need to get a health insurance policy, have your photos taken, and have an address with a rental contract or a property deed. You need to arrange these before applying because the online application system will ask you for information related to your health insurance policy and address, and you'll need to scan one of the photos (you can get them at any photo studio) and upload it. After you go through the online system, the system will give you an appointment date and time, and a link to download your residence permit application. Your passport and first page of your application will keep you legal in Turkey until your appointment date even if your visa expires. Then you'll go to your appointment and turn in your package, and get a temporary residence permit until the residence permit card is sent to the address you entered into the system.

The Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) is pretty generous in giving residence permits. You could tell them that you have a Turkish parent during your interview, and I'm sure they'll ask why you don't just get citizenship. But you wouldn't be able to prove it to them, either, unless you can establish legally that you have a Turkish parent. Anyway, if you decide to get residence instead, it should be no problem if you have a place to live, are covered by Turkish health insurance, and can prove that you have enough to live on so that you won't be working illegally.

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So if me and my wife head to Turkey and get a residence permit to stay there I guess under "touristic purposes" will they keep renewing us for "touristic purposes" as me and my wife want to stay in Turkey long-term. Also is it possible to show that we both work from home online for a foreign company? Will they allow that?

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They will keep renewing for "touristic purposes" as long as you are renting a place to stay. I have been living in Turkey under "touristic purposes" for around 15 years now.  Regarding your second question, I am not sure about it. As I understand it, the laws are unclear about working online. I had a lawyer explain to me once that as long as you are not providing goods and services for someone in Turkey, and taking payment and cutting invoices, then you don't meet the definition of "working" in Turkey. I will ask our community lawyer, Mr. Ender, to reply.

I have also wondered what the immigration specialists' reaction is to someone who is seeking a residence permit while working online. One of the reasons they ask for proof of income is to make sure you won't have to work in Turkey. How they react to someone working for a company outside of Turkey, online, I don't know. I will have to ask them I think. Personally, in my interviews for my residence permits, I have told them that I administer a website, owned by a US company, which gets income from advertising, and they don't seem to care about it. It isn't taking a job away from a Turk.

But I don't think the Turkish laws actually address this topic.

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Oh well then that puts my mind at ease, I see on the requirements for "touristic purposes" is that you must show the officer your itinerary, is that even needed or can you just tell the officer you're there to stay?

Side note, I know DGMM the 157 has a international number you can call, but does anyone have the nufus 199 international number in the case you're calling from outside the country?

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If you will be staying in a hotel, beyond the time your visa allows,  you have to get a letter from the hotel and proof of payment for the entire time you want to stay. If you will be traveling and staying in more than one hotel, you have to provide an itinerary. That only applies to people who will actually be touring Turkey, that is, sightseeing and moving from place to place beyond the time the visa allows.

If you are renting an apartment, it is still called a "touristic" residence permit, but you will be living here. No itinerary is required, just a notarized copy of your rental contract and preferably, a utility bill in your name, at your address.

So what you would probably do is stay in a hotel during the 90 days your visa allows (since you are a US citizen), then during that time, find an apartment and get a rental contract, then apply for your residence permit at your permanent address.

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Unfortunately, that doesn't work any more. Turkey has so many foreign immigrants coming in, applying for residence permits, then working illegally. They would borrow a large sum of money, put it into a Turkish bank, then get a residence permit and withdraw all of the money and pay back the loan. Then, their true source of income would come from working illegally.

Now, what they want to see is at least six months of regular income, rather than one big lump sum deposited in the bank. The income doesn't need to be deposited into a Turkish bank. In fact, no Turkish bank account is required at all unless you want one.

For example, for me, they asked for printouts of my US bank account for the last six months, showing deposits of income into the account. They may require more proof of income depending on the individual involved. But if you are going to have enough money to live in Turkey, you should be able to prove it to them somehow.

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