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I applied for renewal of my short-term residency but the interviewing officer gave me only 3 months

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I'm glad to have found this community; I need help with my residency situation and hope you can kindly share your advice.

I have lived in Turkey for almost 5 years (but not consecutively) but I have not pushed myself hard enough to learn Turkish.

Either this bothered the immigration officer, or something else did, because during the interview for residence permit renewal at the end of last April she gave me only 3 months, instead of a full year. So my current residence permit is valid until August 1, which is less than 2 months away. (She did mention something like "you lived in Turkey for years and you still don't speak the language")

I know in my experience that the interview can go in many directions depending on the officer, but this time it hit me hard.

Now I'm worried if my next renewal application will even be accepted (the next interviewing officer might get suspicious about the previous decision and be less accommodating), and if it gets accepted, would I keep getting 3 months from now on?

My friend advised me to apply for a university Turkish language program for foreigners that lasts almost a year; would this really raise my chance of getting a residence permit? Or should I apply with the same tourism purpose and hope for the best? If I apply for renewal by registering at one of such courses, should I change the residency type category from tourism to learning language next time I apply?

I'm very confused about the whole situation and I really don't want to leave Turkey.

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Speaking Turkish is not a requirement for a residence permit, but I have had an immigration specialist who asked me why I wasn't speaking Turkish after living here all of these years. I began speaking in Turkish, but explained that his Turkish was a lot better than my English, and gave him a choice of which language to use. He chose English.

There's no way I can ever predict what an immigration specialist will say or do, of course. But it seems to me that if you apply for a residence permit to learn Turkish it would increase your chances of getting a longer duration on your residence permit. 

I suspect this was a one-time thing, and also that you applied in Istanbul (am I correct?) They tend to be much stricter in Istanbul since they get a huge number of foreigners as compared to the rest of the country.

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I HOPE this was a one-time thing too. I think I got a bit unlucky with the government officer, because last year the officer who interviewed me, well, didn't interview me; she didn't even ask me questions about financial arrangement! (It's so random)

No I don't live in Istanbul, and I didn't know they were stricter over there. I've always lived in Izmir and been applying for a residence permit here. Living somewhere other than Istanbul might have been a saving grace (until now).

Thank you so much for replying to my post! I guess I'll try registering at the courses.

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According to the interviews I've had with various immigration specialists, they have a lot of discretion when it comes to whether a foreigner gets a residence permit or not, and for how long a foreigner will get it for.

Sometimes they ask for financial proof and sometimes they don't. Personally, I've been getting residence permits here in Antalya for almost ten years (I am finally applying for my long-term residence permit) and every time I go to the interview they ask me for copies of my bank statements for the last six months.

If I might recommend, check out Tömer for Turkish language courses. Tömer is part of Ankara University. They have twelve levels of Turkish language courses. You can get a Turkish language certificate after eight courses, and a bachelor's degree in Turkish after 12 courses. With, of course, a Turkish language certificate or university diploma from Ankara University.

http://tomer.ankara.edu.tr/en/home-page/

Because they have a regular and fixed curriculum, and because it is a highly-respected language school in Turkey, going to that school will probably help you a lot to get at least a one-year residence permit when you reapply.

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