Moving to Turkey – How to Immigrate to Turkey

Moving to Turkey offers an exciting opportunity to experience a country that straddles two continents, blending a rich tapestry of cultures, historical landmarks, and stunning natural landscapes.

Whether drawn by the prospect of living in vibrant cities like Istanbul and Ankara, the Mediterranean lifestyle on the coast, or the country’s economic opportunities, expatriates find Turkey a compelling destination.

This guide outlines the steps and essential considerations for those looking to make Turkey their new home, covering residency permits, citizenship options, and practical tips for a smooth transition.

Types of Residency Permits in Turkey

Turkey offers various residency permits, catering to different needs and circumstances. Understanding the right permit for your situation is the first step in the immigration process:

  1. Short-Term Residence Permit: Ideal for individuals planning to stay in Turkey for tourism, business meetings, or short-term educational purposes. Valid for up to two years but can be renewed.
  2. Long-Term Residence Permit: Available to those who have lived in Turkey continuously for at least eight years under a legal residency permit or for those meeting certain criteria such as financial independence and having no history of reliance on social assistance in the past three years.
  3. Student Residence Permit: Issued to international students enrolled in Turkish educational institutions.
  4. Family Residence Permit: For the spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents of a Turkish citizen or a foreigner holding a valid Turkish residency permit.

Applying for a Residence Permit

Step 1: Determine the Correct Permit Type Evaluate your reasons for moving to Turkey and choose the permit that best suits your needs.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents Commonly required documents include a valid passport, application form, passport-size photos, proof of sufficient financial resources, health insurance, and, depending on the permit type, additional documents like an enrollment letter from an educational institution or a rental agreement.

Step 3: Online Application Initiate your application through the e-Residence system (the official website of the Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management). Complete the online form and schedule an appointment at the local Migration Management office.

Step 4: Submit Your Application Attend your appointment to submit your documents and complete the application process. Some applicants may be required to attend an interview.

Citizenship Options

Turkey also offers pathways to citizenship for those looking to make a more permanent commitment:

  1. Citizenship by Investment: Investors can obtain Turkish citizenship by investing in real estate, making a capital investment, creating jobs, or depositing funds in Turkish banks under certain conditions.
  2. Citizenship by Marriage: Marrying a Turkish citizen and remaining married for at least three years can make you eligible for Turkish citizenship, subject to security and health checks.
  3. Long-Term Residency: Continuous legal residency in Turkey for at least five years, with the intention of settling in Turkey, can pave the way for applying for citizenship, provided other conditions are met.

Tips for a Smooth Transition

  • Learn the Language: While many Turks in urban areas speak English, learning Turkish will enhance your daily life and interactions.
  • Understand the Cost of Living: Research the cost of living in your intended area of residence in Turkey, as it can vary significantly between cities and regions.
  • Healthcare: Register for Turkey’s comprehensive healthcare system or consider private health insurance for broader coverage.
  • Cultural Integration: Embrace Turkey’s diverse culture by participating in local traditions, festivals, and community events.


Moving to Turkey requires careful planning and adherence to the country’s immigration policies.

By understanding the residency permit process, exploring citizenship options, and preparing for life in Turkey, expatriates can enjoy a rich and fulfilling experience in this cross-continental country.

Whether you’re drawn by economic opportunities, educational pursuits, or the allure of the Turkish lifestyle, Turkey offers a welcoming environment for those looking to call it home.

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