About Staying In Turkey
Sometimes, when clients buy a home through us, they ask how long property ownership entitles them to stay in Turkey. However, homeownership and residency laws are two different things. You don' have to own a property to be a resident. At present, regardless of whether you own property, you can stay in Turkey for 90 days out of 180 days on a tourist visa. If you want to stay longer, you need a residency visa, which allows you to stay all year. Some expats living here also went on to gain Turkish citizenship. Let us look at both options.
About Staying In Turkey
1: Residency Permit
There are two main things to do. The first is proof you can support yourself financially without relying on the state. The second is proof of healthcare coverage. For your first year of residency, this will be a private policy. After the second year, you can then opt into the government-run SGK system. The price is the same for singles and couples and increases every year. There are many residency permits, but to retire or live here all year round without working, apply for a short-term residency permit. Support documents that applicants need include…
- Proof of Address: Head to the local NUFUS office of the district where you own or rent a property. Show them the Tapu or rental agreement, and they give a supporting document to prove registration at that address.
- Bank Statement: This one is simple. Just show a bank statement to prove you support yourself financially. If you have no savings but an income like a pension, provide proof of that.
- Passport Copies: Your passport must show more than six months validity date. If it does not, Turkish authorities will refuse your application.
- 4 x Biometric images: It is essential to get the biometric passport photos; otherwise, your application will be refused.
- Health Insurance: This is simply copies of your private health insurance. It must cover you for at least one year.
- Tapu or Rental Contract Copies: Provinces vary in that some want to see the original, but it is worth making copies. Rental contracts must be notarised.
Once you gather those supporting documents, make your application online at https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/. They then instruct how much tax to pay and give an appointment for approval. Once this happens, the residency permit comes via the post office in roughly 3 to 6 weeks. The first approval lasts for a year, and then two-year visas after that. People who have lived in Turkey for eight years, can also apply for long term residency.
2: Gaining Turkish Citizenship
To live in Turkey for the rest of your life, you can also apply for Turkish citizenship, eliminating the need to keep reapplying for residency. This might be useful if you have a family entering the education system or want to work, study, or own a business. There are several ways, including three years marriage to a Turkish citizen, five years residency, and the instant citizenship by real estate investment scheme. To be eligible for that, purchase property worth at least $250,000 and pledge to keep it for at least three years.
You need a residency permit first to make the citizenship application, but citizenship is usually approved in six to nine months; hence, you only need it once. To do this, you must also be over 18 and show a clean criminal record. The best part about the citizenship investment scheme by the property is that your application also extends to your spouse and dependents; hence the whole family become Turkish citizens—more about the citizenship by property investment scheme.
We are Turkey Homes, a property and investment specialist. We have offices in many different parts of Turkey, including Istanbul, Fethiye, Bodrum and Antalya. We hope we have given good information about how long you can stay in Turkey if you own a property. If you plan to live here, read our blog about Turkey. We took our teams' collective experience and local knowledge to talk about destinations, Turkish culture, and food, as well as tips for expats who want to live in Turkey all year round.