Navigating Immigration Law in Turkey: A Comprehensive Overview

immigration law turkey

Turkey’s geographical location as a bridge between Europe and Asia, along with its rich cultural heritage and thriving economy, makes it an attractive destination for immigrants from around the world.

However, like any other country, Turkey has its own set of immigration laws and regulations that govern the entry, residence, and employment of foreigners. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of immigration law in Turkey, shedding light on the different types of visas, residence permits, and the procedures involved in obtaining legal status in the country.

Visa Categories

To enter Turkey legally, foreign nationals must typically obtain a visa before arrival. The visa categories vary depending on the purpose of the visit, including tourist, student, work, and family-related visas. Tourist visas allow individuals to stay in Turkey for up to 90 days within a 180-day period, while student visas are granted to those pursuing education in Turkish institutions. Work visas are required for individuals seeking employment in Turkey, and family-related visas are granted to those who have relatives residing in the country.

Residence Permits

Once in Turkey, individuals who wish to extend their stay beyond the visa period must apply for a residence permit. The Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management is responsible for issuing residence permits, which come in various types, such as short-term, family, student, and long-term residence permits. Short-term residence permits are typically valid for up to one year and can be renewed, whereas long-term residence permits are granted to individuals who have legally resided in Turkey for at least eight years.

Application Procedures

Applying for a residence permit in Turkey involves several steps. Applicants must provide the necessary documentation, including a valid passport, proof of financial means, a rental agreement or property ownership documents, and health insurance coverage. The application is submitted through an online system or at a provincial Directorate of Migration Management office. Upon submission, applicants are required to schedule an appointment for an in-person interview and provide biometric data.

Citizenship and Naturalization

Turkey offers various pathways to citizenship for foreign nationals, including marriage, exceptional circumstances, and investment-based options. Marriage to a Turkish citizen can lead to citizenship, provided certain criteria are met. In exceptional cases, individuals who have made significant contributions to Turkey in fields such as science, arts, or sports may also be eligible for citizenship. Additionally, foreign investors who meet specific financial criteria can apply for Turkish citizenship through investment.


Navigating immigration law in Turkey is essential for foreign nationals seeking to live, work, or study in the country. Understanding the different visa categories, residence permits, and the application procedures involved is crucial for ensuring a smooth transition and avoiding legal complications. Turkey’s immigration system provides opportunities for individuals from various backgrounds to establish themselves in the country, contribute to its growth, and benefit from its vibrant culture and economy. By adhering to the immigration laws and regulations, individuals can embrace the diverse opportunities that Turkey has to offer.

Azkan Group can support you in your Employer of Record (EOR) and payroll requests (also called Umbrella Company) in Turkey. We can manage your HR requests even if you don’t have a legal entity in Turkey.