Turkey: Residency permit cost and paperwork reduced

ANKARA – The cost of a residency permit in Turkey has been reduced to 50 Turkish lira (US$24) from 206 lira (US$98), according to the Turkish Finance Ministry's declaration on the official gazette on Thursday.

The new law on foreigners and international protection, which governs residency permits, will come into force on Friday, April 11.

The law on foreigners and international protection came after a growing recognition of Turkey’s increasing economic and political power and in anticipation that a greater number of migrants, see Turkey as a target country rather than a mere transit route to the European Union.

“Foreigners who intend to stay in Turkey longer than the visa or visa exemption period or in excess of ninety days are obliged to obtain a residence permit, and the residence permit will become invalid if not used for six months," the new law states.

Residence permits will be divided into six categories including short-term and long-term and those for human trafficking victims, students and people in need of humanitarian aid. Foreigners who have stayed in Turkey with a valid residence permit for eight years uninterruptedly can be given an unlimited residence permit.

"Before the new law, the residence permits of foreigners were prepared as 'permit notebooks' containing many pages," said, Duygu Akan, an attorney at law in Turkey-based Cinar & Cinar law office." However, with the new system, the residence permits will be switched to "a single page residence permit card." This transformation is one of the reasons behind the price reduction made to the residence permit fees." 

"During the enforcement of the current law, foreigners were obliged to obtain residence permits after the issuance of their work permits. Additionally, foreigners with 90 day technician/ montage visas (obtained from Turkish Consulates) were also obliged to obtain residence permits within 30 days starting from their entry date to Turkey. However, the new law demolishes these requirements while bringing a much more practical and applicable system," Akan explained.

Akan added that the new law code aims to bring effective and easier implementation of the related rules on foreigners, and which entirely revokes the previous applicable law, no. 5683. 

Under the new law, a new Directorate General for Migration Management has been established under the Ministry of Interior with the aim of implementing policies and strategies related to migration; enforcing procedures related to foreigners’ entries and stays in the country and the deportation process from Turkey, along with regulations regarding both temporary and international protection and the safeguarding of human trafficking victims.

According to new law, the migration policies board will be established in order to determine and monitor the implementation of Turkey´s migration.

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