Life in Turkey

Foreigners with Residence Permit in Turkey Increased by 657% in 17 Years

The number of foreigners with residence permits in Turkey has increased by 657 percent since 2005. More than half of foreigners with a residence permit live in Istanbul.

Foreigners who want to stay in Turkey longer than the visa exemption period have to obtain a Residence Permit prepared by the Provincial Immigration Administration. While the number of foreigners holding a residence permit, which includes the identity information of the foreigner and the validity period, was 178 thousand 964 in 2005, it increased to 1 million 354 thousand 94 as of January 7, 2022.

52 Percent of Foreigners Live in Istanbul

Looking at the distribution of foreigners in Turkey with a residence permit by province, it is seen that Istanbul is the city that hosts the highest number of foreigners with 705,133 people. Istanbul, which is preferred by 52 percent of foreigners, is followed by Antalya with 161,434 people and the capital Ankara with 84,346 people. Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey in terms of population, is behind Bursa and Mersin with 28,452 people. The cities that hosted the least number of foreigners were Tunceli with 48 people, Muş with 87 people and Bayburt with 149 people.

Types of Residence Permit in Turkey

There are 6 different types of residence permits in Turkey: Short Term Residence Permit, Family Residence Permit, Student Residence Permit, Long Term Residence Permit, Humanitarian Residence Permit and Human Trafficking Victim Residence Permit.
Long-term residence permits that foreigners residing in Turkey uninterruptedly for eight years can obtain if they meet the conditions determined by the Migration Board, Humanitarian Residence Permit given to people who are deemed necessary to stay in Turkey for humanitarian reasons, and Human Trafficking issued by the governorates for a period of thirty days to people who are victims of human trafficking. A total of 163,424 people live in our country with the Victim’s Residence Permit.

69.6% of Foreigners Stay with Short-Term Residence Permit

As of the end of 2022, 69.6% of foreigners staying in Turkey with a residence permit have a short-term residence permit. This type of permit is given to foreigners who meet the following conditions:

  • Foreigners who come to Turkey for scientific purposes;
  • Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey;
  • Foreigners who will establish a commercial business in Turkey;
  • Foreigners who come to Turkey within the scope of in-service training;
  • Foreigners coming to our country within the scope of education exchange programs (Erasmus, Farabi) to which Turkey is a party;
  • Foreigners who come to Turkey for tourism purposes;
  • Foreigners who come to Turkey for treatment purposes;
  • Foreign nationals who are required to reside in Turkey depending on the decisions of the Administrative or Judicial authorities;
  • Foreigners who reside in Turkey within the scope of family residence permit and then lose their conditions and switch to a short-term residence permit;
  • Foreigners enrolled in Turkish courses with permission from the Ministry of National Education;
  • Foreigners who will participate in education, research and internship in Turkey through public institutions and organizations;
  • Foreigners who apply within 6 months after completing their higher education in Turkey;
  • Foreigners and their families who do not work in Turkey in order to contribute to the country’s economy but will invest in the amount stipulated by the Council of Ministers; Foreign nationals who are TRNC citizens.

Looking at the nationalities of foreigners residing in Turkey with a Short-Term Residence Permit, Russia ranks first with 129,450 people. It is followed by Iraq with 118,865 people and Turkmenistan with 89,958 people. It is seen that the number of Russian citizens holding a Short Term Residence Permit has increased by 200 percent since 7 January 2022.

Ece Nagihan

Hi, I'm Ece. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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