The number of foreigners with residence permits in Turkey has increased by 641 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 (residence permit) prepared by the Provincial Immigration Administration. While the number of foreigners holding a residence permit, which includes the identity information and validity period of the foreigner, was 178 thousand 964 in 2005, it increased to 1 million 326 thousand 503 as of January 7, 2022.
53% 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 703,804 people. Istanbul, which is preferred by 53 percent of foreigners, is followed by Antalya with 126 thousand 310 people and the capital Ankara with 100 thousand 929 people. İzmir, the third largest city in Turkey in terms of population, is behind Bursa, Mersin, Yalova and Samsun with 23 thousand 958 people. The cities hosting the least number of foreigners are Tunceli with 49 people, Muş with 59 people and Bitlis with 126 people.
Cities with the Most Foreigners
Cities with the Least Foreigners
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. With the Victim’s Residence Permit, a total of 141,313 people live in our country.
73.7% of Foreigners Stay with Short-Term Residence Permit
Foreigners Living in Turkey by residence permit type
In 2022, 73.7% 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;
- Foreigners 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, Iraq ranks first with 152,935 people. Iraq is followed by Turkmenistan with 98 thousand 559 people and Syria with 90 thousand 170 people.
Top 10 Nationalities in Turkey with a Short-Term Residence Permit
Turkey Hosts the Most Azerbaijani Students
After the Short-Term Foreign Residence Permit, the highest number of foreigners live in Turkey with the Student Residence Permit, which is given to foreigners who come to Turkey for educational purposes. With this residence permit, which has a total of 118 thousand 50 people, Azerbaijani nationals are in the first place with 15 thousand 833 people in Turkey. Azerbaijanis are followed by Iranians with 9,972 people and Turkmenistanis with 9,969 people.
89 thousand 818 People Live in Turkey with Family Residence Permit
Citizens of the Republic of Turkey, within the scope of Article 28 of the Law No. 5901, or foreigners, refugees and holders of secondary protection status who have one of the legal residence permits in Turkey; Family residence permit can be granted to his/her foreign spouse, his/her spouse’s or his/her underage foreign national child, or his/her spouse’s dependent foreign national child. As of January 7, 2022, there are a total of 89,818 people living in the Republic of Turkey with this permit. Azerbaijanis are in the first place among the foreigners in our country by taking advantage of this type of permit, as is the case with the Student Residence Permit. After 12 thousand 304 people from Azerbaijan, Uzbeks with 6 thousand 842 people and Russians with 6 thousand 707 people.