Kimlik and Ikamet: what is the difference and how to get a residence permit in Turkey?

Residence permit


Kimlik and Ikamet: what is the difference and how to get a residence permit in Turkey?

Obtaining a residence permit in Turkey is a very attractive proposition for many foreigners. In the country, there are two main documents that allow you to live on the territory of the state: Kimlik and Ikamet. Learn more about the relevant documents and the differences between them

Get legal consultation on how to get ikamet in Turkey
Get legal consultation on how to get ikamet in Turkey

Turkey can surprise a foreigner with many things: high-quality and relatively inexpensive recreation, investment programs, opportunities to move to permanent residence or study.

In order to legally stay in the country, an expat must obtain an appropriate permit. In Turkey, there are two main documents that allow you to live in the country: kimik (Turkish passport) and ikamet (permanent residence permit).

The main differences between kimlik and ikamet, as well as the grounds for registration and your rights and obligations, are collected in this article.

Read more about healthcare in Turkey for expats and foreigners, as well as health insurance and medical tourism here.

What is kimlik in Turkey?


Kimlyk is an internal passport of a Turkish citizen, an ID card that certifies identity. Every Turk receives this document at birth. Until the age of 15, he is without a photo, and after reaching this age, the presence of a photo and its renewal become mandatory every 10 years.

Most often, foreigners issue a kimlik based on the purchase of real estate or other types of investment in the Turkish economy.

Read more about obtaining Turkish citizenship through investment here.

What is ikamet in Turkey?


Ikamet is a residence permit obtained by a foreign citizen legally residing in Turkey. The document is temporary, but it can be extended an unlimited number of times.

What are the differences between kimlik and ikamet?

Both documents give a foreigner the right to live on the territory of Turkey, but they have quite significant differences between them:



• Kimlik, that is, the Turkish passport has an unlimited validity period. Having issued it once, you will forever receive the status of a citizen of Turkey.

• Ikamet has a limited validity period, its duration depends on the type of residence permit. There are currently two types of ikamets in Turkey: short-term (for a period of 6 months to 2 years) and long-term or indefinite (issued after 8 years of regular renewal of the short-term permit and on the condition of staying in Turkey for at least 180 days per year in the last 5 years).

Grounds for the petition

You can issue a kimlik (Turkish passport) on the basis of:

• Investments in the Turkish economy, such as the purchase of real estate (minimum investment amount is $400,000).

• Marriage with a Turkish citizen.

• By origin (if the mother or father is a citizen of Turkey).

• Purchase real estate and permanently reside on the territory of the state for at least 5 years.

• Obtain a residence permit in Turkey based on a work visa and continuously extend the permit for 5 years.

The grounds for issuing a residence permit (ikamet) in Turkey are:

• Availability of real estate in the state.

• Tourist goals.

• Studying at a university, studying the Turkish language, staying under the student exchange program.

• Treatment in medical clinics of the country.

• Work and business.

• Related relationships.

• Humanitarian reasons.

Download a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a residence permit in Turkey using the link

Registration period

• An investor can get a kimlik under an accelerated scheme. After investing in the Turkish economy, you can immediately apply for a Turkish passport. The registration period is only a few months. The advantage is that the applicant does not need to confirm knowledge of the Turkish language, history of the state and pass the commission. In other cases, the term of issuing a passport depends on the grounds. Most often, before submitting documents, it is mandatory to live in Turkey for 5-8 years.

• The period of issuing an ikamet depends on the grounds and period of residence of a foreign citizen in Turkey.

Rights and obligations

Both kimlik and ikamet grant a foreigner the right to free education, receive medical care and other social guarantees. However, the residence permit does not allow you to vote in elections and be elected to public positions. Also, it is impossible to get an official job with a residence permit, for legal work you need to issue a permit.

A Turkish passport entitles a foreigner to all the rights of a Turkish citizen, including the ability to vote in elections and apply for government positions. Also, it is worth noting that an issued kimlik automatically obliges its owner to pay the taxes prescribed by the Turkish government.

List of documents for the registration of kimlik

A foreigner who purchased real estate in Turkey must prepare a package of documents with an apostille and a translation into Turkish:

• application for citizenship;

• a copy of the foreign passport, translated and notarized;

• birth certificate of all program participants;

• certificate of family structure, marriage certificate;

• a statement about the absence of criminal records;

• income statement;

• a document received from the Cadastre Office of Turkey that the investor has fulfilled his obligations regarding the purchase of real estate in full;

• confirmation of payment of the state duty for registration;

• TAPU for the acquired property and the contract of sale;

• valid ikamet.

Documents and procedure for registration of ikamet (ikamet)

The application for ikamet in Turkey can be submitted online. The questionnaire must be filled out on the website of the Migration Agency of the country. At the specified time, the applicant brings the appropriate package of documents to the department:

• a copy of the TAPU;

• passport;

• individual tax number;

• insurance for the entire period of ikamet;

• 3x4 photos;

• questionnaire filled out on the official website.