During the process of applying for Turkish Citizenship, the most important feature sought from foreign investors is to have a “short-term residence permit” in accordance with subparagraph (j) of the first paragraph of Article 31 of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection.
There are fourteen different ways to obtain a short-term residence permit in Turkey. These are as follows: Coming to Turkey for scientific research purposes; Having immovable property in Turkey; Having business connections or to establish a business; To participate in a in-service training programme; Coming to Turkey for educational or similar purposes within the framework of agreements or student exchange programmes to which the Republic of Turkey is a party; Staying for touristic purposes; To be treated for a disease that is not considered a threat to public health; Must remain in Turkey depending on the demands or decisions of the judicial or administrative authorities; If the family loses the conditions of the residence permit, they will be transferred to a short-term residence permit; To participate in Turkish learning courses; To participate in education, research, internships and courses in Turkey through public institutions; Applying within six months from the date of graduation from those who have completed their higher education in Turkey; To be the foreign spouse of the investor, who does not work in Turkey but will make an investment in the scope to be determined by the President, and to be the minor or dependent child of the investor and their spouse, and having citizenship of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
The short-term residence permit that will be discussed in this paper seeks the applicant to fulfil the requirement to invest in Turkey in a certain scope and amount, thus granting the foreign investor a residence of at least one month and a maximum of five years. In this type of residence, the spouse of the foreign applicant, and their “dependent” child(ren), whether they are an adult or not, may be included. However, it should be noted that when applying for Turkish citizenship, it is not necessary for the applicant’s family members to obtain residency and is therefore sufficient for only the foreign investor to have a residence permit.
Applications for short-term residence permits are made at the “Citizenship Office”. The application can also be made through a proxy without the need for the foreign investor to participate in person. This feature distinguishes these applications from other types of residence permits. While applying, “Two biometric photographs of the foreign individual, the short-term residence permit registration form, investment letter, translation of the applicant’s passport, insurance policy, receipt showing that the residence fees have been paid, and, if applying through an attorney, a Power of Attorney document and a photocopy of the attorney’s bar association card” must be submitted. The Power of Attorney document must be a “special power of attorney” and thus contain specific authorisations to obtain a residence permit. It is not possible to request a residence permit by a General Power of Attorney. Although photocopies of documents are considered sufficient in residence applications, the documents must be original or made “as original” by the attorney.
Short-term residence permits include different procedures according to the type of application, and thus, investment-based residence permit applications differ greatly within the system. To obtain a residence permit with other application methods, a message regarding the submission of documents is sent to the foreign individual once the pre-registration form has been created, and upon this message, the foreign individual is entitled to send the documents on which the residence permit is based to the institutions that will conduct the examination. After sending these documents to the relevant institutions, the individual is notified of an interview date. After the individual participates in this interview, the result of the interview and application status will be announced to them. When evaluating all the above, it is clear that the residence permit application is concluded in approximately three months in total.
In the short-term residence permit based on investment, a pre-registration form is created from the relevant website and the relevant documents are submitted to the institution without waiting for the date of the interview, and the residence file is immediately reviewed by the institution and approved if appropriate. This process, which can take up to three months for residence permit applications subject to other conditions, results in “one week” following the submission of documents in investment-based residence permit applications. If the result is positive, a Foreign Identification Number is given to the investor by the Republic of Turkey; and this number play a key role in the Turkish Citizenship appointment to be taken through the online appointment system on the website https://randevu.nvi.gov.tr/.
When issuing the residence registration form, the Republic of Turkey also wants to see the health insurance of the foreign applicant. Before applying for short-term residence, it is mandatory for the individual to have health insurance that will coincide with the period for which they will request a residence permit. However, as a side note, children under the age of 18 and individuals over the age of 65 are not required to get an insurance policy for short-term residence permit applications.
Another factor that must be considered during the application is the period of residence that is to be requested. The period for which a residence permit is requested must be at least 60 days less than the validity period of the individual’s passport. In other words, the validity date of the passport, which forms the basis for the individual’s application, must be at least 60 days longer than the expiry date of the residence permit.
After applying for a residence permit, the applicant will be able to stay in Turkey regardless of the visa period. Likewise, the legislation allowed the person to stay in Turkey even if they do not have a visa, starting from the time of the residence permit application to its approval. Within two weeks after the application is made, a personal residence permit is issued and mailed to the address specified in the registration form. The validity period of this card is clearly stated on the card and the card provides the foreign individual with the convenience of entering and exiting Turkey without a visa. As can be seen from the following sample document; the card includes “foreign identification number, investor’s first and last name, nationality, date of birth, province of residence, card serial number, type of residence permit, parental name, residence permit start-end date, issuing authority, and the QR code”. During the period until the residence permit is posted to the applicant, he or she will be able to enter and exit Turkey with the application document (including the fee receipts) that is given.
Having a residence permit on the road to Turkish citizenship is of great importance, both because it is a legal obligation and because if the individual needs to be in Turkey during the investment process, it allows this until the citizenship application is approved. The residence permit, which is easily obtained in a short time like a week as a result of the convenience of the system, forms the basis of the process and paves the way for citizenship. The residence permit document that was obtained as a result of the approved application will be returned once the citizenship is acquired and the Turkish Identity Card is received, and thus the process will be completed.