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TURKEY – Changes to Residence Permit Law

, 08/09/2016

As we previously described, on 13 August 2016 Turkey published the “Law On International Workforce” (Law No. 6735), with immediate effect.

The new law also provided for various amendments to the 2014 Law on International Protection (aka Residence Permit Law).

What are the changes?

Below are several of the changes that have been made to the Residence Permit Law via the Law on International Workforce:

  • Short-term Residence Permits may now be issued for up to two years validity – instead of one year (except for those for investment or N. Cypriot nationals - see below);
  • Dependent Residence Permits may now be issued for up to three years validity – instead of two years (but no longer than the validity of the principal’s status in Turkey);
  • Remaining abroad for more than 120 cumulative days in the last year no longer cancels a short-term Residence Permit. Rules regarding cancellation of short term Residence Permits with regard to stays abroad will be defined by regulation);
  • Remaining abroad for more than 180 cumulative days in the last year no longer cancels a dependent Residence Permit. Rules regarding cancellation of family Residence Permit with regard to stays abroad will be defined by regulation;
  • The section regarding the 24 work hours limit for undergraduate students has been removed. New working hours criteria will be defined by regulation;
  • Short-term Residence Permits may be issued for up to five years for Northern Cyprus nationals and unemployed foreign nationals and their family members living in Turkey who are investing in Turkey (according to the criteria, scope and amount set by the Council of Ministers).

Action Items

  • Expect these changes to the residence permit system in Turkey to be implemented in the coming months;
  • Confirm up-to-date information for upcoming Turkish immigration matters with a Turkish provider on a case-by-case basis.