Current residence permits legislation and the Law on Foreigners and International Protection

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1 Current residence permits legislation and the Law on Foreigners and International Protection Disclaimer: Material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and does not provide a comprehensive analysis of each topic referred to. Readers should seek advice specific to their situation before taking any action. No liability is accepted for acts or omissions taken in

2 RESIDENCE PERMITS OF FOREIGNERS IN TURKEY oday, Turkish Law Related to Residence and Travels of Foreign Subjects numbered 5683 is applicable regarding the residence permits of foreign subjects in Turkey. This law will be in force until the new Code of Law on Foreigners and International Protection will be in force on 11 April Detailed information regarding the residence permits, which are indicated in this Code, is as follows; Scope of the Code According to the Article 1 of this Code, the foreign subjects who are not permitted by law to enter Turkey and who have arrived in accordance with the Passport Law awards shall have the right to reside and travel in Turkey under the terms and conditions determined by laws. General Terms of Residence Statement According to the residence statement general term, which is regulated in Article 3, foreigners intending to live and/or work in Turkey are required to obtain a residence permit. If visa exemption or the term stated in their visa is adequate, foreign visitors may stay in Turkey for 90 days without residence permit (either consecutively or separately) per 180-day period. After 90 days, in order to stay in Turkey, the foreign visitor should apply for residence permit for tourist purposes in order to continue to stay in Turkey. If visa exemption or the term stated in their visa is not adequate, 90 to 180 per day rule is still applicable. At the end of the visa period, to continue to stay in Turkey, foreign visitor should apply for residence permit for tourist purposes. In all circumstances, after obtaining work permit or after their arrival to Turkey with work visa, foreign employees are required to apply for Work Registered Residence Permit to the Alien s Branch of the Local Police Department within 30 days. This rule is also applicable to the extension applications of work permits. The foreigners who arrive in Turkey under cultural activities such as conferences, concert etc. are excluded from this condition provided that these activities should not exceed one month. This means; the foreign subjects who arrive in Turkey under cultural activities may not obtain residence permit unless their activities last more than one month. Requirements for Obtaining a Residence Permit There are several types of Residence Permits, depending on the purpose of the residence decision of the foreigner. These types include; a Long- Term, Tourist, Education, Work, Internship and Companionship permit. The required documents that shall be submitted to obtain a Residence Permit are often the same, namely photos, a valid passport (both the original and a photocopy) and banking account statements showing the required amount. ın accordance with the sector,

3 which the foreigner is employed, additional documents may require by the Authorities. Conditions in which Residence Permit will be Rejected In Article 7, the conditions, in which residence permit application would be rejected, are stated. These conditions are limited in number. This means that not other than these conditions would cause any rejection. Stated conditions are as follows; a) Foreign subject person who will arrive merely working and this work has been consecrated to Turkish citizens in conformity with the laws. b) Foreign subject persons who are in the position which does not conform to the Turkish Law or usage and customs or political requirements or who act as above. c) Foreign subject persons who are determined that his/her living expenses will not be provided on the legal grounds in the period they request to stay. d) Foreign subject persons who are prohibited to enter Turkey but entered somehow. e) Foreign subject persons who violate peace and order in the period they stay in Turkey. Duration of the Residence Permit The Residence Permit durations shall be determined in accordance with the interrelations and reciprocity principles of the foreigner s country and citizenship. Also, the Residence Permit type shall be effective on this decision on the duration. Nevertheless, as per Article 9, it can be submitted for a maximum duration of 5 years. However, according to the principle of reciprocity duration may be determined longer or shorter than five years by the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the same Article, it is also regulated that residence permits are issued personally. However, it's also allowed to be issued joint residence permits. This type of residence permit could be issued to both spouses and to their children who did not reach eighteen years old. It could also be issued to children by inscribing them in "accompanied by" sections of the father or the mother. It is also mentioned that the ones who run business in Turkey are liable to obtain personal residence permit. In the same Article it is also stated that the residence permits could be extended maximum four times right after the end of the duration. As mentioned above, the duration of the residence permit is 5 years, however, it could be less or more in accordance with the applicant and it can be extended 4 times. Since this particular Code shall be in force until 11 April 2014, the procedure of the residence permit shall be the same. The difference between the current Code and the Law on Foreigners and International Protection shall be explained thereinafter. Renewal of the Residence Permits

4 According to the Article 10, the foreigners who request to extend their residence period in Turkey shall be liable to apply and renew the residence permit direct or indirect from the offices and agencies within fifteen days as from the expiring date written in the residence permit. Applications before the expiring date written in the residence permit are also accepted. People Who Lost Their Residence Permit People who lost their residence permit shall be liable to apply to the concerned office or agency to obtain the new one immediately in accordance with Article 11. The new residence permits are submitted again to these persons and validated as the lost residence permits. People Whose Marital Status Are Changed According to the Article 12, foreigners shall be liable to inform the changes of their marital status within fifteen days as from the date of the changes occurred to the officials of the police where they reside with a signed statement. They also shall be liable to be recorded the condition to their residence permit. These statements are exempted from any tax and duty. Residence Permit for Foreigners Who Leave Turkey Foreigners, who leave Turkey and come back before the duration of their residences permit ends, do not need a visa to enter Turkey. They may enter Turkey with their residence permit. People Who Change Their Residence According to Article 14, when foreigners who have a residence permit change their residence, they have to inform police department or gendarmerie that are located both in their old and new residence within 48 hours. This statement would be given written or oral. Foreigners Who Will Work in Turkey Foreigners who will work in Turkey as officer, servant or employee have to inform police department or gendarmerie, which are located in their residence within 15 days after start working. People Who Employ a Foreigner People who employ a foreigner have to declare foreigner s name, surname, nationality, profession, number and date of his/her residence permit, habitual residence and his/her salary within 15 days after the foreigner start working to the nearest police department and gendarmerie. REQUIRED DOCUMENTS TO APPLY FOR A RESIDENCE PERMIT In regards to the information we have received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; For long-term residence in Turkey, the applicant should submit the following documents to the local Police Department: 4 passport-size photos Passport Photocopies of the following pages of the passport: the page bearing the applicant s photo, the page stamped at the last entry,

5 the page indicating the validity and expiry dates of the passport A bank statement or a currency exchange slip testifying to an asset in the amount of USD 300 for each month Documents required applying for a residence permit for work purposes: 4 passport-size photos Passport Photocopies of the following pages of the passport: the page bearing the applicant s photo, the page stamped at the last entry, the page indicating the validity and expiry dates of the passport The original and a copy of the work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security The above-mentioned requirements are received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs however, in case of a requirement of an obtainment of a residence permit, we hereby would like to mention that it would be more beneficial to ask once more the required documents. Legal Fees for Residence Permit Legal fees for residence permit are regulated in Turkish Legal Fees Code numbered 492. According to the Article 83 of this Code, residence permits are subject to the legal fees. In the following Article, it is stated that foreigner who want to have a residence permit shall pay the required amount of legal fee. Foreigners Who Are Exempted From Legal Fee Stated foreigners in Article 88 are exempted from the Legal Fee. These foreigners are as follows; Students who study in Turkish schools or universities. People who especially work for press institution. Professors and experts who work for Government s institutions and their unemployed spouses and children. People who are in need and whose poverty are approved by Turkish Authorities which are authorized to give residence permit. Foreigners who have Turkish origin. Foreigners who have long-term residence permit. Foreigners who are suffered from human trafficking. In the first part, we have explained you the current legal procedure of obtaining residence permit in Turkey in accordance with the current legislation and also information about the duration of the residence permits, application procedure and the required documents and also exemptions. Since the new code of Law on Foreigners and International Protection shall enter into force on 11 April 2014, the procedure of obtaining residence permit shall be as we have explained. PART II

6 AMENDMENTS MADE WITH THE LAW ON FOREIGNERS AND INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION This new code was announced on the Official Gazette on 11 April Apart from the section five of this Code excluding Article 122, paragraphs one, two, five and seven of Article 123 and Article 124 shall come into force on the date of publication of the Law and the rest of the regulation shall be in force one year after the date of publication of the Law. The purpose of this Code is to determine the procedures and principles with regard to the foreigners entry into, stay in and exit from Turkey and with regard to the scope and implementation of protection to be provided to persons who apply for protection in Turkey; and to determine the establishment, duty, authority and responsibilities of the Directorate General of Migration Management under the Ministry of Interior. The current legislation of the Passport Law and the Law related to Residence and Travel of Foreigners in Turkey are insufficient. Turkish Government aimed to modernize and update the implementation of the current legislation. Foreigners who shall not be permitted to entry into Turkey Foreigners who shall not be permitted to entry into Turkey and shall be turned away are listed in Article 7, which are; a) if it is determined that his or her passport, passport substituting document, visa or residence permit or work permit is absent or fraudulent; or that he or she has obtained these permits fraudulently, b) if he or she does not hold a passport or a passport substitute document which is valid for at least sixty days as of the expiry of visa, visa exemption or residence permit, c) if he or she falls under the scope of the foreigners listed under the first paragraph of Article 15, without prejudice to the second paragraph of Article 15 of this Law, and regardless of whether or not he or she is exempted from a visa. Directorate General shall issue a ban on entry against foreigners whose entry into Turkey is found objectionable on grounds of public order or security or public health. The ban on entry into Turkey shall not exceed five years. However, in case there exists a serious threat in terms of public order and security, this period may be increased for another ten years at most by the Directorate General. Obligation to Obtain a Visa Foreigners intending to stay in Turkey for a period of 90 days or less shall arrive in Turkey subsequent to obtaining a visa, also indicating the purpose of visit, issued by the consulates of the Republic of Turkey in their country of nationality or legal residence. The duration of stay as provided by the visa or visa exemption shall not exceed 90 days within 180 successive days.

7 Gaining visa at border gates and the content of the airport transit visa is explained in Articles 13 and 14. Residence Permit In accordance with Article 19, Foreigners who intend to stay in Turkey longer than the visa or visa exemption period or in excess of ninety days are obliged to obtain a residence permit. A residence permit ceases to be valid if not used within six months. Foreigners, who provide the requirements of Article 20, are exempt to obtain a residence permit. The application process of the residence permit is explained in the Law. We would like to emphasize one point that in regards to Article 21, residence permit application shall be made to the consulates of the Republic of Turkey in the foreigner s country of nationality or legal residence, however, in some cases in which mentioned in Article 22, application for a residence permit could be filed in Turkey as well. Type of Residence Permits In the Article 30, types of residence permits are listed as short-term residence permit, family residence permit, residence permit for students, long-term residence permit, humanitarian residence permit and residence permit issued to victims of human trafficking. Differ from the current legislation; residence permit for working purpose is not listed under the type of residence permits. In the first part, we have mentioned that after obtaining work permit or after the arrival to Turkey with work visa, foreign employees are required to apply for Work Registered Residence Permit to the Alien s Branch of the Local Police Department within 30 days. However, with the Article 27 of the new Code, a valid work permit or a Letter of Confirmation for Exemption from Work Permit shall also substitute for a residence permit in Turkey. Short-term Residence Permit The requirements to obtain a shortterm residence permit explained in Article 31 and 32. Short-term residence permit shall be issued for a period of maximum of a one year at a time. However, foreigners who obtained short-term residence permit could extend the period of the residence permit. Nevertheless, a short-term residence permit may be rejected, cancelled or not be extended if the foreigner could not provide the requirements of the short-term residence permit in regards to Article 33. If a foreigner is obtained a short-term residence permit by providing the requirements of Article 31, he/she could only obtain the short-term period of residence permit one year at a time. However, in case of the continuation of the conditions, the short-term residence permit could be extended. The Law does not explain extension of the short-term residence permit in detail; however, we are in the opinion that the duration period may be again one year. Family Residence Permit

8 The family residence permit and the conditions of this permit are explained in Article 34 and 35. The duration of this type or residence permit is 2 years and in accordance with the continuation of the requirements, the family residence permit may also be extended. If there is reasonable doubt, an investigation shall be launched by governorates to determine whether or not the marriage is fictitious prior to issuing or extending a family residence permit. If it is determined that the parties performed a fictitious marriage, a family residence permit shall not be granted and those granted shall be cancelled. Student Resident Permit Foreigners who intend to pursue foundation, undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate studies in an establishment of higher education in Turkey shall be granted a student residence permit. Foreigners who will receive education in primary or secondary institutions may be issued a student residence permit with a one year validity and this permit may be extended throughout the course of study. The validity of student residence permit shall not exceed the duration of education period, in the event that the education period is less than a year. Long-term Residence Permit Foreigners who reside in Turkey with a residence permit uninterruptedly for at least eight years, or foreigners who meet the criteria to be determined by the Migration Policies Board, shall be granted a permanent residence permit by governorates upon approval of the Ministry. Conditions for granting a long-term residence permit are explained in Article 43. Foreigners who have been granted a long-term residence permit shall benefit from the same rights as accorded to Turkish citizens such as compulsory military service, right to elect and be elected, employment in public institutions and exemption from taxes in importing vehicles. Humanitarian Residence Permit Without seeking the fulfillment of the requirements of residence permit, humanitarian residence permit could be obtained to the foreigner by the Ministry with a maximum validity of a one-year. Residence Permit for Victims of Human Trafficking In accordance with the Article 48, A residence permit valid for thirty days may be granted by governorates to foreigners, where there is strong suspicion that the foreigner is, or in the future will be, a victim of human trafficking, so that they can recover from the effects of their experiences and decide whether or not to cooperate with the competent authorities. Determination of the Statelessness The Directorate general shall determine the stateless persons and Stateless Person Identification Document shall be issued to them in accordance with Article 50. This particular document shall be accepted as residence permit and shall be renewed by the

9 Governorates every other year. The rights and guarantees granted to stateless persons are explained in Article 51. Deportation Foreigners may be deported to their country of origin or a transit country or a third country by a deportation decision. The decision and the reasons on which it is based shall be notified to the foreigner and the foreigner may appeal to the administrative court against the deportation decision within fifteen days as of the date of notification. The list of persons whom deportation decision shall be issued is explained in Article 54 in detail. International Protection The status of the refugee, conditional refugee and subsidiary protection are explained in chapter three, section one of this particular code. International protection applications shall be personally lodged to Governorates. The applicants shall not be subject to administrative detention for the sole reason that he or she has applied for international protection. The applicant may only be placed under administrative detention only for the sub-paragraphs mentioned in Article 68 (2). The period of administrative detention shall not exceed 30 days. The application and interview process are explained in this Code within the Articles of Upon completion of the interview, the applicants and if any, their accompanying family members shall be issued the International Protection Applicant Identification Document valid for six months, including the foreigner s identification number and indicating that the person has applied for international protection. The international protection status shall cease to exist in case the beneficiary of international protection shall act in accordance with the Article 85. The rights and obligations of the beneficiary of international protection are mentioned in section three. According to this section, the beneficiary of international protection shall be exempted from the reciprocity principle, an applicant or a beneficiary of international protection and his or her family members shall have access to primary and secondary education services, those who are in need may be granted access to social assistance and services. The obligations of the beneficiary of international protection are stated in Article 90. Establishment of a Directorate General for Migration Administration The most necessary amendment in this Code is the establishment of the Directorate General for Migration Administration. In regards to the Article 103, the Directorate General for Migration Management has been established under the Ministry of Interior with a view to implement policies and strategies related to migration; ensure coordination between the related agencies and organizations in these matters; carry out the tasks

10 and procedures related to foreigners entry into, stay in, exit and deportation from Turkey, international protection, temporary protection and protection of victims of human trafficking. In order to determine and monitor the implementation of Turkey s migration policies, the Migration Policies Board shall be established.

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