Turkey: Residence permit validities increased

The new work permit law will create longer validity periods for certain residence permit categories and has eliminated strict residence permit-related rules.

The extended validity periods will not be issued until related regulations are implemented, which is expected to happen soon. The relaxed rules regarding stays abroad are effective immediately.

Turkey: New law to create points-based work permit system

A new law has been published that, when implemented, will eventually significantly modify work permitprocedures and criteria.

The most noteworthy changes include a new government agency that will use a points-based system to evaluate work permit applications, a new permanent work category and a new work permit exemption that may apply to seconded workers. 

META: Annual mobility spending across the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey to top $185 billion in 2019, says IDC

Annual spending on mobility across the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) is expected to reach $185 billion by 2019, according to IDC's new 'Mobility Spending Guide'. This represents a 10.2% share of worldwide enterprise and consumer spending on mobile devices, software, and services, which is forecast to total $1.8 trillion in 2019.

Worldwide: Immigration processing delays expected during Ramadan


Foreign nationals and their employers can expect immigration processing delays over the coming weeks in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and parts of Asia during the observance of Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr. Many government offices worldwide reduce their hours and/or close during Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr.

Turkey: Proposal would exempt Turkish nationals from Schengen visa requirement

The European Commission has proposed to the EU Parliament and Council to remove the tourist and business visa requirement for Turkish nationals travelling to EU member states and associated Schengen states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) except for Ireland and the United Kingdom.  Until the proposal is approved (which is expected to happen June 2016), Turkish nationals will require Schengen visas.

Turkey: Short-term residence permit applicants with extended stays abroad subject to application denial

The Migration Directorate has recently started denying the short-term residence permit applications of applicants who have been outside of Turkey for more than 120 cumulative days under their most recent residence permit. Migration Directorate officers have recently started enforcing the 120-day rule, which is part of the recently-adopted rules. 

Turkey: Residence Permit regulations implemented

New regulations consolidate many of the Migration Directorate’s rules implemented over the past ten months.  The regulations are effective immediately, but may not apply in practice since Interior Ministry officers may not be aware of the changes for some time.

Turkey: Shutdown of online system delays residence permit processing

The online residency permit system has been down since last week for technical upgrades, preventing applicants from scheduling appointments or submitting initial or renewal residency permit applications. 

There is no indication of when the system will be functioning.

Turkey: Minimum salary significantly increased

The minimum salary for foreign workers has increased to TRY 1,647 per month (approximately USD 542.55).  Although the minimum salary level is usually reviewed every six months, this amount will remain consistent for 2016. 

In addition to the minimum salary requirement, foreign employees must be paid at least the amount a local employee in the same position would earn.

Turkey: Mandatory online system implemented for visa applicants

Foreign nationals filing Turkish visa applications at a consular post must now upload their application and supporting documents online through the Turkish electronic visa application system prior to submitting their visa application forms and supporting documents in person at a consular post. 

This system impacts the following visa types:

  • Assembly and Maintenance Service visas;
  • work visas for all nationals; and
  • business visitors who must acquire a consular visa.

This system does not impact electronic visas for nationals eligible for E-visas.

Applicants who experience difficulties using the online system can currently still apply solely at a consular post.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Consular visa applicants should be prepared to upload their application and supporting documents online prior to submitting hard copy documents to the consular post.

Turkey: Delays continue on dependents’ online residence permit appointment system

Foreign nationals in Istanbul attempting to book initial residence permit appointments for their dependents on the Istanbul Migration Directorate website are continuing to face delays.

Currently, dependents filing initial residence permit applications should expect a three-month processing delay and appointments for application submission are not available until the end of January.

There is not an expected resolution date for the online delays.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals in Istanbul attempting to book initial residence permit appointments for their dependents are advised to apply far in advance of the principal applicant’s start date and to expect delays on the online system.

Work permit approvals delayed in Turkey

Many foreign nationals submitting work permit applications during the past month have experienced significant delays.

The delays are expected to be resolved in November after the upcoming election. However, if the election results in a party change, there may be further delays due to the anticipated appointment of new immigration managers.