What is the change? New procedures that were intended to reduce the wait times for resident permit appointments have caused a new backlog for exit permits that are required for resident permit applicants and their family members.

What does the change mean? Family dependents should plan to delay their travel into Turkey until primary applicants secure their work visa, and expatriates in Turkey should plan to renew their resident permits as early as possible.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Exit permits, resident permit applications and renewals.
  • Who is affected: Family dependents of foreign employees or others applying for residence permits.
  • Impact on processing times: Exit permits are taking two to three months to process.
  • Business impact: The backlog will affect entry dates and travel plans for residence permit applicants.
  • Next steps: Dependents should plan to file resident permit applications four months in advance of start dates or expiration dates (for renewals). Employees and their dependents should work with their BAL professional to determine the best method of filing (postal or in-person) and travel schedules in individual cases.  

Background: As BAL reported last month, the Migration Directorate is now requiring that all resident permit applications be sent to the main Istanbul office in Vatan for final adjudication. A backlog of files in that office has developed, and exit permits cannot be issued until the resident permit application is adjudicated. According to Maria Celebi of Bener Law Firm in Istanbul, many residence permit holders may choose to renew their resident permit by mail, instead of in-person, to take advantage of shorter processing times, but postal applicants cannot leave Turkey before an exit document or their new permit is issued (approximately one month or more).

BAL Analysis: Employees and their dependents should factor in the processing delays and anticipate that they are likely to worsen in coming weeks as government offices close for approximately one week for the Bayram (Eid al-Adha) holiday beginning around Aug. 22.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Turkey. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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