Several changes in how Turkish authorities are processing resident permit applications are causing backlogs and some inconsistencies in procedures.

Key points:

  • All initial resident permit applications filed in Istanbul are currently being transferred to the main office of the Migration Directorate in Vatan regardless of the branch where they are filed. This is causing a backlog and delays as supporting documents for all cases must be physically transferred, logged into the Vatan system and reviewed for final approval.
  • Applicants who need to travel outside Turkey while their resident permit is pending are generally unable to obtain an exit permit on the same day they file their resident permit application, as the case must be transferred and approved by the Vatan office before an exit permit can be issued. Because of the transfer of the files, issuance of exit documents is taking one week or longer.
  • Initial resident permit applicants must first log in their application and then wait for the Migration Directorate to respond with an appointment date. There does not appear to be a queue, and the wait time for appointments is highly inconsistent.
  • Applications to renew resident permits by mail may be denied if they are signed while the foreign national is not physically present in Turkey.
  • Short-term tourist resident permit applications are experiencing high denial rates due to applicants failing to prove sufficient financial resources and the concern that they will resort to working illegally in Turkey.

BAL Analysis: Resident permit applicants should factor in delays in the current unpredictable processing environment. Procedural changes may continue to be implemented or withdrawn with little notice and based on discretionary authority. Employers and foreign nationals should work with their BAL professional to adapt to these changes in individual cases.

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

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