What is the change? The General Migration Directorate has said it will stop accepting residence permit renewal applications by mail and will close its office in Bakirkoy, Istanbul, which had been the only office designated to handle postal residence permit renewal applications.

What does the change mean? Those seeking renewals of residence permits will have to book an appointment to do so in person rather than submit their renewal application by mail. It is not yet clear how pending applications that were filed by mail will be handled.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Renewals for all categories of resident permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals renewing residence permits.
  • Impact on processing times: Delays should be anticipated. Renewal applicants now have to attend an in-person appointment, which could prolong the renewal process, especially if there are appointment backlogs. Timelines may vary depending on the filing location.
  • Business impact: Employers may need to adjust time lines because of the expected delays.

Background: The change was implemented without notice and will have a significant impact on the renewal process. It is likely that applications already submitted by mail will be transferred to the General Migration Directorate’s main office in Istanbul. Turkey’s online application system is not currently allowing applicants with pending applications to book new appointments online. It remains unclear at this point whether renewal applicants will be able to make filing appointments within the 60-day period before a permit expires or whether they will have to wait until after their permit has expired to attend a filing appointment.

Analysis & Comments: Applicants may have to be more flexible with their schedules given that, for now, they will have to submit applications in person. The change was made without notice and some information remains unclear at this point. Those in need of renewing residence permits are encouraged to work closely with their immigration advisor on the best options available to them.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.