Temporary Residence Permit in Turkey for Citizens of Pakistan

Temporary Residence Permit in Turkey for Citizens of Pakistan

Turkey and Pakistan are both members of the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation (also known as the Developing-8). For over 25 years, they have been working together to promote cooperation and develop trade links.

The D-8’s main objectives are to improve the position of participating countries in the global economy, as well as to promote cooperation between developing Muslim states. With this in mind, it would seem reasonable to assume that the members of the organisation benefit from close relationships. This, however, is not quite true. For instance, known for its hospitality, Turkey does not require a visa from citizens of many countries, yet it does not allow Pakistanis to visit without one. There are exceptions to this rule, but still, in the majority of cases, Pakistani citizens need special permission to visit Turkey.

The only category eligible for an exception are holders of official passports allowing them to come and stay in the country for 90 days. The term «official» here refers to diplomatic, service or special passports. Holders of valid Schengen visas, entry permits to the US, the UK, or Ireland, as well as residents of these countries, are entitled to travel to Turkey with an e-visa. It gives the right to stay in the country for up to 30 days. If a Pakistani citizen wants to stay longer, they will need a temporary resident card (ikamet).

You cannot get this permit outside the country (as of 2023 it was impossible to obtain a residence permit at a Turkish consulate abroad). There are no concessions or benefits for Pakistani citizens. Moreover, their card fees are among the highest.

What is a Turkish TRC?

The Temporary Resident Card (TRC) is called ikamet in Turkey. It confirms the foreigner’s right to temporary residence for a certain time. The validity period depends on the residence permit and is indicated on the document itself. For some residence permits, these cards may be reissued upon expiration. Others cannot be renewed.

The main types of Turkish residence permits are:

  • Short term. The most common residence permit. You can get this permit on one of 14 grounds. Pakistanis can get it by enrolling in Turkish language courses, investing at least $400,000 in the local economy, or buying real estate worth at least $50,000.
  • Family. This type of residence permit is suitable for Pakistanis who have relatives in Turkey, a spouse, for instance. This makes it possible for them to obtain ikamet through marriage. Minor children and other dependents of locals (both citizens and residents) can also move to Turkey.
  • Student. You can also get a TRC by enrolling in a Turkish educational institution. This does not only refer to university undergraduate and graduate programme students. School children also have the right to a residence permit unless they have a family residence permit. Children under 18 years of age have the right to receive local education without ikamet. But, if they become adults before completing their studies, they must obtain a student residence permit.
  • Humanitarian residence permit, residence permit for refugees and victims of human trafficking. These are rather exceptional and they are only suitable for people who find themselves in difficult circumstances.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Turkey. Photo: Lewis J Goetz (Unsplash)

How Does a Pakistani Receive a Temporary Resident Card?

In most cases, the ikamet application is submitted online. Humanitarian and refugee residence permits are the only ones issued completely offline. Bear in mind, though, that to complete the IRC registration procedure, you need to appear in person at the migration office for an interview. If the application is approved, the Temporary Resident Card will be sent by post.

For this to happen, you need to create an account on the e-ikamet website, select “submit application,” go through all the steps, including uploading the following documents to the site:

  • Application. There is a specific form for each case.
  • Photocopy of passport or equivalent document.
  • Four biometric photographs.
  • Receipts for payment of state fees. You can also pay on the website through the appropriate gateway.
  • Documents confirming the right to a residence permit. This could be a marriage or birth certificate (for a family residence permit), an agreement with an employer (for a worker), a certificate of enrolment in an educational establishment (for a student), etc.
  • Medical insurance. The authorities accept various types of insurance alongside private company certificates. This could be a certificate of eligibility for medical services in the country, a certificate from the Social Security Administration (SGK), etc.
  • Declaration of financial security. In most cases (not all), when obtaining a residence permit, a Pakistani must prove their ability to support themselves financially during their stay. When applying for a short-term or student residence permit, the migration service will only need you to certify the fact that you have sufficient funds To obtain a family residence permit, your funds must be at least one-third of the local minimum wage per person, and a total of at least one minimum wage. In 2023, the minimum wage was $483.
  • Proof of having a place to stay in Turkey.

Documents issued abroad must be translated, apostilled, and notarised.

Yavuz Sultan Selim, on Bosphorus, Istanbul. Photo: Phardon Media (Unsplash)

Ikamet Card Fees 

The registration of a residence permit entails various fees. These fees are individual and depend on the year the application was submitted, as well as on the nationality of the applicant. In 2023, Pakistanis need to pay the following fees:

  • For the residence permit. When living in Turkey, Pakistanis, like other foreigners, pay for each month of their stay in the country. The specific amount of the card fee is determined by the nationality of the foreigner. For instance, citizens of Iraq, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Montenegro pay $5 for the first month and $0.50 for each subsequent month. Russians and Koreans pay a little more. As for Pakistanis, their country is included in the list of 158 countries whose citizens pay $25 for the first month of living under a residence permit and $5 for each subsequent month.
  • For a card as a document. Its cost is set annually. For instance, in 2023, getting an IRC for Pakistanis costs 356 TRY ($13).
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In a Nutshell

To receive a Turkish temporary residence card, a Pakistani citizen needs to enter the country on a visa and apply for a residence permit before their visa expires. To do that, they will need to prove that they have grounds to stay in the country. You can receive residence through marriage, purchasing real estate, investment, and on other grounds.

The applications are submitted online on the e-ikamet website. All fees can also be paid on this website. The system will appoint a time and a date for the applicant to visit the migration office. A Pakistani citizen needs to appear there in person and bring along all the originals of their paperwork.

Should the application be approved, they will receive the ikamet via post. They will need to pay about $13 for it, along with certain fees for residing in the country. For Pakistani citizens, these are $25 for the first month, and $5 for each subsequent one.

Cover photo: Freepik

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