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Visa and Residence Permit FAQs

VISA AND RESIDENCE PERMIT FAQs FOR INCOMING EXCHANGE STUDENTS 

Do I have to apply for a student visa for my exchange in Turkey?

No. Based on article number 978811785-102-01-01-10032 (September 2014) by Ministry of Interior Affairs Immigration Authority (Ic Isleri Bakanligi Goc Idaresi Genel Mudurlugu) students who are accepted by higher education institutions in Turkey are not required to obtain a student visa unless they are obliged to do so based on bilateral visa rules. Students must use the e-visa site to obtain a touristic visa or find out about specific visa requirements for their country of citizenship.

Can I stay in Turkey after my exchange?

You can stay in Turkey until the expiration date of your residence permit. After your exchange, you can stay in Turkey only if you gain a new status as a student, intern or tourist, otherwise you must leave Turkey.

Can I intern while I’m on exchange?

During exchange, students can intern on an unpaid basis without obtaining an internship visa. This means, you can intern but cannot accept payment as per foreigners’ protection laws in Turkey. Finding an internship is the responsibility of the student. Students can search for internship opportunities on https://career.ku.edu.tr/

Can I accept an internship after my exchange?

Yes. However, you must be sure to check the expiration date of your student residence permit and make arrangements to further stay in Turkey legally. If you find an internship after your exchange period, you can contact our International Community Office at ico@ku.edu.tr for your questions

Can I use my driver’s license instead of my passport? National ID card?

No. The only identification document accepted for a residence permit application is a valid passport. All students applying for a residence permit in Turkey must bring their original passports.

I will spend the summer in Turkey; can I apply for my student residence permit now and stay through the end of Fall semester?

No. Your residential status as a student at Koc University only covers a given semester’s start and end dates based on the academic calendar. Any visits to Turkey prior to the beginning of exchange are subject to normal visa rules and students must be aware of the number of days granted by a visa.

Can I obtain a touristic visa in Turkey even if I don’t get one through the e-visa site?

Yes. If you are eligible for an e-visa (touristic electronic visa) you can also purchase it at the airport of your entry from the immigration/visa desk.

I am enrolled in a summer program at another university in Turkey, can I apply for my residence permit for my semester at Koc now?

No. Students are required to re-apply for a residence permit each time they change schools in Turkey. Koc University facilitates student residence permits for exchange students only for the duration of the actual exchange semester at Koc University, not elsewhere.

I am scheduled to do exchange for two consecutive semesters as Fall and Spring; am I allowed to apply for a year round residence permit?

Yes. Exchange office identifies such students and advises ICO of their year round enrollment to have a residence permit for them for Fall and Spring. Students must also indicate this while filling out the online application form for the residence permit.

I am an exchange student at Koc for Spring and Fall. Can I stay in Turkey during summer break?

Students doing exchange in Spring semester are not issued a year round residence permit since there is a long summer break in between. Also, in order for a student to be able to apply for a student residence permit he/she must be registered for at least one course, otherwise students wishing to stay in Turkey after an exchange in Spring semester must either apply for a short term touristic residency or exit and enter back on a touristic visa if they are eligible to do so.

I arrived in Turkey earlier than my exchange period and used the entire number of days granted by my visa. Is this a problem?

Yes. Without a residence permit, your days in Turkey are limited to the number of days granted by your visa. This is usually 90 days, but it can be less too. If you are planning to visit Turkey with a multiple entry touristic visa before your exchange, do not stay in Turkey until the last day of your visa. Leave enough time to enter back and make it to your residence permit appointment. Otherwise your application will not be accepted and you will be asked to leave the country. While traveling to Turkey right before exchange, consider semester start date and do not come too early and consume your visa days.

Can I travel in case of an emergency or mandatory trip even if my 90 day time is up and I don’t have my residence permit yet?

Upon completion of the residence permit in person application at the university, each student will receive an interim travel permit that allows him/her to travel outside Turkey for up to 15 days within 6 months. Students can use this permit for mandatory/emergency trips as long as their appointments were made within 90 days or within their visa time (i.e. 30 days, 60 days etc.) from their first arrivals.

Is there a specific passport length requirement for residence permit applications in Turkey?

Yes. Passports must be valid for at least six months or for the duration of exchange, plus 60 days. Having a minimum 6 month long for each exchange semester would be the safest option.

Can I track down the status of my residence permit application?

No. The immigration authority does not have an electronic tracking option as yet.

Is there an average wait time before the delivery of residence permits?

Yes. The average wait time is 2 to 4 weeks or sooner.

How do I get notified when my residence permit is delivered?

You will be notified via email by your exchange advisors or mentors when your residence permit is delivered. Your residence permit will be delivered to the university campus.

Can I obtain another visa when my current touristic visa expires?

No. For Turkey, the maximum amount of time granted for touristic visas is 90 days within 180 days. As such, if your visa expired after 90 days, you need to wait another 90 days before you can apply for a new touristic visa.

I entered Turkey on a touristic visa, then obtained a residence permit. Should I extend or reapply for a visa when the one I have expires?

No. Once you have a residence permit in Turkey, you do not need a visa anymore. You will be able to use your residence permit like a visa when traveling.

How long can I stay in Turkey without a residence permit?

You can stay for the duration of your visa. If you’re exempt from visas, the 90 day rule applies in most cases. Please read carefully how many days you can stay in Turkey on the e-visa site.