An update from the British Consul & Consular Network Co-ordinator on Residence Issues
On 23 May we met the Head of Communications for the General Directorate of Migration Management (GDMM) in Ankara. We discussed the real need for clear communication on residence permit issues to come directly from their department to British nationals in Turkey, ideally via their new website www.goc.gov.tr At the time of writing, the English language section of the website remains under construction. We were advised that it would be ready “in a few weeks time”. In the meantime we encouraged the GDMM to publicise the Turkish versions of the FAQs documents they have prepared as many British nationals in Turkey are well integrated and would be able to make use of them.
The GDMM were aware that there are ongoing inconsistencies in the application process at the local TNP Foreigners Department offices. They continue to provide advice and guidance to these offices on the correct application of the rules and GDMM officials at the Ministry of the Interior in Ankara will be briefing the directors of these local offices again soon.
One of the most common areas of confusion in the application of the new rules is around healthcare and acceptable forms of medical insurance. We understand the Ministry of Health and the Turkish Confederation of Medical Insurance will meet soon to confirm which companies and policies, international ones included, are acceptable for cover for residence permits.
We have been collating some of the common issues, comments and questions put forward on this Facebook page and various expat pages and forums by British residents and presented these to the GDMM. The GDMM gave the answers below. Please note that these are the responses given to us by the GDMM. The accuracy and application of the residency rules as described below remain the responsibility of the GDMM. Anyone with queries or questions about the application of these rules should contact the GDMM using the enquiry form on their website at http://www.goc.gov.tr/icerik/mailform.
Why is there no health care requirement stated in the Law 6458 under ‘Conditions for short term residence permit’?
The written requirement is stated in the Law but not as clearly as it is for the long term residence permit. To find the relevant clause:
• Please read Article 32 ‘Conditions for short term residence permit’ paragraph b) not to fall within the scope of Article 7
• Now turn to Article 7 ‘Foreigners who shall be refused entry into Turkey’ paragraph c) without prejudice to paragraph two of Article 15, foreigners listed in paragraph one of Article 15 even if they are exempted from a visa.
• Article 15 ‘Foreigners who shall be refused a visa’ paragraph one (1) Visa shall be refused for those foreigners whose/who:
e) are not covered with a valid medical insurance for the duration of their stay
it is important to read Article 7 paragraph c) ‘even if they are exempted from a visa’ which refers to holders of residence permits, so references to ‘visa’ in Article 15 is applicable to residence permits also.
An English version of Law 6458 can be found as a pdf document at http://www.goc.gov.tr/icerik6/6458-sayili-yabancilar-ve-uluslararasi-koruma-kanunu-yururluge-girdi_350_361_607_icerik
What medical cover is acceptable for short term residence permit?
1) Private or state health insurance will be not asked from the citizens of countries which have reciprocal agreement with Turkey. [Note: The UK does not have such an agreement]
2) A travel health insurance will be asked from those who will stay in Turkey less than one year. If the “travel health insurance” does not cover the full period of their stay in Turkey, the residence permit will be issued, but they will be given a notification to extend their insurance, otherwise permit will be cancelled.
3) Applications for one year or longer period:
a) In case foreigners provide evidence that they have made an application to join the SGK to have a health insurance, their residence permit will be issued, although they are not covered with a valid medical insurance. However, after obtaining the residence permit, those should complete their application with SGK, and inform the issuing authority. Otherwise their residence permit will be cancelled.
b) An annual private health insurance covering inpatient /outpatient treatment and medical expenses will be asked from those who have not applied to join the SGK.
4) A valid medical health insurance will not be asked from dependents of those mentioned at paragraph (a) of article 3.
5) A valid health insurance will be asked from dependents of those mentioned at paragraph (b) of article 3, if their insurance does not cover their dependents.
6) Foreigners’ valid health insurance from their own countries covering mentioned treatments in Turkey will also be accepted.
I have been issued with my new residence permit card but there is only a 11 months validity period, what should I do?
In Article 24 paragraph 3) of Law 6458 it states that ‘The renewed residence permits shall take effect as from the expiry date of [applying] legal permits.’
If your new residence permit does not have 12 months validity from this date you need to contact the GDMM so they can look into the matter for you. You can submit your details using the email enquiry contact form http://www.goc.gov.tr/icerik/mailform’
Whilst my application is in progress am I able to travel out of Turkey and return?
Yes, you will be given a document by the TNP Foreigners Department stating that your application for a residence permit is in the system. Using this document you are able to leave Turkey without incurring any fine and return within 15 days without having to purchase a tourist visa. If you are unable to present this document on exit/entry you will not be able to benefit from this system and if your stay outside Turkey is longer than 15 days a tourist visa must be purchased to enable you to re-enter the country.
We will continue to encourage the GDMM to provide information to British nationals through their website and the TNP Foreigners Departments and ensure the consistent application of the residency rules brought in on 11 April 2014.