It was written on 23 May 2017. The law and practice in Turkey change all the time. Our guides are updated as frequently as possible - typically every three years - but may be out of date.
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This guide is about retiring to Turkey - who's doing it, why, and how.
Turkey, despite recent troubles, is still an attractive destination for many retirees - especially the Mediterranean coast. The weather is good, the property cheap, the expat community extensive.
There is no special ‘retirement visa’. You simply apply for a Short-term Residence Permit.
The process for dealing with applications for residence permits was modified in 2015 and then again in 2017 with a view to making things more consistent throughout Turkey. It is not clear that it is succeeded in doing this.
For most categories of residence permit, you will need to show proof of adequate income.
For a single person, this is, generally, interpreted as proof that you have at least the equivalent of the Turkish minimum wage. In March 2017 this was TRY1,400 per month (approx. US$400, €350 £300).
For a person with dependants it is higher: usually an additional one-third of the minimum wage per dependant.
You can start your retirement journey by coming to Turkey as a tourist, on a normal e-visa. This allows you to choose the area you want to settle down in, look at property, etc.
These are the normal residence permits issued in Turkey. They can be issued for a period of one or two years.
A person wishing to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days in any 180-day period can, fairly simply, obtain a Short-Term Residence Permit.
A foreigner may be eligible for a Long-Term Residence Permit, valid for an indefinite period, if they meet the criteria.
See our Guide to Residence Permits in Turkey for more information.
Retiring to Turkey - or simply living there as an 'economically inactive person' - is pretty easy. It's worth talking to an immigration specialist to make sure you're choosing the right sort of residence permit, and to ensure your application is properly filled in (especially if you aren't fluent in Turkish).
|Turkey Country Guide
Essential facts and figures about Turkey
|The Immigration System in Turkey
|Coming to Turkey as a Student
Visa & immigration information for foreign students
|Coming to Turkey to Work
Visa & immigration information for foreigners wanting to work in Turkey
|Coming to Turkey to Start a Business
Visa & immigration information for foreigners wanting to set up their own business in Turkey
|Coming to Turkey to Join Your Family
How do you join a family member who already has Turkish residence?
|Residence Permits in Turkey
How to apply for, and renew, short- and long-term residence permits in Turkey
|Coming to Turkey via Residence for Investment
The "golden visa"
|Coming to Turkey on a "Turquoise Visa"
The special Turkish visa for people valuable to the country
|Coming to Turkey as an Asylum Seeker/Refugee
The rules surrounding refugees in Turkey
|Residence in Turkey
Government information (in English) about the types of residency permit available for Turkey
|Application form for Residence Permit in Turkey
Government application form for residence (non-working) permit in Turkey
|How to Get a Work Permit in Turkey
From the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey
|Citizenship Information for Turkey
Click the 'citizenship' tab.
|Information for Refugees in Turkey
From the United Nations.
I hope you have found this guide useful. If you need any further help, please contact me.Başak Yıldız Orkun 23 May 2017
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