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Coming to Turkey as a Student

This guide was written by Başak Yıldız Orkun, Managing Partner at Orkun & Orkun (info@orkunorkun.com) in collaboration with Guides.Global (office@guides.global).

It was written on 18 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 Our guides are updated as frequently as possible - typically every three years - but may be out of date.

Our guides are prepared by professionals from many countries. They are, of necessity, both brief and general and can take no account of your personal circumstances. They are intended to be a good introduction to the subject BUT ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE, which our contributors will usually be happy to provide upon request.

The advice and opinions contained in the guides are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Guides.Global.

Click where you see lightbulb image for more information

The scope of this guide

This guide is about the visa and residence permit you will need to study in Turkey as a foreigner.

You may also want to watch the video version of this guide or download the audio (MP3) guide.

Introduction

Turkish schools (primary & secondary education) and its colleges and universities (tertiary education) are of high quality and relatively cheap. Turkey has fairly recently embraced the idea of the international students. Most come from Western China (the region, where Turkish is spoken) and other Turkic countries such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. There are very few Western students in turkey specifically for the purposes of education.

Turkey doesn't host a lot of international students except for the children of people resident in Turkey, who are treated in the same way as local students and so not considered further here. There are also international schools.

To study in Turkey, a foreigner needs a student visa and a student resident permit.

Student visas in Turkey

Foreigners can only apply for a Turkish student visa after they’ve been accepted by a Turkish educational institution certified by the Ministry of Education – whether that’s a school, university or language course.

A student applicant, according to the Turkish consular website for the UK, will need:

Duration of visa and fees (2017)

Will a student visa also allow your spouse or children to live in Turkey?

No. Your student visa permits you to enter Turkey for the purpose of studying.

However, to live in Turkey, you also need a residence permit. This applies equally to your wife and children. If you are a student in Turkey, then there should be no problem obtaining a residence permit; and if you obtain a residence permit for yourself there should be no problem with your spouse or dependent children also obtaining permission to live with you, provided you meet the test for a Family Residence Permit. See our Guide to Joining Your Family in Turkey.

Can a student work in Turkey?

Foreign students can legally work in Turkey after obtaining a Student Residence Permit. However, foreign students who are enrolled in undergraduate or two-year associate programmes can start working in Turkey only after completing their first year of study. Students who are enrolled in two-year associate programmes may not exceed 24 working hours per week.

Student Residence Permits in Turkey

Student Residence Permits are granted to foreigners who will be enrolled to graduate, undergraduate or two-year associate programs in licenced Turkish higher education institutions. The period of student residence permit cannot exceed the duration of education.

Foreigners who wish to study in primary or secondary education facilities can be granted Student Residence Permits for a maximum of one year (renewable).

Both groups must apply within one month of entering Turkey.

Applications from foreigners who are subject to deportation or entry ban decisions will be rejected.

Student Residence Permits do not grant any residence rights to parents or other relatives.

Foreign students can legally work in Turkey after obtaining a Student Residence Permit. However, foreign students who are enrolled in undergraduate or two-year associate programs can start working in Turkey only after completing their first year of study. Students who are enrolled in two-year associate programs may not exceed 24 working hours per week.

Those applying for a Student Residence Permit for the first time should have:

Conclusion

There aren't many Western students in Turkey, but its reputation in the region is well deserved - and it's not overly difficult to get the paperwork to study there.

Other guides of interest

 Description Link 
Turkey Country Guide
Essential facts and figures about Turkey
Click to see this guide
The Immigration System in Turkey
An overview
Click to see this guide
Residence Permits in Turkey
How these documents work
Click to see this guide
Coming to Turkey to Work
Visa & immigration information for foreigners wanting to work in Turkey
Click to see this guide
Coming to Turkey to Start a Business
Visa & immigration information for foreigners wanting to set up their own business in Turkey
Click to see this guide
Coming to Turkey to Join Your Family
How do you join a family member who already has Turkish residence?
Click to see this guide
Coming to Turkey to Retire
Visa & immigration information for foreigners wanting to retire in Turkey
Click to see this guide
Coming to Turkey via Residence for Investment
The "golden visa"
Click to see this guide
Coming to Turkey on a "Turquoise Visa"
The special Turkish visa for people valuable to the country
Click to see this guide
Coming to Turkey as an Asylum Seeker/Refugee
The rules surrounding refugees in Turkey
Click to see this guide

You may also want to read:

 Description Link 
Residence in Turkey
Government information (in English) about the types of residency permit available for Turkey
Residence in Turkey
Application form for Residence Permit in Turkey
Government application form for residence (non-working) permit in Turkey
Application form for Residence Permit in Turkey
How to Get a Work Permit in Turkey
From the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey
How to Get a Work Permit in Turkey
Citizenship Information for Turkey
Click the 'citizenship' tab.
Citizenship Information for Turkey
Information for Refugees in Turkey
From the United Nations.
Information for Refugees in Turkey

Readers' Comments

 

Further information?

I hope you have found this guide useful. If you need any further help, please contact me.

Başak Yıldız Orkun

18 May 2017


 

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