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 Our guides are updated as frequently as possible - typically every three years - but may be out of date.
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This guide is about the visa and residence permit you will need to study in Turkey as a foreigner.
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.
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:
A completed visa application form (www.visa.gov.tr) (fill in using capital letters)
An e-visa; a visa exemption; or a residence permit
A passport-style photograph
An acceptance letter from the educational institution (one certified by the Ministry of Education) you will be attending
If you’re coming to Turkey as an exchange student, a confirmation letter from your school in the UK
Non-British Citizens applying from the UK also need a one-year (minimum) valid residence permit for the UK.
Your most recent two months’ bank statements showing a reasonable amount of savings (at least £3,000 for six months’ stay)
If you have a sponsor: a sponsor letter, the sponsor’s bank statements and a copy of his/her passport
Accommodation details, if available
Student visa – up to six months - £95
Student visa – over six months - £348
Language course – up to 11 months - £181
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.
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 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:
A student visa, obtained from the Turkish consulate in their home countries
Residence Permit application form
Tax number (obtained from the tax office)
Four passport-size photos
Original passport and photocopies of the following pages of the passport: the page bearing the applicant’s photo, the page stamped at the last entry, the page indicating the validity and expiry dates and the page bearing the student visa obtained from consulate.
Valid and updated student enrolment certificate obtained from the Turkish school, college or university
A bank statement showing sufficient funds to support the student during his stay in Turkey OR a letter of undertaking from his parents OR, if available, scholarship documents.
For students under 18 years old, a deed of consent from their parents. The deed of consent should be translated into Turkish, notarized and Apostilled.
Proof of valid health insurance – any of:
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.
|Turkey Country Guide
Essential facts and figures about Turkey
|The Immigration System in Turkey
|Residence Permits in Turkey
How these documents work
|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?
|Coming to Turkey to Retire
Visa & immigration information for foreigners wanting to retire 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 18 May 2017
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