How to get a Turkish Residence Permit, also called Ikamet

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We recently arrived in Turkey and after some time figured we would like to stay here longer than the visit visa allows. In this post I will explain more about the process we followed to get the Ikamet issued. In other words, the Turkish Residence Permit.

In August this year we arrived in Alanya Turkey on our Sailing Catamaran, Roxy. We had only just started living on board the boat, and so many things were still new to us. And many things still had to be sorted on our boat. We had heard the Alanya Marina could be a good place to stay to get in contact with other kids cruising boats, and so the choice was quickly made, as it was also one of the nearest marina’s to get to, from Cyprus. When we arrived, we didn’t even know how long our visit visa’s would be valid. Most times with our passports from the Netherlands we get a visa on arrival, enjoy our holiday, and go home again. At least this is how trips were, before living on our sailboat permanently. Now things are different. When asked at the countries checkin via the marina, we were told we could stay one month. But this was paired with some hesitant looks on the officers faces. However we then quickly investigated further and figured out that Turkey in most cases lets visitors stay for 90 days in any 180 day period. If you want to stay longer than that, you need to apply for the Turkey Ikamet.

While we worked on the boat, and day by day discovered Turkey is beautiful country with lots of magical places to visit, we decided it would be good to stay here longer. We also decided to book our sailing catamaran Roxy into the marina for the winter, so we wouldn’t have to look any further for a winter berth. That meant we were going to stay longer than 90 days, so applying for a Turkish Ikamet, Residence Permit, became necessary.

When applying for this Ikamet, a series of documents is required. Of course passports are number one. As we came by boat, the boat’s cruising permit with our names on it, was another requirement. This is called the Transit Log. Further, in order for a year’s Ikamet to be issued, we needed a marina contract for the same length, one year. Alternatively I could see that a house rent contract would be acceptable here too. We needed to purchase a year’s health insurance, but only for the parents, not the children. Then also still needed our marriage certificate, as we are a married couple with two young kids. And then for our children we were asked for their birth certificates. These birth certificates had to be shown as originals, and then a copy was kept by the government agent receiving our application. Initially we didn’t have these original birth certificates with us. Luckily during the appointment for submission of the papers, they gave us a months extra time to submit the missing documents. We finally submitted those about 3 weeks later, and we are now still waiting for the issue of the Ikamet’s for the four of us.

The actual issue of the Ikamet we were told should take about 4 weeks. However, neighbours in the marina that submitted their documents weeks before us, have already waited 7 weeks, and still received nothing. It is possible to check the processing of your Ikamet application via But unfortunately this link does not give you a timeline or progress bar. In our case, when following the link, we come to a message stating: ‘the evaluation process of your Ikamet has not yet been started’. So we figure we just have to wait longer.

The cost of our Ikamet application for our whole family of four was approx 850 euro’s including a year’s health insurance for us both as parents. We made use of the agent in the marina, who has been very kind to do this for us. It might be possible to obtain an Ikamet at much lower cost by doing it yourself, but we had no idea where to get started, so we followed the agent route.

Meanwhile we enjoy life on our boat here in Alanya, Turkey. We keep progressing with jobs on the boat to be completed, and we also upload a weekly vlog of our adventures on Youtube. Find us at the following places on our social media accounts, and don’t hesitate to get in touch, we love to share info and help out!