Consular officials represented the British Embassy at a meeting organised by the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) in Ankara on 9 February.

The purpose of the meeting was to showcase the work of the DGMM and to inform those foreign diplomatic missions with a high number of residence permit applications of updates to the implementation and procedures of the new Law on Foreigners and International Protection (6458). There were speeches by the Director General Atilla Toros and Director of Foreigners Department Aydogan Asar covering the formation of the directorate, its purpose and aims. Mr Asar also covered many of the relevant points of the Law 6458 relating to residence permit applications.

Updates
Changes include the need for biometric photographs and we were advised that the completion of the declaration on the new form regarding ‘Notification regarding sufficient and sustainable resources for the duration of their stay’ should be sufficient without the need to show supporting evidence of savings or income for a short term residence permit. Please do bear in mind though that the information also says that ‘Management may ask for supportive document’, so be prepared to continue to provide bank statements and the like if asked.
DGMM offices
The DGMM announced that next month they intend to have their provincial offices open in all 81 provinces in the country staffed by DGMM personnel who will be responsible for accepting and evaluating applications for foreign nationals. This should mean that issuing of residence permits will be done much quicker than now, the DGMM understand the reasons why a swift decision is important and their aim is for a turn round time of 5 days. They are developing their IT systems and hope to have residence permit applications online in the future and are working on a call centre which will provide a 24 hour information service. At the same time they are in the process of establishing their offices in Turkish consulates overseas which will be set up to take first time applications either later this year or early next year. Also new residence permit cards will start to be issued with photographs very soon.
Questions raised
As part of a question and answer session we raised a series of questions regarding the 120 day rule (Article 33) and its impact on various aspects of life in Turkey for British national residents (collated from your feedback and comments) most of which were not answered at the meeting-we were told to put these questions in writing again and we will let you know as soon as we receive any further information. When pressed, the Director General did say that the DGMM are considering ways of making things easier in light of these difficulties.
1. We were advised that the 120 day rule does not apply to first time applicants i.e. any period of time spent outside Turkey before applying for a residence permit is not counted.
2. For any foreign national who intends to stay out of Turkey over the 120 day period but wished to stay in Turkey longer than the 90 days allowed by a tourist visa is recommended to cover their stay by an e-Visa and a few months short term residence permit as necessary to meet their needs.
3. Foreign nationals arriving in Turkey after already staying 90 days within 180 days may be allowed to enter into the country if there is not any other obstacle to their entry and if they pledge to apply to the Foreigners Department in the province where they will stay within 10 days to obtain a residence permit as of the date of entry.
4.On criminal record checks required for the supporter in family residence permits and individuals in long term permits; if the checks are required to be provided by the foreign national’s country own authorities then they need to be submitted to the DGMM within 1 month of the application being made otherwise the application will be cancelled. To get a copy of criminal records from the UK please refer to http://www.acro.police.uk/subject_access.aspx
5. Any foreigner staying in Turkey on an e-Visa can be issued with a Foreigners identity Number on request without having to obtain a residence permit.
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