If you have lived in Turkey for several years, and have no plans to leave, you might want to consider applying for Turkish citizenship. This will eliminate the need to renew visas, residence, and work permits. Best of all, since Turkey allows dual citizenship, you can maintain your original nationality. You may have to apply for dual citizenship in advance with the authorities in your home country.
The eligibility requirements for Turkish citizenship are fairly straightforward: You need to be of adult age (according to your country of origin), and you must have lived in Turkey for at least 5 years, with a total interruption of less than six months. This is reduced to 3 years if you are married to a Turkish national or if you are a foreigner born on Turkish soil.
Your physical and mental health must be sound and you must have no criminal record. Also, you must be able to speak Turkish at a basic level. If you are not married to a Turkish national you also have to prove that you can support yourself while living in Turkey. As long as you have a job, you will meet that requirement. If not, though, you may be able to prove this through existing funds or pension payments.
Your chances of obtaining citizenship will be greatly improved if you can demonstrate that you can make a valuable contribution to Turkish culture and society – if you work for a Turkish company, for example, or are a professional athlete or university professor.
Applying for Turkish citizenship
To apply for Turkish citizenship, you need to bring the following documents to a local government office (usually a town or city hall).
- Valid passport
- 4 passport-size photos
- Documents proving your relationships with your spouse and children (if applicable)
- Certificate proving you are in good mental and physical health