This post will NOT pertain to most of my readers. It is written specifically for those who are wondering what happens to the money paid for a multi-year resident permit after obtaining a work permit for a shorter period. It is based on my experience and research. I will not be held legally liable for any changes in the laws or differences you may incur in your experience.
Last year, I renewed my resident permit, which was based on marriage to a Turkish citizen, for a period of 5 years. I paid the required fee for the five year period (currently 25 USD for the first month and 5 USD for each following month for US citizens).
In the Spring of last year, I was offered a full-time job. The application and procedure for a work permit was arduous. But you don’t have to worry about that. Your employer should take care of all of the paperwork and filing with the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security. They also pay the fees. My work permit, after an appeal, was approved at the end of August.
Here is the tricky part. After you get confirmation that the work permit is approved, you must go to “Foreigners Police” in your area. In Ankara, that is the big police station next to Anka Mall. The “yabancilar” office is on the first floor. Follow the signs that read “Giris D.” (It’s an easy route using the Metro from Kizilay).
Bring everything you can think of with you, originals and copies. They will need some of the paperwork regarding the work permit, your original resident card, one small photo of your face, your passport and a copy of it. There is a copy place in the complex, but you will be charged much higher fees if you don’t bring your own copies, and it is inconvenient to go back and forth between offices.
You also need to fill out a form. So make sure you know your address, the names of your parents, and most importantly, your Turkish ID number, known as “kimlik.” If you don’t know your kimlik number, you can find it by clicking here. (Note, the English translation on the form also asks for the series number of your resident card. Do not be fooled by that. There is a “Seri No.” stamped on the bottom of the pages of the permit book. They are NOT requesting that number. They want the number that assigned specifically to you in the front of the book).
My resident permit was valid for 5 years. Although I was not being asked to pay more, I was worried of what would happen to that money if I left my job. My work permit was valid effective the end of August 2013 and for only one year. (In most cases, if the work permit is approved, it is only given for a one year period the first time.)
I was “guaranteed” by the police, that if I lost or left my job, the remainder of the time from the original resident card would be reinstated, so I could go back to it assuming no other change in circumstances. Guarantees, especially by Turkish police, always worry me. But today I found that information was correct.
If you lose or leave your job before the work permit expires, you will receive appropriate paperwork from your employer, one of which is a Notification to the Ministry of Labor. You will need to go back to the police department, foreign services – yabancilar office. Take a copy of the Notification with you. You will also need your resident card, your passport and a copy of it, one photo, and if your original Resident Permit was based on marriage, you will need your spouse’s photo ID and a copy of it. I suggest you bring anything you think is remotely relevant and a copy of it, because rules are always changing. I had my Marriage Certificate, just in case, but I didn’t need it . . . not this time.
You will be required to fill out the same form as referenced above. Know your Kimlik number!
If the validity date of your resident card would have been valid, but for the work permit stamp, you will be eligible to reinstate the original time period, without any additional payment. For example, my permit was valid until some point in 2018. The work permit changed that validity date until August 2014. I now will revert to the same validity date in 2018.
In both cases, when the work permit was first entered into my resident card, which was only a stamp in the book, and today, when I reverted to the original validity date after losing the work permit, the police (foreign dept) kept my Resident Card for a period of 30 days! This is now a formality – time to check things I guess and put that stamp in. They do give you a piece of paper, like a receipt, telling the date you can come back to pick it up.
This is important to note however, especially if you are planning on traveling outside of Turkey. You will need the Resident Card when exiting a entering the country. It is not clear whether you will be able to exit or enter using that piece of paper. (UPDATE: Please read the comments below. You will not be able to enter Turkey with this receipt!) Should you be able to get out of the country, you may want to ensure an easy return by getting a tourist visa. However, the tourist visa rules have changed, effective April 10, 2014. You will no longer be able to get a tourist visa at the airport when arriving in Turkey. I’m told the new system is not very difficult, but you must do it before returning. Click here for more info on the new Visa system.
One other note on timing. I have seen nothing in the laws that indicates how much time you have after leaving a job, to go back to register for the Resident Permit (removing or canceling the work permit stamp). I do know that if the resident permit expires, you have 15 days to renew the resident permit. So I would not mess around and get it taken care of as soon as possible.