Many of you know the reason why these people, one from Adana and one from sun-soaked Italy, chose to move to Fethiye after many cold years of European life. You know, the Fethiye they got to on that long car journey…
However, as it’s known to happen, sometimes reality doesn’t match expectations…
Italians can only enter Turkey with their identity cards
There are 15 countries whose natives can enter Turkey with their international identity cards instead of passports. These countries are; Germany, Belgium, France, Georgia, Holland, Spain, Sweden, Italy, TRNC, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Portugal, Ukraine and Greece.
Because of this exemption, we decided it wasn’t worth applying for a new passport for our beloved Italian Simone and our newborn daughter Arya.
Getting a residence permit
Even if they are married to a Turkish citizen, foreigners who wish to reside in Turkey need to obtain a residence permit.
Sadly, the government doesn’t seem keen on welcoming your loving spouse with open arms, instead, they require you to prepare certain mandatory documents and apply to the immigration department.
What are these documents?
1. Residency application form: A seven-page form which will take several days to fill out.
2. Passport – original and a copy: The easiest part.
3. Four passport photos: The biometric kind we all hate where you never look like your real self.
4. Turkish spouse’s identity card – original and a copy.
5. Proof of sufficient and sustainable financial resources for the duration of the stay: Apparently you must have a bank account as well as funds in said account. This was a particularly tricky one for yours truly who suffers from bank phobia and has nothing whatsoever to do with them. Here’s what I don’t get: why would I need to have funds for my husband and child to be allowed to stay in my country? Are there no unemployed, penniless people in this country? Perhaps I don’t have money and my family will be supporting me! Secondly, why do I need to prove I have funds by way of a bank? Don’t I get a choice as to where to keep my money? I mean, perhaps I prefer to keep it as cash. How come I’m not allowed to bring my cash and show it to the immigration officer – isn’t that proof? Or could it be that they trust the bank more than their own employees?
6. Valid health insurance covering all members of the family: How about this? You give me the residency, and I’ll go off and apply to SSK (social security) and get our health insurance. Afterall, isn’t that precisely why we’re trying to sort this residency in the first place? First you ensure you’re residing legally, then you apply for benefits such as health insurance…
7. Police clearance certificate: But of course, it makes total sense that spouses should be required to provide this and not congressmen. I mean God forbid your family end up staying in the country if you have a record.
8. Document showing registration to the address registration system: I’m sorry, what now?
9. Marriage certificate.
10. Fees: Hope you didn’t think it didn’t cost to be married to a foreigner. You pay for every day he or she stays in the country. Want to know how much? See below:
- Each day up to one month: 17,20 Turkish Lira (this amount can be no less than 32,10TL and no more than 164,40TL during the first month).
- Each month following the first: 109,30 Turkish Lira.
- Foreign Ministry approval fees: 205,30 Turkish Lira.
Basically, you need to pay upwards of 1,000TL just for your spouse to be able to stay in the country. It does make one wonder if it would be cheaper to pay for a partner instead!
In addition, you need even more documents if you happen to have a child as well. We’re talking birth certificate, translated, apostilled, et cetera, et cetera.
Why we couldn’t apply for a residence permit
Want to guess where we failed the test? You’d be wrong to think it’s the fees or the insurance requirement. We were brought to a halt trying to provide the simplest of all the requirements: passport – original and a copy. Remember when I was saying we didn’t have to get a new passport for our beloved Italian? Well, that’s precisely why we now can’t get him a residence permit.
So what now?
Back on the road once more. With no residence permit to speak of, time to leave is nearing for hubby and little one who are only allowed to stay up to three months on a tourist visa, which means we’re getting ready to pack and leave yet again.
Hello Europe – good old winter and chilly nights, here we come! Good-bye, my home country – the one that couldn’t welcome my family!