Students enrolled in an academic program in Turkey for 3 months or longer are obliged to acquire a residence permit as per Foreigners’ Protection and Immigration Laws. As the entry to Turkey can be through a visa (regular or electronic), passport or other entry document, the online residence permit application must be submitted before the expiration date of these. Each student must be aware of the expiration date of their visas or the amount of time allowed in Turkey with other documents.
ICO attends to the legal obligations of each international student in collaboration with respective program and administrative offices from the moment of acceptance and enrollment. Please review the official website of the Immigration Authority for further information about first time and renewal applications.
All applications are online and each student must complete the online appointment form when they are instructed to do so by our office. For renewal applications, FIRST TIME APPLICATION option can be used as this will help students receive their new residence permit quicker. In this case the applicant must appear for an interview on the date of the appointment.
Delivery of the Residence Permit to the Applicant
Residence permits will be delivered to the University mail center and students will collect them from their program advisors. Full-time students/scholars will collect them from the International Community Office. All card recipients will be able to collect their documents following an email notification.
Student’s Residence Permit Checklist:
- Fill out the online appointment form
- Print Out the completed form (Watch our Video Tutorial while completing the form and use the info such as university address, enrollment type etc.)
- Bring your Appointment Form
- Obtain your enrollment certificate in Turkish from Koç University’s Registrar (watch this video to do it)
- Passport Photocopy after arriving Turkey(ID page, visa page if you got a visa, last entry stamp page for Turkey),
- 4 biometric headshots (Biometric self-service photo booth available on campus, you can do it after your arrival too)
- Health Insurance compliance letter to be provided by ICO after arrival to school
- Financial statement letter to be provided by ICO after arrival to school
Things to Note:
Travel Permit: When you submit your residence permit application to official immigration authorities, you are entitled to a travel permit upon the completion of your application. Once the application process is complete, you can request your travel permit through your program advisor. Travel permits are especially useful for those who entered Turkey on Single Entry visa. Single entry visa holders can travel with this interim permit without having their visa voided. The travel permit is valid for a total amount of 15 days in a period of 6 months. However, 15 days can be split between multiple travels.
KU is partners with top universities around the world and the exchange programs office facilitates incoming and outgoing exchange of students with our partner universities. The ICO offers support and advising to exchange advisors, mentors and exchange students alike on topics such as immigration, health and safety, social security, employment, traveling, internships and diversity.
Exchange students must stay in constant touch with their exchange advisor at KU for any questions regarding the exchange process, exchange related paperwork, academic concerns, mentor questions etc.
Exchange students must make sure all their papers are valid and the necessary documents are with them while traveling within or outside Turkey.
Traveling within Turkey
- Your original passport valid for at least 6 months
- Original or photocopy of your KU enrollment verification paper
- KU Student ID
Traveling outside of Turkey
- Hand-carry below documents so they are easily accessible in case of an inspection at the border
- Original passport valid for at least two months longer than your anticipated duration of study and residence in Turkey
- Respective Entry Visa (if necessary as per your nationality)
Some countries have an agreement with Turkey that allows individuals from that country to enter Turkey without a passport, but as a student you must come with a valid passport since you need it for your residence permit and one semester exchange is longer than 3 months which is the maximum amount of time allowed for such entry.
Residence Permit Renewal
Exchange students will rarely need residence permit renewal. This is because most exchange students come to KU for one semester exchange and the residence permit obtained at the start of their exchange semester will cover beyond the length of their program, leaving enough time to pack and depart on time. Year-long exchange students doing one academic year “regular” exchange do need a renewal unless they do not hold a one year residence permit. As ICO, we are advised about each student’s enrollment length by their KU exchange advisors for immigration purposes. Therefore, while helping an exchange student submit his/her residence application, unless there’s an administrative restriction, we make sure they go through the application process only once for the whole duration of their exchange. However, “irregular” exchange students who begin their exchange in Spring and come back for Fall cannot apply for a year-long residence permit due to the gap (non-enrollment) in summer. Students wishing to stay in Turkey during summer must gain lawful status from the date their student residence permit expires by applying for renewal in advance. Students can apply for the proper type of residence permit depending on their purpose of stay. We provide advising and assistance to irregular exchange students, so they stay on track with their legal obligations.
- Contact ICO for advising about renewal at least 1 month prior to expiration of latest residence permit
- Stay in touch with your exchange advisor and let them know if anything changes in your exchange plans
- If you couldn’t manage to obtain a year-long permit whereas you were supposed to, begin renewal application 2 months prior to expiration of your latest permit
- If you should spend a summer semester in Turkey, consult with ICO prior to completion of Spring semester at KU
- Always check your KU email, ICO website and follow updates from ICO about immigration and related topics
Full-time students are current international KU students enrolled in Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D programs. ICO provides support for full-time students with pre-arrival, orientation, immigration advising, cultural programs and general advising on matters pertaining to being a foreigner in Turkey.
Residence Permit Renewal
Each international KU student must remember his/her residence permit expiration date and begin the renewal process a minimum of one month in advance. We advise students to make note of the expiration date of their residence permits upon receiving one, be it the first time or a renewal.
The renewal process can usually take up to 2 months; therefore, applications made shortly before the expiration of your current permit might cause significant delays in receiving your new residence permit.
Required Documents and their description:
- 4 pictures: must be identical 4 headshot size for legal purposes; white background
- Application form print out: black and white or color print out of the application form you filled out online
- Original Passport: most current passport, must be valid at least 6 months beyond your study period
- Photocopy of passport: Only ID page, Turkish visa, if any, last entry stamp page
- New health insurance policy, originally signed and sealed: those with insurance scholarship, inform your graduate school of your residence permit renewal and request your original policy from human resources at least 1 month in advance; those who need assistance to get a new insurance can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- New student enrolment certificate: Request online from the registrar’s by watching this tutorial video. Request at least 15 days in advance. MUST BE THE ORIGINAL COPY IN TURKISH
Important to note:
Students who choose to apply as a “first time applicant” and thus appear for an in-person interview can do so and possibly receive their residence permits sooner. However, when this option is chosen, students must remember to select an appointment date past the expiration date of their residence permits. Otherwise their appointment will be cancelled and they will be asked to reschedule a new appointment.
- Application Fee: 58.50 TL. Subject to change each year; check this section to stay up to date about the latest fees.
Full-Time Student Health Insurance Options
Graduate Students on Scholarship: If you’re a scholarship student, check your graduate school acceptance letter to see if health insurance is among your benefits. If you’re receiving insurance as part of your scholarship, you will fill out a health insurance application form during the orientation week at KU and present your insurance to the immigration office at your application.
Non-Scholarship or Partial Scholarship Graduate Students: If you are accepted without a scholarship you might not be offered university insurance. In this case you must purchase your own insurance. Visit “living resources” section to check out other insurance options listed.