Students must be aware of and do the following before making travel plans outside of Turkey. Use the information here while waiting on a new residence permit in Turkey or after obtaining one:

Visa Type and Restrictions

If you entered Turkey with a visa, check your visa type in your passport and see if your visa is a “single” or “multiple” entry visa. If it is a single entry visa, notice that it will become invalid if you exit the country and you will need to obtain a new visa. If it is a multiple entry visa you do not need to worry about traveling and obtaining a new visa but be sure to check the length of the visa as you can travel only within your visa length. Most multiple entry visas will grant maximum 90 days within 6 months, however there could be exceptions. If you are not sure, you can contact us for advice.

Residence Permit

Regardless of the visa type, a residence permit affords a student a multiple entry permission for the duration of the residence permit. Only applying for a residence permit and making it to the interview will result in obtaining an “interim travel permit” that allows students with a pending residence permit application  to stay outside Turkey for up to 15 days each time they exit Turkey. No trip can exceed 15 days. The interim permit is provided to you only if your application is complete, in the form of a sheet with a statement and signature indicating that you have applied for a residence permit. In situations where your application might miss a document you will be given extra time to complete your application. Only then can you request the interim travel permit. The document is called “Ikamet Izni Muracaat Belgesi” in Turkish. For detailed instructions on how to get your 15 day interim permit, you can access the following link: Directions for Istanbul Immigration Office.docx


Turkish immigration authorities require international students and scholars to have passports that are valid 60 days beyond the length of the residence permit requested at a time. Nationals of some countries can travel to Turkey with documents other than a passport, however no individual can apply for residency in Turkey without a passport. Therefore, except for short term guest students or faculty/staff, all internationals are asked to travel to Turkey with valid passports.

Before Traveling

  • Check your passport and visa. Make sure the length of your trip is within your visa length.
  • If you are traveling to a country that requires a visa and you will apply for the visa from Turkey, check the visa requirements very carefully since there might be restrictions or extra requirements for individuals applying from Turkey. Please note: we cannot predict or know visa rules for other countries. Refer to official websites of respective authorities for accurate information.
  • Avoid consulting with a friend before traveling out of Turkey. Always check with ICO before you make travel plans if you are unsure about something.
  • ICO can provide additional travel letters for your use at border security checkpoints while exiting and entering Turkey if need be.


Do you have travel plans for Spring Break? Check out our safe and smart travel tips for those traveling and some suggestions for activities in Istanbul for those staying local! Spring Break Advisory