May 27, 2011

turkish residence permit renewal

i thought id record my process of renewing my turkish residence permit. its not super hard, but requires patience.

the renewal can be done at the local police station, while the first one is applied for at the Fatih Emniyet Müdürlüğü station. for me that meant Kadiköy's police station which is in Göztepe though... a few kilometers away, but next to a big road so easy to find.

first, i booked an appointment at
it says in the beginning that u need a "colorful" printer attached to your computer because u will need to print the final forms in color and they cant be saved. how many offices even have a color printer these day? ugh. luckily ours did.

for the reneval application at the station one needs the papers filled and printed at above link, and a few other things:
1. 4 passport photos
2. original passport
3. copy of passport's photo-page, "valid until" page (usually those 2 are the same), and pageS with the last entry and exit to Turkey. so, could be altogether 4 copies.
4. original res. permit
this last one is cunningly hidden under other requirements, in turkish:
5. copies of res. permit's name, address and stamp and whatever pages - better print them all - the moore documents the better in Turkey.
6. proof that u have money to live in Turkey - 300$ per month. for my 1 yr application this meant 3600$ , about 6000tl. it says an exchange office receipt is good enough, but i never tried that. bank statement can be tricky as i just learned. one should get as many different looking statements from the bank as possible, and with a lot of stamps and signatures and any sort of proof of authenticity.

and definitely those who dont speak turkish will want a translator with them, the police station staff dont usually speak a word of English nor do they look like they want to. at least i never encountered any.

i booked my appointment for thursday morning 9am to get started early, i know its a half a day's job. dricing there in traffic took 30mins too. i was pleasantly surprised that the Kadiköy police station was fairly empty, compared to Fatih where hundreds of people queue for hours even though they have this "scheduled appointment". so i got to go straight to the clerk at 9am. he looked at the papers and decided that the bank statement was not good enough. there was a stamp and a signature but he argued that there is no way he could know if that signature is really a bank clerk's or someone elses. the other documents were accepted.

at this point you have to pay. at Fatih there is a cash register in the same building, but not in Kadiköy. he wouldnt want to give too much info of course, but said the office name and street name i think. we asked the policeman at the door and he told us the place is in central Kadiköy, back where we live. how practical. so then we drive back in traffic and went to the bank too to ask for more convincing bank statements. the bank manager has an official paper with the names of the clerks working there and samples of their signatures. then we had some new statements printed and 2 clerks were kind enough to sign it.

then we headed to look for the office where i could pay my res. permit (1 year is now 86$, the price just went down drastically 2 months ago, awesome). by asking around and with google maps on the phone, doctor guided us to the right building. in the first floor they told us to go to the 2nd floor. in the 2nd floor we were told to go to the 3rd floor. in the 3rd floor they told us to go to the 4th floor (and at this point its started to feel like a practical joke). at the 4th floor... they told us to go back to the 3rd floor. there, we finally found a clerk who would accept money. since the price is quoted in dollars, the question is, what is the exchange rate? she first ordered us to go to some exchange shop nearby to get a quote. as we were about to go, the clerk in the next stall heard it all and he offered to check it on the internet. the first clerk was offended and complained that it should be confirmed etc but anyway we got the rate and paid (140tl). i got a receipt and we headed back to the car and the police station.

(list of turkish residence permit permit prices now)

at the police station the policemen (2 of them) were very interested in the signatures of the bank statement and compared them to the samples and finally accepted. this woman is speaking the truth, it seems, she really has money on her account. omg. then, they required a copy of the bank statement (showing all my account acitivity this month), original was no good. luckily there is a copy shop outside/nearby police stations for these purposes. then, my application was all processed and i got a receipt to pick it up on june 1st, 1 week as usual.

so, all in all not nearly as hard as it could be. bureucracy can be hell, i think this project went decently. im still a little pissed about the bank statement thing though, seems like no matter kind of papers u get, its never good enough and you have to run around. either way, i dont mind checking things, but i think they were asking a little more than is fair, getting that bank document with signature samples is not a typical request at all. and my boss said that the bank would not have been obligated to give it, they dont need to hand it around to anyone who asks.

and my point is, in the end, if they were concerned with the authenticity of my passport or something serious, ok, but this was about proving that i have means to live in this country. trying not to sound like a condescending obnoxious asshole, but doing so anyway, i wonder how often do they really have problems with finnish/european immigrants who are penniless? so, wtf, making a fuss over whether this bitch really has money or is she faking bank statements should be the least of their worries. especially since everyone knows that the whole proof-of-assets thing is almost always circumvented somehow - i know an English school which had a deal with the exchange rate shop and they would just happily print slips proofing any sum, in exchange for some bribes of course. and schools usually can help you put money on your account, take statement and then take it right out. and because the statements usually show the previous activities, it is clear on the statement that the money was put there just for the show. its wrong, but all these people CAN afford to live here, its just unlikely to have that sum on you right there and then.

anyway, im done ranting. things could be much worse, and apparently were before. im happy i can live here.



one sort of a bank statement

the bank document with employee names and signatures

the application.

"it is number" ??

update oct 24th 2011 - my Swedish friend applied for a 2 yr res. permit and paid 650tl for everything, they made her pay over 200tl for a 2 yr visa too, although Swedish citizens do NOT need a visa to Turkey. no amount of argument helps when they want to charge you extra. earlier, ive had friends pay extra for  a variety of reasons... only imagination is the limit.

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