Expat Magazine

A Day at Antalya's Police Station: Renewing myTurkish Residence Permit

By Ellen @ElleninTurkey

A Day at Antalya's Police Station: Renewing myTurkish Residence Permit

A view of Antalya's harbor.  This has nothing to do with the post, but it's important to remember why I'm here.

In order to remain in Turkey past the 90 day visa, all foreigners must have a residency permit.  A few days ago I took on the crowds and the bureaucracy  of the Emniyet Mudurlu (police station) to get my permit renewed .  I wrote about initially getting the permit in my very first post . (The main stumbling block was the fact that banks wouldn't let me open an account without a permit, and I couldn't get a permit without having money in a Turkish bank.)
Anyway, I managed to get a permit last fall and to renew it last spring.  It expired while I was out of the country in July (I'd been told at the police station that this wouldn't be a problem; I need only apply again when I return).  The upshot of that was that I was let into Turkey with an expired permit, and therefore didn't have the required visa when I left Turkey to go to Rome.  But I made sure to get a visa when returning, so I was all set.
The thing is, you must apply for your permit within 30 days of your arrival, and you need to have a certain amount of money in your Turkish bank account. As my deadline approached I needed to make three trips to the bank to transfer funds by withrawing from my US account via ATM and depositing the cash in my Turkish account. There's a daily withdrawal limit, so I needed three days.  The first day I went to the bank  the system was down.  I made the withdrawal  but couldn't make the deposit.
It eventually dawned on me that the limit  is on withdrawals, not deposits; there's no reason I couldn't make the entire deposit on the last day (assuming systems running, inshallah).  So the next day I made a second visit to a closer ATM, and on the third day I made the final withdrawal and deposited the entire sum on my way to the police station. I arrived at the station at noon, at which time they close for an hour.  So I joined the throngs camping out in the yard, waiting for the reopening.
Once admitted to the foreigners department I was cautiously optimistic: It didn't seem too crowded,and I'd even remembered to bring a photocopy of my passport this time.  My number is called and I proffer my documents.
"You're retired?" she asks.
"Yes".  I don't remember what I put for profession when I applied originally, but I figured the point was I wasn't working here; otherwise I'd need a work permit.  But she wants a "retirement card".  I make a 'stupid yabanci (foreigner)' face.
"Do you have a document from the US saying you're retired?" she inquires, and I make the face again.  She drops the retirement issue and moves on to "you don't have enough money in this account". It's the same amount I had the last time I renewed my permit, but now that Americans can get year-long permits a year's worth of money is required.
 "Do you have more money?" she asks.  I explain that I have enough money in my American account, but can only withdraw 1,000 lira a day from the ATM.  She  asks for a bank statement and I offer to download it from the internet, but she says they can't accept that, the bank has to stamp it.  She wants me to go to the bank whose ATM I use and get a statement from them.  I explain that  the money is in an American bank which I access through the ATM.  It has nothing to do with the bank that has the ATM. She then asks to see my ATM card.
 All this so far has been in Turkish.  Now someone comes over to speak English with me, so   we go through the whole thing again.  Finally the English speaker agrees that I could transfer the money before I pick up the permit next week.
I'm given a bill to pay and now have to find the particular desk where these payments are accepted. This is no small task, but after asking directions from two people I get there.  I hand the bill to the guy to process it, and he asks for my "number".  My permit number?    No, he wants my tax number.  Now, I needed a tax number to apply for the original permit, but not since then, so I didn't bring that paper.  There is some gnashing of teeth, but eventually he stamps the bill and I go to the next desk to pay it.  There's a reason the word 'byzantine" means what it does.

A Day at Antalya's Police Station: Renewing myTurkish Residence Permit

Time for another reminder of Antalya's beauty.  A closer view of the harbor.

 After I pay the fee I head back to the foreigners division and present the receipt at the first available window.   "What's this?"asks the guy at the window.  I explain it's for my permit, hand over all my documents again and we go through the whole spiel about the bank statement for the third time.  I tell him his colleague approved it.   He consults with her, and then asks for my receipt.  You mean the thing I just gave you?  He didn't have it.  Had he given it back to me?  I searched through all the documents I was carrying, as well as the jacket, sweater and the scarf that was trailing along the floor. (It was unbearably hot in the office, but cold outside. I needed layers.)  I didn't have it.  He didn't have it.  But I didn't give up, I insisted that I'd given it to him.  I reminded him that he'd asked what it was when I'd handed it to him.  Eventually he got tired of dealing with me and took the application anyway and gave me a receipt to pick up my permit next week.

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By Razi Daz
posted on 22 June at 09:41

Foreigners can get residence permit fast and easy. WhatsApp Now +90 530 1130728 or visit online http://ResidencePermitTurkey.com