Syrian Residencies in Turkey


Syrians who enter Turkey legally can obtain all types of residencies, each according to its conditions and laws.

إقامات السوريين في تركيا


A Syrian who has made a new entry and exit must apply for residency within a period not exceeding 10 days due to their previous irregular status.

The Turkish-European Agreement and its Implications on Syrian Residencies

Since signing an agreement with the European Union on 16/12/2013, Turkey is obligated to take back non-legally migrating individuals from its territory heading towards Europe in exchange for the abolition of visa requirements imposed on Turkish citizens traveling to Europe by the year 2017. The Turkish government ceased issuing residencies that were granted to Syrian refugees residing on its territory, which were termed (Residency by Ministry Permission) and issued by the Security Directorates, and began procedures for issuing (Humanitarian Stay) which includes a work permit issued by the newly created Immigration Office, and these residencies will be electronically linked to the European Information Bank. This ensures that each person issued this type of residency is registered and stored at the European Information Bank, facilitating the European authorities to ascertain that the non-legally migrating individual who arrives in their countries had been residing in a safe country granting him humanitarian asylum, negating his need to seek asylum in their countries, which necessitates his return to it.


Accordingly, the Turkish authorities have issued decisions for two types of residencies (besides the investor residency which was already in existence and is not the subject of our discussion today):

  1. Humanitarian Stay: This residency grants the holder the right to work on Turkish soil and is issued by the municipalities belonging to it, with other benefits not yet announced but related to the type of documents each applicant presents for obtaining it (assuming these documents might include a valid passport or the lack thereof among refugees or possibly some bank receipt, or it could be that they had previously obtained a previous residency named as residency by ministry permission.. These are just assumptions, no information).

Under this type of residency, the Syrian refugee is required to stay in Turkey only (naturally with his right to return to his homeland if he desires) and in case of his illegal migration to Europe, he will be returned to Turkey under its legal protection when it granted him humanitarian asylum.


  1. Tourist Residency: Which is not linked to the European Information Bank, and consequently, its holders’ fingerprints will not be available to Europeans, allowing them the opportunity to seek asylum without fear of being returned to Turkey. Obtaining this residency requires:
  • A valid passport.
  • Showing a bank receipt indicating a transfer of at least six thousand US dollars to Turkish Lira, per person applying for the residency.
  • Showing health insurance for each person applying for the residency valued at three hundred and fifty-five US dollars annually.
  • Showing a yearly rental contract certified by the municipality of its district.

In this case, a Syrian obtaining this type of residency is treated like any other foreigner on Turkish soil.

It is likely that many Syrians will avoid the first type of residencies and strive to obtain tourist residencies due to changing circumstances and their compulsion to seek asylum in European countries, allowing them those residencies the chance to escape from the European right to return them to Turkey, for not having proof of their residency there.

Classifying Syrians in Turkey as humanitarian refugees carries many legal implications, and the right to work is just one of them, according to the international agreement on refugee rights formulated in Geneva in 1949 and its additional protocols of 1977.

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