It was about time to apply for the prolongation of my Turkish short-term residence permit. Time seems to fly – just recently I had to go through this process and you can read here about the application and the ID card. I’ve been told that I can re-apply 60 days before the expiration date of my kimlik. We went to the local Yabancılar Şube and were told that I can apply for 1 year now instead of initial 6 months. I was beyond happy.
Now that I have a tax number, I could cross that off my list of things and papers to prepare. Also, this time I didn’t have to pay the visa-entry fee. So, I’ve paid all necessary fees and collected receipts, made copies of the rental agreement of our apartment (with my name on it) and recent utility bills, along with a bank receipt with a total amount as requested (around 800 TL per month). I have also wrote and signed the application just as the first time on a blank piece of paper, stating my name, date of birth and what was I applying for.
My health insurance was valid for another 7 months but they told me, anyway I have to present a copy of insurance that covers the whole period of residency (1 year) and that it is easy to just pay for 5-6 extra months at the insurance office. It was painful.. they had to cancel my insurance completely and remake it for one more year. Additional costs, but when you are a yabanci, you can’t really complain.
Now, the fun part begins. After returning to the foreigner’s police that afternoon with all of the required documentation and payments, I’ve given all of it to the officer who checked and said it was all in order and just needed a signature of the main guy (or mad man, I’m not sure) in the office number N.
I have no idea how important is his job, he seemed pretty busy (drinking tea and having conversations with several people in the room) but he motioned us to come inside and looked at the application. He asked why I was applying for a one-year permit, and aşkım explained that we live together and I’m planing to live here for another year so that IS why I am applying. Hm, said the officer, is she working? No, we said together, should I go to work I would apply for a work permit. Do you go to language courses? No, I said, I study by myself. Ok then, he said, I’ll give you 6 months, and then without any delay he corrected my application. We argued, we said, we were told there will be no problem, what does it matter to you – I have all of the papers, money, the perfect resident record (not the they care where and how have I lived before), I also have a Turkish person who takes the responsibility for me and offers to write any kind of guarantee letter for me, but nothing worked. But what was really disturbing that the guy was seemingly enjoying his power and was half-smiling all of the time. He acted as if he was designing our faith for us. He said, well, if you are in a such good relationship, go and get married. Or find a job and apply for a work permit. But I don’t need to look for a job, I protested. Okay, he smiled, then you’ve got the first option.
Yes, sir, we’ll make sure to send you an invitation to our engagement party that starts in 5 minutes. I hate this! Fellow expats will understand when I’ll say that immigration rules and any kind of bureaucratic paper-related government offices and any paper procedures here are a one big messy chaos or chaos-y mess? Can’t really decide.
There’s no official information stating you cannot reapply for another short-residence permit with a longer duration. It says collect the papers, pay fees, have a proof of financial coverage, don’t leave Turkey for more than 15 days and you’ll be fine. Well, all in all, there was no way to convince the guy. I think it was my bright yellow sweater and nice make-up. He probably thought I don’t need to have it easy, or he was just in an evil mood.
After leaving his office I glanced at my application that he corrected and started silently laughing – I wrote 1 yıl which means 1 year, and he just corrected the number by crossing the 1 and writing 6 instead of it. LOL, Mr. Officer. You have signed my application for 6 years permit in Turkey. Well, of course, this is impossible and nobody will grant be a permit like that, but aşkım says that anything is possible in Turkey so I’m looking forward to receiving my plastic ID in the mail soon and will make sure to check the expiration date ca-re-ful-ly! :D
Life of an expat in Turkey is not easy, but it certainly isn’t boring.
Let me know if I can share any detailed info about the application process with you. I’d be glad to help.