This guide is only about the legal immigration requirements for retiring to Turkey – if you want to learn more about the lifestyle you might be living, look at our other guides to Turkey, especially the “living in” section.
Retiring to Turkey – or simply living there as an ‘economically inactive person’ – is pretty easy. It’s worth talking to an immigration specialist to make sure you’re choosing the right sort of residence permit, and to ensure your application is properly filled in (especially if you aren’t fluent in Turkish).
How does a foreigner retire in Turkey?
There is no special ‘retirement visa’. You simply apply for a Short-Term Residence Permit.
Applying for a residence permit
The process for dealing with applications for residence permits was modified in 2015 and then again in 2017 with a view to making things more consistent throughout Turkey. It is not clear that it is succeeded in doing this.
Proof of income
For most categories of residence permit, you will need to show proof of adequate income.
For a single person, this is, generally, interpreted as proof that you have at least the equivalent of the Turkish minimum wage. In March 2017 this was TRY1,400 per month (approx. US$400, €350 £300).
For a person with dependants it is higher: usually an additional one-third of the minimum wage per dependant.
Coming to Turkey as a tourist
You can start your retirement journey by coming to Turkey as a tourist, on a normal e-visa. This allows you to choose the area you want to settle down in, look at property, etc.
Short-Term Residence Permits in Turkey
These are the normal residence permits issued in Turkey. They can be issued for a period of one or two years.
A person wishing to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days in any 180-day period can, fairly simply, obtain a Short-Term Residence Permit.
A foreigner may be eligible for a Long-Term Residence Permit, valid for an indefinite period, if they meet the criteria.
See our Guide to Residence Permits in Turkey for more information.
Video guides to visas/residence permits for Turkey
You can learn about immigration and visas in Turkey by watching our series of video interviews with Turkish lawyer Başak Yıldız Orkun. You can also read our other written immigration guides for Turkey.