The information on this page was collected from public resources and does not constitute legal advice.

General information on border crossing?

As a general rule, to enter Turkey, a valid passport or a valid passport equivalent document is required. Turkey does not require a visa from Ukrainian citizens to enter the country.

Entrance with such documents allows a stay in Turkey for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-days period. As such, official passport holders are exempt from obtaining a visa for a stay of 90 days in each 180-days period. Provided that they arrive from Ukraine, Ukrainian citizens may enter Turkey without a visa with their valid biometric ID cards.

Before leaving, as well as in case of your stay in the country, please enter information about yourself in the following form mceclip0.png.

The Presidency of Migration Management (PMM) is the national institution responsible for procedures pertaining to foreigners present in Turkey. The national legal framework covers foreigners who reside in Turkey with a residence permit and those seeking asylum in Turkey.

As a Ukrainian national or a national of a different country with refugee or permanent residence status in Ukraine, if you plan to seek asylum in Turkey or plan to apply for a residence permit, you should approach the nearest Provincial Directorate for Migration Management in person for registration as soon as possible following your arrival in Turkey. Registration is an important first step for foreigners in Turkey as it forms the legal basis for your stay in Turkey and allows you access to public services and assistance. During the registration with the Migration Management, please indicate if you or your family members have any urgent medical or specific needs.

Detailed information mceclip0.png on the asylum procedures in Turkey is available in Russian .

What documents do I need to enter?

You can enter Turkey with any of the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid Ukrainian biometric ID
  • A passport equivalent document

In the case of land transport through the EU, it is possible to extend the validity of the passport at the Embassy of Ukraine in Romania, or the Embassy of Ukraine in Bulgaria free of charge.

If a child does not have a passport and is entering the country with a proxy representative, you need the child's birth certificate. The entering of the child is then individually decided in cooperation with the embassy and the State Migration Service of Turkey.

If you do not have a biometric passport: Within the visa exemption, citizens of Ukraine can enter Turkey without a passport provided that they travel directly from Ukraine to Turkey. However, as we believe that Ukrainian citizens may apply for a subsidiary protection status due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the individuals who apply for a subsidiary protection are not obliged to submit an identity document, if they do not have it with themselves.

What happens after a border crossing?

After border crossing, if the duration of stay will exceed 90 days (within a 180-days period), one must apply for a residence permit, international protection or humanitarian residence permit within the period of legal stay. The applications are submitted to the governorships in Turkey.

It is not possible to become a refugee (or a conditional refugee) for Ukrainian citizens. However, we believe that Ukrainian citizens may apply for subsidiary protection since, according to our view, they satisfy the required conditions for such protection. Individuals who apply to have a subsidiary protection are able to stay in Turkey for a year until their applications are concluded. If their applications are accepted, they are able to stay for 3 years until expiration or cancellation of the subsidiary protection.

For Ukrainians who fled the war to Turkey, a large-scale support project was launched by the ASAM international organization. This project is the only centralized initiative to support Ukrainians in Turkey.

As part of the project, Ukrainian refugees receive:

  1. Legal support;
  2. Legal information about rights and obligations in Turkey;
  3. Help of translators;
  4. Medical care;
  5. Humanitarian aid;
  6. Financial support;
  7. Free temporary accommodation;
  8. Possibility of free transportation within the territory of Turkey;
  9. Ability to pay for the services of lawyers if necessary;
  10. Additional financing of rental housing;
  11. Trading cards of a network of grocery stores for buying food.

For all questions of assistance within the framework of the project, call 0312 212 60 12 (Mon-Fri from 9:00 to 17:30). To continue in Ukrainian, press 6. The SGDD-ASAM office in Antalya is available by phone: +90 (312) 212 60 12.

You can contact UNHCR Tรผrkiye through our Counselling Line at 444 48 68 for more information on asylum procedures and/or to seek support for any medical or specific needs that require immediate support. Information and counselling are not yet available in Ukrainian, but English, Russian and Turkish are available. The Counselling Line runs Monday to Thursday from 09:00 until 17:00 and Friday from 09:00 until 16:00. You may also reach UNHCR via e-mail at turan@unhcr.org.

You may also contact the Counselling Line (YIMER) of the Presidency of Migration Management (PMM) at 157, which runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and does offer counselling in seven languages including Russian.

How can I get from the border to the capital (a certain town)?

You can reach the capital by car, train, bus or plane (depending on the departure and arrival points).

While travel tickets may be purchased at the airport or the bus or train stations of the relevant city, examples of links to purchase tickets online are as follows:

The public transport system in Turkey is represented by trams, buses, metro and ferries. A travel ticket in Istanbul costs 602 lira (โ‚ฌ31) per month.

For Ukrainians who fled the war to Turkey, a large-scale support project was launched by the ASAM international organization. As part of the project, Ukrainian refugees receive possibility of free transportation within the territory of Turkey.

For all questions of assistance within the framework of the project, call 0312 212 60 12 (Mon-Fri from 9:00 to 17:30). To continue in Ukrainian, press 6. The SGDD-ASAM office in Antalya is available by phone: +90 (312) 212 60 12.

How can I travel to another (specific) country?

Turkey is not within the EU or the Schengen Area. Therefore, specific requirements apply for different countries.

You can travel by airplane, bus, car or train to different countries. The largest airports in Turkey are located in the following cities: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya. There are no travel benefits for refugees from Ukraine.

How long can I stay?

Ukrainian citizens can stay up to 90 day without a visa. If you plan on staying in Turkey for longer than 90 days, you must apply to the branch of the State Migration Service of Turkey at the place where you are staying to obtain a short-term residence permit. This permit is valid for a maximum of 1 year. However, for Ukrainians, permits have been also issued for 2 years. This is the tourist visa.

There are other permits you can get (e.g. the humanitarian residence permit/ the international protection status), however, it is not advised to apply for those as when you can get the tourist visa as the other options limit your rights in many ways, take a long time and give no special benefits to refugees. But it is important to know that you cannot work in Turkey if you have a tourist visa. Employment is only possible after obtaining a humanitarian residence work permit or if you have entered Turkey with a work visa.

Where can an unaccompanied minor get help?

The Presidency of Migration Management of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Turkey is the main government authority responsible for coordination of all necessary procedures related to foreigners in Turkey, including children.

Unaccompanied child can seek the aid of the Directorate General of Child Services of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services of the Republic of Turkey ("Directorate General of Child Services"), which will support and protect the unaccompanied child and refer them to the relevant authorities as necessary. The Directorate General of Child Services is the principal government authority tasked with the protection of children, therefore, it is best equipped to assist children in need.

Considering that it can be hard for an unaccompanied child to reach these institutions on their own in a country where they presumably do not speak the official language, an unaccompanied child can seek the aid of law enforcement personnel to protect them and refer them to these institutions, as required by law.

There are other non-governmental organizations that help refugees and unaccompanied children in many ways. You may refer to the next question for a list of the most prominent and reliable institutions. They have been providing aid in Turkey for a considerable time and hence possess the necessary experience to help an unaccompanied child during all necessary procedures.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): The UNHCR is the United Nations agency dedicated to the protection and support of refugees. UNHCR Turkey is the localized agency providing support to all refugees in Turkey in multiple ways including protection, aid with registration process, access to education and social integration. You may contact UNHCR Turkey for further information and support.

  • Address of the UNHCR Turkey's main office: Tiflis Cad. 552. Sok. No:3 Sancak Mah. 06550 Ankara
  • UNHCR counseling line: 444 48 68 (The line is available between 9 am to 5 pm, Monday-Thursday, and 9 am to 4 pm on Fridays. Counseling is provided in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Russian and English.)
  • Email: turan@unhcr.org

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF): UNICEF is an agency of the United Nations that is dedicated to providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. The UNICEF Turkey National Committee has put in place several initiatives to support disadvantaged and vulnerable children, including Syrian child refugees. You may contact the UNICEF Turkey National Committee for further information and support.

  • UNICEF Turkey country office address: Yฤฑldฤฑz Kule ฤฐลŸ Merkezi Turan GuneลŸ Blv. No: 106 Floor:7 Ankara
  • Telephone: +90 312 454 1000
  • Email: ankara@unicef.org

You may contact the Directorate General of Child Services information and support.

Telephone: +90 312 705 50 00

Are there any Covid-related requirements and if yes, what are they?

The proof of vaccination or negative Covid test result in Turkey-bound international flights has been lifted effective as of 1 June 2022. Provided that the foreign country of arrival does not have rules to the contrary, the wearing of a mask during flights has also been lifted.

There are no quarantine requirements in Turkey for Ukrainian citizens.

Where do I register for temporary protection?

Temporary protection applies to nationals that have been forced to leave their home country, are unable to return and arrive to Turkey as a mass influx in need of urgent and temporary protection. Temporary protection principles are an open border policy, no return policy and the meeting of basic needs. Temporary protection status is only granted to Syrian nationals who have crossed the Turkish border in masses.

Turkey does not grant Ukrainians a temporary protection status. But You can request subtype of international protection - secondary protection. In fact, this is the so-called refugee status. This permit is issued for a renewable year and, most importantly, 6 months after applying for the status, you will be able to work without the need for additional work permits. Another nice bonus is that the registration of secondary protection is free.

To obtain secondary protection, you can come to the local branch of the migration service without prior registration - there is a separate Ulusrarasi koruma counter, there are also English-speaking or Russian-speaking staff.

Government authorities will conduct an interview with applicants within thirty days as of the date of the application. As a result of applications, applicants may be granted a refugee or secondary protection status.

Applications will be finalized within 6 months at the latest.
See this link for required documents.

What are my rights while I wait to get temporary protection?

You are allowed to stay in Turkey until your international protection application is finalized.

Both applicants and persons with international protection status who are unable to afford legal services will be provided with legal aid free of charge under Law No. 1136 and benefit from consultancy services provided by non-governmental organizations such as Refugee Rights Turkey mceclip0.png) and Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation within governorships. Subject to approval, applicants in need may also be provided with financial aid.

Applicants may also benefit from primary and secondary education services. Applicants with no health insurance or financial solvency are subject to and rely on the provisions of Law No. 5510 on Social Security and General Health Insurance for one year as of the registration of their application for international protection.

What documents will I receive once I get temporary protection?

After the application process, you will be given an International Protection Applicant Identity Document free of charge. Such ID will show that you have applied for international protection in Turkey, the evaluation of your application is still ongoing and you will be able to stay in Turkey without obtaining a residence permit. With this you have access to certain rights and services in Turkey. If your application is approved, you will be given an International Protection Beneficiary Identity Document.

May I temporarily return to Ukraine? What will happen to my protection status?

If you have not applied for international protection in Turkey and have not received refugee status, you can return to Ukraine at any time.

If you want to return to Ukraine, then most likely you will have to buy a train or bus ticket with your own money.

Can I move around the country and the European Union freely while under temporary protection?

Citizens of Ukraine can move around the country. For residence permit holders, in case of changing the residence address, the Immigration Authority must be informed.

However, as stated in the respective law, additional precautions, such as administrative detention process, may be implemented upon international protection application, under certain circumstances listed in the law. Administrative detention period cannot exceed 30 days. Furthermore, the applicant may be required to reside at a specific address for a certain period of time and his/her movement freedom can be restricted in this way.

Persons under international protection who wish to move to a city other than where they are registered need to submit such request to the relevant immigration authority, which is the relevant decision-making body in this regard.

Can I apply for asylum while under temporary protection? What is the difference?

Under Turkish Law you can either apply for a residence permit (see below) or an international protection status. International protection status encompasses a refugee status, conditional refugee status and subsidiary protection status.

Refugee status applies to foreigners who, due to events occurring within European countries, have valid cause to fear that they will suffer oppression in the country of their nationality (or former residence for stateless individuals) for reasons of their race, religion, nationality, social group membership, or political opinion.

Conditional refugee status differs from refugee status by relating to events occurring outside of European countries.

Subsidiary protection on the other hand applies to foreigners that cannot be classified as refugee or conditional refugee and will be subject to a death sentence, torture or inhumane or degrading treatment, or face serious threat for reasons of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or nationwide armed conflict upon return to their country of origin or former habitual residence.

Relevant government authorities will decide which international protection status will be granted upon the examination of your documents. If your international protection application is approved, you will be allowed to stay in Turkey and benefit from certain rights and services.

How and where can I apply for the residency?

You can apply for 6 types of residence permits, if necessary conditions are met. These are:

  • Short term residence permits,
  • Long term residence permits,
  • Student residence permits,
  • Family residence permits,
  • Humanitarian residence permits,
  • Residence permit for victims of human trafficking.

Necessary conditions for each residence permit mceclip0.png can be found under this link. If conditions set forth for these residence permits are not met, you can apply for international protection (see above).

Residence permit applications are made to the relevant Turkish consulates or governorships within Turkey in exceptional cases (e.g. in case the departure of the foreigner from Turkey is unreasonable or impossible, humanitarian residence permit applications, long term residence permits applications etc.). Applicant are required to provide a passport or an equivalent document, with a validity period of at least sixty days or longer than the residence permit period requested. Applications can mceclip0.png be made online via the e-residence website. In case the application file is missing certain required documents, the application, such missing document are communicated to the applicants and the evaluation of the application may be postponed until the application file is complete. Residence permits obtained from Turkish consulates abroad will become invalid unless used within 6 months. Applications can be made either in person, by proxy or through an authorized intermediary firm. Biometric photograph, statement of an address and health insurance are also necessary for the application.

Documents required for residence permit application mceclip0.png can be found in this link. More information can be obtained through the website of the Directorate General of Migration Management of the Ministry of Interior. mceclip0.png

Following the first application on the e-residence website, a date and time will be assigned. You should be at the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management of the relevant governorship at the given date and time with your application documents.

Note that work permits encompass residence permits as well.

How long I need to wait to get the residency?

The evaluation of complete applications are finalized within 90 days.

What if I don't have the international passport?

Within the visa exemption, citizens of Ukraine can enter Turkey without a passport, provided that they travel directly from Ukraine to Turkey Source.

Ukrainian citizens who apply for a subsidiary protection are not obliged to submit an identity document, if they do not have it with themselves.

Where can I take a photo for my documents?

There are sites that will help you take a passport photo, such as this one mceclip0.png.

There are also many shops that offer such services. Look for printer shops and copy centers on Google Maps. Photography studios are in general well-informed about the criteria required by public authorities. Photography studios can easily be found throughout Turkish cities and offer services for reasonable prices.

Where can I translate my documents?

There are several Ukrainian speaking translators in Turkey. Translation offices may be found throughout cities, especially in bigger Turkish cities. Some translation offices also provide online translation services. Search for ยซBelgelerin รงevirisiยป on Google.

For Ukrainians who fled the war to Turkey, a large-scale support project was launched by the ASAM international organization. As part of the project, Ukrainian refugees receive:

  • Legal support;
  • Legal information about rights and obligations in Turkey;
  • Help of translators.

For all questions of assistance within the framework of the project, call 0312 212 60 12 (Mon-Fri from 9:00 to 17:30). To continue in Ukrainian, press 6. The SGDD-ASAM office in Antalya is available by phone: +90 (312) 212 60 12.

How do I get Mobile phone/internet services?

There are only three mobile internet providers in Turkey: Vodafone, Turkcell and Turk Telekom. They have stores in many different cities where you can buy a prepaid sim card. When entering Turkey via airplane, you can buy a SIM card directly at the airport. You should buy your SIM card in an offical shop, since they are trustworthy and activate your card for you. As a tourist or a non-resident you can only buy a visitor line sim card for tourists in Turkey. Meaning your sim card will be registered on your passport number and is valid for a maximum period of 2 months. After those 3 months the sim card will stop working and there is no way around this! So always bring your passport when buying a sim card in Turkey. In the store they will take a copy of your passport. If you do not have a passport, residency permit or international protection documentation may also be used in this regard.

There are no free or concessionary SIM cards for refugees.

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