I am on the bus ride back north after taking a trip down to New York City today. My primary purpose was to make a visit to the Turkish Consulate and see if I can’t get the VISA regulations and standards all straightened out. You see, a little over a year ago all the rules were changed in an effort to streamline and standardize the VISA process. You’ve got to love bureaucracy. Doesn’t matter what the country and what the issue, if they are saying they are going to simplify something… run for the hills.
Part of the problem is the change itself. Some of the travel websites (and government websites) I have visited are still giving instructions and recommendations based on the old rules. Some people I have talked to had been there prior to this past year when the new rules went into place. So it is hard to wade through what is good advice /instructions and what is outdated. Another part of the problem is that apparently different parts of the country are implementing the new rules in different ways. Finally, I might be reading between the lines a bit too much but when at the Consulate I got the feel (again, I’ve sensed this before on other issues) that there’s a bit of interdepartmental rivalry or at the very least miscommunication going on.
So after talking with a very helpful representative today, this is where I believe I stand. I already have a 90 day tourist visa. That can only be renewed once every 180 days. It used to be that people would do border runs… leave when the ninety days were up, and return a day or two later with a new 90 day visa. They’ve put a stop to that.
But no worries. Once I have arrived and settled in, I can apply for a residence permit which is good for up to a year but can be renewed indefinitely. The only thing with that is that you must, among other things, prove that you have the funds to support yourself for the length of the visa. I’ve read that it is one thousand US for each month you plan to stay, but I’ve also read that the rate can be less than that in some areas based on the cost of living and I will find out what it is when I first go in to apply.
Are you thoroughly confused yet? It gets better. The residence permit allows me to live there but not to work there. For that I would need a work visa. For that I have to either apply and get it here in the States (I tried, didn’t happen.) Or I can get it there. I’ve heard three things about this. 1) Not possible, can’t happen. 2) You have to have a minimum six months on your residence permit to get it and 3) You have to already be residing there for six months before you can get it. As things stand now, I have just barely enough funds to get that six month visa. Barely. As long as I don’t eat until I’ve got the thing in my hand. No worries. Dad’s got this.
So that all said, if some of you reading this recently have been, or currently are in Turkey and there’s a glaring mistake in here, please, please text me, message me, call me. Straighten me out. I would hate to have to be flying back and starting all over again at the end of June simply because of a stupid misunderstanding or mistake.