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TURKEY: Law on Foreigners and International Protection Takes Effect in One Year

On April 11, 2013, the Law on Foreigners and International Protection (Law No. 6458) was published in the official gazette of Turkey and is set to go into effect in one year. This new law will make vast changes to residence permit eligibility and procedure, and create a new governmental office. Initial information has been released, but official interpretation and/or guidance may change before implementation.

Among the anticipated changes are application of the 90-out-of-180-day rule to be extended to business visitors. Also, sticker visas obtained at the border are anticipated to only be valid for 15 days. The rule to apply for a residence permit within 30 days of entry is anticipated to be extended to 90 days for some categories. The renewal of residence permits will be accepted for filing at a much earlier period of 60 days before expiration. Also, there is a provision to allow for the filing of residence permits at consular posts. Significantly, new categories of resident permit eligibilities will be created, including for those who will open a business or buy real estate in Turkey.

The law also creates new harsher procedures and penalties for deportation and a ban on re-entry of foreigners who are out of status or not abiding by the terms of their stay.

The law requires the creation of a new Immigration Administration General Directorate under the Ministry of Interior. The law includes new procedures for admitting and processing refugees, victims of human trafficking, and stateless people, among other issues.

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