Country Guides April 24, 2020

The Ultimate Tips for Moving to Turkey

Jane Davis

Apart from being a freelance writer and moving expert, Jane is also an art and museum lover.

Are you excited about moving to Turkey? You should be. It is a land of amazing nature, wonderful climate, and history that spans for centuries. It offers a lot of job opportunities and has a noticeable expat community. But before you start packing your suitcases, make sure that you know everything regarding the upcoming move. Here are some tips on what to expect.

Apply for Permits as Early as Possible

To move to Turkey, you will have to obtain an appropriate visa. Applying for one should take place as early as possible because the process of getting it might last several months. Regardless of the reasons for relocation, you’ll have to submit an application to the Turkish Embassy or consulate and prepare the following application materials:

  • Passport – valid for 90 days longer than the requested visa
  • Application form
  • Two photos (passport-size)
  • Invitation letter or employment
  • A document that confirms you have enough financial means to support yourself during the stay
  • Health insurance record
  • Visa processing fee

A Guide to Applying for Residence Permit

The first document you will need in order to apply for a residence permit and stay in the country legally is a passport and two copies of it. Your travel document should be valid at least 60 days after the expiration of the requested permit.

Also, you’ll have to prepare between four and eight photos (passport-sized), your visa, and the filled-out application form. You might also need additional documents, such as certification from your school, university, bank, and/or employer.

To apply for a residence license, you need to go to the Turkish consulate in your home country, but if you have already relocated, you can contact the local authorities. Depending on the type of permit and the reason for your application, a residence license could be valid from six months to five years. When it comes to the application fees, the residence permit could cost you between 60 and 80 dollars.

A Guide to Applying for Work Permits

If you want to find employment in Turkey, you’ll need a valid work permit. The process of application is divided between you and your new employer. Your part is to submit the necessary application materials, primarily a job offer or employment contract, to the Turkish Embassy.

On the other hand, your employer should provide the required documents to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Once you and your employer submit the required documents, your application will be processed within 90 days.

To make a home near the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll need to get a residence and/or work permit.

Check out the Housing Options Before Moving to Turkey

Before you get to decide what to pack when moving abroad, make sure that you have found the adequate living space. If your plans include renting, monthly rents for one-bedroom apartments are between 900 and 1,500 dollars. However, if you need a bigger space, rents for three-bedroom apartments go from 1,500 to 2,500 dollars per month.

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By Turkish Law, Those Who Purchase Properties Can Get Permanent Residency

According to Turkish law, if you buy real estate, you can get a one-year permanent residency, which can be renewed annually. The good news is that permanent residency can also be granted to the members of the property owner’s family, including wife and children. It is also possible, by authorization of the Turkish government, to get citizenship if you live in Turkey for five years.

preparing to buy a home
Costs of living are manageable, and there are advantages for those who purchase a property.

As an Expat, Getting Adequate Health Insurance Is a Top Priority

Health insurance is an obligatory requirement for all expats, and you will need it if you want to get residence and work permits. If you’ve got a job at one of the Turkish companies, the employer will register you with the national system of social security – a program available for all residents.

Expats are also entitled to use outpatient and inpatient services in all public clinics and hospitals, thanks to the Social Security Institution. SGK covers various health issues, including occupation injuries, diseases, and pregnancy. It also provides a temporary incapacity allowance as compensation for your situation.

An Alternative Is to Save Money for Private Health Insurance

When it comes to health insurance, you can consider Cigna international health insurance as one of the options. Cigna global provides access to high-quality health care programs and, when it comes to costs, defines them in a way to be suitable for each person’s financial capacity.

a doctor signing a paper
Get health insurance most suitable for your needs.

Choose the Most Desirable Destination

While looking for information about adjusting to a new country, you should consider finding a destination most suitable for your way of living. It is good to know that some of the most famous places in Turkey have noticeable expat communities. So, before making the decision, read more about the location you are interested in.

For Most, Moving to Turkey Means Relocating to Istanbul

Formerly known as Constantinople, Istanbul presents the economic, historical, and cultural center of Turkey. With a population of 15.5 million people, Istanbul is also the most populous city in the country on the Sea of Marmora. Istanbul was the fifth most popular tourist destination in 2015 when over 12 million tourists came to visit it.

Besides its touristic potential, Istanbul is known as the center of finance, industry, economy, and business and has a lot of areas and suburbs suitable for expats. Therefore, it is one of the most desirable destinations for people who are seeking job opportunities in Turkey.

Consider Izmir, the Pearl of the Aegean

Izmir, also known as the Pearl of the Aegean, is the third most populous Turkish city. Thanks to its multicultural history, Izmir is famous for its amazing cuisine. Also, if you are a summer person, you will love the weather here.

Summers are hot, winters are not too cold, and periods of rain last for about three and a half months. Izmir has a rich history, so if you are worried about how to keep in touch with friends after moving overseas, the solution is to ask them to visit you in Izmir. They will be thrilled.

city in Turkey
Istanbul or İzmir, where will your future home be?

Believe It or Not, It’s Easy to Break the Ice in Turkey

It is a fact that learning a new language is not so easy. But for a start, you can learn a few common phrases in order to break the language barrier. Also, a kind look and a smile will be enough to make a good first impression.

Don’t get surprised if you feel uncomfortable when some stranger is a bit closer to you, for example, in the grocery store. The Turkish perception of personal space is a bit different than American. Don’t worry; you’ll get used to it in no time.

street market
Living by the sea, with kind people and rich culture, is all that we need.

Are You Ready?

Now, when you know everything about moving to Turkey, you can start packing. There is just one more thing. If you want your relocation to go as smoothly as possible, you should find a reliable moving company that provides international moving and packing services. Good luck or, as they would say in Turkey, İyi şanslar!

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