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How to immigrate to Turkey?
One of MGC Legal’s partner-level consultants, Hiba HATOUM, explained immigration to Turkey in detail. Keep reading for more information.
Turkey shares borders with Georgia, Bulgaria, Syria, and Greece and is bordered by the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Black Seas. It creates a bridge between Asia and Europe continents, enabling ex-pats to experience a fusion of Eastern culture and Western civilization.
When you decide to immigrate to Turkey, you must study the consequences from all aspects. It would be best to have long, detailed research on the country you will immigrate to. Turkey, particularly its stunning city of Istanbul and its capital Ankara, is a popular choice for ex-pats looking for residence and employment.
Immigration to Turkey
There are kinds of reasons to immigrate; some people immigrate to get a better education. They might receive valuable offers from universities abroad and therefore decide to immigrate. Others immigrate to get citizenship; they might be wishing to obtain citizenship from another country that can facilitate their lives and promote their living standards. Another kind immigrates for business, they might receive a good job offer outside their country, or they might plan to invest in another country because of its strategic geographical location or importance in the world of investments and economic benefits. So why immigrate to Turkey?
Immigration specialist Hiba HATOUM, who is also an immigrant, says:
“Turkey… With its wide variety of international universities, invasion into the world of investments and strong economy, moderate climate, and strategic location inside the European borders, Turkey is one of a kind around the globe. When I decided to immigrate, Turkey was the first on my list. Turkey welcomed me as a tourist, supported me as a foreigner, and offered me a chance to succeed. Sometimes, while I walk around the streets, I speak to myself. ‘Congratulations, Turkish people!’ You are granted such a beautiful country because you are the ones who are taking care of it. You are taking care of this magnificent spot on earth. You must be blessed, somehow. After you take the decision to immigrate, and if you have chosen Turkey, let me inform you about the steps you must follow. If you come here without any job opportunities, you can enter the country with a tourist visa (unless you are exempted). Before the visa validity period expires, you must apply for a tourist residence permit. You need to have a lease agreement in order to be eligible to apply. However, you must apply for a work visa overseas if you have a job opportunity from Turkey before you travel. You must enter the country with a work visa, and apply for a work permit once you are inside the Turkish borders. On the other hand, if you have received a job opportunity while you are inside Turkey, meaning that you have entered the country with a tourist visa, you need to have a valid residence permit in order to be able to apply for a work permit. Moreover, you can also stay legally in Turkey by purchasing real estate. The real estate value must be 50K USD in small cities of Turkey and 75K USD in large cities. All family members must be registered at the title deeds in order to apply for a residence permit via real estate purchase. Last but not least, you can apply for Turkish citizenship. You need to either purchase an apartment worth 400K USD or invest 500K USD in Turkey. As a partner at MGC Legal, I have the honor of helping you with all the above procedures. You only have to offer us an original Power of Attorney (PoA), and our attorneys will do the rest. Regarding residence permit applications, your presence in Turkey is required, whereas, for Turkish citizenship applications, you do not need to be physically present in Turkey. You need an expert immigration attorney to guide through your process.“
Also Read: Turkish Citizenship By Investment.
If you intend to move to Turkey, you must complete several administrative procedures. For more information, continue reading. You can also contact us to get an attorney to handle the process of immigrating to Turkey.
You can learn more at the e-Visa website of the government of Turkey.
How Can You Apply For a Residence Permit When immigrating to Turkey?
To enter Turkey, many foreign nationals will require a visa. The typical Turkish tourist visa is good for up to 90 days within a 180-day period and allows for multiple entries. You can either apply for an e-Visa online or at the embassy or consulate that is most convenient for you. A credit or debit card may be used to pay for an e-Visa. You must submit your e-Visa application at least 48 hours and up to three months before your trip if you choose to do so. Always bring a printed copy of your e-Visa with you in case of technical difficulties.
You can apply for a long-term residence permit in advance of your trip if you want to stay in Turkey for longer than 90 days. If you want, you may apply for a residency permit from the local government after you are in Turkey, provided you do so before you have been there for more than 90 days.
Before leaving and continuing your travel, be sure your passport has a dated entry stamp if you are entering Turkey over a land border. A full blank page must be available in your passport for the entrance and departure stamps, and it must be valid for at least six months from the day you enter Turkey.
What Are The Permit Types in Turkey?
The Turkish visa system consists of a number of groupings, all of which include a variety of aspects. These are listed below:
1. Tourist and Business Permits in Turkey
The tourist and business visa category encompasses a few categories, these are:
- Touristic visits to Turkey,
- Single transits,
- Double transits,
- Business meetings and commerce in Turkey,
- Conferences, seminars, and meetings that are held in Turkey,
- Festivals, fairs, and exhibitions that are held in Turkey,
- Sportive activities and events that are held in Turkey,
- Cultural and artistic activities.
2. Official Visa
An official visa is required for those traveling to Turkey on official business. Although duty personnel and couriers may also use this type of visa, diplomats are the ones who use it the most frequently.
3. Student & Education Permits in Turkey
Not just those enrolled in college are covered by the student and education visa. It also includes:
- Legal internships and Erasmus internships,
- Turkish language courses,
- Education courses in Turkey,
- Studying in a certified education institute in Turkey.
4. Work Permits in Turkey
A work visa is required for those who want to work in Turkey legally. It supports a range of professions and trades, including but not limited to the following:
- Lecturers and academics that will work in educational institutions in Turkey,
- Persons working as a tour operator or a tour representative,
- Approved sportspersons,
- Assigned artists,
- Free zone workers,
- Assigned journalists,
- Montage and repair purposes.
Work permits are also divided into two: Standard employment and self-employment.
- Standard Employment: A valid work permit is required for any foreign national who wishes to work in Turkey. The Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security issues work permits. You must apply for a work permit at the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country before leaving, and your employer will submit an application on your behalf. You might, in some cases, be able to submit an application for a work permit while you remain in Turkey. Foreign nationals can typically apply for a work permit from Turkey if they already have a residency permit valid for at least another six months. Tourists from other countries will not be permitted to apply. To be granted a work permit, you must have a written employment agreement or job offer.
- Self-Employment: You are qualified to apply for an independent work permit if you have continuously and lawfully worked in Turkey for at least five years. You can work for yourself if you have an independent work permit. Applications for these kinds of licenses must be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
What Are The Legal Criteria For International Workers in Turkey?
You must first have an offer of employment in Turkey before you can apply for a work visa; you are not permitted to do this on your behalf. There are two ways you can achieve this. Your employer must submit an application either online through the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, using the “e-Devlet” service, or by going to the Turkish consulate.
You will need to submit some documents, which are as follows:
- A copy of your passport,
- Your visa application form,
- a letter of a job offer from your employer,
- Biometric photos.
You may also be asked for the following:
- Proof of accommodation,
- Bank statements,
- Evidence of health insurance coverage,
- Personal tax records,
- Police clearance document.
Additionally, your employer will be required to provide paperwork, including tax records. You must pay an entrance visa cost, a price for the work permit certificate, and a fee for residency if you are applying from outside Turkey because a work permit is comparable to a resident card. Within 20 business days of your arrival in Turkey, you must register your residence address with the Migration Directorate or the Directorate of Populations Registry.
If you are self-employed, you may apply for a work permit individually, but in reality, these are seldom approved and only for persons who have lived in Turkey for more than five years. Turquoise Card, a new type of visa, was established to cover self-sponsorship in exceptional circumstances, such as some forms of business and investors.
5. Residence Permits in Turkey
- Temporary Residence Permit: Applying for a temporary residency visa must be done within 30 days of arrival for eligible foreigners who want to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days. Temporary residence permits can also be divided into two: short-term residence permits and long-term residence permits.
- Permanent Residence Permit: Foreigners must have lived in Turkey lawfully and consistently for at least eight years to be considered eligible for permanent residence status. If you establish a business or buy real estate in Turkey, you can also be eligible to apply for permanent residency. You only need to provide enough proof that you lawfully own a home or a company and have enough money to support yourself in the nation. There is no minimum investment necessary to achieve this.
6. Other Permits in Turkey
A few visas that fall under the general category “other” are also available for people entering Turkey.
- Archaeological excavation and/or exploration.
- Researching and filming documentaries,
- Medical treatment,
- Family reunification,
- Freight visas,
- Seafarer visas,
- Temporary protection visa.
All visa applications must be submitted at your local embassy or consulate, except those for visas issued for travel, business, or commerce, which can be done online.
What is The Cost of Living in Turkey?
In addition to having a pleasant climate and welcoming residents, Turkey is a comfortable place to live due to its inexpensive cost of living. After moving to Turkey, you’ll see that food, necessities, energy bills, and lodging costs are affordable. Istanbul and Ankara are Turkey’s largest and most costly cities; hence, living expenses are greater.
What is The Healthcare system in Turkey Like?
When migrating to Turkey, ex-pats will find that the country’s healthcare system differs from that of Europe or the United States. Since there are no general practitioners, any citizen or lawful resident may, when necessary, refer straight to the appropriate medical specialist. Foreign nationals may apply for a public healthcare insurance program if they have a residency permit that has been in effect for at least a year.
Turkey’s public healthcare system offers a variety of services of varying quality. Because of this, a lot of foreigners select private health insurance. As many private clinics in Istanbul and Ankara employ highly competent English-speaking doctors with international education and years of practice abroad, Turkey is already well recognized as a destination for medical tourism.
What is The School and Education in Turkey Like?
Both nationals and foreigners can attend public schools in Turkey. It is important to note that although some private schools provide multilingual instruction, they all follow the Turkish national curriculum. Many foreigners who relocate to Turkey enroll their kids in international schools that provide British, German, and French curricula. Istanbul and Ankara are home to the majority of foreign schools. Larger Turkish cities are home to a large number of higher education institutions.
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