We’ve shown you the reasons why you should move to Turkey. For this blog post, Homes and Beyond will guide you on how to make that move happen! If you’re interested in living in Turkey as a permanent resident or becoming a Turkish citizen, here are some of the things you’ll need.
Apply For Necessary Permits
Many foreign nationals are required to acquire a visa before entering Turkey. You may get yours from your home embassy or consulate or you may visit the official government website of Turkey for an eVisa. Since you are probably staying for more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is going to be helpful. You may also obtain a residence permit from local authorities once you land here.
2. Work permit
Proof of income is one of the main requirements for residency, so you must have an employment contract or job offer to be approved for a work permit. To obtain a work permit, you will need to apply with the embassy or consulate in your home country before travel. Your employer will then file a submission with the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
If you’ve been issued a residence permit, there’s a chance for you to get a work permit while in Turkey. You will need to have at least six months left on your residency permit to qualify.
3. Residence permit
To get your temporary residency permit, make sure to apply within 30 days of your arrival. This will give you the validity to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days. Just remember that you need to have legally and continuously resided in the country for a minimum of eight years to be eligible for permanent residency.
You must prove that you are clear from any criminal record, have sufficient and sustainable financial resources, and you have not received any social aid from any government institution three years before application.
If you want to fast-track things, you may be allowed to apply for permanent residency if you can prove that you have the financial means to sustain your life in Turkey. This includes starting a business or purchasing a property.
You may also apply for citizenship after only five years, provided that you have stayed in the country with a total interruption of fewer than six months. You must not have been convicted of any crimes, not have any serious disease, and have enough income to support yourself. You must also prove your ability to communicate using the Turkish language in a government interview.
Get Health Insurance/Register for Healthcare
Foreign nationals typically take out private medical insurance. Healthcare in Turkey is considered one of the most affordable world-class services so it would be smart to take advantage of it. Just make sure to review all policy limits, exclusions, and coverage so that you’re confident that you get what you pay for. Do not push through with the application unless you’re 100% sure that you understand the policy terms.
Another option is to register with your employer. You must confirm that your company has done this for you. If not, it’s easy to apply for it yourself. You will have to visit your local SGK office to check the requirements as it differs depending on location.
In some cases, your home country might have a reciprocal healthcare agreement. This means that you are automatically covered under the public healthcare system after you make your presence known to them. It’s worth checking this out to save yourself some time and money.
Take note that while you may first apply for private health insurance, immigration might not recognize it. Always check with local government offices if your healthcare membership is valid when applying or extending your residence permit.
Open A Bank Account
Opening a Turkish bank account will make your life easier! Many local banks offer online banking so you can conveniently pay for your utilities and other needs. But before that, you must first secure a Tax Number. Banks also demand a residency permit so you can open an account with the Turkish Lira currency. If you’re unable to open an account with the local currency, other banks can offer you other options such as the US dollar, British pound, or Euro. It would still be beneficial to open a Turkish Lira account so you can take advantage of interest rates.
If you happen to have a large sum of investments, opening an account would be easier as banks tend to make exceptions with those who can prove financial capacity.
Learn the Language
Learning the language will give you a significant advantage when applying for citizenship. Aside from that, communicating with locals would be a lot easier. You must take note that only 17% of the country can speak English to some extent. The highest concentration of English speakers is in Istanbul, Cappadocia, or the resort towns on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. If you won’t reside in these areas, then the language barrier might set you back.
You may learn Turkish both online and from local schools. There are numerous language centers in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Antalya. After all, you are staying in the country for years and applying for citizenship, so you have to learn the language in one way or another.
Buy a Property
Now that you know the things you need to be able to move, the final step is to think about buying a property in Turkey. The Turkish government has made it easier for foreign nationals to obtain property by speeding up bureaucratic processes, providing opportunities for buyers, and lifting some restrictions.
You’ll be needing a Foreign Identity (Yabanci Kimlik) number which you can get free of charge from the foreigners’ department of the Turkish National Police. Recent law revisions dictate that property buyers are now eligible for residency and those who spend more than $250,000 on a Turkish home are eligible for citizenship.