How to Migrate to Turkey

| Created : 2024-07-08
| Updated : 2024-07-10
Created : 2024-07-08
Updated : 2024-07-10

Migration is the process of non-citizens moving to a country for the purpose of settlement. Recent studies show that there are currently 281 million international migrants worldwide.

Turkey has strategic importance due to its location on major migration routes. Therefore, it has always been a focal point for migration issues. Due to the increase in the level of welfare in Turkey, the country has become one of the most popular destinations for migration among many other countries.

What Should You Know Before Moving to Turkey?

A residence permit is mandatory for foreigners who decide to settle in Turkey for various reasons. The types of residence permits in Turkey are as follows:

  • Short-term residence permit
  • Student residence permit
  • Family residence permit
  • Long-term residence permit
  • Humanitarian residence permit
  • Investor Residence Permit Update

Before migrating to Turkey, you need to choose the appropriate residence permit for yourself. Additionally, you must apply to the immigration office online.

Do you want to invest in real estate in Türkiye?

Why Should You Migrate to Turkey?

In the last 20 years, Turkey's political and economic growth has progressed significantly. Undoubtedly, this country attracts visitors and expatriates from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as other European and Asian countries. Turkey is a unique blend of Islamic traditions and Western influences. If you decide to move there, examine the basic facts and relevant information about Turkey. Tips for Expats Living in Turkey provides useful insights.

Many citizens do not require a visa for temporary visits to Turkey. If your planned stay in Turkey is less than 90 days and is for business, leisure, tourism, or cultural activities, you can apply for a tourist visa.

The most common visa categories for foreigners considering moving to Turkey are:

  • Official Visa: Diplomats traveling to Turkey to complete foreign missions and initiatives are required to obtain an official visa.
  • Student/Education Visa: A student/education visa is granted to those moving to Turkey for ERASMUS internships, AISEC internships, language courses, or university education.
  • Work Visa: A work visa is suitable for those coming to Turkey to work. The purpose of your stay can vary from receiving medical treatment to reuniting with relatives, depending on the visa category you choose.

Foreigners wishing to purchase real estate in rural, urban, or coastal areas frequently choose Turkey as their destination. Depending on the region and location, the average cost per square meter ranges from €340 to €2,100. Many expatriates consider renting an apartment before moving to Turkey, as it is their preference. Renting a one-bedroom apartment typically ranges from €160 to €320. If you are moving with your family and children, a three-bedroom apartment in Turkey can cost you between €270 and €520 per month.

Apart from having a pleasant climate and hospitable residents, Turkey is a comfortable place to live due to its low cost of living. After moving to Turkey, you will find that the costs of food, necessities, energy bills, and accommodation are reasonable. Istanbul and Ankara are Turkey's largest and most expensive cities, so living expenses there are higher.

The Turkish economy has shown steady development in recent years. The tourism and electronics industries are thriving, providing many job opportunities for foreigners in addition to the agriculture and textile sectors. Although obtaining a work visa in Turkey can be difficult, highly educated engineers, IT specialists, and medical professionals are often welcomed. Additionally, there is a demand for native English speakers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. They can simply move to Turkey and find jobs as English or other foreign language instructors.

Larger Turkish cities host numerous higher education institutions. Most students from across the country move to Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Bursa to attend universities.

Expats migrating to Turkey 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 legal resident can directly consult the appropriate medical specialist when needed. Foreign nationals can apply for public health insurance programs if they have had a residence permit in place for at least one year.

Turkey's public healthcare system offers a variety of services of varying quality. Therefore, many foreigners opt for private health insurance. Many private clinics in Istanbul and Ankara employ highly skilled English-speaking doctors who have received international education and have years of experience working abroad, making Turkey well-known as a destination for medical tourism.

Who Can Migrate to Turkey?

Migrants are people who settle in and live in another country due to one or more events occurring in their country, regardless of their religion, language, race, nationality, or affiliation with any community. However, it does not necessarily require a negative event to migrate to another country.

According to TURKSTAT International Migration Statistics, the population aged 25-29 is the most frequent migrant group to Turkey. Secondly, Istanbul is the city that receives the most international migration and also sends the most emigrants. Thirdly, in recent years, the countries that have sent the most migrants to Turkey are Iraq, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran.

Who Cannot Migrate to Turkey?

There are no official restrictions based on nationality. If you wish to move to Turkey, establish a business, or purchase property, you can apply for a residence permit. A work permit in Turkey is also a viable option if you plan to work in the country.

It is sufficient to show that you have sufficient financial resources to live in the country, own property, or run a business. There is no minimum investment amount required. If you are planning to start a business, you can find detailed information in our guide on how to set up a business in Turkey.

Your spouse and dependent children are eligible to apply for a family visa after you have obtained a residence permit. If you currently manage a company or own property, have resided in the country for at least 184 days a year, are a taxpayer, and can prove that you earn enough money to support yourself and your dependents, your permit can be extended for another two years.

After eight years of legal residence, you can apply for a long-term residence permit, allowing you to stay in the country permanently. You must have significant and stable financial resources, a clean criminal record, and not have received social assistance from public institutions in the three years preceding your application.

After just five years of legal residence, and without gaps of more than six months in total during your stay, you are eligible to apply for citizenship instead of a long-term residence visa. You must prove your citizenship, indicate that you have the resources to support yourself and your dependents, and show that neither you nor your dependents have serious illnesses or criminal convictions. You must also pass a Turkish language proficiency interview.

Where to Apply for Migration to Turkey?

To migrate to Turkey, you need to apply to the Turkish Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Migration Management. You need to pay attention to the countries whose citizens are allowed to enter. The fee amount is 831 TRY / 60 USD for a single entry and 2,780 TRY / 200 USD for multiple entries.

What Documents Are Required for Migration to Turkey?

Entry and exit to Turkey are made through border gates with a valid passport or documents substituting for a passport. Foreigners without these necessary documents are not allowed to enter Turkey.

The documents required for migration to Turkey are as follows:

  • It is mandatory for foreigners to present their passports or official documents during entry and exit to Turkey.
  • Document checks can also be made at border gates while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Foreigners using the transit areas of airports may be subject to checks by the competent authorities.
    Upon entry to Turkey, it is checked by the authorities whether the foreigner falls within the scope of Article 7 of Law No. 6458.

What Are Turkey's Immigration Laws?

Turkish Laws are regulated for the purpose of international protection for foreigners and immigrants. The immigration laws of the Republic of Turkey briefly include the following contents:

  • Passport Law
  • Settlement Law
  • Law on Work Permits for Foreigners
  • Fees Law
  • Foreign Direct Investment Law
  • Turkish Citizenship Law
  • International Labor Law

Can Immigrants Obtain Citizenship in Turkey?

Yes, they can. The conditions required for foreign immigrants to acquire Turkish citizenship are listed as follows:

  • At least $500,000 or equivalent in foreign currency fixed capital investment
  • Purchasing real estate worth at least $400,000 or equivalent in foreign currency, which will also help you find real estate in Istanbul
  • Employing at least 50 people after establishing a business in Turkey
  • Depositing at least $500,000 and equivalent foreign currency in banks operating in Turkey

Can Immigrants Receive Education in Turkey?

Yes, they can. Thousands of people who migrate to Turkey for any reason have the opportunity to benefit from the education system in Turkey. Turkish Laws determine the status and citizenship status of immigrants in the new social environment. They have the right to receive education in institutions that provide education in Arabic, English, and other languages. Immigrants in Turkey can also enroll in any university in Turkey.

Can Immigrants Benefit from Healthcare Services in Turkey?

Yes, they can. Providing preventive health services and primary health care services for immigrants and refugees in Turkey more effectively and efficiently is important. Therefore, Migrant Health Services is a sub-unit of the district community health center to overcome problems arising from language and cultural barriers and to increase their access to health services in places where these individuals live intensively. Additionally, immigrants can benefit from private health centers throughout the country.

Can Immigrants Purchase Real Estate in Turkey?

Yes, they can. Your reliable real estate company can handle the entire purchase process for you. They can also acquire citizenship after purchasing real estate worth at least $400,000 and equivalent in foreign currency. Moreover, there is a condition that the property you purchase cannot be sold for the next three years.

How Can Immigrants Establish a Business in Turkey?

Immigrants can establish a business in Turkey. Turkey has Law No. 4875 on Foreign Direct Investors concerning foreign investors. This law adopts the principle of freedom of investment, equal treatment, and encouragement of foreign investors. Some guarantees are even provided to foreign investors.

Moreover, immigrants who employ at least 50 people determined by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security can obtain Turkish citizenship for the entire family. The process of establishing a business includes the following steps:

  1. Preliminary preparations for the establishment of the business
  2. Determining the type of company
  3. Preparing the memorandum of association for the company's activities
  4. Submitting the establishment application through the Turkish Central Registration System
  5. Preparing and notarizing all documents
  6. Obtaining the company's tax number
  7. Depositing a percentage of the capital in the Competition Authority account
  8. Documenting the amount deposited in the bank account
  9. Submitting applications to the relevant directorates for company registration
  10. Visiting the relevant tax office to obtain a tax plate
  11. Obtaining a social security number
  12. Notarizing the books that must be kept in the name of the company
  13. Tracking the Company Establishment Declaration through the Trade Registry Office
  14. Requesting the Company Establishment Declaration from the relevant tax office
  15. Creating signature circulars
  16. Uploading documents related to the company into the system
  17. Creating a VERBIS registration

What Are the Benefits of Migrating to Turkey?

While the vast majority of people worldwide continue to live in the country where they were born, more people are migrating, especially to countries in their region. The benefits of migrating to Turkey are as follows:

  • People migrating to Turkey, one of the high-income countries, gain more advantages in every field.
  • The most important reason for people migrating to Turkey is employment, and migrant workers also make up the majority of international migrants worldwide, with the majority living in high-income countries.
  • Among the reasons for migration to Turkey are the opportunities to benefit from educational facilities.
  • Healthcare services in Turkey are affordable compared to other countries in the region.
  • Benefits include a Turkish passport and citizenship.

How Does Turkey Treat Immigrants?

According to research and development studies, more than 95% of foreigners who come to Turkey for the first time leave Turkey with positive feelings. In other words, they encounter a country that exceeds the expectations they formed before coming to Turkey. Therefore, the Turkish people, who display a positive attitude towards tourists, refugees, and immigrants, are always very friendly to them.

How Many Immigrants Does Turkey Accept Each Year?

According to TURKSTAT data, the number of people who migrated to Turkey from abroad in 2019 increased by 17.2% compared to 2018. Thus, 677,42 people migrated to Turkey in 2019, and these numbers are increasing every year. Additionally, 98,554 of the population coming from abroad were Turkish citizens, while 578,488 were foreign nationals.

Which Countries Do Immigrants to Turkey Come From?

According to TURKSTAT International Migration Statistics, Istanbul is the city that receives the most international migration and also sends the most emigrants. Istanbul is followed by Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, and Izmir in this term. Lastly, in recent years, the countries that have sent the most migrants to Turkey are Iraq, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran.