Immigration to Turkey: what you need to consider before moving to Turkey from the UK

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Immigration to Turkey: what you need to consider before moving to Turkey from the UK

Turkey is one of the best places to live and work. The country is attractive due to its modern infrastructure and simple procedures for obtaining residence and work permits. Find out more about why so many Brits are moving to Turkey and whether a Briton can get citizenship in exchange for investment

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In recent years, Turkey has become increasingly popular among expats from Great Britain. Currently, at least 34,000 Britons live in the republic, and this number is constantly growing.

Why do British citizens choose the Republic of Turkey to live? Do British people need a visa to move to Turkey? Answers to these questions and a lot of useful information about moving in our material.

Why are so many Britons going to Turkey?

Turkish government has introduced a series of measures aimed at attracting foreign investors and entrepreneurs, which has led to an increase in the number of English businessmen in Turkey. The country's strategic location between Europe and Asia also makes it attractive for those who want to expand their business into new markets.

Also, due to the rapid growth of the Turkish economy, there is a shortage of qualified specialists in the country. Therefore, UK nationals with the necessary skills are often in high demand in the Turkish labor market.

Does a British person need a visa to move to Turkey?

If you are visiting Turkey for tourism or business for up to 90 days, you do not need a visa.

Anyone wishing to move to Turkey for more than 90 days must apply for a Turkish visa. The type of visa depends on the purpose of the trip to Turkey:

● Study visa – this type of visa is issued by Britons who are going to Turkey to get an education, for an internship, to attend courses or for other educational purposes.

● Work visa to Turkey – You can apply for this visa if the main purpose of your trip to Turkey is employment or if you are a scientist, athlete, artist or journalist, have high professional experience and significant career achievements.

● A family reunification visa is a permit granted to foreigners, family members of a citizen of the Republic of Turkey, or the spouse of a foreigner who has a valid work or residence permit in Turkey.

The procedure for issuing a visa to Turkey

It is necessary to issue a Turkish visa at the embassy, consulate or visa center of Turkey in the country of residence.

Approximate procedure for obtaining a Turkish visa:

Stage 1 – Registration for an interview

You need to fill out an online questionnaire. Answer a few questions about yourself and the purpose of your visit, and the system will assign you the date and time of the interview at the Turkish embassy.

Step 2 – Prepare a package of documents

On the day of the interview, the applicant must have a certain list of documents with him:

- Turkish visa application form.

- A foreign passport that must be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival in Turkey.

- Two biometric photos.

- Certificate of no criminal record.

- Confirmation of the purpose of moving to Turkey:

●for a work visa - an offer of employment from an employer or a contract, the document must contain information about the position, monthly salary and the term of the employee's contract;

● for a study visa - a document on admission to a Turkish university;

● family reunification visa – documents that confirm family ties.

- Health insurance policy.

- Diploma or other certificate of education with a translation.

- Information about the availability of a place to live - a housing rental agreement or a certificate of ownership of real estate in Turkey.

- Information on the availability of financial support for life in the country.

- Confirmation of air ticket booking.

Depending on the specifics of each specific case, the embassy may require additional documents.

Stage 3 – On the day of the interview

On the day of the interview, the applicant must come to the embassy, consulate or visa center on time with a complete package of documents.

During the interview, the representative of the consular institution will ask the applicant several questions about the future residence in Turkey. We advise you to prepare a little so that you are not nervous during the meeting and answer questions clearly.

Upon arrival in the country, a British citizen must apply for a residence permit in Turkey.

Advantages and disadvantages of moving to Turkey

Life in Turkey, like in any other country in the world, has its advantages and disadvantages:


● Low cost of living – compared to other European countries, living in Turkey is much cheaper. Brits who move to Turkey spend 60% less money on their daily expenses. Also, utility services such as gas, water, Internet, telephony and utility tax are much cheaper in Turkey.

● Favorable conditions for work and business - Turkey's economy is stable and growing rapidly, especially in recent years (in 2021 alone, the growth was a record 10%). The unemployment rate in Turkey is low. The country has 18 free economic zones with a special tax and customs regime, which allow to support the export of goods from the country.

● Advanced healthcare system – Turkey has an excellent healthcare system. For many years, the country has worked to transform the health care system, making it more accessible and of better quality. Currently, Turkey is known as one of the centers of medical tourism.

● Warm climate and a large number of sunny days - in Turkey you can enjoy four seasons, the winter here is mild. From April to October, rains are extremely rare.

● Rich culture, delicious cuisine and friendly local population.


● Language barrier – in order to comfortably work and conduct business in Turkey, an expat needs to know the Turkish language.

● Documentary difficulties – in order to get a work visa, buy a car or a house, you need to go through many procedures and fill out a lot of forms.

Can a Briton get Turkish citizenship?

You can obtain Turkish citizenship if you have lived in Turkey continuously for five years. If you marry a Turkish citizen, you will be eligible for citizenship after three years.

Turkey also allows dual and multiple citizenships, regardless of the country you come from. Therefore, there is no need to give up the passport of the country of origin. UK law also allows for dual citizenship.

Turkish citizenship-for-investment program

"Golden Passport" is an opportunity to obtain Turkish citizenship in exchange for investments in the state's economy.

Five types of investments are available in the Republic of Turkey: buying real estate, government bonds or shares in investment funds, placing a deposit in Turkish banks or starting a business. The process of obtaining citizenship will take 6-8 months, and the minimum investment amount is $400,000. Details at the link.

Legal advice from Igor Usyk, Head of Legal at Visit World   

"There is a double taxation agreement between the UK and Turkey. According to Article 6 of this agreement, Turkey has the right to tax real estate income. Since you are a UK resident, both the UK and Turkey have the right to tax your real estate income. In the UK, you will usually be granted a rebate for the amount of tax you paid in Turkey to avoid double taxation of the same income. The same applies to the tax on profits from the sale of real estate.

In order to avoid double taxation on real estate and receive a tax rebate in the UK, you need to go through the appropriate procedure, as it does not happen automatically.

If you make a profit on the sale, you must declare it to HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) in the UK. You can also claim a discount on the tax you have already paid in Turkey.

To properly address this issue, you should fill out the SA100 tax return form, as well as SA108 for capital gains tax on the sale of property. If you intend to claim a rebate on foreign tax, you will also need to fill out SA106 (Foreign Income)."

Immigration to Turkey is a rather complicated process that requires certain knowledge and preparation. To get complete information about moving to the country, you should consult a highly qualified lawyer. The team of experts has a thorough knowledge of the country's immigration laws and can provide the necessary legal support to those who want to move to Turkey".

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Turkey;

Legal advice on immigration in Turkey;

Insurance for residence permit in Turkey.

Find 8 common mistakes when applying for a residence permit here.

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