The rise in popularity of Turkey as a holiday location and a place to buy affordable and desirable property has resulted in more expatriates relocating and living and working in Turkey.

There are a few fields of employment in which foreigners are not permitted to work but generally speaking those with a desire to work in Turkey and who can provide a specialist skill or talent to the labour force will find employment opportunities particularly in the tourism, teaching, real estate and finance fields for example – with the most opportunities available in Istanbul.

To enter Turkey residents of the UK and most European countries require only a tourism visa which is renewable and valid for three months at a time. You will be charged around GBP 10 for the visa upon arrival at a port or airport in Turkey and those who wish to spend longer in the country can take a day trip to Northern Cyprus or a short break on one of the Greek islands and then just return and apply for a new visa.

Such open rules can currently be exploited to the advantage of those wishing to live and work in Turkey but who have no desire to go through the registration process. It could be that there is a crackdown or tightening of the rules in the future however, and one should always be aware of governmental policies relating to immigration controls when living and working in a foreign country because ignorance of any changes is no excuse!

Anyone planning on living and working in Turkey for a prolonged period might be best advised to apply for a resident’s permit from the outset especially if they plan to import their worldly goods from the country they herald from – only those with a resident’s permit can get their personal effects into Turkey and avoid paying import taxes you see.

The process of application should begin as soon as you enter Turkey on your latest tourism visa because the process can take a while and anyone who extends their stay over the period of their visa faces heavy fines. The first thing to do is go to the local police station and visit the immigration officials, you’ll need to take some or all of the following items depending on where you herald from - a completed application form in triplicate, a letter of application for residency, at least 6 passport sized photographs, passport, property deeds or rental contract and proof of wealth.

As the Turkish rules of immigration differ on a nation by nation basis it’s sensible to take a translator with you to determine what requirements you will have to fulfil. A permit costs about GBP 200 annually although costs can also change.

Work permits are generally applied for by the employer and because they take ages to issue most foreigners have been in their job for many months before they receive their permission to work! The majority of those who wish to start their own business choose to incorporate a limited company – depending on the proposed activities that the company will engage in it is either possible to incorporate a company alone as a foreigner or to take a Turkish business partner and set up the company together,

This is to provide basic information.
The information in this post is of a general nature and does not constitute legal advice,