Checklist for Moving to Turkey: Plan your Move Before you Leave

Turkey is getting more popular in the real estate market with foreigners each passing day. The main reasons why you should move to Turkey are numerous. The mild climate, excellent beaches, colorful culture, and affordable quality apartments in Turkey are among them.

Do you want to learn how to move to Turkey? As Realty Group, we have created a guide for you to know before moving to Turkey. This process includes:

  1. File Applications for Passports, Visas and Permits
  2. Gather Important Documents
  3. Rent or Buy Property
  4. Vehicle Insurance
  5. Health Insurance
  6. Property Insurance
  7. Bank and Credit Card Accounts
  8. International Driving Permit
  9. Flight and Hotel Reservations
  10. Pets
  11. Schooling for Children
  12. Learning the Language
  13. Buy a Mobile and Get a Turkish Number
  14. Making Friends
  15. Working in Turkey

1. File Applications for Passports, Visas, and Permits

File applications might take a longer time. So, you need to start your passport, visa, and permit acquisition process as soon as possible. Documents required for a passport;

  • Original of the identity document or temporary identity card
  • Receipt of payment of passport book fee
  • Student certificate for students who apply for a fee-free passport
  • Notarized consent letter from parents of those under the age of 18
  • 2 biometric photos
  • Old passports, if any

Secondly, in terms of visas, residents of some EU member states and Schengen Annex II countries are required to get a visa to enter Turkey. Detailed visa information for foreigners can be viewed in detail on the official website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreigners who will travel to Turkey must personally apply to the Turkish foreign representatives in their country. Due to the delays that may occur in visa issuance procedures, it would be beneficial to submit visa applications at least one month before the planned travel date.

2. Gather Important Documents

Regulations and laws differ for each country. Before moving to Turkey, you need to gather important official documents such as;

  • Certificate of birth
  • Marriage certificates
  • Passport
  • Citizenship card
  • Medical record cards such as vaccination certificates and dental records
  • Insurance documents
  • Social security cards
  • Academic records such as diplomas
  • Employment records
  • Drivers’ licenses
  • Residence certificates such as utility bills
  • Consent certificates
  • Testament, if any

3. Rent or Buy Property

Foreigners who have obtained a residence permit in Turkey have the right to rent a property. The Turkish Law of Obligations regulates how an immovable can be rented. First of all, the landlord and the foreign citizen must make a lease agreement for the real estate. This process does not differ for foreign nationals and Turkish citizens. In addition, the same conditions apply to both parties. The important point here is that a foreign citizen must have a residence permit to rent an immovable property.

Another important issue is that certain restrictions have been imposed on the real estate that foreign natural persons can acquire in Turkey. The total area of real estate to be acquired by real persons of foreign nationality in Turkey cannot exceed ten percent of the area subject to private ownership and thirty hectares (300 decares) per person throughout the country. Moreover, foreigners can buy a house for 400.000 USD before moving to Turkey through the Realty Group consultancy. They can obtain citizenship for the whole family members.

The documents required for real estate sales to foreign nationals are as follows:

  • Real estate deed
  • Identity document or passport (Translation of these documents can be requested if necessary.)
  • Real estate market certificate obtained from the municipality
  • Compulsory Earthquake Insurance (DASK)
  • Real estate valuation report

4. Vehicle Insurance

Regardless of which country you live in, your traffic insurance is only valid in your own country. When you start living in Turkey, if you have private car insurance for vehicles with foreign license plates, you can travel with peace of mind.

One of the most important issues to be considered during the entry of a vehicle with a foreign license plate into Turkey is to determine whether the Green Card Insurance Certificate is valid in Turkey. The bureau that carries out the Green Card Insurance Certificate in Turkey is the Turkish Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). It is the bureau’s responsibility to cover the damage compensation after the accidents.

5. Health Insurance

Health insurance for foreigners is must-have insurance that foreign nationals who want to get a residence permit in Turkey. Insurance companies quickly present the most suitable policy offers for foreign nationals. Documents required for foreign health insurance for those who will get a residence permit for the first time;

  • Passport photo
  • ID information
  • The address in Turkey and Telephone number
  • Insurance start date

6. Property Insurance

There is compulsory earthquake insurance for all houses in Turkey, which is compulsory for both Turkish and foreign landlords. With the compulsory earthquake insurance that came into effect as of September 2000, all homeowners are required to ensure their houses against earthquakes.

Today, it is not possible to sell or rent a house without earthquake insurance in Turkey. Besides, foreigners who want to benefit from Turkish citizenship by investment must have a compulsory earthquake insurance policy for the house they will buy.

Necessary documents for the property insurance in Turkey;

The owner of the residence;

  • First Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Foreigner identification number for foreigners

The building to be insured;

  • Full Address
  • Title Deed Information
  • Construction Year
  • Build Style
  • Total Number of Floors
  • Damage Status

The house to be insured;

  • Gross Area (square meter)
  • Usage

7. Bank and Credit Card Accounts

Even if you are not a citizen of the Republic of Turkey, you can open a bank account in Turkey. With a bank account that you will open from banks in Turkey, you can freely access your money and avoid international expenses as long as you are in Turkey. If you work for a company located in Turkey or if you plan to work in the future, you can receive your salary directly from your bank account.

You can shop with the bank account card that will be sent to you after your account is opened. Likewise, you can use your bank account card for online shopping. You can also use your debit card for transactions such as depositing and withdrawing money from ATMs to your account.

Most importantly, some banks only open accounts for foreigners living permanently in Turkey.

The documents you need to have with you when opening a bank account are:

  • Passport
  • Tax Identity Number
  • Phone number
  • A document proving your residence address in Turkey

8. International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a translation of your national driving license. An International Driving Permit allows its holder to drive a private motor vehicle in any country that recognizes the International Driving Permit. To be valid, an International Driving Permit must be used with a valid driver’s license. Your IDP is a valid form of identification in over 150 countries worldwide. It includes your name, photos, and driver information. You can apply online and pay in dollars.

9. Flight and Hotel Reservations

The earlier you book your flight, the more affordable it will be for you. Also, if you haven’t bought or rented a house in Turkey yet, it might be a good idea to stay in a hotel for a while.

10. Pets While Moving to Turkey

To move your pet with you to Turkey, health insurance must be made. You must obtain a health certificate issued by the authorized institutions of the country you are in. The certificate must be in the language of the country of destination and translated into English. Required documents to move your pet abroad are a vaccination certificate and rabies titration test results. Moreover, you need to buy a separate plane ticket for them.

11. Schooling for Children

Foreigners who plan to live in Turkey get a comfortable and advantageous education opportunity at international schools. Because the curriculum of international schools is the same all over the world, the learning process of students progresses easily and comfortably. Besides English, other languages such as Arabic ​​taught in international schools provide many advantages for students to achieve greater goals in their careers.

International schools in Turkey provide higher quality education in smaller classes compared to standard classes. These schools ensure that students receive a quality education by keeping student motivation at the highest level with extracurricular activities.

12. Learning the Language

It can be difficult to adapt to a culture and environment that is very different from what you are used to. This might get even more difficult if you do not speak the local language of your destination. Therefore, improving your language skills will give you confidence in both business and social life. For this, before moving to Turkey, you can attend online courses. Also, you can attend many Turkish language courses in Turkey.

13. Buy a Mobile and Get a Turkish Number

Even if you will stay in Turkey temporarily, you can get a Turkish Mobile Number here. In this way, you can contact freely within the country. You can get a number from major GSM companies such as Turk Telekom, Turkcell, and Vodafone for approximately 150 TL/ 13,82 USD. For foreign citizens, a valid passport and residence permit are necessary to get a Turkish number.

14. Making Friends

You will realize that after managing visa and flight procedures, your excitement of preparing your suitcase, and saying goodbye to your family, you will go out of the country and everything will start to change. Including your friends… For making friends, you need to know some tips.

  • Introduce yourself sincerely
  • Attend language courses and social activities
  • Make Turkish friends by making touristic trips
  • Get new hobbies

15. Working in Turkey

The principles regarding the permission to work of foreigners in Turkey and the work permits to be given to foreigners are included in Law No. 4817 on the Work Permits of Foreigners and the regulations showing the implementation of this Law. Considering the current situation of foreigners who want to obtain a work permit in Turkey, some work permit types have been determined.

16. Cancel Your Utilities in Advance

When you leave the house you are moving to, you need to clear your bills and pay your last debt. In the same way, you have to take the bill subscriptions for your new house. If there is no transfer, it will be in your best interest to complete these procedures before you move, as some procedures will be required for the purchase of the meters and the payment of their costs.

For internet transfer, you need to contact the subscriber center and our institution. You can move the internet to your new home with the necessary procedures, or you can create a new subscription by terminating it according to your agreement.

For the transfer of electricity, water, and natural gas, you need to start the processes immediately to prevent illegal use. Situations such as whether the meter is intact from the previous period, and whether illegal use has occurred or not, should be clarified. Then you should apply to your institution to close the old subscription and start the subscription for your new home.

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