For any immigrant planning living and working in Turkey or intend to move to Turkey for the purpose of working legally, it is very important to find out the system of doing things in Turkey.

Turkey may be largely a European country by the location,  however, it’s pertinent to note that what is obtainable in most European countries are not in operation here in Turkey. Therefore, before setting out for turkey, it’s very important you get yourself familiarise with those professions a foreigner cannot practice or engage in legally in Turkey to make your stay stress free.


Unlike in most western European countries generally, a foreigner coming to Turkey to work should bear in mind that they cannot work in the following profession:
A medical profession such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmaceutical, veterinarian, private hospital directors.
Security jobs, customs and maritime industrial jobs.
You cannot practice as a lawyer or work in any legal profession such as notary public. These professions are reserved for the Turkish citizens for reasons best known to them, maybe for security or employment purposes. Please take note from the preamble.


Judging from the list of jobs that foreigners cannot do, it’s easy to conclude that the choice of jobs available to non-citizen is very few.
These are some of the works that foreigners can do or engage in:

1. The teaching of English: Teaching English as a second language is very popular. There is a demand for teachers of English most of the time due to the fact that English is becoming a universal language.
Furthermore, this is the Internet age and English is the most popular Internet-oriented language everyone wants to learn it, hence the reason for a huge demand in Turkey. However to be successful as an English teacher you’ll need TESOL credentials.
Various Web pages can be of help in searching for the job.

2. Information technology professionals: Various aspects of computer technology are evolving and most companies have gone digital, Computer specialisations such as Web designing, software engineers and designers can get a job without much stress.

3. Internet freelancers: Working on your own from home or office is increasingly popular nowadays. Blogging, writing for online newspapers, youtube videos and vlogging are professions that can bring reasonable income for those that know-how. Smart guys are exploring the internet and making their living conveniently.

4. Working in the real estate sector is generally allows. Engaging in Real Estate jobs such as Real estate agents with the command of English could be an advantage for Interpreters, editors, Operation supervisors etc.


On your quest to living and working in Turkey, especially immigrants coming from developing countries there are two possible options available you can use in realising your goal or aim of relocating to Turkey.

Remember, moving to Turkey is much easier to undertake than many West European countries.

1. OBTAIN A WORK VISA: For any foreigner going to Turkey for employment purposes, the realistic way is to process a work visa from your country of residence before you arrive in Turkey.
These are the possible steps to realise your dream.
Search for employment. The easiest way to secure employment is to try the following ways.
1. Search through the Web.
You can do a personal search on the Internet. There are various links that you can explore to be of assistance in searching.
Weblinks such as:
– ( jobs on this site are listed in English)
– (on this site it’s possible to get some jobs listed in English)
– (this is an important job site in Turkey, job seekers rely on it very often )
– (this is a site that specialises in Istanbul jobs)
– (this is Turkish government employment institute)
– (A leading Real Estate Agent in Turkey)
– Learn4Good (A website tailored towards teaching jobs,

You can use any of the above and others to search if you’re able to get an opening that interest you, endeavour to forward your cv by email to the organisation and be expecting their response.

2. The second alternative is to employ professional job recruiters to assist in the job search. Due to their technical know-how, they may be in a better position to know the current happening in Turkey and the available job vacancies that are better for you.
The drawback is that some of them charge exorbitantly and some are unreliable.

3. Thirdly, you can seek the assistance of relatives or friends living in Turkey or a nearby country to get a job offer for you. Due to their understanding and knowledge of the terrain they can be of great help to secure the job of your choice.

YOUR CURRICULUM VITAE: Please note that the richer your curriculum vitae  (CV) the better your chance of getting a look at by a potential employer, therefore,  be sure you sensibly prepare your cv before post it on the Internet.


If you’re able to secure a job offer, the next hurdle to climb is to obtain a work visa in your country of residence.
It’s not advisable to travel to Turkey without processing a work visa from your country of residence


1. Original copy of the offer of appointment from a company in Turkey
2. Your International passport with at least 6 months validity and unused visa pages.
3. Photocopy of the data page of your international passport.
4. Photocopies of all the documents used in processing the job applied for.
5. Two recently acquired passport sized photographs with white background.
6. Evidence of accommodation arranged by your employer or you.
7. Evidence of flight booking
8. Proof of basic travelling allowance.
9. Health insurance certificate with coverage as stipulated by the embassy.
10. Any other documents as may be required by the embassy.

After the compilation of all the required documents, you’ll need to submit them personally at the nearest Turkish embassy or their representative in your country of residence.
At the point of submission, you must perform the following functions:
1. Pay the visa application processing fee.
2. Pay and submit yourself for biometric fingerprint scans.
3. Obtain an appointment date for the visa interview.

After submission, all other documents required shall be finalised by your potential employer and submitted to the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security within 10 days of your application submission.

Please note that if you obtain a work visa you will not need a residence permit for 90 days, but you must register your presence at a local police department.


The second option we believed is possible for anyone desirable in living and working in Turkey is the adoption of study to stay approach, however, we discovered that the Turkish system did not permit a student to stay after the conclusion of studies
For any graduate student that desire to stay after graduation because you secure a job, the appropriate thing to do is to leave Turkey and apply for a work visa or permit from another country.

This practice notwithstanding, things are taking a new dimension, according to recent online news, and Hurriyet Daily News quoting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, “all foreign students and graduates will receive working permission in Turkey” He stated further that “all students will get health insurance without waiting three months”.
Simply put, the more international students are coming to study full-time in Turkey, the rules that restrict them from staying after studying will definitely relaxed.


Because getting a work visa may be difficult, undertaking full-time studies is the best way to achieve your aim of living and working in Turkey. These are some of the advantages:

1. Getting a student visa is much easier than a work visa at any time.
2. Setting aside time to study is the best preparation for a long-term project of living and working in Turkey.
3. When studying you’re getting familiar with the terrain and be part of the Turkish world.
4. Learning and mastering the language becomes easy because you have more than enough time to mingle.
5. Studying in Turkey will allow you to know exactly the area of employment opportunities and job vacancies in Turkey which you can use to your advantage.
6. If you study with the local language, you will pay very little school fees.
7. The Internet age enables smart guys to work from home legally without interference with their studies, therefore taking care of yourself become easy.
8. Because Turkey’s education is well recognised outside the border you may decide to relocate to a nearby west or east European country.

9. Due to the fact that Turkey is a Euroasia country while undergoing studies in Turkey, and you processes a student Visa,  you’re free to travel to most of the surrounding European, Arab and Asian countries to explore available opportunities.  The choice is yours.

If you choose the Study to stay approach, bear in mind that you have to process a student visa from your country of residence.
This is how to go about it:
1. Search for a recognised institution of higher learning in Turkey that can lead you to your desired employment in future (Avoid as much as possible anyhow school or course of studies that may lead to nothing)  The best option you can deploy to tackle this is to employ the service of a well-connected agent, They are in a good position to find a good and affordable school for you. Luckily,  there are colleges in Turkey that teach in English.
2. Get the school’s offer of admission.

3. If you prepare very well, getting a  Turkish student visa might be easier than processing most European countries student visas.

1. A carefully completed student visa application form duly signed by you.
2. Your International passport with at least 6 months validity.
3. The offer of admission from your chosen University in Turkey.
4. Evidence of payment of School fees ( part or full payment)
5. Letter of a sponsor (if any) and bank account statement of the sponsor.
6. Bank statement of account for the last 6 months duly endorsed by the Bank.
7. All credentials used in processing the University offer of admission.
8. Two recently taken passport-sized photographs with white background.
9. Photocopy of the data page of your international passport.
10. Proof of flight booking.
11. Evidence of accommodation arrangement.
12. Evidence of health insurance.
13. Health certificate, called yellow card.
14. Recently prepared cv plus letter of recommendation.

After the collation of all the required documents, you’re to submit them personally at the nearest Turkish embassy.
Please note the following before submission:
1. Pay the visa application processing fee at the point of submission.
2. Submit yourself for the biometric fingerprint scans at the centre.
3. Enquire if you require a visa interview and a possible date of appointment.

After the submission is waiting for the result if successful prepare yourself for a new life that could lead to living and working in Turkey.
On arrival in Turkey after the conclusion of the normal registration at the University be ready to register with the local police.


Regardless of the option you choose, please note that:
1. Earning or remuneration is lower than what obtains in Scandinavian countries, UK, USA or Canada.

2. Jobs are not easy to come by, therefore it will do you a lot of good if you can learn and be an expert in a certain aspect of information technology.

3. Turkey is a bridge between Europe and Asia, if you do not focus, a sojourn to an adjacent country could be a distraction.

4. Regardless of her EU focus, Turkey is 99% a Muslim country, although a modern and advanced nation, they take their religious beliefs seriously therefore when you’re there study the system and be ready to celebrate the end of Ramadan fasting and two months later, Eid-al-Adha.

5. Finally, in your quest for living and working in Turkey, you have to consider the issue of the cost of living in Turkey. As long as you avoid big cities such as Istanbul, the cost of living is generally cheaper in Turkey compare to most Western European countries.
According to Antalya homes “Undoubtedly, the cost of living in Turkey is a driving factor that helps ex-pats decide whether they should move here permanently”.

6. Undoubtedly,  the biggest advantage in choosing to live and working in Turkey is that generally, Turkey is a highly accommodating and friendly country ready to welcome legal foreign nationals, you’re free to go about your daily functions without fears of intimidation, molestation, discrimination or harassment from any quarter.

That’s all for now on living and working in Turkey, the choice is yours.


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