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Living and Working in Turkey

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Living and Working in Turkey

If you're thinking about joining the over 14,000 U.K. residents who have purchased property in Turkey, you might be interested in landing a full or part-time job to keep your bank account replenished. Well, if that's the case, I've got good news and bad.

Good News: It is sometimes possible to land a job in Turkey.

Bad News: There are not a lot of jobs available for foreigners and there is plenty of bureaucratic red tape to be sorted out before you'll ever see your first pay check. On top of that, wages are low and unemployment is high.

The Turkish government restricts the types of jobs that foreigners may fill, and that list of restrictions is pretty extensive. Most professional positions, such as Doctor, Nurse, Solicitor, Accountant, and Stock Broker, are not available to foreigners. Surprisingly, many everyday types of jobs, such as bartender, labourer, waiter or waitress, and even driving positions are also off-limits to non-Turkish citizens. Fortunately, foreigners are permitted to work in the property industry, and many do.

If you're not frightened off yet, let's discuss the red tape and see how you feel after that.

Required Work Permits and Visas

The process of landing a job begins with obtaining a Work Permit. In Turkey, a Work Permit is more like a promise of employment in that you can't apply for one on your own. Your prospective employer has to apply on your behalf. Of course, this means that you have to have a job already lined up before you can take your next step.

That next step is actually two steps. First, after receiving a Work Permit, you have to apply for a Work Visa. Once you receive a Work Visa you then must apply for a Residence Permit within thirty days after you arrive in Turkey.

How long does all of this take? Expect to spend at least six weeks or more (figure on more) for all of the paperwork to be reviewed. Understand that each step is a separate process and there is no guarantee that you'll ultimately receive a Work Visa or a Residence Permit that authorizes you to work in Turkey, even if you were lucky enough to receive a Work Permit to begin with. Don't even think about trying to work in Turkey without the proper documentation.

Your Tourist Visa does not give you the right to work in Turkey, nor does it give you the right to start your own business there. If you are interested in starting a business of your own in Turkey, you can find more information on the subject, including all of the additional bureaucratic red tape, by visiting this web site

If you do manage to land a job in Turkey, you can expect a work environment similar to what you would encounter in Mexico or the Caribbean. It's a laid-back “ mañana ” lifestyle where things don't happen quickly and “Type A” personalities are the exception to the rule.

So if you're tired of the U.K. rat race, and you're willing to slow down to the Turkish pace, it just might be worth jumping through the hoops and doing what it takes to work in Turkey.



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