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Living abroad guide

Find information that suits your needs or interests: visa procedures, find a job abroad, accommodation... Expats share info, tips and advice with you.

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Generalities

General information
  • Turkey is known as a tourist hub for its economic, cultural and religious backgrounds. It has both breathtaking landscapes and a fascinating history.

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  • Located in Central Europe, Germany is a major destination for expatriates worldwide because of its prosperous and stable economic and political situation.

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  • Alicante is one of Spain's main tourism destinations. Its different neighborhoods and its architecture depict its rich cultural and historical heritage.

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  • Spain, located in Southern Europe, is one of the most popular worldwide expat destinations due to its diverse culture, mild climate and successful economy.

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  • Belize, located in Central America, stretches over some 22,966 km2. Its population amounts to more than 350 000 inhabitants. It has a prosperous economy.

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Formalities

Visas, passports and entry requirements
  • If you and your future-spouse share the same foreign nationality, you can be married by either Turkish officials or your own officials at your embassy.

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  • EU and EEA members will not need a visa, nor will those who are nationals of a 100 or so other countries that are visa exempt.

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  • There are different procedures to get married in Singapore, depending on both your and your spouses residency statuses.

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  • Marriage procedures and formalities in Spain are quite simple. You can seek all related information with Spanish authorities in your home country.

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Visas

Work visas, work permits, working holiday visas and residence permits
  • To stay in Turkey for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a more long-term permit within 30 days of arriving in the country.

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  • Whether you wish to study or work in Turkey, you will have to apply for an appropriate visa, be it a student visa, tourist visa, or work visa.

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  • EU citizens do not require a visa to work in Germany, but will need to apply for a residency permit upon arrival. Non-EU nationals will need a work permit.

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  • If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country, you will not need a Spanish work visa. Otherwise, you will require a visa that should be renewed annually.

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  • Citizens of certain countries are exempt from visa requirement to travel to Belize if they intend to remain in the country for less than 30 days.

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Work

Labour market, how to find a job
  • Before looking for a job in Turkey, it is important that you inquire on its labor market and employment conditions for foreigners.

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  • Sevilla's economy was badly affected by the 2008 economic crisis and many people remain unemployed. However it is possible for expats to find work.

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  • Although Malaga was affected by the 2008 economic crisis, expats can still find a job. However, there is a high level of unemployment.

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  • If you want to further your work experience, you may want to do an internship in Turkey. If so, there are many international firms offering internships.

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  • More and more foreigners are tempted to settle in Turkey in order to set up their own business. The market is rather open to foreign investments.

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Accommodation

How to rent a house or an apartment, leases and rental agreements
  • The German capital city of Berlin offers a wide range of housing at affordable prices for expatriates in most neighbourhoods.

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  • Stuttgart, which is found in the Baden-Wuerttemberg region, offers expats scenic surroundings and a range of accommodation options at affordable prices.

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  • Cologne, which is one of Germany's major cities, has many lively and modern neighborhoods which are ideal for expatriates.

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  • You shall not have much difficulty in finding affordable accommodation if you are planning to settle in Dresden, which is found in Saxony.

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  • Frankfurt is one of the more expensive German cities thanks to its rich culture and high population density. Finding accommodation may be time-consuming.

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Study

Student visa, University registration
  • Though the English language is widely used, it will obviously be helpful to familiarise yourself with the Turkish language if you are moving to Turkey.

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  • If you are looking for a school for your child or looking into further education, Turkey offers a range of options.

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  • What are the advantages of starting your higher studies in Germany ? How to proceed ? What are the granted scholarships ?

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  • Student living in Germany can be very fulfilling. The country has good higher education institutions as well as strong cultural appeal.

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  • Different types of visas apply to foreigners wishing to study in Germany. However, formalities differ for European Union and non-European Union nationals.

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Health care

Public and private health systems
  • Turkey has a developed health care system, including quality services and facilities. Foreigners can easily access to these in times of need.

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  • Germany offers quality health care services at all levels, whether private or public, but foreigners have to subscribe to health insurance beforehand.

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  • Health care in Spain is free of charge, except for dental care services. Expats are also required to contribute to the social security service.

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  • There are both public and private healthcare options available in Belize, but if you have a pre-existing condition you should seek information beforehand.

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  • Singapore has private and public hospitals and clinics. Healthcare services are excellent.

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Bank

Open and manage a bank account
  • Turkey hosts many national and international banks. Hence, foreigners can easily open a bank account provided they have necessary documents.

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  • To open a bank account in Germany, you will need a valid passport and a residency certificate. Procedures are rather simple and should not take long.

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  • Spanish residents and non-residents are allowed to open a bank account in the country. Non-residents, however, have to produce a non-resident certificate.

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  • Belize has several national and international banks where you can open an account. However, the process of opening an account can be complicated.

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  • There are many personal banking options in Singapore and the procedure for opening an account is quite straightforward.

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Tax

Tax system, income tax
  • Turkey has one of the Middle-East's most competitive tax systems. However, income tax, corporate tax, value added tax and wealth tax may apply.

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  • German income tax is deducted on a pay-as-you-earn basis. If your original country has a double taxation agreement with Germany, you must pay income tax.

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  • There are several taxes that are applied in Spain, including income tax and VAT. You could be eligible for deductions or rebates in some cases.

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  • Belize is known as a 'tax haven' with a favourable tax system. However, there are numerous applicable taxes including income tax and business tax.

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  • Income tax is deducted at the source in Singapore, with non-residents paying up to 20% tax. If you work for less than 60 days, you may be exempt.

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Transports

Train, bus, plane, car rental
  • Inexpensive public transport is available in Turkish cities (such as buses, trams and metros. You can also take a taxi to your destination.

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  • Various means of transports are available in Turkey: airlines, trains, buses, etc. You may choose from these depending on your trips.

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  • Germany has an extensive public transport network which will allow you to travel comfortably from one city to another, or to neighbouring countries.

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  • Spain has various means of transport for all trips. Public transports such as buses, trains and subways are very popular, especially in urban areas.

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  • Berlin, the German capital city, has an extensive public transport network which consists of trains, subways, trams, buses. Rates are affordable.

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Driver's licence

Driving requirements
  • Drivers from certain countries may drive in the UAE with an official translation of their licence. Others will need an Emirati or international licence.

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  • There is a wide road network in Turkey, and expats can use their licence from their country of origin for the first 6 months.

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  • EU/ EEA nationals may drive in Germany with their national driver's licence, while non-EU/EEA citizens may do so for up to six months only.

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  • Citizens from European Union countries are allowed to drive in Spain with their national driver's licence, while others will need to exchange theirs.

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  • You can drive in Belize with an international driver's licence. For long stays, you must obtain a national driver's license.

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Removal

moving, formalities and useful tips
  • If you are moving to Turkey, you will likely want to take your belongings with you. In this case, it is good to consult a moving company in advance.

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  • It is best to hire relocation experts if you intend to move to Germany and need to transport your belongings

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  • Relocating to Spain requires appropriate planning. It is better to hire removal experts who will take care of all related formalities on your behalf.

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  • It is best to hire international movers when relocating to Belize. You will also require a customs broker once your things arrive in Belize.

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  • If you have decided to settle in the United Kingdom, you should hire international removal experts. They will take care of related formalities.

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Communications

Phone line, internet provider, post office
  • Turkey enjoys wide telecommunications coverage. You can access phone and internet networks almost everywhere in the country.

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  • Germany has a well-developed communications network with numerous types of connection on offer at affordable prices. Free wi-fi can be hard to come by.

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  • Although the landline market remains monopolised by a state operator, Germany has several mobile service providers. Coverage varies between providers.

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  • Spain has a highly competitive telephony market with land line and mobile phone service providers. Various types of services are available.

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  • Spain has a well-developed telecommunications network. There are a range of connectivity options if you are looking to get on in the internet in Spain.

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Leisure

Sports, leisure and cultural activities
  • Turkish cuisine is based on sharing-plates of flavourful dishes, and Turkish coffee is internationally renowned. Dining is a social experience in Turkey.

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  • You can indulge in various leisure activities in Berlin. Enjoy your afternoons and week-ends by discovering its historical, cultural and natural wonders.

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  • Spain has a unique mix of culture thanks to its rich history. It also successfully combines historic tradition with modernism in many aspects of life.

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  • Germany offers a wide range of leisure activities. During your stay there, you can discover its numerous museums, monuments, forests and nature parks, etc.

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Miscellaneous

  • Turkey has numerous options to keep your child occupied, from day care centres to all manner of entertainment options.

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  • The Turkish population is world famous for its culture and hospitality. Hence, you should not have much trouble in adapting to their lifestyle.

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  • Pets are generally welcome in Germany, provided you complete all the required formalities. It is important to check EU requirements before you travel

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  • You are allowed to bring 2 pets (cats, dogs or birds), or 10 aquarium fish with you when travelling to Turkey. All pets must have an identification device.

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  • Tourists and expatriates wishing to travel to Spain are advised to inquire on authorised and banned products beforehand. Some may be imported duty free.

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