Immigration. Travel. Living.

Finding a job in Turkey as an expat

Located between Europe and Asia, Turkey is a nation rich in diverse culture and heritage. A center of beautiful architecture, natural parks, et cetera, it’s serene attracts many foreigners to dwell within its territory. Despite the pandemic, the country’s economy continues to expand at a fast-growing rate. Thanks to its developing economy, there are lots of Turkish job opportunities for expats aside from teaching and the tourism industry. Despite the high rate of unemployment, there is a demand for workers in the construction and agriculture industries, as their exports are major contributors to the country’s GDP. The capital city is the nation’s employment hub and the focal point of Turkish business.

Flag of Turkey

If you are a foreigner thinking of relocating, seeking a job opportunity in this country, or a student hoping to work while studying, this article provides information on finding work as an expat. 

Jobs available for expats

The following are industries with jobs available to expats: engineering, finance, IT, sales, etc. Due to certain restrictions, international applicants are not allowed to work in the legal, medical, and mining sectors. However, there is work for expats looking to teach English or work in the tourism industry. A gateway between Europe and Asia, graduates can find work through big European companies like Marks & Spencer, HSBC, Vodafone, and BP. 

Finding work as an expat

This is a simple yet difficult process. The first step is to acquire confirmation of work from an employer before securing a work permit upon arrival in the country. Foreigners can sign up on Adecco Turkey, an agency that sends regular updates about short-term positions to users. Expats can find jobs on the following sites:

  • iSKUR
  • Jobs In Istanbul
  • Totaljobs 
  • iAgora
  • Learn4Good

Teaching jobs for foreigners

TEFL teachers are in demand across the country, especially in large cities such as Istanbul, Izmir, etc. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, a TEFL course certificate, and work experience, an expat can apply for a teaching position. Foreigners can find teaching jobs via the following sites: Go Overseas – Teach English in Turkey, i-to-i, International TEFL Academy, Teach Away,, etc.

Internship for expats

Internship opportunities can mostly be found in Istanbul where global companies like Google, Red Bull, Vodafone, and Colgate-Palmolive are based. IAESTE is an organization that provides internships for students studying in scientific and technical fields. Although most internships are unpaid, some employers provide free accommodation and monthly allowances for their interns. 

Turkish visas

Any foreign national looking for long-term work requires a work permit before coming to the country. There are various types of work permits based on the kind of work one does. Permits for working expats are issued via businesses for specific positions and have a duration of six months but may be extended up to six years. An expat requires a work permit to start an internship here, this can be applied for at a Turkish consulate in his or her home country.

Language requirements

With very few English speakers in the state, English happens to be an important criterion for hiring foreigners. Although it is the common means of communication in big cities, foreigners who cannot speak Turkish will struggle to reside here. There is no Turkish proficiency test for expats but having a good grasp of the language before relocating will not only increase an expat’s chances of landing a good job but ensure a comfortable stay. For foreigners looking for TEFL employment, there is a need to be fluent in English with only a grasp of Turkish. 

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