Immigration. Travel. Living.

Finding a job in Turkmenia as an expat

In comparison to most of the rest of Central Asia, Turkmenistan is a very attractive country in which to reside. Since Turkmenistan very recently won its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the country is still getting used to the idea of being a sovereign nation. The country is home to a wealth of natural resources, which could hasten its ascent to the preeminent position in the region.

a view of a city from a tall building

Following closely after cotton, one of the most important agricultural products produced in the nation is wheat. Despite the government’s monopoly on the banking and insurance industries, there are opportunities for non-native investors to participate in the energy industry. This is true even though the country places a significant amount of importance on the natural gas resources it possesses.

The Ministry of Education oversees and coordinates Turkmenistan’s educational system. Turkmenistan is pushing quickly to improve its education levels in recent years. Turkmen students no longer pay tuition at the Agricultural University in Dashoguz or the Military Academy in Ashgabad, two new universities.

Turkmenistan is home to 23 educational institutions that are considered to be of a higher learning level, and following its renovation in 2007, the Turkmen Academy of Sciences is now home to post-graduate programs. Every year, there are just a few openings available, and the organization has a strict limit on the number of spots it may make available to its members.

Economic overview

The government of Turkmenistan has not only been quick to express its gratitude for the unexpected windfall of natural gas, but it has also taken measures to ensure that the recent economic growth can be maintained and will not be followed by cycles of boom and bust.

For the time being, the energy sector is the place where the majority of employment opportunities for expats can be found. However, the construction industry will inevitably become more vital as the nation develops.

Even though Turkmenistan has been independent of the Soviet Union for the past 25 years, Russia continues to receive a significant amount of the country’s resources. Nevertheless, the completion of the Korpezhe-Kurt Kui Pipeline, which is the first of Turkmenistan’s pipelines that do not traverse into Russian territory, is a reflection of the country’s growing economic confidence.

Foreign investors have traditionally shied away from Turkmenistan; however, this trend is gradually shifting, which is fostering the growth of the nation’s economy and contributing to its overall development.

Job hunting in Turkmenistan

The energy sector in Turkmenistan provides the largest chances for foreigners, with the oil and natural gas sectors expanding quickly over the past few years as development has accelerated. Around 1,700 people are employed by Petrofac, one of Turkmenistan’s major employers, and many of them are involved in the vast Galkynysh gas field project, which is estimated to be worth more than 3.4 billion USD.

Numerous jobs can also be found in Avaza, a sizable construction project close to Turkmenbashi where a new international airport is being planned. Dozens of top hotels are also part of the development, which has been likened to Dubai’s expansion as a major expat hub.

Because Turkmenistan lacks a large media sector and a national job board, the best place to hunt for work is online. Oil and Gas Job Search and Rigzone are two of the best websites for energy jobs in Turkmenistan. 

Work permits for Turkmenistan

People who wish to move to Turkmenistan for work purposes are required to receive a letter of invitation from their prospective employers to apply for a work visa. A visa valid for 10 days and one admission costs $35, whereas a visa valid for twelve months and multiple entries costs $515.

It is recommended to make preparations for visas and work permits before traveling to Turkmenistan because delays caused by a lack of documents may result in incarceration upon arrival in the country.

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