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Moving to the UK from Turkey

Relocating from Turkey to the UK

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, around 127,000 Turkish nationals live permanently in the UK. Turks from other parts of Europe have also moved to the UK, including from Cyprus, Algeria, and Germany. Many Turkish nationals choose to come to the UK to join family members, find work and study at a British university. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about moving from Turkey to the UK, including the legal requirements, the cost of living, the steps to take before making the move to the UK, and answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about moving as a Turkey citizen to the UK.

Moving to the UK from Turkey benefits

The UK offers enormous benefits for Turkish nationals who wish to relocate here, including:

  • An excellent transport system which makes it easy to travel around the UK and internationally.
  • A strong economy.
  • Availability of a wide range of well-paid jobs.
  • Low levels of business administration and ‘red tape’.
  • Rich history and culture (e.g. museums, arts, and music)
  • Stunning scenery, villages, mountains, hills, lakes, and countryside, and
  • Some of the best schools and universities in the world, such as Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, St Andrews, and University College London (UCL).

Transforming Lives: Real Stories of Client Satisfaction

"This was my first application for a marriage visa. A Y & J helped me through it, making me feel at ease with the process. Very quick replies on e-mails & assistance provided by Imad and Silvia was excellent. Truly could not have had a better experience. Would absolutely recommend them if assistance required."

Filip Roszyk

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"Just received my brp 2 days ago! My experience with A Y & J Solicitors was absolutely amazing. The whole process was very smooth and seamless. They were very quick and clear in their communication and responses. Special thanks to Elaha and Todd for handling my case. I knew I was in good hands with them taking care of my visa"

Figo Aranta

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"I cannot express enough how exceptional my experience with AJ and Y Solicitors has been. After being told by three prominent firms that it was impossible to obtain my Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) within three weeks, AJ and Y Solicitors not only made it possible but exceeded all my expectations by achieving it in just three weeks! Sunny, my solicitor, demonstrated unparalleled expertise and dedication throughout the process. His meticulous attention to detail and deep understanding of immigration law were evident in every interaction. Sunny’s proactive approach and commitment to my case were truly remarkable, leaving no stone unturned to ensure a successful outcome. Todd, another invaluable member of the team, was equally amazing. He went above and beyond to secure the appointment I needed, showcasing exceptional organisational skills and a relentless drive to help clients. Todd’s ability to navigate through complex administrative hurdles with ease and efficiency made a significant difference in the entire process. The team at AJ and Y Solicitors worked tirelessly and with utmost professionalism to achieve what others deemed impossible. Their client-focused approach, coupled with their extensive knowledge and expertise, sets them apart in the field of immigration law. I am immensely grateful for their outstanding service and cannot recommend them highly enough. If you are seeking a firm that delivers results with speed, precision, and a personal touch, look no further than AJ and Y Solicitors. They have truly transformed my experience and provided me with a level of service that goes beyond exceptional. Thank you, AJ and Y Solicitors, for your incredible support and for making the impossible, possible in just three weeks!"

Mirirai Nyoni

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"Very good and serious!"

Anghel Niculae

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"I am absolutely thrilled to write this review for Silvia, Imaad and the team at A Y & J SOLICITORS. Their expertise and dedication were instrumental in securing my visa, and I cannot thank them enough. From our very first consultation, Silvia and Imaad demonstrated a deep understanding of the visa application process and provided clear, concise guidance tailored to my specific situation. Their professionalism and attention to detail gave me confidence throughout the entire journey. Communication was outstanding, Silvia was always prompt in responding to my questions and kept me informed at every step. They were patient and supportive, ensuring that all my documents were perfectly in order and that I understood every aspect of my application. What truly sets Silvia apart is their personal touch and genuine care for their clients. They went above and beyond to ensure my application was as strong as possible, and their hard work and dedication truly paid off. Thanks to Silvia and the team's exceptional service, my visa application was successful. I highly recommend A Y & J Solicitors to anyone in need of immigration services—they are truly the best in the business. Thank you once again for making this process smooth and successful! Best regards, Kashif Raza"

Kashif Raza

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"AY & J Solicitors boasts a team of highly knowledgeable and experienced legal professionals. Throughout my engagement, I found their advice to be precise, insightful, and well-informed. Jai & Amy (solicitors) I interacted with were not only experts in their fields but also displayed a high level of professionalism and integrity. And of course, we got a positive result from Home Office in one day."

Zubair Ikhlaq

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As a Turkish national, you will need to apply for a visa to emigrate to the UK. The exact legal requirements that you will need to meet as a Turkish national moving to the UK will depend on the type of visa you apply for, as set out below.

UK Skilled Worker visa

The UK Skilled Worker visa is the most popular visa for Turkish nationals wishing to work in the UK. The Skilled Worker visa enables citizens of Turkey to live and work in the UK for up to five years, at which point it is possible to apply for an extension or permanent settlement. To get permanent settlement in the UK, applicants must have spent 5 continuous years in the UK on a work visa.

In terms of the requirements for a Skilled Worker visa, you must have a job offer for an eligible occupation from a UK employer who holds a valid sponsor licence. You must also meet the minimum salary requirement of £38,700 per year (or the ‘going rate’ for your occupation) for your new job. This salary threshold may be lower if you have a PhD, a job on the UK government’s immigration salary list, or you are a new entrant to the job market. Finally, you must also meet the English Language requirements, normally by passing an approved English language exam.

UK Student visa

To apply for a Student visa to attend a British university, college, or school as a national of Turkey, you must be 16 years or older and have been offered a place on a course by an educational provider who can sponsor you in the UK. You must also have enough funds to support yourself and meet the English language requirements.

If you want to continue your education (e.g. a masters degree), you can apply to further extend your Student visa. If you plan to stay in the UK once your course ends to find employment, you can then apply for a Graduate visa, which will allow you to remain in the UK for a further 2 years. If you secure employment, you can then switch to a work visa, or if you get married or enter into a civil partnership, you can apply for a UK family visa.

UK Innovator Founder visa

The UK Innovator Founder visa is a great option for Turkish entrepreneurs who wish to establish a new business venture in the UK. Holders of an Innovator Founder visa can gain permanent settlement in the UK after just 3 years, as opposed to the more normal 5 years. To apply, you must be 18 years or older, have a plan for a new, unique, viable, and scalable business, and have this endorsed by an approved endorsing body in the UK.

Family visa

If you have a close family member who is a permanent resident of the UK, you can apply for a family visa. Your family member must be your partner or spouse, parent, or child. You must meet the income requirement (e.g. combined income of £29,000 if applying to join your spouse). In addition, you must meet the English language requirement. If your family visa is granted, you will be able to stay for up to 5 years and then gain British citizenship.

How to set up your finances in the UK?

One of the first steps in setting up your finances in the UK is opening a UK bank account. UK banks will require proof of your identity and your permanent UK address, so it is easier to open a new account when you get here. When it comes to transferring funds from Turkey to the United Kingdom, you can do this through your UK bank or by using specialist money transfer services such as OFX and Wise. It is vital that you use a reputable money transfer service and check that any fees and the exchange rate are competitive.

Once in the UK, you will also need to apply for a National Insurance (NI) number before you start working. And in terms of tax, if you are employed, you simply need to provide your NI number to your employer. With this information, they will then make sure that any tax you owe is automatically collected and paid to the government through the ‘Pay As You Earn’ (PAYE) system.

Get in touch with our immigration experts for help with your move to the UK from Turkey

What is the cost of living in the UK?

The cost of living in the UK is around 45% more than in Turkey, according to the cost of living comparison website Numbeo. When rent is taken into account, this difference rises to 50%. Restaurant prices in Turkey are 54.4% lower than in the United Kingdom, and grocery prices are 44.1% lower.

While prices may be higher in the UK, remember that the wages on offer may be higher than in Turkey. In addition, the cost of living differs considerably depending on where you live. Rent prices in central London can be extremely expensive, whereas living in a small village or town is generally much more affordable. This is why it is essential to properly research where you would like to live and the cost of living in each area before you move to the UK.

Emigrating to the UK from Turkey – Checklist

As experts in UK immigration, we understand just how daunting it can be to move to another country with a different language and culture. However, by taking the following important steps, you can make the whole process as simple and straightforward as possible:

  • Research all of the visa options available to you before you apply. If you are unsure of the best route for you, we recommend speaking to a UK immigration Solicitor about your plans and goals for moving to the UK.
  • Before applying for a work visa, secure a job offer from a UK employer.
  • Shortlist a couple of areas where you would like to live, such as England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. If possible, visit your shortlisted areas before making your decision.
  • Draw up a realistic and detailed budget spreadsheet including your expected income after tax and the current cost of groceries, car insurance, council tax, transport, electricity, and heating. If you are unsure about these costs, speak to someone you know who lives here.
  • Work out your moving costs, including transport, removal costs, and rent deposit, etc. Include the cost of your visa and any additional costs, such as the healthcare surcharge (to enable you to access the National Health Service in the UK).
  • Speak to some schools in your chosen area to determine if they have any space for your child/ren.
  • Check how long it will take to travel to work and how much this will cost.

What is a Self-Sponsored Route?

The UK Self-sponsorship route allows Turkish nationals to move to the UK without the need to apply for and secure a job. Being self-sponsored means you set up and run your own business in the UK and then sponsor yourself. At AY&J, our expert team of immigration law specialists can explain how to make a successful self-sponsorship application and guide you through the process, from the application to securing your visa. Self-sponsorship also allows you to settle indefinitely in the UK after a number of continuous years in the UK and later gain British citizenship.

Emigrating to the UK as a non-Turkish national

If you are a non-Turkish national living in Turkey, you will need to apply for a visa to live, work, study or join family members in the UK. Our friendly and knowledgeable UK Immigration Solicitors can explain the immigration routes available to you based on your unique circumstances and those of your immediate family.

Joining UK Family Members as a Non-Turkish National

If you are a non-Turkish national and wish to join your partner, spouse, parent, or child living here in the UK, you will need to apply for a Family visa. To apply, your family member in the UK must be a British citizen, a person with indefinite leave to remain, an EU/EEA national who started living in the UK before 1st January 2021 or has refugee status in the UK. If your family visa is granted, you will be able to join your family member/s in the UK and gain permanent settlement after 5 years of continuous residence. Furthermore, you can apply for British citizenship one year after securing permanent residency.


What documents and information do I need to move to the UK from Turkey?

The documents you need to move to the UK from Turkey will depend on the type of visa you apply for. For example, to relocate from Turkey to the UK for work, you will need:

  • A valid Turkish passport
  • Evidence of a job offer for an eligible occupation
  • A Certificate of Sponsorship and
  • A bank statement showing that you have enough funds to support yourself and your immediate family members.

These are just some of the documents that you may need to relocate from Turkey to the UK. Your immigration advisor will provide you with a complete list of all the documents that you will need based on your chosen visa type. You may also need to have your documents translated into English.

Do Turkish citizens need sponsorship to work in the UK?

Yes, to work in the UK as a Turkish national, you must be sponsored by a UK employer. Alternatively, you may be able to consider the self-sponsorship route as explained above.

What should I consider before moving back to the UK from Turkey?

If you are a British ex-pat moving back to the UK from Turkey, consider your employment, banking arrangements, and credit rating. You may have lost some of your credit rating if you have been outside the UK for many years, making it harder to borrow money or get a mortgage. We also advise speaking to an accountant about your tax arrangements. If you have lived in Turkey for more than 5 years, you may need to meet different rules for income and capital gains tax. Finally, check whether you will need to ‘top up’ your national insurance contributions so that you are eligible for a UK state pension.

Moving from Turkey to the UK requirements

Please see the legal requirements for moving from Turkey to the UK above.

Can you move to the UK from Turkey?

Yes, however, Turkish citizens and their family members normally require a visa to live in the UK. Please see the visa options explained above.

Are Turkish citizens allowed to work in the UK?

Yes, you can work in the UK as a Turkish national, but you will need a job offer from a sponsoring employer, a certificate of sponsorship, and a work visa granted by the UK Home Office. Alternatively, you can come here on a family visa, which will also allow you to work.

Applying for a UK visa from Turkey

As a citizen of Turkey, you can apply for a visa online through the UK’s Home Office website. You will need to fully complete the application form, pay any required fees, and submit any documents required to support your case. You will also need to meet the requirements for the type of visa you are applying for. An immigration law specialist based in the UK can handle all of this on your behalf.

How long can a Turkish citizen stay in the UK?

The length of time you can spend in the UK will depend on the type of visa you hold:

  • Work visas last up to 5 years
  • Student visas typically last for the duration of the course, but holders can then apply for a Graduate visa to stay in the UK for a further 2 years to find work.
  • A family visa can be issued for up to 5 years.

Most UK visas offer a route to permanent settlement after 5 years.

What is the cost of living in the UK?

Please see the cost of living section above.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

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Our Immigration Solicitors Will Help You with Visa Approval So You Can Pursue Your Aspirations of moving to the UK.

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Explore your UK immigration options

Our Immigration Solicitors Will Help You with Visa Approval So You Can Pursue Your Aspirations of moving to the UK.

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