Suppose you are an international student seeking to study in Turkey. In that case, you may have been asked to prove that you have sufficient funds or financial resources to sustain your life in the country you will stay in during your short-term residency. This is also often a prerequisite to getting a visa, whether a student or not.
You can show that you have the necessary financial means via a blocked bank account.
Here is everything you need to know about blocked accounts and what you might need to open one in Turkey.
What Is a Blocked Account?
A blocked account, Sperrkonto in German, is a particular bank account required by migration laws for international students to apply for a visa or get a residence permit.
Under German law, this account stores a deposit of money the government requires from international students as proof of financial resources to live in the country. The government's money is calculated to cover living expenses for one year.
Similarly, Turkey has recently adopted the German practice, or its interpretation, for residence permits. (It is still not an official requirement, but it may benefit your case.) Consider including your contract for freelancing work, which details your compensation, etc.
Hence, having a blocked (savings) account in Turkey could be helpful in case you are asked to show proof of adequate funding for your short- or long-term stay.
What Do Turkish Authorities Mean by ‘Adequate Funding’?
According to early 2023 calculations, this amount is estimated to be around TL 12,750, 1.5 times the standard minimum Turkish national wage (TL 8,500).
For each additional member in a family, this minimum requires an extra month of the minimum wage (TL 8,500).
An Example: A single adult must have TL 153,000 (approximately $7,900 USD) in their bank account to obtain a 12-month Turkish residence permit. In turn, a couple would need to show that they have at least TL 255,000 in funding. A couple with a child should expect to have at least TL 357,000 to show as financial proof through a savings account.
So, Applicants must have enough money to show they can support themselves in Turkey in order to obtain a Turkish residence permit. One person requires TL 12,750, two people require at least TR 21,250, and three people require TL 29,750 per month from regular income. Regular income can come from a variety of sources, including employment, pensions, investments, and other sources.
The minimum wage for 2023 is a net of TL 8,500 (8 thousand 500 TL). The above is for illustration purposes only.
How to Show That You Have Sufficient Funds
There are a few essential points to remember when providing documentation to prove you have the financial means to live in Turkey.
If you plan to show proof of sufficient funds from your current employment or pension, you must provide statements from the last three months, along with a remote work contract. A work contract is the best way to prove your employment status and income.
If you are planning to submit proof of sufficient funds through your savings or credit cards, you must provide recent statements from the last six months from a Turkish bank account, each page wet-stamped and signed by an authorized representative.
For example, if you earn a salary from abroad, we recommend that you transfer funds (12,750 TL) to your Turkish account on a monthly basis. This will allow you to provide a Turkish bank statement, which is mandatory in some regions. If you have your salary directly deposited, that's okay, but you should have a copy of your work contract in case you are asked.
We recommend transferring funds through Wise to your Turkish account. This way, you can manage your finances more easily and reduce the risk. Just make a minimum (12,750 TL) transfer each month and then use this account to pay for necessities like rent and utilities.
Here are some additional tips for submitting proof of sufficient funds:
- Make sure that the statements are recent and from a Turkish bank account.
- If you are using a credit card, make sure that the statements show that you have available credit.
- If you are using savings, make sure that the statements show that you have the required amount of funds available.
- Be prepared to provide additional documentation, such as a work contract or a letter from your employer, if requested.
The rule of thumb for proving that you have adequate funding for your stay is still a self-declaration form, which you can see on pages 4-5 here.
For most foreigners, international statements need to be translated and certified by a notary public or apostle. They can be downloaded and printed, and presented as proof of funds from a local or international bank account or credit card statement.
Here are some additional information about the translation and notarization of bank statements:
- Translation: The translation of a bank statement must be certified by a translator who is qualified to translate documents.
- Notarization: The notarization of a bank statement must be done by a notary public who is authorized to notarize documents.
How to Open a Bank Account in Turkey
Although having a bank account is not a requirement for foreigners applying for a visa or residence permit in Turkey, as it may be up to the immigration officer’s discretion during your residence permit appointment, it is best to be prepared to provide additional documents.
Opening a bank account is simple, and you only need a few documents. Head here to read more.
Additionally, check our expat blog if you want to know how to apply for a Turkish residence permit or health insurance.
Drop us a line or give us a call if you would have any questions or would like to speak to an agent for general immigration advice.