How to Open a Bank Account in Turkey as a Foreigner?
One might need a bank account in a foreign country for various reasons. And when this is the case, a bit of research is required for a straightforward and smooth process. If you are in Turkey as a foreigner and need a bank account to manage financials, payments, or any other reason, you need to learn how this process works first.
Additionally, knowing how opening a bank account works will help you to collect the necessary documents. At the end of the day, if you have a missing document, it would not be possible for you to open a bank account. Moreover, the necessities of modern life typically require people to have a bank account, regardless of where they are. So, it might be plausible to learn about the steps of getting a bank account in Turkey even if you do not need it urgently.
Lastly, if you were to open a bank account in Turkey without prior research, the language barrier might be a huge problem. Even if the person knows English, due to some misunderstandings, your bank account can cause you problems.
So, for whatever reason you need a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner, it would be a plausible idea to read this guide first, and take the necessary steps.
Opening a Bank Account in Turkey as a Foreigner
With or without a residence permit, any foreigner in Turkey can open a bank account with the necessary documents. The first thing you would want to do to open a bank account is to decide on a bank. All banks in Turkey offer accounts for foreigners, and there are no restrictions. The bank choice is entirely up to you.
After you decide on a bank, the next step is to get the necessary documents. The necessary documents for foreigners with a residence permit are the official residence/work permit or temporary protection ID. Address document is also required, which includes a utility bill, a rental contract, or ID register copy.
If you are not a Turkey resident, you will need different documents since you do not have a residence or work permit. The documents you need as a foreigner without a residence permit in Turkey are your potential tax ID number (taken from the tax office), a valid passport, and a utility bill or a rental contract which is a translated copy of an official document that shows the address.
If you are opening a bank account in Turkey as a company, you need to obtain a tax identification number. Additionally, a corporate bank account can only be obtained by a director who has signing authority. For a corporate bank account, the following documents are necessary:
- Tax ID number
- Application form
- Proof of the company’s registered address
- The company’s Articles of Association
To get the documents necessary for opening a bank account, you first need to submit an address paper. Next, you need to go to the tax office with your passport (you need to be there, someone else cannot do this step for you) to get a tax ID number for foreigners. Getting a tax ID number is completely free and can be done quite quickly if there is no line to wait in the tax office.
After you get your documents, the only thing left is to go to a bank and open an account. Some banks offer opening an account through their website. Regardless of how you want to open your account, the personnel or the website directions will help you through the way. Most of the banks use English and Arabic for those who do not speak Turkish.
Types of Bank Accounts in Turkey
Another thing you might want to know about bank accounts in Turkey is the type of bank account. There are several different bank accounts in Turkey, and you need to know what they are to choose the best option for you.
The first type of bank account you need to know is called the “current account.” A current account is a non-term account where you can deposit, withdraw, or transfer available funds whenever you want. You can think of the current account just as a place where you put your money and transfer it when needed. You do not get any profit or any debt with a current account. If you have a Turkish current account, the following are the things you can do with it:
- Direct debit payments
- Installment payments
- Repayment of loans and credit cards
- Money transfer
- Forex trading orders and gold
- Checkbook transactions
- Paying bills
- Paying taxes, medical insurance, and social security
- Foreign currency transactions
An important thing to note about the current account is that it is impossible to pay for foreign currency cheques.
Credit Card Account
The next type of bank account you need to know is a credit card account. It is important to understand the logic of credit card account in Turkey, especially since it is not the same as the credit card idea in the West.
With a current account, one cannot go shopping or do online transactions. On the other hand, a credit card account can do everything that a current account can do, in addition to being used on shopping and especially online transactions. Unlike the West credit card, the money is not on loan to you in Turkey credit card accounts.
You can open a credit card account with a minimum limit of 1000 TL. What that means is this: you can go shopping, make payments with the 1000 TL limit of the credit card. Then, when it is time, you need to pay for the money you spend from that limit.
Gold Savings Account
Another type of bank account in Turkey is a gold savings account. This sort of account is open for an extended period of time, and in fact, it is indefinite and allows you to evaluate your savings in the form of gold.
This type of account is typically used for savings without deflating risk to your currency value. Moreover, you can buy and sell gold anytime you want with a gold savings account. The following are the features of a gold saving account:
- The minimum transaction is typically 0.01 grams of gold.
- The account retains gold with a purity of 995/1000.
- You get a certificate of the saved gold in banks where the actual gold buying and selling are available.
- You can write gold checks and convert gold via bank transfer with the gold in your existing gold account.
Other Types of Bank Accounts
Besides those three types of bank accounts, Turkey banks offer other accounts such as insurance, temporary interest, or participatory accounts. Most foreigners in Turkey typically open a current account or a credit card account since they are in the country temporarily.