Jump to content

About This Club

Welcome to our forum dedicated to all things related to Tourism, Immigration, and Relocation! Here, you'll find a vibrant community of like-minded individuals passionate about exploring new destinations, navigating the intricacies of immigration processes, and making successful transitions to new homes. Our forum is a treasure trove of information, insights, and tips on everything from travel itineraries and cultural experiences to visa applications and job searches. Join us today to connect with experts and enthusiasts alike, and take your journey to the next level! Have any questions about Tourism, Immigration, or Relocation? Ask here!
  1. What's new in this club
  2. TIP: If you want to receive SMS from TBC Bank in English language instead of Georgian, send an SMS with the text "ENG" to the number 2727.
  3. As everyone knows, Airbnb and Booking are very expensive. It's recommended to check renthub.in.th or Facebook listings to find more affordable options. If you know any other good alternatives, please let me know in the comments!
  4. fin.do remitly.com xoom.com xe.com/send-money/ moneygram.com riamoneytransfer.com worldremit.com westernunion.com
  5. For entry into the Philippines, you need: A visa if your country does not have a visa-free arrangement with the Philippines. This can be obtained at the Philippine consulate or embassy in your country. A passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry. A QR code from the eTravel electronic pass at https://etravel.gov.ph/ Important: You can fill out the form no earlier than 5 days before your flight, but you can also do it later, even an hour before departure; it only takes a couple of minutes. Just in case, don't leave it until the last minute and take a screenshot of your QR code, as it will be required at the airport for boarding. Children of any age also must have QR code. Your eTravel QR code can be checked at the check-in counter, and without it, they may refuse boarding. You can refill the form and get a new code if something goes wrong.
  6. Discuss Everything Related to Extending Tourist Visas in the Philippines https://e-services.immigration.gov.ph/ - official Philippine e-services for immigrants and foreigners staying in the country
  7. The Philippines, a tropical paradise, is home to a diverse array of fruits, each with its unique taste, texture, and seasonality. This comprehensive guide explores the variety of fruits available in the Philippines throughout the year, emphasizing their health benefits and cultural significance. January to March Chico (Sapodilla): A brown-skinned fruit around 4-5 cm wide with sweet and grainy brown flesh. Its rich, sweet taste is often compared to brown sugar or caramel. It is a small, sweet fruit rich in antioxidants, iron, calcium, and potassium. Mandarin Orange: A bright orange colored fruit with a thin, easy to peel skin. It has a refreshing sweet and tangy citrus flavor. Segments easily separate for a convenient snack on-the-go. Mandarin orange is high in Vitamins A, B, and C. Caimito (Star Apple): A round, purple-skinned fruit about 5 cm wide with a thick skin and star pattern when sliced. The translucent pulp tastes sweet and mildly acidic, similar to grapes. It helps in digestion and is fibrous with good phosphorus content. April to June Duhat (Java Plum): A small, oval-shaped fruit with thin, deep purple skin and juicy, bittersweet yellow flesh. It is known for aiding in digestion and diabetes management. Mango: An oblong shaped fruit with a thick, smooth yellow/orange skin. The juicy, soft pulp has a sublime tropical flavor, combining sweetness and tartness. Often described as the "king" of Philippine fruits. Mangoes are a significant source of fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin C. Melon: Round or oval shape with thick or netted rind. Its sweet, juicy flesh comes in white, green, orange and other colors. Melon is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and vitamins C & B. Watermelon: A large, oval fruit with thick green rind and sweet, red flesh dotted with black seeds. Hydrating with high water content and rich in vitamins A, C, and antioxidants. Pineapple: Has spiky, green leaves sprouting from golden yellow flesh. The multiple diamond-shaped eyes on the skin must be trimmed. The ripe fruit has an intense sweetness balanced by tangy tropical flavor. Pineapples are good for digestion and bone health. Banana season in the Philippines Banana season in the Philippines is essentially year-round due to the country's tropical climate, which is ideal for banana cultivation. However, the peak production period often occurs from April to June. This is when bananas are most abundant and prices are generally lower due to the higher supply. Remember, though, that specific harvest times can vary slightly depending on the region and the banana variety. July to September Durian: Infamously known for its pungent odor belying its smooth, creamy flesh with bittersweet flavor and hint of almonds. Its thorny outer shell hides rich yellow flesh traditionally considered an aphrodisiac. Durian is nutrient-rich, potentially reducing cancer risk and preventing heart diseases. Lanzones: A round, yellow fruit about 2-3 cm wide with smooth, thin skin surrounding sweet, aromatic white flesh dotted with seeds. High in fiber, aiding in digestive health, and rich in Vitamin A. Rambutan: A round, hairy red and green fruit about 3-6 cm wide. Underneath the leathery peel is translucent, juicy flesh that is sweet and slightly acidic. Loaded with potassium and Vitamin C. Santol: A round, green fruit about 5-7 cm wide with a thick, bitter skin and sweet, juicy white segments. Some studies have found that santol may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. However, more research is needed to verify them. October to December Atis (Sugar Apple): A heart-shaped green fruit about 5 cm wide with knobby, creamy white flesh tasting like custard apple. It is a source of calcium, phosphorus, and fiber, regulating blood pressure and sugar levels. Guyabano (Soursop): An oval green fruit up to 30 cm long with soft spikes on the skin. Its creamy white pulp has a delicate fruity flavor. Soursop is a tropical fruit that has a sweet and sour taste, similar to a combination of pineapple, banana, and citrus. Soursop may have many health benefits, such as: ✅ It is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. ✅ It contains nutrients including vitamins C and B (including thiamin, riboflavin and niacin) as well as minerals: calcium, phosphorus, and iron. ✅ It may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can help relieve pain and swelling. ✅ It may have anticancer effects, as some studies have shown that it can inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells. ❗However, more research is needed to confirm its safety and efficacy in humans. Year-Round Fruits Banana: A long, curved yellow fruit with thick smooth skin and sweet starchy flesh. A superb source of potassium, aiding heart health and digestion. Papaya: Shaped like a pear, it has greenish-orange skin and sweet, musky tasting orange or red flesh with round black seeds inside. Coconuts, a staple in the Filipino diet, are abundant year-round. Shaped like a round brown sphere up to 30 cm wide with thick fibrous husk outside the hard shell. The clear coconut water inside provides electrolytes, while its white meat is packed with medium-chain triglycerides beneficial for heart health. This versatile fruit is used in various dishes, drinks, and even in natural remedies. The Philippines also boasts other notable fruits like Jackfruit (Langka), Makopa (Java Apple), and Sampaloc (Tamarind), each with unique flavors and health benefits. The Jackfruit, versatile in its use, is rich in Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Makopa is a good source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, calcium, and potassium, while Sampaloc is known for its medicinal properties, especially as a laxative and for reducing fevers. The seasonal availability of these fruits not only ensures fresh produce but also supports local communities and farmers, making it a sustainable choice for consumers. Additionally, the health benefits of these fruits, ranging from boosting the immune system to aiding digestion, make them a valuable addition to a balanced diet. In summary, the Philippines offers a rich tapestry of fruits, each with its own season, flavor, and health benefits. From the sweet and tangy Mangos of summer to the creamy Guyabano of the rainy season, there is always something fresh and delicious to enjoy in this tropical paradise.
  8. The Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card) in the Philippines is a crucial document for foreign nationals staying in the country for more than 59 days. This card, about the size of a credit card or a driver's license, contains important information such as the holder's picture, full name, home country, place and date of birth, and biometric data stored in an embedded microchip. Foreign nationals who need to renew their ACR I-Card include those with expired cards, individuals who have turned 14, those whose visa status has changed, or in situations where a replacement is required under the Alien Registration Act of 1950. The renewal process involves submitting an ACR I-Card Application Form, a photocopy of the passport bio-page, visa implementation page, and latest admission with valid authorized stay, along with other documents depending on the type of visa held. Additional requirements may apply for specific visa categories such as immigrant visas, student visas, or Philippine-born permanent residents. In case of a lost, damaged, or amended ACR I-Card, a reissuance process is available, which also requires an application form and relevant documents depending on the specific situation, such as a police report for lost cards or proof of amendments. The steps to renew or reissue the ACR I-Card include gathering the necessary documents, submitting them at the nearest Bureau of Immigration (BI) office, and paying the required fees. The general application fees include a $50 I-Card fee and a ₱500 express fee. The processing of the digitized card with electronic security features may take a couple of weeks, and the BI will notify the applicant via text message when the ACR I-Card is ready to be claimed. Furthermore, the Bureau of Immigration requires foreign nationals to file an Annual Report (AR) to track their stay and immigration status changes in the Philippines. This report must be completed by March 1, 2024, to avoid delays or fines. Exemptions from the personal appearance requirement for the AR include individuals below 14 or over 60 years of age, those who are mentally or physically incapacitated, pregnant women, and unwell foreign nationals with a medical certificate.
  9. The digital banking landscape in the Philippines is evolving rapidly, with Maya and GCash leading the way in offering convenient financial services. Both platforms cater to a broad user base, including foreigners, non-citizens, and non-residents. This comprehensive guide aims to provide detailed insights into Maya and GCash cards, their features, eligibility for foreigners, and alternatives available in the Philippines. Maya Card for Foreigners Overview Maya, formerly known as PayMaya, is a prominent digital bank in the Philippines. It provides a range of financial services including online payments, money transfers, bill payments, and virtual prepaid cards. The Maya card is a versatile tool allowing for ATM withdrawals, online shopping, and in-store purchases. Eligibility and Registration Foreign nationals can register for a Maya account, but the process involves certain requirements. To register: Download the Maya app and provide personal details. Upgrade the account by submitting a valid ID and a video selfie. A Philippine roaming SIM number and a local address are necessary for account registration. Features and Benefits Maya accounts offer various limits for transactions. Upgraded accounts enjoy enhanced features like higher transaction limits, the ability to open savings accounts, and access to loan facilities. GCash Card for Foreigners Overview GCash is another popular digital wallet in the Philippines. It offers services like bill payments, online shopping, and a Mastercard for cashless transactions. Eligibility and Verification Foreigners over 18 with a Philippine SIM can use GCash and get fully verified. Verification requires submission of an Alien Certificate of Registration and possibly additional documents like a DOLE Alien Employment or School Registration Form. Features and Benefits Basic GCash accounts offer limited services like cash-in, bill payments, and buying load. Fully verified accounts can access additional features, including international remittance, investment options, and a higher wallet limit of PHP 500,000. Maya vs GCash When comparing Maya and GCash: Both offer similar basic services like bill payments and online shopping. Maya provides additional features like savings accounts and investment opportunities. GCash has a higher wallet limit for verified users. Alternatives for Non-Residents In addition to Maya and GCash, the Philippines offers other digital banking options. These alternatives might have different features or requirements, so it's important to research and choose one that best fits your needs. RCBC Diskartech: Offers an interest rate of 6.5% per annum. It is the multilingual financial inclusion mobile app of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and includes features like Telekonsulta and Telemedicine. Netbank: Provides an interest rate of 4% per annum for Basic Deposit Accounts and has free InstaPay and PESOnet transaction fees. GOtyme: Features a 5% per annum interest rate. It's a digital banking platform that provides various online banking services. Tonik: Provides an interest rate of 4% per annum for solo stash and 4.5% per annum for group stash. SeaBank: Offers a 4.5% per annum interest rate and includes free transfer fees to SeaBank accounts, as well as free transfers via InstaPay and PESONet. UNObank: A Singapore-based digital bank offering an interest rate of 4.25% per annum in the UNOReady Account and up to 6.5% per annum in the UNOBoost and UNOEarn Time Deposit Accounts. UnionDigital: Provides 3% per annum interest for accounts with ₱5 million and below savings, and 4% per annum for accounts with ₱5 million and above savings. CIMB: Features a 5% per annum interest rate on its GSave account and other promotional rates. Komo by Eastwest: Offers an interest rate of 2.5% per annum, with no withdrawal fees at any EastWest Bank ATMs and four free monthly withdrawal fees for BancNet ATMs. Overseas Filipino Bank: Provides interest rates ranging from 1% to 4% per annum, depending on the account balance. BPI’s BanKo: Offers 0.0625% per annum on PondoKo Savings Accounts and 5% per annum for TODO Savings Accounts. OwnBank: A mobile banking service of OwnBank, a rural bank in Cavite City, offering 6% per annum on Savings Accounts and up to 8% per annum for Time Deposit Accounts. Wrapping up For foreigners, non-citizens, and non-residents in the Philippines, both Maya and GCash provide accessible digital banking solutions. Understanding their features, eligibility criteria, and the process of account verification can help you make an informed decision. Always ensure to comply with local regulations and requirements when using these services. This guide has been created with the latest information available as of early 2024. For more detailed instructions on registration, verification, and usage, please visit the official websites of Maya and GCash.
  10. Russia is a vast and diverse country that offers a wealth of cultural, historical, and natural attractions for travelers. Whether you want to explore the vibrant cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, admire the stunning architecture and art of the Kremlin and the Hermitage, witness the majestic beauty of Lake Baikal and the Kamchatka Peninsula, or experience the unique traditions and cuisines of the Tatarstan and North Caucasus regions, Russia has something for everyone. However, visiting Russia in 2024 is not as easy as it used to be. Due to the political tensions and sanctions that followed the conflict in Ukraine in 2022, Russia has become more isolated from the West and more difficult to access for foreign tourists. Moreover, Russia has its own visa requirements, currency, language, and customs that travelers need to be aware of and prepare for. Visa Requirements in Russia 2024 The first thing you need to know before planning your trip to Russia is whether you need a visa or not. In general, citizens of most countries need a visa to enter Russia, except for some countries that have visa-free agreements with Russia for short-term stays (up to 90 days). These countries include most of the post-Soviet states, as well as Croatia, Iceland, Israel, Mongolia, Serbia, South Korea, Venezuela, and a few others. If you do need a visa to enter Russia, you will have to apply for one at the Russian embassy or consulate in your home country or country of residence. There are different types of visas depending on your purpose of visit, such as tourist visa, business visa, student visa, work visa, private visa, humanitarian visa, transit visa, etc. Each visa type has its own requirements and validity period. The most common type of visa for travelers is the tourist visa, which allows you to stay in Russia for up to 30 days. To apply for a tourist visa, you will need the following documents: A completed and printed visa application form A valid passport with at least six months of validity and two blank pages A recent passport size photo glued to the application form A proof of residence if you are not applying from your home country A visa support document or invitation letter from a registered Russian travel agency or hotel A bank statement for the last three months if you are self-employed, a company director, working from home, or unemployed A consular fee that varies depending on your nationality and processing time You should apply for your visa at least one month before your intended date of travel. The processing time can take from one week to one month depending on the embassy or consulate. You can also use an online service or a travel agency to help you with your visa application. How to Get to Russia in 2024 The next thing you need to consider is how to get to Russia in 2024. Due to the sanctions and boycotts imposed by many Western countries after the conflict in Ukraine in 2022, many airlines and travel companies have suspended their flights and operations in Russia. This means that you cannot fly directly from most European or North American destinations to Russia anymore. However, there are still some ways to get to Russia in 2024. One option is to fly via a third country that has not joined the sanctions or has maintained good relations with Russia. Some of these countries include Turkey (Istanbul), United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Kazakhstan (Nur-Sultan), Serbia (Belgrade), Armenia (Yerevan), China (Beijing), India (Delhi), etc. You can find flights from these countries to major Russian cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, etc. Another option is to take a bus or a train from a neighboring country that has an open border with Russia. For example, you can take a bus from Tallinn (Estonia) or a train from Helsinki (Finland) to St. Petersburg. The journey takes about 7-9 hours by bus and about 3-4 hours by train. You will have to cross the border and go through customs and immigration checks on both sides. A third option is to travel by car from a neighboring country that has an open border with Russia. For example, you can drive from Georgia (Tbilisi) or Azerbaijan (Baku) to Russia through the North Caucasus region. The road conditions are not very good and you will have to deal with checkpoints and security issues along the way. However, this option gives you the opportunity to see some of the most scenic and diverse landscapes in Russia, as well as experience the rich and varied cultures of the local people. What to See in Russia in 2024 Once you have your visa and your transportation sorted out, you can start planning what to see in Russia in 2024. Russia is a huge country with a lot of attractions to offer, so you will have to prioritize and choose according to your interests, budget, and time. Here are some of the most popular and recommended places to see in Russia in 2024: Moscow: The capital and the largest city of Russia, Moscow is a must-see for any visitor. It is a city of contrasts, where ancient history and modernity coexist. You can admire the iconic landmarks such as the Red Square, the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, etc., as well as explore the world-class museums such as the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum, the State Historical Museum, etc. You can also enjoy the vibrant nightlife, the diverse cuisine, and the impressive ballet and theater scene in Moscow. St. Petersburg: The second-largest and the most beautiful city of Russia, St. Petersburg is known as the cultural capital of the country. It was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 as a window to Europe and has a rich and elegant architectural and artistic heritage. You can visit the stunning palaces and parks such as the Winter Palace, the Peterhof Palace, the Catherine Palace, etc., as well as the magnificent museums such as the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, the Faberge Museum, etc. You can also experience the romantic atmosphere of the city with its canals, bridges, cathedrals, and monuments. Kazan: The capital of Tatarstan region, Kazan is one of the most diverse and dynamic cities in Russia. It is a place where East meets West, where Islam and Christianity coexist peacefully, and where modernity and tradition blend harmoniously. You can visit the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral, as well as other attractions such as the Bauman Street, the Kazan Family Center, the Kazan Circus, etc. You can also taste the delicious Tatar cuisine and learn about the Tatar culture and history. Sochi: The host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, Sochi is a popular resort city on the Black Sea coast. It is a place where you can enjoy both winter and summer activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, swimming, sunbathing, etc. You can visit the Olympic Park, where you can see the stadiums, arenas, and monuments that hosted the games, as well as other attractions such as the Sochi Arboretum, the Riviera Park, the Stalin's Dacha, etc. You can also relax at one of the many spas and wellness centers in Sochi. Lake Baikal: The deepest and oldest lake in the world, Lake Baikal is a natural wonder that attracts many travelers. It is located in Siberia and contains about 20% of the world's fresh water. It is also home to many unique species of plants and animals, such as the Baikal seal and the Baikal omul fish. You can visit Lake Baikal at any time of the year, but especially in winter when it freezes over and creates a magical landscape of ice and snow. You can also explore the surrounding areas such as Irkutsk, Olkhon Island, Listvyanka Village Kamchatka Peninsula: The Kamchatka Peninsula is one of the most remote and wild regions in Russia. It is located in the Far East and is known for its volcanic activity and geothermal features. It has more than 300 volcanoes (29 of them active), geysers, hot springs, and glaciers. You can visit Kamchatka Peninsula to witness the spectacular scenery and wildlife, such as bears, eagles, whales, seals, etc. You can also enjoy various activities such as hiking, rafting, fishing, heli-skiing, etc. However, you will need a special permit and a guide to enter the peninsula, as it is a restricted area for security and environmental reasons. Teriberka: Teriberka is a rural locality in the Kolsky District of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It is located on the Barents Sea coast, at the mouth of the Teriberka River. It is one of the oldest settlements on the Murmansk coast, dating back to the 16th century. It was once a prosperous fishing and shipbuilding center, but it declined in the second half of the 20th century due to political and economic changes. It became famous after the film Leviathan (2014) was shot there, depicting the harsh and beautiful scenery of the Arctic region. These are just some of the many places to see in Russia in 2024. Of course, there are many more destinations and attractions that you can discover and explore in this amazing country. You can also customize your itinerary according to your preferences and interests. What to Do in Russia in 2024 Besides seeing the sights, there are also many things to do in Russia in 2024 that will make your trip more memorable and enjoyable. Here are some of the most popular and recommended activities to do in Russia in 2024: Learn some Russian: Russian is the official language of Russia and the most widely spoken language in the country. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations and one of the most influential languages in the world. Learning some Russian will help you communicate with the locals, understand the signs and menus, and appreciate the culture and literature of Russia. You can take a language course at one of the many schools or universities in Russia, or use an online platform or an app to learn some basic phrases and words. Try some Russian cuisine: Russian cuisine is a diverse and delicious reflection of the country's history, geography, and culture. It is influenced by various cuisines from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as by the local ingredients and climate. Some of the most famous dishes include borscht (beetroot soup), pelmeni (dumplings), blini (pancakes), pirozhki (pastries), shashlik (kebabs), caviar (fish eggs), etc. You can also try some of the traditional drinks such as vodka (distilled liquor), kvass (fermented bread drink), mors (berry juice), etc. Experience some Russian culture: Russia has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that spans from ancient times to modern days. You can experience some of the Russian culture by visiting some of the museums, galleries, theaters, opera houses, ballets, concerts, festivals, etc. that showcase the art, music, literature, cinema, folklore, etc. of Russia. You can also learn about some of the famous figures that have shaped the Russian culture such as Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Pushkin, etc. Enjoy some Russian sports: Russia is a country that loves sports and has produced many world-class athletes and teams in various disciplines. You can enjoy some of the Russian sports by watching or participating in some of the events or activities that are popular in Russia such as football (soccer), hockey, tennis, chess, gymnastics, figure skating, skiing, etc. You can also visit some of the stadiums or arenas that have hosted or will host some of the major sporting events such as the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, or the 2024 FIFA World Cup in various cities across Russia. These are just some of the many things to do in Russia in 2024. Of course, there are many more activities and experiences that you can enjoy and explore in this amazing country. You can also customize your itinerary according to your preferences and interests. Russian dishes to try in Russia Russia has a rich and diverse cuisine that reflects its history, geography, and culture. Here are some of the most popular and delicious dishes that you should not miss: Borscht: This is a beetroot soup that is usually made with meat, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and sour cream. It can be served hot or cold and is one of the most famous Russian dishes internationally. Shchi: This is a cabbage soup that can be made with fresh or fermented cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, and meat. It is a typical and hearty dish that can be eaten with bread or pirozhki. Solyanka: This is a thick and sour soup that contains various types of meat, such as sausage, bacon, ham, and beef, as well as pickles, cabbage, and lemon. It is a filling and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed with sour cream. Pirozhki: These are small baked or fried pastries that are stuffed with different fillings, such as meat, cheese, potatoes, cabbage, jam, or fruit. They are popular as street food or snacks and can be eaten alone or with soup. Pelmeni: These are dumplings that are filled with minced meat and wrapped in a thin dough. They can be boiled or fried and served with butter, sour cream, or vinegar. They are considered the national dish of Russia and are widely available in restaurants and supermarkets. Blini: These are thin pancakes that are rolled with various fillings, such as cheese, sour cream, caviar, onions, or chocolate syrup. They are often eaten for breakfast or dessert and can be accompanied by tea or coffee. Beef Stroganoff: This is a dish that consists of thinly sliced beef cooked in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and onions. It is usually served over noodles or rice and is one of the most famous Russian dishes abroad. Uha: This is a fish soup that is made with clear broth and various kinds of fish, such as bream, pike, or catfish. It also contains root vegetables, parsley, leeks, and dill. It is a light and refreshing dish that can be enjoyed with bread or crackers. Kulich: This is a dessert that is made with cottage cheese, butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and dried fruits. It is shaped like a pyramid and decorated with nuts and candied fruits. It is traditionally eaten during Easter and symbolizes the resurrection of Christ. We hope you will enjoy them and discover more about the Russian cuisine and culture. Bon appetit! 😊 We hope that this article has given you some useful information and tips on how to visit Russia in 2024. Russia is a fascinating and diverse country that awaits you with its wonders and charms. We wish you a safe and enjoyable trip to Russia in 2024! If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to ask in the comments! We would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading! 🙏
  11. Russia is a vast and diverse country that offers many opportunities and challenges for expats. Whether you are moving to Russia for work, study, or personal reasons, you will need to prepare yourself for the cultural, economic, and social differences that await you. In this article, we will provide you with some useful information and tips on the following topics. Russia Cost of Living Comparison to USA One of the main factors that expats consider when moving to a new country is the cost of living. How much will you spend on housing, food, transportation, entertainment, and other expenses? How does the local currency compare to your home currency? How will your income and taxes change? According to Numbeo, a website that compares the cost of living in different countries and cities, Russia is significantly cheaper than the USA on average. The website estimates that the consumer prices in Russia are 51.9% lower than in the USA, while the rent prices are 76.4% lower. This means that you can get more value for your money in Russia, especially if you live outside of the major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. However, the cost of living in Russia also varies depending on the region, city, and neighborhood. Moscow and St. Petersburg are the most expensive cities in Russia, but they are still cheaper than many US cities. For example, Numbeo estimates that a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Moscow costs about $660 per month, while a similar apartment in New York City costs about $3,000 per month. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Moscow costs about $6, while a meal at a similar restaurant in New York City costs about $20. The cost of living in Russia also depends on your lifestyle and preferences. Some goods and services are cheaper in Russia than in the USA, while others are more expensive or harder to find. For example, public transportation, utilities, domestic beer, and local food products are generally cheaper in Russia than in the USA. On the other hand, imported goods, electronics, clothing, gasoline, and international flights are generally more expensive or less available in Russia than in the USA. To get a better idea of how much you will spend on living expenses in Russia, you can use online calculators and tools that allow you to compare prices and budgets between different countries and cities. Some examples are: Numbeo Expatistan Expatisan Russia Education Level Another factor that expats consider when moving to a new country is the education level and quality. How does the education system work in Russia? What are the options and opportunities for expat children and adults? How does the Russian education level compare to other countries? The education system in Russia consists of four main levels: preschool education (level 0 according to the ISCED), primary general education (level 1 according to the ISCED), basic general education (level 2 according to the ISCED), and secondary general education (level 3 according to the ISCED). Preschool education is optional and usually lasts from 1.5 to 7 years old. Primary general education is compulsory and usually lasts from 6 or 7 to 10 or 11 years old. Basic general education is also compulsory and usually lasts from 10 or 11 to 15 or 16 years old. Secondary general education is optional and usually lasts from 15 or 16 to 17 or 18 years old. After completing secondary general education, students can choose to continue their studies at higher education institutions (level 4-8 according to the ISCED) or vocational education institutions (level 3-5 according to the ISCED). Higher education institutions include universities, academies, institutes, colleges, and conservatories that offer bachelor's degrees (4 years), master's degrees (2 years), specialist degrees (5-6 years), and doctoral degrees (3-4 years). Vocational education institutions include technical schools, colleges, lyceums, and centers that offer certificates, diplomas, and degrees in various fields and professions. The Russian education system is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Science at the federal level and by regional authorities at the local level. The Russian government provides free education for all citizens through a compulsory state health insurance program. However, some public schools may charge fees for additional services or programs. Private schools are also available for those who can afford them or prefer them. The quality of education in Russia varies depending on the type, level, location, and reputation of the institution. Generally speaking, Russian schools are known for their rigorous curriculum and high standards in mathematics, science, literature, and languages. However, they may also suffer from poor infrastructure, outdated equipment, low salaries for teachers, corruption, and bureaucracy. According to the OECD, Russia has one of the highest rates of tertiary education attainment among its adult population (54% in 2016), ranking second among 35 OECD member countries. Russia also performs well in international assessments of student achievement, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), where it ranked 34th out of 79 countries in mathematics and science in 2018. However, Russia also faces some challenges and issues in its education system, such as the lack of diversity and inclusion, the gap between urban and rural areas, the mismatch between skills and labor market demands, the low quality and relevance of some higher education programs, and the low international recognition and mobility of some degrees and qualifications. For expats who want to study or send their children to study in Russia, there are several options and opportunities available. Expats can enroll in public or private schools that follow the Russian curriculum or in international schools that follow foreign curricula, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the American curriculum. Expats can also apply for scholarships or grants from the Russian government or other organizations that support international students. Some examples are: The Russian Government Scholarship The Open Doors Scholarship The Global Education Program Russia Healthcare Cost Another factor that expats consider when moving to a new country is the healthcare cost and quality. How does the healthcare system work in Russia? What are the options and costs for expat health insurance? How does the Russian healthcare quality compare to other countries? The healthcare system in Russia is provided by the state through the Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund and regulated by the Ministry of Health. The constitution of Russia guarantees free healthcare for all citizens through a compulsory state health insurance program. However, the public healthcare system has faced many criticisms and problems due to poor organizational structure, lack of government funding, outdated medical equipment, and low-paid staff. Because of this, many expats and locals choose to use private healthcare services, which are widely available in many areas. Private healthcare providers offer better quality, faster access, more comfort, and more choice for patients who can afford them or have private health insurance. Some public healthcare facilities also offer private services for those who have insurance or are willing to pay out-of-pocket. The cost of healthcare in Russia depends on whether you use public or private services, what type of service you need, where you live, and whether you have insurance or not. Generally speaking, public healthcare services are free or low-cost for citizens and residents who have a valid state health insurance policy. However, some services may require co-payments or fees for additional procedures or medications. Private healthcare services are more expensive but also more accessible and convenient for those who have private health insurance or can pay out-of-pocket. According to Numbeo, a website that compares the cost of living in different countries and cities, the average cost of a doctor's visit in Russia is about $30, while the average cost of a dentist's visit is about $40. The average cost of a hospital stay per day is about $100, while the average cost of an MRI scan is about $200. The average cost of a monthly supply of medicine for a chronic condition is about $50. The quality of healthcare in Russia also varies depending on whether you use public or private services, what type of service you need, where you live, and who you see. Generally speaking, private healthcare providers offer higher quality, more modern equipment, more qualified staff, and more customer satisfaction than public healthcare providers. However, some public healthcare facilities may also offer good quality services, especially in major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Russia ranked 130th out of 191 countries in terms of overall health system performance in 2000. According to Bloomberg, Russia ranked 51st out of 56 countries in terms of health-care efficiency in 2018. According to US News & World Report, Russia ranked 68th out of 80 countries in terms of quality of life in 2020. Some of the main challenges and issues that affect the healthcare system in Russia are the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory diseases), the high mortality rate (especially among men), the low life expectancy (71 years for men and 78 years for women), the high incidence of infectious diseases (such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and COVID-19), the low vaccination coverage (especially among children), the high consumption of alcohol and tobacco (especially among men), the low accessibility and availability of some services (especially in rural areas), and the corruption and bureaucracy that hinder the delivery and improvement of services. For expats who want to access healthcare services in Russia, there are several options and costs to consider. Expats can use public healthcare services if they have a valid state health insurance policy or pay out-of-pocket fees. Expats can also use private healthcare services if they have private health I'm glad you want to learn more about health insurance in Russia. As you may know, Russia has a public health system that is free for citizens and residents, but it has many problems and limitations. Therefore, many expats and locals prefer to use private health services, which offer better quality and convenience, but also higher costs. If you are moving to Russia or already living there as an expat, you have several options and costs to consider for your health insurance. You can use the public health system if you have a valid state health insurance policy, which is usually deducted from your salary. However, you may have to pay extra fees for some services or medications that are not covered by the public system. You may also face long waiting times, poor facilities, and low standards of care in some public hospitals and clinics. Alternatively, you can use private health services if you have private health insurance or can pay out-of-pocket. Private health insurance can give you access to more modern equipment, more qualified staff, more comfort, and more choice of providers. Private health insurance can also cover services that are not included in the public system, such as dental care, prosthetics, rehabilitation, and prescribed medicines. The cost of private health insurance in Russia depends on several factors, such as your age, medical history, coverage level, deductible amount, and provider. You can compare different plans and quotes from various insurers online or through a broker. You can check the reviews and ratings of different insurers and providers on websites such as Trustpilot or Google Reviews. You should also read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully before signing up, and make sure you understand what is covered and what is not. I hope this information helps you make an informed decision about your health insurance in Russia. If you have any questions or need more assistance, please let me know in the comments. 😊 What to Know Before Moving to Russia Moving to Russia is a big decision that requires careful planning and preparation. There are many things that you should know before you pack your bags and board the plane. Here are some of the most important ones: Visa and registration. To enter and stay in Russia, you will need a valid visa that matches your purpose and duration of stay. There are different types of visas, such as tourist, business, work, student, private, humanitarian, and transit visas. You can apply for a visa at the nearest Russian embassy or consulate in your home country, or online through the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You will need to provide various documents, such as your passport, invitation letter, application form, photo, and proof of health insurance. The visa fees and processing times vary depending on the type and length of visa. Once you arrive in Russia, you will also need to register your place of residence with the local authorities within seven working days. You can do this through your landlord, hotel, employer, or sponsor. Failure to register may result in fines or deportation. Language and culture. Russia is a diverse and multicultural country with many ethnic groups, languages, religions, and traditions. The official language is Russian, which is spoken by most of the population. However, there are also many regional languages, such as Tatar, Chechen, Bashkir, Chuvash, and others. English is not widely spoken or understood in Russia, especially outside of the major cities. Therefore, it is advisable to learn some basic Russian phrases before you move to Russia, or enroll in a language course once you are there. You can also use online tools or apps to help you communicate with locals. The Russian culture is rich and complex, with influences from various historical periods and civilizations. Some of the most distinctive aspects of the Russian culture are its literature, music, art, architecture, cuisine, folklore, and customs. You can learn more about the Russian culture by reading books, watching movies, listening to music, visiting museums, attending festivals, and interacting with locals. Climate and weather. Russia is a huge country that spans across different climatic zones and regions. The climate and weather in Russia vary greatly depending on where you live and what time of the year it is. Generally speaking, Russia has four seasons: spring (March-May), summer (June-August), autumn (September-November), and winter (December-February). However, some parts of Russia may have longer or shorter seasons than others. For example, Moscow has a temperate continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The average temperature in Moscow is 18°C (64°F) in July and -9°C (16°F) in January. On the other hand, Siberia has a subarctic climate with very cold winters and short summers. The average temperature in Siberia is 10°C (50°F) in July and -25°C (-13°F) in January. In addition to the temperature differences, Russia also has different levels of precipitation, humidity, daylight, and snowfall depending on the region and season. For example, Moscow has an average annual rainfall of 707 mm (28 inches) and an average annual snowfall of 152 cm (60 inches). On the other hand, Siberia has an average annual rainfall of 254 mm (10 inches) and an average annual snowfall of 508 cm (200 inches). Russia also has varying lengths of daylight throughout the year, ranging from 8 hours in winter to 18 hours in summer in Moscow, and from 3 hours in winter to 21 hours in summer in Siberia. Therefore, it is important to check the weather forecast and pack appropriate clothing and accessories for your destination and season. You may need to bring warm coats, hats, gloves, boots, and scarves for the winter, and light jackets, shirts, pants, and shoes for the summer. You may also need to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, and umbrellas for different weather conditions.
  12. Georgia is a small country in the Caucasus region, bordered by Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. It has a rich history, culture, and natural beauty that attract many visitors and expats. However, moving to Georgia is not without its challenges and opportunities. In this article, we will explore some of the aspects of living in Georgia, such as the cost of living, education, healthcare, and culture. Cost of Living in Georgia Country One of the main advantages of living in Georgia is the low cost of living compared to the USA and many other countries. According to Numbeo, a website that compares consumer prices across the world, the cost of living in Georgia is 53% lower than in the USA. This means that you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with less money in Georgia. However, the cost of living also depends on where you live and what you buy. The capital city of Tbilisi is the most expensive place to live in Georgia, followed by Batumi, a popular tourist destination on the Black Sea coast. The rural areas are cheaper, but they also have less infrastructure and amenities. Some of the items that are cheaper in Georgia than in the USA are food, rent, utilities, transportation, and entertainment. For example, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs about $9.65 in Georgia, compared to $20 in the USA. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs about $300 per month in Georgia, compared to $1,200 in the USA. A monthly pass for public transportation costs about $10 in Georgia, compared to $75 in the USA. A movie ticket costs about $4 in Georgia, compared to $12 in the USA. However, some of the items that are more expensive in Georgia than in the USA are imported goods, healthcare, education, and taxes. For example, a liter of gasoline costs about $1.30 in Georgia, compared to $0.80 in the USA. A pair of jeans costs about $50 in Georgia, compared to $40 in the USA. A visit to a doctor costs about $25 in Georgia, compared to $100 in the USA. A year of tuition at a public university costs about $2,000 in Georgia, compared to $10,000 in the USA. The income tax rate is 20% in Georgia, compared to 10%-37% in the USA. Therefore, before moving to Georgia, you should consider your budget and lifestyle preferences and compare them with the local prices and availability of goods and services. Education in Georgia Country Education is compulsory and free for children between 6 and 14 years old in Georgia. The education system consists of four levels: elementary school (grades 1-4), basic school (grades 5-9), secondary school (grades 10-12), and higher education (bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees). The official language of instruction is Georgian, but some schools also offer bilingual or multilingual programs in Russian, English, Armenian, Azerbaijani, or other languages. The quality of education in Georgia varies depending on the location and type of school. Generally speaking, public schools are underfunded and overcrowded, while private schools are more expensive and better equipped. The curriculum is based on the national standards and covers subjects such as Georgian language and literature, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, foreign languages, arts, physical education, and civic education. The students are assessed by national exams at the end of grades 9 and 12, which determine their eligibility for higher education or vocational training. Higher education in Georgia is offered by public and private universities, colleges, and institutes. The admission process is based on the results of a unified national exam, which tests the applicants' knowledge and skills in four subjects: Georgian language and literature, general skills, a foreign language, and a subject of their choice. The higher education system follows the Bologna Process, which means that it is compatible with international standards and diplomas. The most popular fields of study are business, law, medicine, engineering, and social sciences. As an expat living in Georgia, you have several options for your children's education. You can enroll them in a local public or private school, where they can learn Georgian language and culture, but also face some challenges such as language barriers, cultural differences, and academic gaps. You can also enroll them in an international school, where they can follow an international curriculum such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), or the American High School Diploma (AHSD). These schools are usually more expensive and selective, but they offer a high-quality education and a multicultural environment. Some of the international schools in Georgia are the QSI International School of Tbilisi, the British International School of Tbilisi, the European School, and the New School. Healthcare in Georgia Country Healthcare in Georgia is a mixed system of public and private providers, funded by the government, employers, and individuals. The public sector consists of primary healthcare centers, hospitals, and specialized clinics, which are managed by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. The private sector consists of various types of facilities, such as polyclinics, diagnostic centers, dental clinics, pharmacies, and spas, which are regulated by the National Agency for State Regulation of Medical Activities. The quality and accessibility of healthcare in Georgia depend on several factors, such as the location, the type of facility, the level of service, and the insurance coverage. Generally speaking, the urban areas have better healthcare infrastructure and resources than the rural areas. The private facilities have more modern equipment and qualified staff than the public facilities. The tertiary care and specialized services are more expensive and limited than the primary and secondary care. The insurance coverage is uneven and incomplete among the population. Since 2013, Georgia has implemented a Universal Health Coverage Program (UHCP), which aims to provide basic health services to all citizens and residents who are not covered by any other insurance scheme. The UHCP covers services such as emergency care, primary care, maternal and child health care, chronic disease management, cancer screening and treatment, and some surgeries and hospitalizations. However, the UHCP does not cover services such as dental care, optical care, cosmetic procedures, rehabilitation, and long-term care. The UHCP also requires co-payments for some services, which can be high for low-income households. As an expat living in Georgia, you are not eligible for the UHCP unless you have a permanent residence permit or a work permit for more than six months. Therefore, you need to have a private health insurance plan that covers your medical needs and expenses in Georgia. You can choose from a variety of local or international insurance companies that offer different plans and benefits. Some of the local insurance companies are GPI Holding, Aldagi, Imedi L, and Alpha. Some of the international insurance companies are Cigna, Aetna, Allianz, and AXA. Before moving to Georgia, you should consult your doctor and get any necessary vaccinations, medications, or prescriptions. You should also check the travel advice and health alerts from your home country's embassy or consulate in Georgia. You should also carry your health records, insurance documents, and emergency contacts with you at all times. Culture in Georgia Country Georgia is a country with a rich and diverse culture, influenced by its ancient history, geographic location, ethnic composition, and religious beliefs. Georgia is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world, dating back to the 4th century AD. The majority of Georgians belong to the Georgian Orthodox Church, which has a strong influence on their traditions, values, and identity. However, there are also other religious groups in Georgia, such as Muslims, Catholics, Armenians, Jews, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Georgians are known for their hospitality, generosity, and warmth. They love to welcome guests and treat them with respect and kindness. They often invite visitors to their homes or to a feast called supra, where they serve various dishes such as khachapuri (cheese bread), khinkali (meat dumplings), lobio (bean stew), mtsvadi (grilled meat), and satsivi (walnut sauce). They also drink wine or chacha (grape brandy) and toast to God, family, friends, country, peace, love, and happiness. Georgians are also proud of their language, literature, music, art, and architecture. Georgian is a unique language that belongs to the Kartvelian family and has its own alphabet. Georgian literature dates back to the 5th century AD and includes epic poems such as The Knight in the Panther's Skin by Shota Rustaveli. Georgian music is characterized by polyphonic singing and folk instruments such as panduri (three-stringed lute), salamuri (flute), doli (drum), and chonguri (four-stringed lute). Georgian art is mainly represented by icons, frescoes, mosaics, carpets, jewelry, and enamel. Georgian architecture is distinguished by its churches, fortresses, towers, palaces, and houses. As an expat living in Georgia, you will have many opportunities to experience and enjoy the Georgian culture. However, you will also need to respect and adapt to some of the cultural differences and norms of the Georgian society. Some of the aspects that you should be aware of are: Religion: Religion is an important part of Georgian culture and identity. You should respect the religious beliefs and practices of the Georgians, even if you do not share them. You should also dress modestly and behave appropriately when visiting religious sites, such as churches, monasteries, or mosques. You should avoid discussing sensitive topics such as politics, sexuality, or other religions with the Georgians, as they may have different opinions and values than you. Etiquette: Georgians are very polite and courteous. You should greet them with a smile and a handshake, and address them by their first name or their title and surname. You should also use formal language and honorifics when speaking to elders, authorities, or strangers. You should avoid using gestures such as pointing, waving, or thumbs up, as they may have different meanings or be considered rude in Georgia. You should also respect the personal space and privacy of the Georgians, and avoid touching or hugging them without their consent. Communication: Georgians are very expressive and emotional. They often use body language, eye contact, and tone of voice to convey their feelings and intentions. They also like to joke, tease, and compliment each other, but they may also be sarcastic or blunt at times. You should try to understand the context and the humor of the Georgians, and not take their words too literally or personally. You should also be honest and direct with them, but avoid being too critical or negative. Family: Family is the most important aspect of Georgian culture. Georgians have strong family ties and loyalty, and they often live with their extended family members in the same house or neighborhood. They also celebrate family occasions such as birthdays, weddings, funerals, or religious holidays with great joy and enthusiasm. You should respect and appreciate the family values and traditions of the Georgians, and try to get along with their relatives and friends. You should also accept their invitations to their homes or supras, and bring a small gift such as flowers, wine, or sweets. Gender: Gender roles are still quite traditional in Georgia. Men are expected to be the breadwinners, leaders, and protectors of the family, while women are expected to be the homemakers, caregivers, and supporters of the family. However, more women are entering the workforce, education, and politics in Georgia, and challenging the stereotypes and discrimination that they face. You should respect and support the equality and empowerment of women in Georgia, and avoid making any sexist or offensive remarks or actions. Moving to Georgia can be a rewarding and enriching experience for expats who are willing to learn and adapt to a new culture. Georgia is a country that offers a low cost of living, a high quality of education, a decent healthcare system, and a vibrant culture. However, moving to Georgia also requires some preparation, research, and adjustment to overcome some of the challenges and difficulties that may arise. Therefore, before moving to Georgia, you should consider your goals, expectations, and preferences, and compare them with the reality and opportunities of living in Georgia. I hope this article has given you some useful information and insights about moving to Georgia. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask in the topic. Thank you for reading! 😊
  13. TBC is one of the largest banks in Georgia. It opens accounts for foreigners more often than Bank of Georgia, but can also refuse to open an account. Pros Large bank Many branches Many ATMs and terminals. You can withdraw Lari, Dollars and Euros from ATMs without fees. English, and sometimes Russian, is spoken in branches SWIFT transfers work with Western countries You can use a personal account for sole proprietorship activities without a separate business account Cons Long KYC review process May refuse account opening Relatively expensive service (from 110 GEL per year) Account Opening Procedure To open an account, you need to go through the KYC procedure, i.e. first submit an account opening application with a questionnaire about planned account use and income confirmation documents. The application is then reviewed by the bank, usually within 10 days. KYC document submission fee: 50 Lari. Account Service If account opening is approved, you can open the "Plan 10" service package. This is the minimum plan available for foreigners. Simpler plans are only available for Georgian residents and in some cases Ukrainian citizens. If you are a sole proprietor in Georgia, you can use your TBC personal account for sole proprietorship activities. Opening a separate business account is not required. To do this, bring a printout of the first page of your sole proprietor registration certificate to a bank branch and ask the operator to link your sole proprietor number to your account. Using a Personal TBC Account for Sole Proprietorship (registered Individual Entrepreneur) If you are a sole proprietor (i.e. registered Individual Entrepreneur) in Georgia, you can use your TBC personal account for sole proprietorship activities. Opening a separate business account is not required. To do this, bring a printout of the first page of your sole proprietor registration certificate to a bank branch and ask the operator to link your sole proprietor number to your personal account. TBC Bank ATMs With EUR and Branches for Euro Withdrawals: Tbilisi: 7 Marjanishvili street 2 Gr. Abashidze street 6 Pushkin street 24 Kazbegi street 49 Vazha Pshavela ave. 138 Aghmashenebeli ave. Javakheti st. area around Varketili metro 12 Sulkhan Tsintsadze st. 1/6 sector Mukhiani district (TBC Bank branch) 23a Guramishvili ave (TBC Bank branch) 123/125 Tsotne Dadiani ave (TBC Bank branch) 1 Block, Building #1a, Digomi Massive (TBC Bank branch) Tbilisi International Airport Kutaisi: 58 Chavchavadze ave. 26 Grishashvili st. (TBC Bank branch) 35 Paliashvili st. (TBC Bank branch) Kutaisi International Airport Batumi: 37 Zubalashvili street 57/59 Zurab Gorgiladze st. 85 Aghmashenebeli st. Gori: 23 Kutaisi street 13 Stalin street Kaspi: 32 Saakadze st. Zugdidi: 3 Tabukashvili street Poti: 5 Rustaveli Circle Telavi: 10 Sekhniashvili st. Ozurgeti: Gabriel Episkoposi st. (TBC Bank branch) Rustavi: 4 Shartava st.
  14. Turkish Alphabet English Sound Pronunciation Example A, a /a/ like 'a' in "father" B, b /b/ like "b" in "book" C, c /dʒ/ like "j" in "joke" Ç, ç /tʃ/ like "ch" in "cheese" D, d /d/ like "d" in "dog" E, e /e/ like "e" in "bed" F, f /f/ like "f" in "fun" G, g /ɡ/ like "g" in "go" Ğ, ğ silent * H, h /h/ like "h" in "hat" I, ı /ɯ/ *The English language does not have an equivalent sound for this letter; it sounds like the Russian letter 'ы'. İ, i /i/ like "i" in "machine" J, j /ʒ/ like "s" in "pleasure" K, k /k/ like "k" in "key" L, l /l/ like "l" in "light" M, m /m/ like "m" in "mother" N, n /n/ like "n" in "no" O, o /o/ like "o" in "more" Ö, ö /ø/ like "u" in "turn" P, p /p/ like "p" in "pen" R, r /ɾ/ like "r" in "run" S, s /s/ like "s" in "sun" Ş, ş /ʃ/ like "sh" in "shoe" T, t /t/ like "t" in "top" U, u /u/ like "oo" in "moon" Ü, ü /y/ like "ew" in "few", "cube", "future", "pure" V, v /v/ like "v" in "van" Y, y /j/ like "y" in "yellow" Z, z /z/ like "z" in "zoo"
  15. Turkey is a country that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that is unmatched by any other destination. From the bustling city of Istanbul to the serene beaches of the Mediterranean and the ancient ruins of Ephesus, Turkey has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the best of Turkey and give you everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable trip. Part I: Planning Your Trip to Turkey Before you embark on your Turkish adventure, it's important to do some planning to ensure you have the best experience possible. The first thing to consider is the best time to visit Turkey. While Turkey is a year-round destination, the best time to visit is from April to May or September to November when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Next, you'll need to check the visa requirements and entry procedures for your home country. Most visitors can obtain an e-visa online prior to arrival, but some countries may require a visa issued by the Turkish Embassy or Consulate. It's also important to budget for your trip and familiarize yourself with the local currency, which is the Turkish lira. English is widely spoken in tourist areas, but it's always helpful to learn a few key phrases in Turkish. Check out my guides on the Turkish language: How to Pronounce Turkish Letters: A Comprehensive Guide Part II: Exploring the Best of Istanbul Istanbul is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world, and it's a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Turkey. Some of the top attractions and landmarks to visit in Istanbul include the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Grand Bazaar. However, don't forget to also take some time to experience the culture and history of Istanbul, such as a visit to the Topkapi Palace or a Turkish bath. No trip to Turkey is complete without indulging in the delicious food and drink options that Istanbul has to offer. From street food to upscale restaurants, Istanbul has something for every palate. And when it comes to accommodations, Istanbul has a wide range of options to suit every budget, from hostels to luxury hotels. Part III: Discovering the Gems of the Turkish Coastline The Turkish coastline is dotted with picturesque cities and towns, and offers some of the most beautiful beaches and natural wonders in the world. Some of the top coastal destinations to visit in Turkey include Bodrum, Antalya, and Marmaris. In addition to relaxing on the beach, there are plenty of adventures and activities to experience along the coast, such as hiking, diving, and sailing. Accommodations along the Turkish coastline range from budget-friendly guesthouses to all-inclusive resorts, so there's something for every traveler. Part IV: Delving into the Rich History of Central Turkey Central Turkey is home to some of the most important historical and cultural sites in the world. The unique landscape of Cappadocia, with its fairy chimneys and underground cities, is a must-see. In addition, the ancient city of Ephesus offers a glimpse into the rich history of the region, and Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, is home to important government buildings and museums. Accommodations in central Turkey range from cave hotels in Cappadocia to luxury resorts in Ankara, so you're sure to find the perfect place to stay. Part V: Experiencing the Diversity of Eastern Turkey Eastern Turkey is a region of incredible diversity, with a unique blend of cultures, religions, and landscapes. Mount Nemrut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit destination, with its giant statues and stunning views. The region also offers a variety of adventure and outdoor activities, such as hiking in the Kaçkar Mountains or skiing in the Palandöken Mountains. The eastern region of Turkey is also home to many cultural and historical sites, such as the ancient city of Ani and the Ishak Pasha Palace. And don't forget to try the local cuisine, which includes delicious dishes such as kebabs and baklava. Part VI: Practical Tips for Traveling in Turkey To make the most of your trip to Turkey, here are some practical tips to keep in mind: Dress modestly, especially when visiting mosques or other religious sites. Haggling is common in markets and bazaars, so be prepared to negotiate prices. Tipping is expected in restaurants and cafes, usually around 10% of the total bill. Be prepared for some language barriers outside of tourist areas, so it's helpful to have a translation app or phrasebook. Always carry some cash with you, as not all places accept credit cards. 🚢✈🧳 Traveling around Turkey is an unforgettable experience that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the bustling city of Istanbul to the serene beaches of the Mediterranean, the ancient ruins of Ephesus to the unique landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey has something for everyone. With a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy all that Turkey has to offer and make memories that will last a lifetime.
  16. Getting a Password in PTT You can get the e-Devlet password (also known as e-Devlet Şifresi) at the post office (PTT). To do this, you need to go to PTT with your ikamet and cash and ask the operator for "e-Devlet Şifresi". The service of getting the password costs only a couple of liras, and I don't write the exact price due to high inflation. It may become obsolete tomorrow Login without Password If you already have an account with a Turkish bank linked to your ikamet, then you don't need to get the e-Devlet password because you can log in to the website through banks without a password: What's next? After obtaining the password, you can access many Turkish government services on the website, such as: registering your address of residence, getting a certificate of registered address (needed to extend your residence permit), paying the tax for a phone imported from abroad to unlock the IMEI, terminating contracts for utilities (water, electricity) and returning your deposit to your Turkish bank account via IBAN, and much more ☺️
  17. To check your address registration and obtain a document about it, you can visit the e-devlet website, which is a Turkish government services website. To gain access to e-devlet, see the topic "how to get a password for e-devlet". If you just need to check your registered address Log in to the e-devlet website and go to your address information section: https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/adres-bilgilerim Your profile (Benim Sayfam) Tab "My Information" (Bilgilerim) Menu item "Information about my address" (Adres Bilgilerim) If the table with the address has only dashes, it means that there is no information about your registration, and you must register your address as soon as possible. If you need to get a certificate of address registration for an organization (for example, for Göç İdaresi to apply for a residence permit extension) The service for obtaining a registration certificate is called "Yerleşim Yeri (İkametgah) ve Diğer Adres Belgesi Sorgulama" and is available at this link: https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/nvi-yerlesim-yeri-ve-diger-adres-belgesi- sorgulama Note! The registration address certificate is only valid for 30 days, so don't rush to order it too early. Order it when you already know the exact date of your rendezvous and there are less than 30 days left before it. Open the link to get a certificate on the e-devlet website: https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/nvi-yerlesim-yeri-ve-diger-adres-belgesi-sorgulama Log in to the website Check the box and click the "Devam et" ("Continue") button. Choose "Kendisi" if you are getting the certificate for yourself (foreigners get the certificate for their children at the nufus), and click "Devam et". In the drop-down menu, select "Kuruma İbraz" and enter the name of the organization where you will present the registration certificate in the field that appears. In our case, enter "Göç İdaresi" and click "Sorgula". A PDF file will open. Save and print it. This is your address registration certificate. You will need to submit it to the Göç İdaresi when renewing your residence permit.
  18. Foreigners who have received a residence permit in Turkey are obliged to register their residence address within 20 days of receiving the permit. Penalties are provided for failure to comply with this obligation. It is also impossible to apply for an extension of a residence permit and to open accounts in many banks without registration. In Turkish, this procedure is called "Adres Kayıt", which means "Address Registration". In some contexts, it may also be referred to as "Address Notification" or "Address Declaration". Ways to register your residence address: Offline at the Göç İdaresi (migration office) or Nüfus (population registry office), depending on your situation. To begin, you can go to the Göç İdaresi with your documents and say "Adres Kayıt" (Address Registration), and they will tell you what to do next. Online on the e-devlet website (Turkish "e-government"): https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/adres-degisikligi-bildirimi. This method is only suitable if you have an e-İmza or Mobil İmza and no one is registered in your apartment (see also: how to get a password for e-devlet). To obtain a certificate of residence address, which is required for extending a residence permit, you can go to e-devlet: How to check your registered address on e-devlet in Turkey and obtain a certificate for Göç İdaresi. For more detailed information about services related to changing your address, please visit the Nüfus website: https://www.nvi.gov.tr/adres-hizmetleri
  19. After the visa-free stay period expires, many people wonder how they can enter Turkey legally. Fortunately, the Turkish government offers a conditional entry program called Şartlı - Giriş, which allows eligible individuals to enter Turkey for a short period of time (10 days). If the purpose of your stay is to apply for a residence permit, you have the right to use such permission to enter. However, you are required to apply for a residence permit within 10 days after entry. When entering Turkey using Şartlı - Giriş, you are required to sign a form:
  20. Sometimes it does not work due to high load. Especially in the periods immediately after the start of accepting applications, before the end of accepting applications, and after the start of displaying the results of applications. Try later.
  21. I have had the same problem many times in Chrome browser. I tried FireFox and it worked. I don’t know if it helped, or if it’s just a coincidence, because I had the same problem in FireFox before. But this time it worked.
  22. Why on the site https://dvprogram.state.gov when checking my Green Card application I get the error "The requested URL was rejected. Please consult with your administrator." and how to fix it?
  23. They moved the site to the new address. Now it is https://dvprogram.state.gov On the old website (https://dvlottery.state.gov) they have not the correct TLS certificate. Use the new one.
  • Create New...