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How to Obtain a Work Permit in Turkey?

Various employment rules apply to foreigners who live in or work in Turkey. The Law governs work permits for foreigners who come to Turkey on International Labour Law No. 6735 and the Law on Foreigners and International Protection No. 6458.

An application for a work permit in Turkey may be submitted while in Turkey or while overseas.

Foreigners must apply at a consulate of the Republic of Turkey in the nation where they are citizens or permanent residents if they are filing an application from abroad.

A work contract, letter of assignment, or document establishing corporate partnership should be included in the work permit application. Within ten business days after the candidate’s application to a Turkish consulate, the employer in Turkey must make an online application and submit the appropriate information and documentation to the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, either in person or by mail.

The processes for work permit applications submitted abroad will be carried out electronically by the Republic of Turkey’s consulates and the Ministry.

Foreigners whose work permit applications are granted by the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services must enter Turkey within 180 days after the date the work visa is given if they are outside of the country.

Foreigners who have residence permits with a remaining period of at least six months, or their employers, may submit work visa applications in Turkey, with the exception of residence permits provided for schooling in Turkey.

Foreigners who fall under this category are not obliged to apply to the Republic of Turkey’s consulates. Within six business days after submitting the online application, the essential documentation must be delivered to the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, either in person or by mail.

The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services completes work visa application processes in conjunction with appropriate ministries and agencies, as needed.

The Ministry completes the processes for properly filed work permit applications in a maximum of thirty days if all relevant papers are supplied in full. If the Ministry deems that needed papers are missing, the applicant is contacted and given the opportunity to provide the missing items. In such circumstances, the thirty-day timeframe begins on the day that the Ministry receives the missing papers.

In the event of work permit applications submitted outside of Turkey, the Ministry informs the appropriate consulate of the Republic of Turkey (through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) of the work permit application’s negative or positive decision.

When a foreigner or an employer files a work visa application in Turkey, the Ministry informs the foreigner or the employer. Foreigners who are given residence and work permits by consulates and enter Turkey are obliged to register with the Turkish Address Registry System within twenty business days of their arrival.​

Who Does Require a Work Permit in Turkey?

Unless they are exempted from this work visa requirement by particular rules or international conventions, foreign nationals must get a work permit before beginning to work in Turkey.

The following persons must apply for a work permit:

  • Employees,
  • Self-employed Entrepreneurs,
  • Directors of Turkey-based Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and who also own shares in the same LLC,
  • Members of the Board of Directors of Turkey-based Joint Stock Companies (JSCs), and who own shares in the same JSC.

Who Doesn’t Require a Work Permit in Turkey?

The following people are exempt from having to apply for a work visa:

  • Members of the Board of Directors of Turkey-based JSCs who do not live in Turkey,
  • Shareholders of Turkey-based enterprises who do not have an official management position in the firm,
  • Cross-border service providers who spend fewer than 90 days in Turkey in a 180-day period are all excluded.

However, foreigners in this category must acquire an “exemption certificate” before beginning employment in Turkey.

What Are The Work Permit Types in Turkey?

  • Employment Purpose / Special Employment Purpose,
  • Assigned Lecturers / Academics,
  • Assigned Sportsperson,
  • Assigned Artists,
  • Assigned Free Zone Workers,
  • Assigned Journalists,
  • Montage and Repairman Purposes.

What Are The Categories of Work Permits in Turkey?

In our nation, there are four different categories of foreigner work permits. These are the following.

1. What is a Work Permit For a Specific Timeframe?

Work permits shall be granted to individuals whose work visa application is approved for a maximum of one year provided that it does not exceed the term of the employment contract they signed with the employer, in accordance with International Labour Law No. 6735, which came into force after being published in the Official Gazette on 13.08.2016 and No. 29800.

Foreigners who wish to renew their work visa are permitted a maximum of two years at the conclusion of this time, providing they continue to work in the same employment. The third and subsequent applications are awarded a work visa for a maximum of three years.

2. What is a Work Permit For an Unlimited Duration?

Foreigners with a long-term residency permit in Turkey and a work permit of at least eight years are eligible to apply for an indefinite work permit. Foreigners with a work visa for an extended term are entitled to the same rights as Turkish citizens, except for a few unique restrictions. However, they cannot take advantage of entitlements such as military service, employment in government institutions, or the opportunity to vote and be elected.

3. What is an Independent Work Permit?

The independent work permit, which is provided for a certain length of time, is not available to all foreigners. The Ministry will examine this permission based on the following requirements: Educational attainment, experience in the profession and contribution made to technology and science, the contribution of planned investments in Turkey to the nation’s economy. Lastly, if you are a foreign corporation shareholder, you must invest your money in our nation.

4. What is a Turquoise Card?

The Turquoise Card is presented to foreigners who contribute to the economy, research, innovation, and commerce in our nation, who finance and offer jobs, or who are judged to do so.

All rights provided to expatriates with a work permit for an unlimited term are available to holders of this certificate. Families of cardholders are issued a document that serves as an indefinite residency permit in Turkey.

The first three years are a time of transformation. If the foreigners do not contribute as anticipated during this time, their Turquoise Card will be revoked.

Who Are The Foreigners Who Can Get a Work Permit in Turkey Unconditionally?

Foreigners who meet the following standards will be awarded an unconditional work permit if they produce documentation from the Republic of Turkey’s official authorities proving that they meet these requirements.

  • Citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,
  • Foreign nationals whose parents or children are Turkish citizens,
  • Foreigners who have a residence permit under the practices of the Administration for Turks Living Abroad and Related Communities,
  • Foreigners who have a residence permit in Turkey under humanitarian considerations,
  • Foreign nationals whose parents or children are Turkish citizens,
  • Foreigners with a temporary residency permit who are stateless.

What Are The Occupations That Foreigners With Work Permits Are Unable to Perform in Turkey?

There are several occupations that foreigners with work permits in Turkey cannot undertake. These are the following:

  • Officer of Security,
  • Notary Public,
  • Private Medical Institutions Director,
  • Lawyer, Judge and Public Prosecutor,
  • Veterinarian,
  • Pharmacist,
  • Dentist,
  • Tourist Guide,
  • Nurse and Midwife,
  • Broker in Customs,
  • Tourist Guide,
  • Exporting fish, oysters, mussels, sponges, pearls, coral, diving, seeking, piloting, captaincy, engineering, clerk, crew, etc., within Turkish territorial waters (as per the Coasting Law).

What Are The Documents Required For a Work Permit in Turkey?

For Foreigner: Employment contract, Biometric photo of the foreigner, Passport, Diploma.

For The Employer: Tax Registration Certificate, Trade Registry Gazette, Workplace balance sheet, Workplace activity certificate, Preliminary permission document (If the foreigner is a healthcare professional, a preliminary permit is obtained from the Ministry of Health; if the foreigner is an education Professional it must be obtained from the Ministry of National Education).

Related Article: Employing a Foreign Medical Doctor in Turkey.

You can read our other article about how to obtain a work permit in Turkey and get more detailed information on the matter.

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