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Work Permit in Turkey
Visit the closest Turkish Embassy to apply for a work permit and a visa to work in Turkey. The required paperwork for your application is your passport, the visa application form, and a letter from your employer.
The right to work, which is counted among the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, is the right that enables individuals to work in a job that is determined by their own wishes and, as a result, provides a level of welfare befitting human dignity.
Therefore, as stated in Article 16 of the 1982 Turkish Constitution, foreigners have the right to work in Turkey in accordance with International Law and only in cases limited by Law.
However, regarding the confidential situations in question, in the second paragraph of Article 6 of the International Labor Law No. 6735, “It is forbidden for foreigners within the scope of this Law to work or be employed in Turkey without a work permit.” restrictions were introduced.
As a matter of fact, a work permit, in the 12the article of the Implementing Regulation of the International Labor Law, is defined as an obligation that must be fulfilled by foreigners who want to work in Turkey.
Our Services: Foreigners Service Package in Turkey, Istanbul.
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 Labor 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 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.
The work permit application should include a work contract, letter of assignment, or document establishing a corporate partnership.
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 in Turkey 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 the country.
Foreigners with a residence permit with a remaining period of at least six months or their employers may submit work visa applications in Turkey, except for 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 of 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 Turkey 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.
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, per 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 in Turkey, 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 our nation’s economy, research, innovation, commerce, and finance and offer jobs or 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 Requires 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 individuals must apply for a work permit:
- Self-employed entrepreneurs,
- Directors of Turkey-based Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) who also own shares in the same LLC,
- Members of the Board of Directors (BoD) of Turkey-based Joint Stock Companies (JSCs) who own shares in the same JSC.
Which Foreigners Are Covered by Work Permits in Turkey?
Since the obligation of a work permit is in question for persons who remain within the scope of International Labor Law No. 6735, the first thing to be done is to determine this scope. The limits are drawn in the 2nd article of the International Labor Law and the Scope of the Application Regulation of the Law. According to the ruling, this Law includes;
- Foreigners who work or apply for a work permit in Turkey,
- Foreigners who have applied for or are seeing training with an employer in Turkey,
- Foreigners applying for internships or doing internships in Turkey,
- Foreigners who are in Turkey to provide temporary services and provide cross-border services,
- Also includes real and legal persons who employ foreigners or apply for employment in Turkey.
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 is The Penalty For Employing Foreign Workers Without a Work Permit in Turkey?
Employers who hire foreigners without work permits for the year 2023 will be subject to administrative fines as follows:
- For each foreign worker without a work permit, the employer will pay a fine of 35.815 Turkish Liras; for independently working foreigners without a work permit, the fine will be 28.655 Turkish Liras; and for dependently working foreigners without a work permit, the fine will be 14.318 Turkish Liras.
- Individuals who fail to fulfill the notification obligation stipulated by the law within the specified period, both independent and indefinitely authorized foreign workers, as well as employers who hire foreign workers, will be penalized with a fine of 2.378 Turkish Liras for each foreign worker.
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,
- Tourist Guide,
- Nurse and Midwife,
- Broker in Customs,
- Exporting fish, oysters, mussels, sponges, pearls, coral, diving, seeking, piloting, captaincy, engineering, clerk, crew, etc., within Turkish territorial waters (as per the Coasting Law).
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 (BoD) 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 excluded.
However, foreigners in this category must acquire an “exemption certificate” before beginning employment in Turkey.
Obtaining Work Permit in Turkey For Foreigners Under Temporary Protection
For foreigners under temporary protection, the application to obtain a work permit in Turkey must be submitted by the employer to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security through the online system. The steps after this stage are the same as the procedures for domestic applications.
For the foreigner under temporary protection to get a work permit, at least six months of the temporary protection period must have been completed as of the date of the work permit application.
Another important point is that the work permit given to foreigners under temporary protection does not replace the residence permit. The wage to be paid to the foreigner must be at least the minimum wage.
In addition, foreigners under temporary protection who will work in seasonal agricultural and animal husbandry jobs (without the need to obtain a work permit in Turkey) can work by obtaining a work permit exemption form from the Provincial Directorate of Labor and Employment Agency.
Obtaining a Work Permit in Turkey For Foreigners Under International Protection
For foreigners under international protection, the application to obtain a work permit must be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security by the employer via the online system. The steps after this stage are the same as the procedures for domestic applications.
International protection applicants or conditionally refugee foreigners can apply for a work permit six months after the international protection application date.
Identity documents of refugees and foreigners with subsidiary protection status replace work permits. Also, they do not need a work permit. The work permit given to international protection applicants and conditional refugees does not replace a residence permit.
The wage to be paid to the foreigner must be at least the minimum wage. In addition, international protection applicants and conditional refugee foreigners who will work in seasonal agricultural and animal husbandry jobs (without the need to obtain a work permit in Turkey) can work by obtaining a work permit exemption form from the Provincial Directorate of Labor and Employment Agency.
How Does The Process of Obtaining a Work Permit For Foreigners in Turkey Work?
This section will examine how the process will develop for foreigners who want to work in Turkey and do not fall under one of the work permit exemptions.
What is Pre-Permission?
The preliminary permit is regulated in the 8the article of the International Labor Law. It is obligatory for foreigners who want to work in certain fields, such as; health and education, to obtain a preliminary permit. Accordingly, the services required for preliminary permission and the relevant Ministries are as follows:
- Ministry of Health for health services,
- Ministry of Education for Educational Services,
- Higher Education Board for Teaching Staff,
- Ministry of Science, Industry, and Technology for foreigners who will work as R&D personnel.
Where Should Foreigners Apply First to Get a Work Permit in Turkey?
A foreigner who wants to work in Turkey can apply from abroad, which is the general application form, or from the region if they are already in Turkey.
In addition, with the innovation that came with Law No. 6735, it is possible to apply through intermediary institutions. It should be noted that since the domestic application is exceptional, it is made if the conditions are met. Because a work permit is a requirement of a work visa, it is essential for the person to enter the country with a visa suitable for their purpose.
As stated above, in work permit applications received from abroad, since it is a part of the work visa, as a rule, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the competent authority for receiving applications. Therefore, the Turkish Consulate(s) is the first address of foreigners in foreign applications.
In terms of domestic applications, since the foreigner is already in Turkey, it is sufficient to apply to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security only in the form of an online application and submission of documents. It should be noted that; the foreigner applying from within the country must have a residence permit for six months.
How to Apply Online For Foreigners’ Work Permits in Turkey?
The online application takes place as the second step in applications abroad and as the first step in domestic applications. In 2010, a system for obtaining work permits for foreigners in Turkey was established. As the Law states, foreign work permits in Turkey, or work permit exemptions in Turkey applications will be made through this system.
An application is made through the e-Devlet (e-Government portal) system as an official application for work permits. Apart from the independent work permit, the employer can make the online application or through a proxy authorized by the employer. The system can be accessed via the e-Devlet portal or the Ministry’s website.
With the transition to the electronic system, compulsory KEP application has started. Therefore, the employer must have a KEP address for the foreigner who applies for an independent work permit.
It is also worth noting that since e-Devlet (Turkey’s e-government system) can only be accessed by Turkish citizens, if the foreigner is to apply as an independent employee, they will have to apply by giving a Power of Attorney (PoA) to a Turkish citizen (preferably a lawyer).
If we were to list the steps of the online application:
- First Stage: Fulfilling the e-Devlet entry requirements,
- Second Stage: Accessing the system through the e-Devlet portal or directly from the Ministry’s website,
- Third Stage: Creation of Employer Registration,
- Fourth Stage: Filling the Foreigner’s Information,
- Fifth Stage: Uploading Photos and Documents,
- Sixth Stage: Completion of the application using e-signature.
Which Documents Are Required For Foreigners’ Work Permit Application in Turkey?
When making the first application for a work permit, some documents must be prepared. The documents to be prepared for foreigners are as follows;
- Employment contract signed by the employer and the foreigner,
- Passport copy,
- Biometric photo,
- Copy of Diploma or Temporary Graduation Certificate with Turkish translation approved by a sworn translator or official authorities (not mandatory for home services),
- Residence Permit (Required for domestic applications).
The documents to be prepared by the employer are;
- Turkish Trade Registry Gazette showing the latest capital and partnership structure of the organization,
- Balance sheet and profit/loss statement for the last year approved by the tax office or certified public accountant.
Preliminary Permission Document:
- If it is a private education institution affiliated with the Ministry of National Education, a permit document showing the professional competence of the foreigner by the Ministry of National Education,
- If it is a private education institution affiliated with the Ministry of Health, a permit document showing the professional competence of the foreigner by the Ministry of Health,
- If it is a private educational institution affiliated with Higher Education Institution, a permission document obtained from the Higher Education Institution for the lecturer to work in the relevant institution,
- A permit from the Ministry of Science, Industry, and Technology is required for foreigners who will work as R&D personnel.
Permit, License, or Certificate of Establishment:
- For private education institutions that will employ foreigners, “Permission to Open an Institution and Start Education” and “License” obtained from the Ministry of National Education,
- For private health institutions that will employ foreigners, an Activity Permit obtained from the Provincial Health Directorate,
- Operation and Investment Certificate obtained from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for foreigners to be employed in workplaces with a tourism operation certificate, if not a certified enterprise, an Activity Certificate obtained from the Chamber of Commerce,
- Form of an Activity Permit obtained from the Ministry of Economy for foreigners to be employed in liaison offices.
Article 15 of the Implementation Regulation states that these documents requested by the Ministry will be submitted online, and there is no need to send them separately by hand or by mail.
Related Article: Employing a Foreign Medical Doctor in Turkey.
Foreigner’s Minimum Salary Requirement in Turkey
The monthly wage declared by the employer to be paid to the foreigner must be at a level compatible with the duties and competence of the foreigner. Accordingly, taking into account the minimum wage amount in force as of the date of application, the wage to be paid to the foreigner must be at least;
- 6.5 times the minimum wage for senior executives, pilots, engineers, and architects requesting prior authorization,
- 4 times the minimum wage for the unit or branch managers and engineers, architects,
- 3 times the minimum wage for foreigners working in specialized and skilled jobs, teachers, psychologists, physiotherapists, musicians, and stage performers,
- At least the minimum wage for foreigners to be employed in domestic services and 1.5 times the minimum wage for foreigners to be employed in other professions (salesperson, marketing-export officer, etc.),
- For foreigners who will work as acrobats and similar titles in tourism-animation organization companies and for foreigners who will work as masseurs, masseuses, and SPA therapists, the minimum wage must be 2 times the minimum wage.
Evaluation of The Application and Conclusion
After the documents are delivered to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security completely in an electronic environment, the application is evaluated considering the scope of the Law, application procedures, and principles, as explained above. The results will be reported to the employer and the foreigner again electronically.
Application For Extension of Work Permit in Turkey
A work permit is given to foreigners for a maximum of one year in the first place. This one year can be extended for another two years. For workers who have completed three years, an extension can be made for three more years. The foreign worker, who must work in the same workplace for the first three years, can work in any other workplace they want with the same work permit after three years.
Application for employing foreign workers is made to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. This application must be made within a maximum of two months from the end of the work permit period. Application for an extension of time to employ foreign workers, which is not made within this period, will not be considered. The foreign employee for whom an extension application has been made may continue to work at their current workplace, but it can not exceed 45 days.
MGC Legal Work Permit Application Services in Turkey
MGC Legal is a highly competent Turkish law firm serving internationally. Our competent and knowledgeable experts, lawyers, and attorneys who speak English fluently will quickly and easily obtain your required work permit in Turkey. They will assist you throughout the whole process, inform you of the necessary documents required and follow up with the whole process. Also, answer all the questions that you may have.
MGC Legal considers to be of the highest quality, and the services provided are outstanding; an experienced team specialized in different legal fields as well as a staff legal consultant works with the world’s leading academics and professionals from abroad. We aim to ensure that our clients have access to up-to-date and accurate legal information.