Work Permit in Turkey
What are the types of work permits in Turkey? Where to apply for a work permit? How long is a work permit issued? You can find the answers to all these in this article.
It is not possible for a foreign national to work legally in Turkey without a work permit application and approval. Foreigners who want to work in Turkey are legally obliged to obtain a work permit before starting to work. It is necessary to apply to the Ministry of Labor with the necessary documents for a work permit. There are four types of work permits for foreigners who want to work in Turkey: indefinite, temporary, independent and Turquoise card.
1. Types of Permits
1.1 Temporary Work Permit
According to the Law on International Labor Force, a foreigner whose work permit application is approved is granted a work permit for a maximum period of one year at the first application, provided that he/she works in a specific workplace belonging to a legal or real person or a public institution or organization or in a specific job in their workplaces in the same line of business, provided that it does not exceed the duration of the service or employment contract.
At least one month before the expiry of this period, a work permit extension application may be made by the same employer. If the work permit extension application is evaluated positively, the foreigner is granted a work permit for a maximum of two years in the first extension application and up to three years in subsequent extension applications. However, applications to work for a different employer are evaluated by the ministry.
1.2 Indefinite Work Permit
Foreigners with a long-term residence permit or a legal work permit for at least eight years may apply for an indefinite work permit. However, the fact that the foreigner meets the application requirements does not necessarily entitle the foreigner to an indefinite work permit.
A foreigner with an indefinite work permit benefits from all the rights provided by a long-term residence permit. The foreigner who has an indefinite work permit shall benefit from the rights granted to Turkish citizens, except for the regulations in special laws, without prejudice to their acquired rights regarding social security and subject to the provisions of the relevant legislation in the exercise of these rights.
1.3 Independent Work Permit
An independent work permit shall be issued for a period of time. Foreigners who are members of professional professions may be granted an independent work permit, provided that the special conditions specified in other laws are met.
In the evaluation of the independent work permit in line with the international labor force policy, the foreigner’s professional experience, level of education, contribution to technology and science, the impact of his/her activity or investment in Turkey on the country’s economy and employment, his/her capital share if he/she is a foreign company partner, and other issues to be determined by the Ministry in line with the recommendations of the International Labor Force Policy Advisory Board shall be taken into consideration.
1.4 Turquoise Card
The Turquoise Card grants indefinite work and residence permits to foreigners who can be beneficial to Turkey in various ways and who meet certain qualifications, and even grants indefinite residence rights to the relatives of the foreigner concerned.
In line with the international labor policy, a Turquoise Card is issued to foreigners whose applications are deemed appropriate by the Ministry based on their professional experience, level of education, contribution to technology and science, the impact of their activity or investment in Turkey on the country’s economy and employment, and the recommendations of the International Labor Policy Advisory Board and the procedures and principles determined.
The Turquoise Card is issued for the first three years of the transition period. During the transition period, the Ministry may request documents and information from the foreigner or the employer regarding the activities carried out. If the foreigner whose Turquoise Card is not canceled within the transition period in accordance with Article 15 of the International Labor Policy, the transition period shall be lifted upon application and an indefinite Turquoise Card shall be issued. The application for lifting the transitional period shall be made within 180 days of the expiry of the transitional period, in any case before the expiry of the transitional period. After the expiry of the transitional period, the application for removal of the transitional period shall be rejected and the Turquoise Card shall become invalid.
The relatives of the foreigner holding a Turquoise Card shall also be issued a document indicating that they are relatives of the Turquoise Card holder and replacing the residence permit.
The Turquoise Card holder foreigner shall benefit from the rights provided by the indefinite work permit regulated in this Law.
In the Turquoise Card application; those who have internationally recognized studies in the academic field, those who have come to the forefront in a field that is considered strategic for our country in science, technology and industry, or those who make or are envisaged to make a significant contribution to the national economy in terms of employment, export or investment capacity are considered as qualified foreigners.
2. Types of Application
2.1 Domestic Application
It is made for foreigners who have a residence permit valid for at least six months and are in our country. In this case, the foreigner has a Turkish Republic Foreigner Identity Number starting with 99.
2.2 Application abroad
In case the foreigner does not have a residence permit, he/she applies for a work visa by going to the foreign representation of the Republic of Turkey in the country of his/her nationality. The foreigner must have a 16-digit reference number that will be given to him/her by the Foreign Representation of the Republic of Turkey.
2.3 Extension Application
An extension application must be submitted at most 60 days prior to the expiry date of the existing work permit or before the expiry of the permit. When the extension application is submitted after the expiry of the work permit, the extension application is subject to the procedures and principles of the initial
After the legal working period of one year, if the extension application is evaluated positively, a work permit may be granted for up to 2 years in the first extension application and up to 3 years in subsequent extension applications, depending on the same employer.
Applications to work for a different employer shall be evaluated subject to the procedures and principles of the first application.
2.4 Work Permit Application for Foreigners under Temporary Protection
It is made for foreigners under temporary protection in Turkey. The foreigner must have a Temporary Protection residence permit.
2.5 Work Permit Application for Foreigners under International Protection
It is made for foreigners who are under International Protection in Turkey and who are International Protection Applicants. The foreigner must have an International Protection residence permit.
3. Foreigners Exempted from Work Permit
Article 48 of the 6735 International Labor Law Implementation Regulation titled “Exemptions” specifies the cases where foreigners will be exempted from work permits. These cases are as follows;
Provided that the provisions of special laws and the obligations of the foreigner and the employer arising from other laws are reserved;
- Foreigners who will work within the scope of scientific, artistic and cultural activities for up to one month,
- Foreigners coming to Turkey for the purpose of training in the use of goods and services imported into or exported from Turkey, or for the assembly, repair and maintenance of machinery and equipment imported into Turkey, or for the purpose of training in their use, or for the purpose of taking delivery of the equipment, or for the repair of vehicles that break down in Turkey, up to a total of three months,
- Foreigners providing cross-border services for up to three months,
- Up to three months for non-resident board members of joint stock companies established in accordance with the Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102 and non-executive shareholders of other companies and foreigners who are not shareholders in these companies but authorized to represent and bind at the highest level and who will work in Turkey,
- Those who reside abroad and are declared to be of Turkish descent by the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and who will work in Turkey for up to three months,
- Foreigners who will work within the scope of sporting activities for up to four months,
- Foreigners who will do internships within the scope of student exchange programs between Turkish universities and universities in foreign countries and approved by the Council of Higher Education for up to four months,
- Foreigners who will work in seasonal agricultural and animal husbandry jobs determined by the Directorate General for up to six months,
- Foreigners who will work in circuses and fairs that will operate outside the borders of certified tourism enterprises for up to six months,
- Foreigners who are notified by the relevant public institutions and organizations that they can provide significant services and contributions to Turkey in economic, socio-cultural and technological fields and education for up to six months,
- Foreigners who will work as tour operator representatives for up to eight months,
- Foreigners who will do internship within the scope of international intern student exchange, youth exchange or new graduate intern exchange programs approved by the Directorate General for up to twelve months,
- Foreigners who come to universities and public institutions and organizations to conduct research or to increase their knowledge and experience, provided that it is limited to the duration of their education and in any case for up to two years,
- Foreign professional athletes, coaches, sports physicians, sports mechanics, sports physiotherapists, sports physiotherapists, sports masseuses or masseurs and similar sports personnel who come to Turkey with a visa with a sports legitimate visa, provided that they have the approval of the Ministry of Youth and Sports or the Turkish Football Federation, during their contracts with sports federations and sports clubs,
- In accordance with Rule I/10 of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, foreign seafarers working on ships registered in the Turkish International Ship Registry and operating outside the cabotage line, who have received a Certificate of Conformity from the relevant administration in accordance with the bilateral protocols made with the states, during their employment or service contract,
- Foreigners assigned to programs or projects carried out within the scope of Turkey-European Union Financial Cooperation Programs,
- Foreign students enrolled in a formal education program in Turkey who are required to do an internship with an employer within the scope of vocational training in accordance with the relevant legislation during the compulsory internship,
- Foreigners working in schools, cultural institutions and religious institutions operating as affiliated units of diplomatic and consular representations of foreign countries in Turkey during their term of office,
- Foreigners working in the private service of persons serving as diplomatic staff members, consular officers, administrative and technical staff members and consular servants in diplomatic and consular representations of foreign countries in Turkey, international officers and administrative and technical staff in international organizations in Turkey for the duration of their employment or service contracts,
- Foreigners who will work in the military factories and shipyards operating under the Ministry of National Defense and the Machinery and Chemical Industry Joint Stock Company during their employment or service contracts,
- 18.06.2017 dated 7034 numbered Law on the Establishment of the Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University established by the Law on the Establishment of the Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University, foreign national staff, researchers or managers to work within the Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University during their employment contracts,
- 26.04.2014 dated 28983 numbered and published in the Official Gazette dated 28.04.2014 and published in the Official Gazette dated 26.04.2014 and numbered 28983, foreigners who receive specialty training in accordance with the Regulation on Specialty Training in Medicine and Dentistry during their training,
- is considered within the scope of work permit exemption.
4. Work Permit Evaluation Criteria
Pursuant to Article 13 of the Implementing Regulation of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners, which is still in force pursuant to paragraph 4 of the Provisional Article 1 of the International Labour Force Law No. 6735, the Evaluation Criteria to be met by the Applicant Workplaces and Foreigners Regarding the Work Permit Requests of Foreigners are stated below;
- At least five citizens of the Republic of Turkey must be employed in the workplace where the work permit is requested. If the foreigner requesting the permit is a company partner, the employment requirement of five people is sought for the last six months of the one-year work permit to be issued by the Ministry. In the event that a work permit is requested for more than one foreigner in the same workplace, employment of five citizens of the Republic of Turkey shall be sought separately for each foreigner after the first foreigner granted a work permit.
- The paid-in capital of the workplace must be at least 100.000 TL or the gross sales must be at least 800.000 TL or the last year’s export amount must be at least 250.000 USD.
- Article 2 shall not apply to the permit applications of foreigners who will work in associations and foundations, and Articles 1 and 2 shall not apply to the work permit applications of foreigners who will work in the Turkish representative offices of foreign state airlines, education sector and domestic services.
- The foreigner who is a shareholder of the company requesting a permit must have a capital share of at least 20 per cent and not less than 40.000 TL.
- The amount of monthly wage declared to be paid to the foreigner by the employer 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 and pilots,
- 4 times the minimum wage for unit or branch managers and engineers and architects,
- (Amended: 16.03.2012/ÇGM-5241) 3 times the minimum wage for those who will work in jobs requiring expertise and mastery and for teachers,
- (Amended: 03.02.2012/ÇGM-2285) Minimum minimum wage for foreigners to be employed in domestic services and 1,5 times the minimum wage for foreigners to work in other professions,
- (Amended: 16.03.2012/ÇGM-5241) For foreigners who will work as acrobats and similar titles in tourism-animation organisation companies and for foreigners who will work as masseurs, masseuses and SPA therapists, the minimum wage must be 2 times the minimum wage.
- (Değişik:01.02.2017/UİGM-1061) bünyelerinde;
- At least three-star tourism enterprises certified by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, certified holiday villages, thermal hotels with an activity permit obtained from the official authorities, proving that they have a permitted massage parlour,
- (Değişik:01.02.2017/UİGM-1061) Bünyelerinde;
- Bath-sauna-SPA etc. contracted (contracted) facilities with certified tourism enterprises that have a complex,
- Sports centres with permission from the authorities employing at least twenty (20) Turkish citizens,
- Requests for employing foreigners in jobs requiring expertise and mastery such as masseurs, masseuses and SPA therapists will be evaluated, and the requests of businesses and workplaces that do not fall within this scope will not be approved.
- (Amended: 20.4.2011/ÇGM-8108) In the event that at least 10 citizens of the Republic of Turkey are employed for foreigners to be employed in jobs requiring expertise and mastery in the entertainment sector and tourism-animation organisation companies, the quota for the employment of five citizens of the Republic of Turkey for each foreigner will not be applied separately.
- (Additional Article: 20.4.2011/ÇGM-8108) In cases where there are provisions in bilateral or multilateral agreements to which Turkey is a party and in the evaluation of work permit requests for foreigners to be employed in the procurement of goods and services by public institutions and organisations through contract or tender procedures, the criteria specified in Articles 1 and 2 shall not be applied.
- (Additional Article: 20.4.2011/ÇGM-8108) In the works requiring advanced technology or in cases where there are no Turkish experts with the same qualifications, the criteria specified in Articles 1 and 2 shall not be applied upon the approval of the Directorate General.
- (Additional Article: 20.4.2011/ÇGM-8108) For the foreigners to be employed other than key personnel in enterprises that meet the conditions for Foreign Direct Investment, the criterion determined by Article 1 shall be applied based on the number of Turkish citizens working in all workplaces of the enterprise throughout the country.
5. FOREIGNERS FOR WHOM NO CRITERIA WILL BE APPLIED
Foreigners who are not subject to the work permit evaluation criteria are specified below in accordance with the provisions of the Implementing Regulation of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners, and the foreigners specified herein are obliged to obtain a work permit in order to work. Such foreigners whose work permit applications are finalised without being subject to the work permit evaluation criteria are obliged to prove that they are in this scope with documents obtained from the official authorities of the Republic of Turkey.
- Foreigners whose mother, father or child is a Turkish citizen,
- Foreigners who have lived in a marriage union with a Turkish citizen for at least three years,
- Foreigners who are citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,
- Foreigners who have been granted a residence permit within the framework of Turkish and related communities practices,
- Foreigners who have been granted a residence permit within the framework of humanitarian considerations,
- Foreigners who have been granted a residence permit as victims of human trafficking,
- Foreigners who have been granted a residence permit in stateless status.
6. Work Permit Fee and Valuable Paper Fee
2022 Work Permit Certificate Fees are stated in the table below.
|TYPE/DURATION OF LEAVE||FEE||FEE AMOUNT (TL)|
|Term / Up to 1 year (including 1 year)||Temporary Work Permit||1.386,20|
|Duration / Leave for more than 1 years and 2 years||Temporary Work Permit||2.772,40|
|Duration / Leave for more than 2 years and 3 years||Temporary Work Permit||4.158,60|
|Duration / Leave for more than 3 years and 4 years||Temporary Work Permit||5.544,80|
|Duration / Leave for more than 4 years and 5 years||Temporary Work Permit||6.931,00|
|Indefinite||Work Permit Certificate||13.867,40|
|Independent||Work Permit Certificate||13.867,40|
|Temporary Protection Work Permit / 1 Year (Standard)||Work Permit Certificate||515,70|
2022 Lost Card Fees are stated in the table below.
|TYPE/DURATION OF LEAVE||FEE||FEE AMOUNT (TL)|
|Term / Up to 1 year (including 1 year)||Lost Card Fee||693,10|
|Duration / Leave for more than 1 years and 2 years||Lost Card Fee||1.386,20|
|Duration / Leave for more than 2 years and 3 years||Lost Card Fee||2.079,30|
|Duration / Leave for more than 3 years and 4 years||Lost Card Fee||2.772,40|
|Duration / Leave for more than 4 years and 5 years||Lost Card Fee||3.465,50|
|Indefinite||Lost Card Fee||6.933,70|
|Independent||Lost Card Fee||6,933,70|
|Temporary Protection Work Permit / 1 Year (Standard)||Lost Card Fee||257,80|
Work permit applications generally start with foreigners applying for a work permit and visa to the relevant foreign representative offices of the Republic of Turkey. However, if the foreigner in Turkey has a residence permit valid for at least 6 months, the work permit application can be made as a domestic application.
- Labour contract signed by the employer and the foreigner
- Passport copy
- Copy of Diploma or Temporary Graduation Certificate
- Turkish Trade Registry Gazette showing the latest capital and partnership structure of the organisation
- Balance sheet and profit/loss statement for the last year, certified by the tax office or certified public accountant
- For foreigners who will work in private education institutions affiliated to the Ministry of National Education, a preliminary permission document from the Ministry of National Education showing the professional competence of the foreigner
- “Permission to Open an Institution and Start Teaching” and “Licence” obtained from the Ministry of National Education for private education institutions that will employ foreigners
- Foreigners are not allowed to work in domestic services except for the care of the elderly, children and patients.
- For foreign health professionals who will work in private health institutions affiliated to the Ministry of Health, a Prior Authorisation Certificate showing the professional competence of the foreigner obtained from the Provincial Health Directorate of the province where the health institution where they will work is located
- Activity Permit Certificate obtained from the Provincial Health Directorate for private health institutions that will employ foreigners
- For foreigners to be employed in workplaces with a tourism business certificate, a Certificate of Operation and Investment obtained from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, or if not a certified business, a Certificate of Activity obtained from the Chamber of Commerce
- Turkish translation certified by a sworn translator or official authorities (The certificate showing that the foreigner for whom a work permit is requested has an international reputation as an artist or has worked in foreign enterprises at the same level by making programmes will have an apostille annotation or Foreign Representation certification annotation according to the 1961 Hague Convention on the certificate).
- Labour Contract in Turkish and in the language of the foreigner
- Certificate of Operation obtained from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Obligatory Issues to be included in the Labour Contract to be concluded with Foreign Artists:
- A record stating that foreign artists will undertake that their return tickets and travelling expenses will be covered by the employer upon their return to their countries following their working period,
- A commitment that the wage will not be less than three times the minimum wage, which changes every six months,
- Workplace Tax Number,
- In addition to the rights of the employee, 155 Police Help Line, 157 Help Line for Victims of Human Trafficking, Alo 170 helpline numbers and the contact numbers of the Provincial Directorates of the Ministry of Labour and Employment Agency will be included for consultation when necessary.
- For foreign pilots to be employed in workplaces operating in the aviation sector, the Turkish translation of the Pilot Licence certified by a sworn translator or official authorities, This document will be scanned and sent online during the electronic application. The work permit to be issued by our Ministry becomes valid with the Validation Certificate to be obtained from the General Directorate of Civil Aviation of the Ministry of Transport, which validates the licences of foreign pilots in Turkey.
Engineers and Architects:
- “Diploma or Temporary Graduation Equivalence Certificate” to be obtained in accordance with the Regulation on Equivalence of Higher Education Diplomas Abroad in accordance with Articles 3 and 7/p of Law No. 2547, if the foreigner for whom a work permit is requested as an engineer / architect within the scope of professional services receives higher education abroad
- For legal entities that will employ foreign experts as engineers/architects/urban planners, a pay slip proving that a Turk is employed in the same profession
- Activity permit obtained from the Ministry of Economy for foreigners to be employed in liaison offices
- For liaison offices, at least 200 thousand US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency has been brought from abroad in the last year
Professions and Duties Reserved to Turkish Citizens by Laws and forbidden to Foreigners
- Professions reserved for Turkish Citizens
- Dentistry, dentistry, nursing
- Veterinary Medicine
- Responsible manager in private hospitals
- Notary Public
- Private security guard
- Export of fish, oysters, mussels, sponges, sponges, pearls, corals, diving, prospecting, pilotage, captainship, navigation, clerking, crew etc. within territorial waters.
- Customs brokerage