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Guide to Get a Work Permit in Turkey 2023

Last Modified: 2023-08-18

Foreigners who want to live and work in Turkey must obtain a work permit. Employers who need to employ foreign workers in the workplace are also required to obtain a work permit for the foreigner they will employ.

There are some procedures to obtain a work permit. As Global Mobility Turkey, we provide consultancy services to employers who want to obtain a work permit for their foreign employees, and to foreigners who want to obtain a work permit, regarding the application of work permit.

Table of Contents

  1. Work Permit in Turkey
  2. Important Points of Getting Work Permit
  3. Work Permit for Company Owned Foreigners
  4. Work Permit Application
  5. Required Documents for Work Permit

In this article, we have explained in detail what needs to be done for foreigners to get a work permit. This article has been prepared by the Global Mobility Turkey team to answer the question of how to get a work permit. We wish you pleasant reading.

  1. What is a Work Permit?
  2. The official document, issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security that gives a foreigner the right to live and work in Turkey, is called Work Permit. The details of the work permit are determined in the International Labor Law No. 6735. There is a certain validity period for a work permit. For foreigners whose work permit period has expired, a new work permit application should be taken.

    Blue card holders or those who are entitled to receive it do not need to obtain a work permit to work in Turkey. In addition, in the 48th article of the International Labor Law Implementation Regulation, foreign nationals who are not required to have a work permit are determined. In the said regulation, foreigners who will work for a short time in sports, arts, culture and official institutions in Turkey are exempted from work permit.

    There are various penalties for foreigners working without a work permit and businesses employing foreigners. Foreigners working without a work permit are reported to the Ministry of Interior for deportation, in case the competent authorities are identified. On the other hand, firms that employs foreigners without a work permit is obliged to pay the accommodation expenses of the foreigner and his family, the costs necessary for his return to their country and the administrative fine.

  3. Important Points about Work Permit
  4. When applying for a work permit, there are many special cases, according to the foreigner’s status, the business’s status and the sector in which the business serves. In this part of our article, you can find the things that need to be considered when applying for a work permit.

    Foreigners who want to obtain a work permit after coming to Turkey must have a valid residence permit of at least 6 months in Turkey. If foreigners don’t an active 6-month residence permit, they cannot obtain a work permit. Foreigners, who want to get a work permit from Turkey, have not come to Turkey yet, have to come to Turkey by obtaining a work visa. Foreigners who came with a tourist visa cannot obtain a work permit.

    Having a residence permit is not enough to work. Foreigners have to have a work permit, if they want to work in Turkey. However, foreigners with a work permit do not need to obtain a residence permit. In addition, as we mentioned before, one of the prerequisites for a work permit is that the foreigner has a valid 6-month residence permit.

    Work permits are given for a specific business. Foreigners holding a work permit cannot work in any business they want. They can only work in the workplace with a work permit. In the event that the foreign employee changes workplace, the work permit is canceled and the new employer must obtain a new work permit.

    In addition, foreigners cannot work in some sectors. For example, it is forbidden for foreigners to work in the professions of dentistry, pharmacy, veterinarian, lawyer, notary public, private security officer and customs consultant. Only Turkish citizens can work in these professions.

    While evaluating work permit applications, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security receives opinion from the Turkish Employment Agency (ISKUR). If the foreigners’ job can be handled by a Turkish citizen, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security may not approve the Work Permit application.

    The criteria above are very important for the Work Permit application. As Global Mobility Turkey, we warn the parties in applications that are likely to be rejected, in order to prevent possible loss of time and money for employers and foreigners, and we declare that we cannot work with them.

  5. How can Company Owned Foreigners Get Work Permit?
  6. For foreigners who are company owners or partners in Turkey can get work permit. Company owned foreigners must meet some requirements related with company types. Established in accordance with the Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102; foreigners who are the manager and shareholders of limited liability companies, board member and shareholders of joint stock companies, managers and shareholders of limited partnership companies and managers and shareholders of other companies can work by obtaining a work permit.

    Members of the board of directors of joint stock companies who do not reside in Turkey, and partners of other companies who do not have the title of manager, are considered within the scope of work permit exemption.

  7. How to Apply for Work Permit?
  8. In this part of our article, we will explain detailed the answer to the question of how to get a work permit for foreigners. We mentioned that foreign nationals must obtain a work permit in order to work in Turkey, if foreigners want to apply for work permit in Turkey. Work permit applications are not made by foreigners themselves, but by employers who want to employ the foreigner. Work permit processes are managed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

    Let's start with the status of the foreigner who will apply for a work permit. For a work permit, the foreigner must have a current residence permit of at least 6 months in Turkey. If the foreigner is not in Turkey, he/she must apply for a work visa from the Turkish Embassy or Consulate in his/her home country. The foreigner must notify the workplace in Turkey of the 16-digit reference code, given with the work visa. The employer must apply for a work permit for the foreigner with this code.

    The employer or the Social Security Institution’s e-Declaration (SGK e-Bildirge) User of the firm will log in to the E-Work Permit (E-Çalışma İzni) Portal with e-signature. Transactions are required to be made with e-signature. When entering the e-Work Permit (E-Çalışma İzni) System, the employer must first register the workplace. Afterwards, the necessary documents for the work permit will be prepared and uploaded to the portal. Documents will not be sent to the General Directorate by mail or by hand.

    Work permit applications are generally finalized within 30 days. In case of a positive result of the work permit application, an e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address registered in the E-Work Permit (E-Çalışma İzni) system. Then the required fees will be paid. In cases where the foreigner is abroad, the fee, valuable paper fee and other fees will be deposited by the foreigner to the Turkish Embassy or Consulate.

    After paying the fee and valuable paper fee determined for Work Permit applications, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security approves the work permit and prints the Work Permit Card. Then it is sent to the workplace address by PTT Cargo. The foreigner's SSI (SGK) notification must be made within 30 days. In case of termination of employment between the workplace and the foreigner or the completion of the work by the foreigner, the work permit must be terminated from the E-Work Permit (E-Çalışma İzni) portal.

  9. Which Documents are Required for Work Permit Turkey?
    • Employment Contract, workplace title and address, identity information of the foreigner, the position of the foreigner at the workplace, the monthly gross salary etc. should stated
    • Biometric Photograph of foreigner, taken within the 6 months
    • Copy of Passport of foreigner
    • Copy of Diploma of foreigner, with sworn Turkish translation and approved by the authority
    • Profit/Loss Statement approved by tax office or prepared by certified financial accountant of the company for the last year
    • In case the foreigner is the owner or partner of the company, instead of Employment Contract, the Trade Registry Gazette and Activity Certificate of the company
    • In case the foreigner is the owner or partner of the company, the "Foreign Company Partner / Business Owner" option should be selected in the e-Work Permit system.
    • In case the foreigner works as an educator, the "Preliminary Permission Certificate" obtained from the Ministry of National Education and the "Permit to Open an Institution and Start Education" of the educational institution
    • In case the foreigner works as a health personnel, the "Preliminary Permission Certificate" obtained from the Provincial Health Directorate and the Institutional License of the health institution

    Incorrect documents, incomplete information or documents in the work permit application will waste your time and money. Objecting to rejected applications is a grueling process. For work permit applications that are rejected once, the success rate in second applications is very low. Getting professional support in work permit applications will increase your success rate. The Global Mobility Turkey team provides consultancy services for Work Permit applications with its experience and professional staff for years. You can also fill in our contact form below to contact us.

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