Work Permit

Work permit Note; Foreigner cannot get a work permit by himself. First of all, it is necessary to find a job in Turkey. Later, an employer is able to apply and get a work permit for foreign employee.

Under contemporary globalization, inevitably labor markets have become increasingly integrated. In order to manage international labor mobility more effectively, especially in those emerging markets and developing countries, new labor migration policies have been established or the existing ones have been re-organized rapidly. At this point, achieving a right balance between the protection of local employment and the relaxation of barriers before high-skilled foreign labor has been the main concern of the state, which led to the introduction of effective tools in the management of international labor mobility.

2003 has been a remarkable year for Turkey to review its rules and principles dealing with the employment of foreign workers in Turkey. As one of the most popular destinations within the global labor market, Turkey has introduced and effectively has reformed a new system to control foreign labor immigration. In the purpose of centralization of work permits system under one code ‘Law no: 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners’ was originally enacted on 27th February 2003, as the principal legislation in controlling entry of foreign nationals in the Turkish labor market. Subsequently the same year ‘Regulation on the Implementation of the Law on Work Permits for Foreigners’[1] has been introduced to set forth the rules and principles regarding the implementation of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners. Furthermore, within the context of encouraging foreign direct investments, a new Foreign Direct Investment act was voted and became effective on 5th June 2003. Under the new FDI law, a special treatment is granted to the employment of expatriates with a separate regulation on the employment of expatriates under foreign direct investments. To encourage the employers to seek to employ high skilled foreign workers as well as to prevent informal foreign employment in Turkey, the past few years we have witnessed both systematical and procedural reforms in the Turkish legislation about the foreign labor immigration. Simplification of the eligibility conditions in work permit applications, adaptation of a new automated system for the work permit applications, a shortening in the period of the finalization of the work permit applications and a reduction in the procedural costs of applications might be considered main themes of the reform in the Turkish work permit system. There is no doubt that those further amendments have provided to the Turkish work permit system a more simplified, understandable and dynamic outlook.

The Law on Work Permits of Foreigners provides a legal framework about the employment of foreigners in Turkey by specifying  the rules and the principles to be applied at the procedures concerning work permits of foreigners. The law, in its relevant sections, specifies the types of work permits, outlines the exemptions and restrictions and formulates the rules about granting, extending, rejecting and canceling the working permissions.

 

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The Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security is entitled as a competent authority in the work permit process of foreigners. However certain Ministries, Public Institutions and Organizations are also empowered to grant working permissions.  On the basis of their existing authorities arising from relevant Turkish legislation, Prime Ministry, Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economy , General Directorate of Free Zones and  Council of Higher Education have the competence to grant working permission for specific categories of professions.

As a general rule, individuals who have no citizenship bond with the Republic of Turkey, in order to either work dependently or independently, are obliged to have a valid working permission before they start to work.  Exceptionally, for the working periods no more than one month, in the state of necessity or for the sake of state benefits, by prior notification of relevant authorities and with the ministry approval, working permit may be given after starting to work.

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Ata İnstitutonal Consultancy provides the service throughout whole Turkey including İstanbul, Ankara, Antalya, İzmir, Mugla, Bursa and Gaziantep. İf you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

The rules and principles stipulated in the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners are applicable to the foreigners working dependently or independently in Turkey. Those foreigners who receive a job training and the natural and judicial persons that employ foreigners are included within the scope of Law No. 4817 as well. The term “foreigner” in general refers to a person who is not a Turkish citizen under the Turkish Citizenship Law.[1] However those Turkish citizens by birth who got permission to renounce citizenship from the Ministry of Interior are excluded from the scope of Law No. 4817. Moreover, press reporters who are subjected to Press Law, Members of Foreign Press Organs, foreigners who are exempted from working permission requirement in their employment in Turkey due to reciprocity principle, international and European Union laws and foreigners who are employed or granted with working permission by the other Ministries, Public Institutions and Organizations [2] are not included within the scope of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners.

In accordance with the article 15 of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners, certain professions are reserved only for Turkish citizens. Different legal instruments in Turkey, prohibit foreigners to work either dependently or independently in  certain professions and occupations. Foreigners are not allowed to work; (i) as attorney[3] (ii)  as notary public[4] (iii) as security guard at private or public institutions[5] (iv) as customs broker and assistant customs broker[6] (v) as dentist, midwife and nurse[7] (vi) as pharmacist[8] (vii) as Veterinarian [9] (vii) as director in private hospitals[10].

Moreover in accordance with Turkish Cabotage Law[11]

“The right to catch or obtain fish, oysters, mussels, sponges, pearls, coral, mother-or-pearl and the like, extract sand, gravel and the like, extract and salvage sunken ships and vessels or shipwrecks and the like either on the surface or on the bottom of the sea, perform diving, searching, piloting and maritime supply, work as captain, secretary, crew or workman or in another capacity on Turkish maritime vessels, and carry out wharf porterage or any type of maritime business, within Turkish continental waters, shall belong exclusively to Turkish nationals.”

Additionally, law no: 6458 on Foreigners and Internal Protection defines the cases in which foreigners may not apply for work permit. Article 27(2) of law no: 6458 states that the following foreigners (who are defined in the article 7 of the law no: 6458) may not apply for work permit.

 “i) it is determined that his or her passport, passport substituting document, visa or residence permit or work permit is absent or fraudulent; or that he or she has obtained these permits fraudulently, ii) he or she does not hold a passport or a passport substitute document which is valid for at least sixty days as of the expiry of visa, visa exemption or residence permit, iii) he or she falls under the scope of the foreigners listed under the first paragraph of Article 15, without prejudice to the second paragraph of Article 15 of this Law, and regardless of whether or not he or she is exempted from a visa.”


[1] Law No. 5901 Date of Enactment: 29.05.2009 Published in the Official Gazette on 12 June 2009, No. 27256

[2] Law No. 4817, Art. 2

[3] Law No. 1136 on Attorneys

[4] Law No. 1512 on Notary Public

[5] Law No. 2495 on the Protection and Security of Certain Institutions and Organizations, as security guards at private or public institutions.

[6] Articles 227 and 228 of Law No. 4458 on Customs.

[7] Law no: 1219 on the Practice of Medicine and its Branches

[8] Law No. 6197 on Pharmacies and Pharmacists

[9] Law No. 6343 on the Pursuit of Veterinary Medicine Profession,

Establishment and Duties of Turkish Veterinary Medical Association and Veterinary Medical Chambers,

[10] Private Hospitals Act No. 2219

[11] Law No. 815 Date of Enactment: 19.4.1926 Published in the Official Gazette 0n 29 April 1926, No. 359

250 Comments

  • Najb

    Dear Expat Guide Turkey,

    My thanks in advance your your help & assistance.

    I’ve been offered a position with a public university. To secure a work permit, the university will submit various documents to the Council of Higher Education on my behalf. The process might take a month or two, apparently.

    My question: The entire process will be done in Turkey. The director insists a simple print-out of the scanned work permit (and NOT a work visa) will allow me to enter Turkey. Is this accurate? Everything I’ve read online mentions getting a proper work visa at a consulate or embassy; there’s no information about a scanned work permit acting as an entry visa.

    Once again, your help is much appreciated. (I’m a Canadian citizen, if that matters – although I doubt it does).

    All the best.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You should obtain work visa to enter Turkey. After you receive the reference number from consulate or embassy and your application would be approved, obtaining visa from the same institusion is just a formality. Period of time between approval of application and receiving work visa depends on the embassy/consulate, you should ask there exactly how much time it would take to have your visa ready.

      Best Regards,

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  • Hello,

    I got an offer and to work in Oyak Renault Otomobil Fabrikalari A.S
    The employer promised to provide me visa and work permit, but they require me Basic Travel Allowance Deposit Receipt (Security Deposit) 2000$. Apart from sponsorship from Turkish Based Employers, employees coming to live and work in the Turkey for at least 12
    months are mandated to show availability of $2,000USD, which is the stipulated financial requirement/applicant travel
    allowance that must be in possession of the applicant/employee into Turkey.Turkish Expatriate Financial Statutory
    Law (TEFSL).
    Turkish Immigration would ensure via this means that only eligible applicants who are financially capable are allowed
    entry into Turkey and must be competent to show availability of funds in cases of Emergency and for full financial security
    of the applicant/worker before receipt of first month salary and benefits from Employers.
    Please for information whether this is normal or I’m afraid it’s some kind of a scam ?

    Thank you in advance.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, we do not have any informations about this job offer so we can not certainly say if it is real or not.

      Kind Regards,

  • lali

    The embassy called my employer, ask him why he wants to hire me… That’s all. At the end of this short conversation they told him that they will contact him to also give him a reference number… Since 2 weeks nothing. Anyway I will give your number to my employer after they give reference number. How many time for ministry to give their decision?

    Regards

  • lali

    I already had my appointment at the embassy, I gave all the documents they asked me but they just told me that they will call me to give me the reference number… I am confused. I also want to know if to be translator in Turkey it’s forbidden for foreigners

    Best regards

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      You should receive it in a short period of time if all of the procedures were done correctly by the employer. Unfortunately, we can not tell you the exact time as we do not know the details of application. Translator is not on the list of jobs forbidden for foreigners in Turkey.

      Kind Regards,

  • lali

    i already hadmy appointment at the embassy, i gave all documents they asked me but they just told me that they will call me to give me the reference number… now i’am confused. i also want to know if be translator in turkey it’s forbidden for foreigners.

    best regards

  • lali

    hello,

    please, how many time it take to embassy to give a reference number to someone who apply for work visa? which may be the reasons for refusal of a
    work visa?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      When you go to your appointment in the embassy, number will be directly given to you within few minutes. Reasons of refusal are mostly mistakes in the documents or not fulfilling the Ministry’s requirements regarding employement of a foreigner by the companies.

      Kind Regards,

  • Mehdi

    Hello
    I want work in turkey and one employer want me.
    so could you tell me if employer send this request to government is enough?
    and with this rule we can get work permit and residence at once? or need at first I have residence and then get work permit?

    Best Regards

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      İf you are in your home country, employer should apply for your work permit via Turkish consulate in there and after the application would be approved, you will receive work visa to arrive to Turkey. İn this case you do not need to apply for residence permit, your valid work permit and passport will be the only documets you will need to stay in Turkey and travel abroad. Otherwise, if application would be submitted by the employer within Turkey, you need to have residence permit with total validity of at least 6 months.

      Kind Regards,

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  • Confusedforeigner

    Hello,

    I want ot cancel my work permit. Can i do it myself? What are the possible step of cancelling my work permit and how will know when it is cancelled? Thank you

  • Confusedforeigner

    Hello,
    I have been issued a work permit for about 8 months. How can i check the validity of my work permit?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,

      Validy of your work permit is written on the card. İf employer cancels work permit before its expiration date, they must inform you about this fact.

      Kind Regards,

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  • Adam bah

    Hello.
    For example, If I have my working permit with me. Can I use it to travel instead of using resident permit at the airport. The Travel should be for one week. I will go back to my country and comeback.
    Also second question. After being graduated in here. And Found a job. If my employer applied for me a working permit, Will I get it ?
    Regards.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Your work permit, as well as residence permit, is the supporting document to use at the airport with the passport as a proof that you do not need any additional visa to enter the country. The decision on granting work permit or not is taken by Ministry of Labour. İf you and your employer fulfill the requirements, application is done properly and you are not applying for a position which is forbidden for foreigners in Turkey, there is no reason for rejection of the application.

      Kind Regards,

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  • Adam bah

    Hi dear,
    I was graduated from Okan Unşv in istanbul in january. So Now I got a job and they applied for me a working permit. My question is that: Can I use my working permit to travel. I mean Using it at airport and come back with it . ?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Your work permit, as well as residence permit, is the supporting document to use at the airport with the passport as a proof that you do not need any additional visa to enter the country.

      Best Regards,

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  • daniel

    hi, please i want to find out, how can i know that my work permit is valid and when it is cancelled, how can i know on the system?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Only an employer can track the work permit application and cancellation procedures via Ministry of Labour’s website.

      Kind Regards,

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  • Mohammad

    Dear Mr. and Ms.,

    I m a pediatrician in the training in the specialty of pediatric cardiology in one of the university hospitals in Germany.
    Actually I m a specialist in the general pediatric since 2004 and by the end of February 2019 I will finish my sub-specialization in the pediatric cardiology.
    I heard from some friends about the medical system in Turkey and I would like to know it nearly. But I do not know how to apply for a work permission in Turkey and if it is in general possible for foreign doctors to get vacation in Turkey.

    I would like ask you here to help me find the right way to get information about job opportunities for foreign doctors in Turkey.

    Thank you in advance
    Sincerely

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Dear Mohammad,

      There is no restrictions regarding foreigners working as doctors in Turkey, expect of dentistry, which is forbidden for foreigners. You are allowed to work as a pediatrician if you find job in Turkey and your future employer applies for your work permit. You can not apply for work permit by yourself or without finding a job in Turkey. Unfortunately, we can not help you to find job. You can search for one or internet on the websites like kariyer.net and your future employer can apply for work permit before your arrival to Turkey. Otherwise, you can come to Turkey and search for a job while already here and if you obtain residence permit valid for at least 6 months, your work permit application can be submitted within Turkey. After you find a job, our company would be glad to assist your employer to process work permit application.

      Kind Regards,

  • safa

    hello im from morocco and im very much pleased with this website, i would like to ask a question.
    i’ve recently applied for a new work permit after iv changed my work place but havent received it yet … can i go to morocco for the holidays between 17 and 25 august knowing that my ex company will cancel my current work permit this week. thanks lot

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You are not supposed to leave Turkey before you receive your new work permit, otherwise after cancellation of your current permit, you will not have document which entitles you to enter the country again.

      Kind regards

  • Mitra Safi

    To whom it may concern
    I am a graduate from Tehran univercity as a pharmacy doctor, and I have 10 years work experience, I appreciate if you help to understand how i can get a job in Turkey. I am fluent in Turkish.
    Regards

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Pharmacy is one of the fields which is forbidden for foreigners in Turkey. İf you find job in another field, your employer must apply for your work permit in order to work in Turkey. Unfortunately, we are not job agency and we can not help you to find job. You can search for one or internet and your future employer can apply for work permit before your arrival to Turkey. Otherwise, you can come to Turkey and search for a job while already here and if you obtain residence permit valid for at least 6 months, your work permit application can be submitted within Turkey.

      Kind Regards

  • Imane

    Hello,
    Im a moroccan citizen and i hold residence permit. I found one job in Turkey and the turkish company applied for working permit 1st of June 2018 today the ministry answered us stating that the salary written on the contract is not the suitable one. What can we do ? From where can we get a right feedback about the minimum salary that should be written and how shall we change it ?
    Awaiting your feedback,
    Best regards,

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      As long as your residence permit is still valid, your employer can re-apply for your work permit. For more informations about the procedures and salaries you can contact us to arrange an appointment in one of our offices in Ankara or İstanbul. Our consultancy fee is 100 TL.

      Kind Regards,

  • Payam Moghimi

    Dear Sir or Madam
    I would be grateful if you could advise me how can a foreigner dentist get work permit in Turkey?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, getting a work permit by foreign detist is not possible as dentistry is one of the occupations forbidden for foreigners in Turkey.

      Kind regards,

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  • ConfusedExpat

    Hello,

    I have read your website and I think it has some pretty helpful content here and I am also impressed that everyone here gets a response so I am hoping I will also get some help…

    I am an expat in Turkey, arrived in 2017 and have worked in the same company since my arrival. The company applied for a work permit for me which shows that it was issued in May 2018. Now I found a new job but my current company does not wish to transfer my work permit.

    What should I do in this case?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help …

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      İf you were working without work permit before and officially you worked in the company for only 2 months, transfer is not possible. Also, if your employer cancels your work permit now, you can stay in Turkey and apply for another job if your residence permit is still valid. İf not, you need to go abroad and your new employer can apply for work permit via Turkish Consulate in your country.

      Best Regards,

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