As a general rule individuals who have no citizenship bond with the Republic of Turkey, in order to work either dependently or independently, are obliged to have a valid work permit before they start to work. The rules and principles of Non Turkish citizens’ entry to the Turkish labor market are governed by the New Law on International Labour Force (law no. 6735) which was enacted on 28th July 2016.  The Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security is entitled as a competent authority for processing the work permit applications, granting, extending, restricting or canceling work permits.


After taking several economic and demographic factors of the Turkish labor market into account, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security may grant a work permit for a definite period of time to the applicants. A Work Permit with definite period of time provides to the holders the right to work in an appointed profession, in a definite geographical zone, for an appointed employer within a specific time frame. By law, the work permits of definite period of time are valid at most for one year. At the end of the one year term, the work permit may be extended up to two years to work in the same job for the same employer. At the end of the two years extension, the work permit may be extended at most three more years to work in the same job for the same employer.


A foreigner may be eligible for a work permit of indefinite period of time, if meets one the following criteria;
• The Foreigner should have been residing in Turkey legally and uninterruptedly for 8 years (with valid Long Term Residence Permit)
• The Foreigner should have a total legal working period of 8 years in Turkey. (with valid work permit)
The work permit of indefinite period of time is granted without taking the status of the business market into consideration. Moreover it is not restricted for a certain operation, profession, civil or geographical area.


A foreigner who shall work independently on his/her own account may be granted with an independent work permit if he/she has legally and uninterruptedly resided in Turkey for at least five years.

An independent work permit for a definite period of time in line with Turkish International Labor Force Policy might be granted to the foreigners who shall work independently on him/her own behalf and account. Additionally, under new law, shareholder managers of limited companies, shareholder members of board of Joint Stock Companies and shareholder managers of Commandite Companies are required to obtain work permit.


Turquoise Card could be granted to foreigners as an indefinite work permit. The Turquoise Card would be granted through the recommendation of the Turkish International Labor Force Council by considering several factors such as the education level of the applicant, their professional experience, their contribution to science and technology, and the impact of activities and investments in Turkey on the economy and employment.

To the spouse and dependent children of the Turquoise Card holders, a document shall be given which indicates that they are relatives of a Turquoise Card holder and which can be used as residence permit.

As per article 11, Turquoise card might be granted for a transition period, first three years. The application for extension should be filed within 180 days before or in any case before the expiry date of the Turquoise card. Turquoise card, then, might be extended for indefinite period of time.Read more


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6 Responses

  1. Hey this is hamza from Pakistan. .I want a work permitt …can any body tell me the cost of work permitt…Please I’m waiting

    • ExpatGuideTurkey ExpatGuideTurkey

      Dear Mr Hamza,

      According to the Turkish Law, Work Permit for Foreign National must be applied by the employer. You can’t get a work permit by yourself, you must first find an employer wishing to employ you and then the company will apply for your work permit.

      Our consultancy fee for work permit depend on the vacancy you will have in the company because different vacancy will require different types of documents and application.
      For more information about our fee you can consult our web page : https://www.atakurumsal.com/calisma-izni-danismanlik-ucretleri/

      Best regards,
      ExpatGuideTurkey team

  2. Hi

    Can you please advise if the work permit for 1 year or 3 or 4 years social insurance must be paid I mean 580 lira on monthly basis or on yearly basis or if I do not to pay this money what happens please and in case of 3 or 4 years work permit if the social insurance have to be paid can it be paid at the expiry date of work permit please?

    Many thanks

    • Good day Mr. Ahmed,

      Thank you very much for your message.

      Yes, the Social Security contributions should be made on the monthly basis. İf Social Securtiy payments will be avoid, then employer could be punished with the fine and employee’s work permit extension will be rejected by the Ministry of Labour.

      Kind regards,

  3. Anaisa


    I would like to know if a UE citizen married for 5 years to a Turkish citizen can ask for an independent work visa without having lived in Turkey for the required 5 years.

    Thank you

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