WORK PERMIT IN TURKEY content/uploads/2015/09/asdfg-900x444.png

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In the purpose of centralization of work permits system under one code ‘Law no: 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners’ was originally enacted on 27th February 2003, as the principal legislation in controlling entry of foreign nationals in the Turkish labor market.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.



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.

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

  Residence Permit, Work Permit  Residence Permit, Work Permit    

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36 Responses

  1. Dear Sir,

    I want to hire a foreigner in my office but I don’t have 5 Turkish employees. Is there any option?


    • ExpatGuideTurkey ExpatGuideTurkey

      Dear Mr Nizam,

      In order to employ a foreign citizen your company must have a prepaid capital of 100 000TL and at least 5 Turkish employee. In some cases critieria might be excempted. To answer more accurately and give you further information please contact us by mail and explain all the details in this mail.

      Best Regards,
      ExpatGuideTurkey Team

  2. Hello!
    I would like to know if a can work in Turkey as a midwife.
    Thank you!

    • ExpatGuideTurkey ExpatGuideTurkey

      Dear Mrs Marinela,

      It is not auhtorised for foreign citizens to work as mifwife in Turkey.

      Best Regards,
      ExpatGuideTurkey Team

  3. Merhaba, Ben ankara da çalışyorum Yazılımcı olarak bir şirkette ama çalıştığım yerde çalışma izni şartlar uyumuyor, bana
    Nasıl yardımcı olabiliriniz?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey ExpatGuideTurkey


      Dilerseniz bize telefonla ulaştığınız takdirde ve durumunuzu daha detaylı bir şekilde açıklarsanız size yardımcı olmaya çalışabiliriz.

      ExpatGuideTurkey Ekibi.

  4. Halo Sir,
    We applied in a company The company agreed our employment & we applied through vfs mumbai. After few days we received a reference no which we forwarded to the company who than forwarded the same to the ministry. But after that we are still waiting for the next step from last 2 months. What can be the problem?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey ExpatGuideTurkey

      Dear Mr Rajesh,

      We cannot tell anything about your application since it is not an application made by our company. However we can tell that generally an application is approved or denied by the ministry in 30 work days. The application must be followed up for any problem that may occur during the application. The only option is for your company to go to the Labor Ministry and ask for the status of your application.

      Best Regards,
      ExpatGuideTurkey Team

  5. hello, currently I’m working here as a nanny to a family yet i wish to change employer how can i do that legally?

    • Dear Ms. Loina,

      You can make a trsnafer from one employer to another only while your work permit is valid. Once it will be expired you cant do any tranfer application. For further information kindly ask you to contact us by 444 7 284.

      Thanks and best regards,

      ExpatGuideTurkey team.

      • Hi! I wanna ask about my working permit. I wanna transfer to residence permit. Can it be possible?
        Thank you and have a nice day

  6. hi
    I’m a dentist graduated from dental scholl in Cairo – Egypt. I’m working as a dentist since 2000 and I have 2 dental clinics in Cairo. I want to make another dental clinic in Turkey. Can I work as a dentist?
    If you can help me for this it’ll be great.

    Thank you in advance

    0020 1001731965

    • Hello Mr. Ahmed,

      Please find attached the j list of ob position which are not allowed for foreigners

      (i) as attorney
      (ii) as notary public
      (iii) as security guard at private or public institution
      (iv) as customs broker and assistant customs broker
      (v) as dentist, midwife and nurse
      (vi) as pharmacist
      (vii) as Veterinarian
      (vii) as director in private hospitals

      Best regards,
      ExpatGuideTurkey team

  7. hello, i am from Punjab, India & working in a photo studio, internet cafe . i want a job in turkey. i can work in any company & any condition . plz halp me if u can.

    thank u for advice

    • Good day Mr. Gurnam,

      Thank you very much for your message.

      Our company doesnt provide service in job search for foreigner. Once you will find a work place, you can contact us and we may assist you in work permit application procedure.

      Thank you,

      • I am from india, I need work visa and rengidancy permit. I want work in istanbul company for driver and general worker

        • Dear Mr. Amandeep,

          Thank you for your message.

          Let me inform you that in order to work in Turkey, employee should have a work permit. The work permit should be gotten by employer within Turkey. Once it will be approved the employee could get a work visa in the Turkish Consulate in his/her homecountry. The detailed informtation regarding the work permit procedure could be found via
          If you are planing to stay in Turkey on the touristic bases, then you can apply for residence permit. The procedure of obtaining residence permit could be found here

          Best regards,
          ExpatGuideTurkey team.

    • Good day Mr. Gurnam,

      Thank you very much for your message.

      Currently our company doesnt provide service in job search for foreigner. Once you will find a work place, you can contact us and we may assist you in work permit application procedure.
      However, our company is in processing of opening a department for job searchers in Turkey .

      Thank you,

    • Hey I had work in nepal for 3 years and than I worked in etihad airways for 4 years and now I am working in kuwait international airport I wanna work in turkey I can visit turkey for interview if any company want customer service agent , waiter , cook please contact me in my email .
      Thank you so much
      Best regard

      • ExpatGuideTurkey ExpatGuideTurkey

        Dear Mr Bedprakash,

        Unfortunately our services doesn’t include the search of vacancies for people wishing to work in Turkey. However if you ever need consultancy about work permit or residency permit, feel free to contact us.

        Best Regard,
        ExpatGuideTurkey Team

  8. HI,


    • Dear Mr. Azeem,

      Thank you for your message.

      Our company doesnt provide service in job search for foreigners in Turkey. Once you will find a work place and employer will be agreed to get a work permit for you, please contact us and we may assist you in work permit application procedure.

      Best regards,

      ExpatGuideTurkey team

  9. I have external and internal audit experience. I would like to work in Turkey.

    • Hello Mr. Sami,

      Thank you for your message.

      Our company doesnt provide service in job search for foreigners in Turkey. Once you find a work place and employer will be agreed to get a work permit for you, please contact us and we may assist you in work permit application procedure according to the Turkish Law.

      Best regards,

      ExpatGuideTurkey team

  10. I live in pakistan , and i want to work in Turkey , I have got 10 years of customer service exprience and I speak fluent english. Will you able to help me for finding a job in Turkey with work permit?

    Please advice

    • Dear Mr. Shoaib,

      Thank you for your message.

      Our company doesnt provide service in finding a job in Turkey. Once you find a job and employer is agreed to get a work permit for you, please contact us and we may assist you in work permit application procedure according to the Turkish Law.

      Best regards,

      ExpatGuideTurkey team

  11. Hi!

    I want to move to Turkey and I am wondering which permit would be best suited for me to pursue.

    I am a daughter of a turkish citizen but do not have a citizenship because of my father not being a citizen at the time when I was born. I have relatives living in Turkey that I can stay with. I can give bank statements showing that I have money to stay in Turkey for a longer period of time without working. I am a professional contemporary dancer working in different places in Europe (I am a swedish citizen).

    pI intend to stay 1-2 years and wish to work during this time. What do you think is the best permit for me to apply for? And do you know if there is any type of “Artist-visa” I could apply for?

    Very greatful for any help.
    Best Regards,

    • Hello Ms. Lisa,

      Thank you very much for your messsage.

      You can come to Turkey on the basis of the touristic visa and apply for short term residence permit for 1 year in Turkey ‘n order to stay here for longer period of time. İf you need further information regarding the residence permit application procedure, please contact us by email or call us 444 7 284.

      Best regards,

      ExpatGuideTurkey team

  12. i want to work turkey.

    • Dear Sir,

      Thank you very much for your message.

      Our company may help you to find a job in Turkey in the nearest future.

      Best regards,

      ExpatGuideTurkey team

  13. Please can you advise me, is it alright to volunteer in Turkey if you have residency but not citizenship? Does it have to be with a registered charity?

  14. Hi, I am English teacher in Izmir, and I’ve recently resigned from my job. The long hours, high stress, and lack of information from the school began to have negative effects on my health & resulted in constant migraines and the start of a herniated disk. Although I have medical notes for this, and I submitted a signed resignation due to health problems to my school, they are now saying that they will take me to court because I signed a 1-year contract. I don’t understand how this is possible, especially since I still do not have a work permit! Do you have any advice about what I should do? Do I go to the police?

    Thank you in advance


  15. Hi, I am an English teacher with ten years teaching experience. I graduated from Damascus University. I live in Istanbul now. I hope there is a chance for me to start a successful career in Turkey. I do not have a passport.

    Yours sincerely

    • Thank you very much for your message. You can find up-to-date information and answers on the questions regarding the immigration formalities and procedures in Turkey in our Practical Guide. The e-book can be purchased via
      If you do not find an answer you need in our e-book, please email your question to and we will reply to any questions regarding the immigration formalities in Turkey as soon as possible.

      Best regards,
      Expat Guide Turkey.

  16. Hi I am Pharmacist and I am thinking of moving to Istanbul . I studied in a university in Sweden. Are they not any exceptions for me? I really want to live and work as a pharmacist there.
    I am looking forward your answer

    Best regards

    • Good day Ms. Ceyda,

      Thank you very much for your message. In accordance with the article 15 of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners, certain professions are reserved only for Turkish citizen. Foreigners are not allowed to ocuppy some certain positions, the pharmacist is among them.

      Kind regards,
      Expat Guide Turkey

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