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the purpose of centralization of work permits system under one code ‘Law no: 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners’ was originally enacted on 27th February 2003, as the principal legislation in controlling entry of foreign nationals in the Turkish labor market.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

210 Comments

  • Haroon

    Please refer to the subject; kindly note that I am interested for work permit in Turkey. You are kindly requested to hare details and difference b/w both yellow highlighted work permit types.

    1. How can I get work permit in turkey?

    2. What type of services will be offered by you in work permit procedure as the same is applied by the employer?

    3. I don’t have any job offer from Turkey; how can I make it happened? Would you help me in finding an appropriate job for me? My resume is attached herewith for your kind review.

    4. Can I get work permit after arriving in turkey on visit/touristic Visa?

    5. Can you help me out to get work/visit Visas?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,

      Unfortunately, we do not have informations about job offers in Turkey. You can find one via websites or arrive to Turkey on touristic visa to search for a job here and attend job interviews. When you find a job your employer must apply for your work permit via Turkish embassy in your country or if you obtain residence permit valid for at least 6 months, application can be submitted within Turkey. Work permit application can not be proceeded basing on visit or touristic visa. You can obtain a work visa after your work permit application would be accepted by the Ministry of Labour. Only an employer can apply for work permit in Turkey, you can not submit the application by yourself. Our company can assist your employer throughout the application process so the documents will be complete and we will track all of the the procedures to avoid any difficulties.

      Kind Regards,

  • Steff

    Hello,
    My work permit with my current employer is expiring August 31. I am unexpectedly looking for a new job. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find a new job before the end of August. Will I be able to leave Turkey for a short time and come back on a tourist visa and continue to look for work? Do I need to be outside the country for a certain amount of time before I can return? I don’t want to be outside the country too long as I have an apartment that I am paying for and all my belongings here. Thanks for your help!

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You can come back directly when you receive a visa and obtain new work permit via Turkish consulate in your country whenever you find new job, otherwise you will need to apply for residence permit before you can apply for work permit within Turkey.

      Kind Regards

  • veronica

    Hello
    I have the following situation. I have a contract with a termination date on October, 20th 2018. Today, Thursday; July 5th the school and I had a talk about renewing my contract. We could not get to an agreement concerning a raise in my salary.
    I said I will honor the contract and respect its terms meaning I will continue working for them until October the 20th but want to give them notice than I will not renew the contract. They said that since I will not renew the contract and they need to hire another teacher then they will be terminate the contract at the end of this current month (July) and that will be the last salary I will receive: my July’s salary.
    My question is: Can they do that? Can they terminate the contract before the official termination date? If they do that; don’t they have to still pay me the months left? Since I am no resigning. I am just not renewing the contract for a second year. My other question is if they decide to fire me to terminate the contract now. Do they still have the legal obligation to pay me the salaries left? And should I give a written document now informing them that I do have the will to fulfill the contract but I will not renew it (I mean do I have to legally give notice that I am not renewing the contract?

    Thank you for any information you might have about this

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      As the issues you mentioned are mostly dependent on your contract, you should contact a lawyer who could provide you with solutions for your case basing on what is written in your job contract.

      Kind Regards,

  • Muhammed

    Hello,

    I have a work permit, and would like to apply for a new job and transfer my permit, and my current employer doesn’t mind that.
    The question is, if the new permit application is rejected for example, will I be able to apply for a different job or I will have to wait for one year before applying again?

    Thanks.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      İf you were working in Turkey for at least one year, you can apply again and your employer can obtain work permit for you via Turkish consulate in your country. But if both of your employers agree for the transfer and there is no basis for rejection you should not worry about it.

      Best Regards,

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  • İmane

    Hello,
    I would like to ask u about the working permit process from turkey.
    Im moroccan citizen i hold a residence permit with 11 months duration and i found a job in Turkey. The company where i will work applied for the working permit 1st of June online. I was wondering how can we check the application process ? Is there anything were we can check ?
    Regards.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, your employer can check the status of application online on the Ministry of Labour website but this option works only in the Turkish version.

      Best Regards,

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  • Gigi

    Hello ! What are the steps to make a transfer from job to another one ?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      The most important thing is that both, your current employer and your future employer, must agree to apply to the Ministry for the transfer of work permit. Your employer can contact us, our company provides services regarding transfer of work permit so we can assist them throughout the whole procedure.

      Best Regards,

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  • rahim

    Dear Sir
    I am with my family in Antalya. I have residence permit. I want to know the cost of work permit and if I get work permit , how much I had to pay for insurance monthly or my employer will be pay it.
    Also you can find job together with work permit?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      To obtain work permit you first need to find a job. Only your employer can apply for your work permit, you can not submit the application by yourself. Monthly cost of insurance depends on the salary amount and it is covered by the employer.

      Kind Regards,

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  • Salam,
    I am a Bangladeshi who living in Turkey right Now, I came with a tourist visa (3 Month with one month Maximum stay) but my tour was about to marry what embassy known, and i get married already with a Turkish Lady who is Engineer, By the way before marriage i applied a Short-Term Residency and they also gave me, after marriage i planned to transfer to family residence what is about 3 years maximum. i already spoke with the officer and she said its not a matter she will do if i just make an appointment.

    what i want to know that am i allowed to work with the Family Residence ? if not then what is the things i need to do? and am i able to go to my country and come back with the family residence without visa? as i do not have visa on my passport but i have time on my Short-Term Residency card. and after getting Family Residency ill have 3 years time.

    Advance Thanks for your Reply youll give me.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You are not allowed to work in Turkey with any type of residence permit, your employer has to apply for work permit. You do not need visa to go abroad and re-enter Turkey as long as your residence permit is valid, either it is touristic or family one.

      Kind Regards,

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  • Isabelle

    My husband and I have been in Turkey for a few years on a tourist residency permit. We both work online, providing Linguistic services including translation and Business English Consultancy. With the recent government changes to the duration and number of renewal of tourist residency permit, we are considering our available options in order to stay in Istanbul. Would opening and registering a small company in Turkey allow us to apply for residency as investors or business owners? Could we be eligible to apply for the independent work permit described above?

    Best regards,

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You can open a company in Turkey but in order to obtain work permit, which is also necessary for yourselves as an owners, there are certain requirements which are:
      • Pre-paid capital of company is 100.000 TL
      • For getting work permit for 1 foreigner company should employ 5 Turkish employees (for 2 foreign workers = 10 Turkish employees etc.)

      Kind Regards,

  • fahi

    Hello,
    I would like to ask if Iranian dentists have work permit in Turkey?
    Thank you in advance

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, dentistry is on a list of jobs forbidden for foreigners in Turkey.

      Kind Regards

  • Salman

    Dear Sir/Madam
    I am Pharmacist. I did my PharmD degree from Pakistan. In case If i want to come Turkey as a pharmacist what is the criteria?
    Kindly guide me
    Thanks

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, pharmacist is one of the occupations which are forbidden for foreigners in Turkey so you could not work in your field here.

      Kind Regards

  • Swizz

    Hi. I’m from Ghana and my Turkish residence permit just expired, before the expiring date, I tried several times to renew it but every time I enter my passport information, it says it doesn’t match with the information I used to enter into the country. Now am planing to move to the United Kingdom, my family is gonna send me an invitation. Can I apply for a visa with or without Residence permit now? Thanks

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You should contact British Consulate as we do not have detailed informations if visa application from Turkey would be possible without valid Turkish visa or residence permit.

      Kind Regards,

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  • Mujitaba

    Hello I’m from Ghana and am an English teacher is Istanbul. my residence permit is expiring today , I’ve been trying to book an appointment for the past 4 days and its not going through. I called 157 and they told me after my expire date, i’ve got 10 days to apply as a new applicant. What am trying to find out now is that, if the system doesn’t allow me to book an appointment till 10 days time, Can my employer start a work permit process for me without a residence permit?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You need to have residence permit valid for at least 6 months in total to obtain work permit while in Turkey. Otherwise you would need to go back to Ghana and your employer can obtain work permit while abroad via Turkish Consulate.

      Best Regards

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  • Dana

    Dear sir/madam,

    I am planning to come to Turkey after finishing my college .. I study pharmacy .. are there any opportionties for pharmacy jobs in Turkey for foreigners?! I know that I should be speaking Turkish too.. so is it a good idea to begin my career in Turkey ?!

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, pharmacy is on the list of jobs which are not allowed for foreigners in Turkey.

      Kind Regards

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,

      İf you would like to work in Turkey, you need to find an employer first so they can apply for your work permit. You can not apply for work permit by yourself or work in Turkey without permit.

      Kind Regards

  • Asad Khan

    Hii i am looking looking job of Turkey now i am in Saudi Arabia.

  • Marianela

    Hi.i have an ask..I am from Peru and I am dentist. this year I will marry with a Turkish citizeen and I wanna know if after 3 years when I get the citizien Turkish i could work like dentist in Turkey. Thank u.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      After becoming Turkish citizen you have the same rights as citizens by birth, what means you can also work in professions like dentistry.

      Kind Regards

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  • Honey jean

    Good day to all… Can i ask something about work permit… It is possible to sponsor me my employer from turkish citizen as a nanny, and i am from. Philippines.. Can u pls. Help me what will my employer do how to get me and process my documents… Thank u… Looking forward to hear u… Thank u.☺

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      İf you are planning to take care of a child under 15 years old, you can legally work in Turkey and your employer must obtain a work permit for you. Our company would be glad to help your employer throughout the work permit application process. You can find our contact informations in link below:
      https://www.expatguideturkey.com/contacts/

      Kind Regards

      • Honey jean

        I am greatly appreciated 😊 your comments mam/sir… How much the salary of being nanny in turkey, so that i know mam/sir… Im happy to know all about this if i have a chance…☺☺

  • Muhammad

    Hello,
    I am a Pakistan national planning to do my Master degree in orthodontics in Turkey. Is it possible to for me to work in my field of speciality (Dentistry) while i am doing my master and also after i complete my master studies?
    Thank you in advance.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Dentistry is on the list of professions which are not allowed for foreigners in Turkey so, unfortunately, you can not work in your field here.

      Kind Regards

      • Haseeb Mustafa

        Thanks alot and what about an information technology or computer science student ? can they work? and how to get work permit while studying a master program of information technology or computer science
        ????

        • ExpatGuideTurkey

          Hello,
          Thank you for your comment.

          Foreign students of graduate programs can obtain work permit in Turkey if they were not granted state scholarship in Turkey while studying the bachelor’s degree. Only an employer can apply for your work permit. You can read more about student work permit in our article below:
          Student Work Permit

          Best Regards,

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  • Fallou

    Hello,
    Can someone who graduated as an Electrical & Electronics Engineer in Turkey obtain a work permit?
    Regards,

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      İf you were not granted a state scholarship during your education in Turkey, it is possible to obtain a work permit. But remember that only an employer can apply for work permit, employee can not submit the application by him/herself.

      Best Regards

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  • Christoph

    Hello,

    I’m a German citizen, writing with a question regarding the possibility to work as a dentist in Turkey. From reading on several websites, I understand that it is definitely not possible for a German dentist to work in Turkey under current Turkish laws. This is because dentistry is considered among the professions and duties prohibited to foreigner workers in turkey.

    Could you please confirm or clarify the situation?

    I appreciate your help – Thank you very much in advance!

    Christoph Bre

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Dear Christoph,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Dentistry is on the list of professions forbidden to be done by foreigners in Turkey so, unfortunately, there is no possibility for you to do this job here.

      Kind Regards

  • Maja

    Hello,
    my work permit has expired a day ago. The application to extend the permit is sent by my employer, but haven’t came yet. I have no document to show if stopped by the police. Is that a problem or there is a certain time after expiration allowed?
    Thank you in advance.
    Kind Regards

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      After expiration of work permit you can still stay in Turkey for 10 days. But as your permit is being extended, this rule does nor apply to you, you can stay legally during the extension process. İf you would not receive your work permit within 10 days and do not feel safe without having any documents, ask your employer for any kind of proof of application for work permit or the copy of your work contract.

      Kind Regards

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  • Salaiman

    Dear sir/ madam
    I am Somalia i am planning to come turkey for educational purpose (Master program), i know that foreign students do not have the right to work in turkey
    Can i get right to work after i complete my master program if yes what are the prerequisites
    If I get work permit cay my wife join me in turkey

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Students of graduate programs like Master Degree or Ph.D. have the right to work in Turkey as long as they have not been granted state scholarship in Turkey during their education. Your wife can also join you, if you get work permit, proving your income in Turkey would be helpful while applying for her residence permit.

      Best Regards

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