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the purpose of centralization of work permits system under one code ‘Law no: 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners’ was originally enacted on 27th February 2003, as the principal legislation in controlling entry of foreign nationals in the Turkish labor market.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

285 Comments

  • Mouna

    Hello,
    I’ve got an acceptation to work in a governmental university as Assistant professor. The ministry of higher education approved my documents and the university sent me a document containing the amount to be paid to get my work permit from this ministry at the Turkish consular in my country. At the consular, they asked me to file a visa application, which I did. Then they gave me a reference number and told me to ask the university in which I will work to contact the ministry of Work in a delay of 10 days for the work permit. The personal of the university explained me that starting from 2016, it is the ministry of higher education that issues work permits for teachers. I explained that to the agent in the consular but he told me that my documents have been sent to the ministry of foreign affairs. I would know please what is the procedure to be followed now to get my visa?
    Thanks in advance.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You should send the reference number to your future employer, who will need it to finish application procedures. Work permit application procedures are made via Ministry of Labour and after your employer completes the application and receives information that it was accpeted, you will receive your visa from the local Turkish Consulate, where you filled visa form before.

      Kind Regards,

      • Mouna

        Hello,
        Thanks a lot for your rapid answer.
        I sent this reference number to my future employer as it was asked in the Turkish Consulate. My employer did not contact the Ministry of Labour and informed me that starting from 2016 (see decree 46130956-010-E.19805) it is the Ministry of Higher Education who issues the work permits for TEACHERS and not that of Labour. The Ministry of Higher Education accepted to issue me this work permit and sent me a document to ask me to pay its fee (equivalent of 100 dollars) at the consulate. Now my documents are in the Ministry of Foreign. I don’t know if my employer should contact them because they didn’t contacted the Labour Ministry, for the reasons explained above, or it is the Ministry of Foreign who should contact the Ministry of Higher Education?
        We are all confused!

        Thanks again.
        Best regards

        • ExpatGuideTurkey

          Ministry of Higher Education must approve your documents to confirm that you can work in Turkey as a teacher but Ministry of Labor is the institution responsible for granting work permit. If your employer needs help with work permit application, they can contact us and our company would be glad to provide them assistance during the application procedures.

          Kind regards,

  • Adnan Rashid

    Hi .
    I am from Pakistan came in turkey on evisa .I applied for residence permit and my application is in process .but it’s been more than 10 days of my appointment I didn’t get any response yet.please do favour for me to track my application .
    Another thing as you said they ask for sustainability of funds but they didn’t ask me for that on the appointment day even I was keeping my statement with me that day.does it has any bad affect on my application.
    And in future if I want to change my residence permit to work permit can i ?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You will receive a message with result of the application to the phone number or email within 30 days after the appointment. Now it is still too early to be concerned. Final decision on the documents which have influence on your application is taken by the officers at the appointment. İf you will be granted residence permit valid in total for at least 6 months, your future employer can apply for your work permit after you find a job in Turkey.

      Kind Regards,

      • Mohammed Saed

        Hello,

        I got offer letter to work in a non governmental university as Assistant professor. The university told me that they sent my documents to the ministry of higher education to approve it. Can you please advise me how long this procedures will take? I have submitted my documents at the end of July..

        Thanks for your reply

        • ExpatGuideTurkey

          Hello,
          Thank you for your comment.

          This procedure can last around 2-3 months, you should be patient as this is a standart procedure while applying for a job at University.

          Kind Regards,

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  • Peta

    Merhabalar,

    I have work permit till february 2019 but I want to leave this job. I have work visa stick in passport without company name and than I have a card with work visa with company name mentioned on it. If I decide to leave my job can I stay in Turkey on this work visa stick in my passport? Or it will be canceled in my passport? Or can I apply for 1 year ikamet known as a toursit visa?

    Cevabınız için şimdiden teşekkür ederiz.

    İyi çalışmalar

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      İf you were working in your current workplace for at least 6 months, you can apply for residence permit within 10 days after cancellation of your work permit. Otherwise you will need to leave Turkey within 10 days and can come back with a new visa.
      Note: İf you apply for residence permit, there is no guarantee that it would be granted.

      Kind Regards,

      • Peta

        Hello,

        Thank you. How I can please apply for residence permit? Is it enough to go to foreign police and apply in person? What I have to prove for getting residence permit?

        Thank you very much for your answer.

        Best regards.

        • ExpatGuideTurkey

          The only way to apply for residence permit is application online via İmmigration Office’s system. You will need to have apostilled non criminal record from your country, proof of having enough financial resources to stay in Turkey and health insurance covering requested period of stay. For details you can contact us to take appointment in one of our offices, where our experts will provide you with necessary guidance regarding application procedures. Our consultancy fee is 100 TL.

          Best Regards,

  • Sidra

    Assalam o Alaikum
    I havr some queries regarding working in Turkey. I am a Dentist, studied and graduated from Pakistan as well as currently residing in Pakistan as well. I have 3 years work experience. My family is moving to turkey because my husband has gotten a job there.
    I want to know the procedure of what I can do to work and/or study in Turkey.
    What procedures are to be taken to get the permit to work in Turkey as a Dentist?
    Please Help. Thank You

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, dentistry is one of occupations forbidden for foreigners in Turkey. İf you enroll into university in Turkey, you can obtain student residence permit or if you find a job in another field, you employer can apply for your work permit but you are not allowed to work in Turkey as a dentist.

      Kind Regards,

  • Sara

    Hello,
    I would like to know if i work in turkey then i decide to join a graduate program, should i change the work permit to a study permit?

    Regards

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      İf you will continue to work, you can be holder of both- work permit and student residence permit so you would be able to benefit from opportunities for students and also continue working legally with your work permit.

      Best Regards,

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  • MOHAMMAD Tariq

    Dear Sir
    I am asking you that I got the offer letter from a new company in turkey they said you come on visit visa then I will provide you a work permit …

    As you say that they will arrange residence permit after then they will arrange work permit for 2 years.

    I want to be sure is it possible in Turkey.

    Accommodation will be given by company…

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,

      First work permit is given for 1 year, not 2. This offer does not seem real, you should be careful and check if the company existis before you make any agreement.

      Kind Regards,

  • Mohammed Saed

    Hello,

    I got offer letter to work in a non governmental university as Assistant professor. The university told me that they sent my documents to the ministry of higher education to approve it. Can you please advise me how long this procedures will take? I have submitted my documents at the end of July..

    Thanks for your reply

  • MOHAMMAD Tariq

    Dear Sir
    I am asking you that I got the offer letter from a new company in turkey they said you come on visit visa then I will provide you a work permit …

    As you say that they will arrange residence permit after then they will arrange work permit for 2 years.

    I want to be sure is it possible in Turkey.

    Accommodation will be given by company…

  • MOHAMMAD Tariq

    Dear Sir
    I got the job in Turkey. They have send me the offer letter but they are saying you come on visit then the employer will convert it into the work permit visa easily. I am in Turkey now .. can it is possible now?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      The employer can apply for your work permit within Turkey only if you have residence permit with total validity of at least 6 months. Otherwise application can be submitted via Turkish embassy or consulate in your homecountry while you would be there. Application can not be based on visa only.

      Kind Regards,

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