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the purpose of centralization of work permits system under one code ‘Law no: 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners’ was originally enacted on 27th February 2003, as the principal legislation in controlling entry of foreign nationals in the Turkish labor market.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

 

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

412 Comments

  • C.S.

    I am foreign citizen with valid residence permit (family residence permit) in Turkey. My employer applied for my work permit . Can I go to working place and start my daily work before to receive the work permit? or I should wait until the work permit will be approved and issued by Turkish Authorities.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      You are only allowed to start working afer you receive work permit card.

      Best Regards,

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  • zaki

    Hello Sir,
    as a pharmacist working in turkey is not allow , is there possible to work as pharmacy assistant ?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, it is not allowed for foreigners to work on any position related to pharmacy.

      Best Regards,

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  • Alireza Goftari

    Hello,
    I’m an Iranian computer network technician/system engineer and am looking to buy a house in Turkey and start to work. My question is that may I start looking for a job and acquire a work permit while making progress on my temporary residency permit? And when will I be able to start to work?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      In order to obtain work permit, first you need to find a job in Turkey and your future employer must apply for your work permit. Foreigners can not apply for work permit in their own name or without having a job in Turkey. Application for foreigner who has residence permit valid in total for at least 6 months can be done within Turkey. For foreigners who are not residence permit holders, application must be done via Turkish Consulate in their home country. Work permit application can not be submitted basing on visa.

      Kind Regards,

  • Uche Kingsley

    Hello, please I want to know, i’m an immigrant and I have immigrant residents permit and I need a work permit, how possible is that may be?.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      In order to obtain work permit, first you need to find a job in Turkey and your future employer must apply for your work permit. Foreigners can not apply for work permit in their own name or without having a job in Turkey. Application for foreigner who has residence permit valid in total for at least 6 months can be done within Turkey.

      Kind Regards,

  • Mohammed Ahmed

    Hello,

    Can I get a freelance work permit ? I’m working as a freelance software consultant/developer through freelancing platform (upwork.com), can I just apply for tourist one year visa, open bank account and start working?

    Kind regards,

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      If you are working online and receive salary from abroad, you are not obliged to obtain work permit in Turkey. This kind of permit must be only obtained if you would be hired by a company within Turkey.

      Kind Regards,

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  • I have lived in turkey for nearly three years and my busband to be who is turkish has just started up a photography business. He would like me to work with him but i obviously need a work permit. Problem is i have read on two sites that he needs to prove his gross earnings. He has just started up so can not give that information. Can you advise please.

  • Pramod Moorjani

    Is it possible to get a job in the shipping industry in turkey for foreigners?

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      In accordance with Turkish Cabotage Law:

      “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.”

      Kind Regards,

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  • Shiju

    Hi,
    I am an Indian citizen, currently working in Bahrain from 2 years. I would like to move to Turkey, how do I find a job in Turkey or get a work permit?
    Thanks!

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      In order to obtain work permit, first you need to find a job in Turkey and your future employer must apply on you behalf. Foreigners can not apply for work permit in their own name or without having a job in Turkey. Application for foreigner who has residence permit valid in total for at least 6 months can be done within Turkey. For foreigners who are not residence permit holders, application must be done via Turkish Consulate in their home country. Work permit application can not be submitted basing on visa. You can search for a job in Turkey online or enter the country on tourist visa to find an employer here.

      Kind Regards,

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      • Shiju

        Then how do I find a job in Turkey, could you please give some guidance? Going with a tourist visa & finding an employer is expensive, how to find online/other alternate?

  • Issam

    In case of changing job before the expiry of the work permit, is it possi le to make a work permit transfer rather tgan applying for a new one ? Thanks in advance

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      It is possible to make work permit transfer to another company under condition that both of your employers – current and new one agrees for the transfer.

      Kind Regards,

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  • md salim

    i am looking for cleaner job in turkey.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      We can not help you to find a job in Turkey, however, be informed that it is not possible to obtain work permit for a cleaner position.

      Kind Regards,

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  • asha

    Hello
    I’m an Iraqi dentist and I know we cant work in turkey , but I wonder if I can work privately ? or even private jobs are prohibited ? please explain if there is any way for me to work ..also I wonder about the DUS exam , why there is a stationary exam then for dentists ?

    Thank you

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Private jobs in this field are also prohibited for foreigners. Foreign nationals of Turkish origins can enter the DUS exam in order to be eligible for working as dentists in Turkey.

      Kind Regards,

      • Asha

        Thank you for answering .
        So even the Dus exam wont work since I’m not from a Turkish origin right ?
        And is there anyway a foreign dentist can work as a hygienist or assistance ?

  • marginalspaces

    My work permit expires on August 31, 2019. I’ve been informed that new permits may take 1 to 2 months to arrive at work. I am booking a vacation with a return date of September 1st. Do you know if I’ll be allowed back in without paying for a tourist visa?

    Thanking you in advance.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      If your new work permit card would not be issued by this timeou must obtain a visa to enter Turkey as your work permit would be already expired.

      Kind Regards,

  • Maha

    Hello sir,

    I’m a pharmacist, and I’m wondering what are the procedures for me to get a work permit in Turkey.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, pharmacy is on the list of professions forbidden for foreigners in Turkey.

      Kind Regards,

  • Maya

    Hello
    May I know the regulations against who has an employee but without a work permit

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Employer, who is employing foreigners without obtaining work permit for them, would be obliged to pay a fine. Foreign employee would be deported and banned to re-enter Turkey for up to five years.

      Kind Regards,

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  • Solar

    I have a 1 year work permit. How do i pay insurance? and should i have to pay in monthly basis or annually?

    Thanks.

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      As you are a work permit holder, your employer is obliged to pay your social security on monthly basis.

      Best Regards,

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  • shiman

    hi i am a foreign dentist from scandinavia how can i get a work permit in turkey

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, dentistry is on the list of proffessions forbidden for foreigners in Turkey.

      Kind Regards,

  • Rita

    Do forein remote workers, that have Turkish residence permit (the red card) need a work permit? Do they need to pay social security in Turkey?
    Thank you!

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Foreigners, who are employed abroad and receive the salary from abroad do not need to have work permit nor to pay social security in Turkey.

      Kind Regards,

  • Hello.sir i am pakistani. I have appaly to work parmit visa 8 mounth ago. Appliction ata all docmounts sabmints.tukery emabbeasi was not repaly yas or no visa issush kindly plzz give me ans to repaly my appliction .cheak a stutes always Rio153272 is under prosser .plzz proved a appliction and give a visa nu Thanks

    • ExpatGuideTurkey

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Please, be informed that we are a private company, not a governmental institution and we do not have any informations about status of your application.

      Kind Regards,

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