How to Get a Work Permit?

Obtaining a Work Permit in Turkey

Applications for work permits can be made inside or outside Turkey: 

•    Foreigners residing outside Turkey shall apply to the relevant Turkish Consulate of either his/her country of residence or his/her country of citizenship.
•    Foreigners with a valid residence permit (valid for a minimum of 6 months, except for residence permits for educational purposes) can apply directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Foreigners applying for a work permit from their country of residence

•    -If all documents submitted are accurate and complete, the issuing process will take around 30 days.
•    -Once approved, the applicant is informed by phone or e-mail.
•    -Foreign nationals need an authorized Turkish citizen with a power of attorney to handle their electronic application as the process requires a Turkish national identification number.

Once the work permit has been issued and the work visa application has been approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security:

•    -Non-refundable work visa processing fee
•    -Non-refundable work permit processing fee
•    -To obtain a residence permit, work visa and work permit holders must apply to the Alien’s Branch of the Local Police -Department (Emniyet Mudurlugu Yabancilar Subesi) within 30 days following their arrival in Turkey.

Foreigners applying for a work permit in Turkey

Foreigners with a valid residence permit that is valid for a minimum of 6 months, except for residence permits for educational purposes, can apply directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.


Documents to be submitted by the employer for the first application


• A work permit application form addressed to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, (scanned and sent online during electronic application; printed when directly applying to the Ministry)
• A balance sheet and a profit & loss statement for the past year certified by tax authorities (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• The Turkish Trade Registry Gazette indicating the most recent capital and shareholding structure of the organization (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• When applying online, a notarized power of attorney for the authorized person and the employee’s work contract with the applicant company (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• As for corporate bodies that intend to employ foreign experts in the fields of engineering, construction, contractorship and consultancy services, payslips of Turkish citizens working in the same positions and the contract between the foreign expert and the employer (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
Other documents to be submitted for specific sectors
• In the education sector, the Private Education Institution Certificate taken from the Ministry of National Education or Establishing a Business and Operating License taken from the related municipality (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• For enterprises in the healthcare sector, charity organizations and similar associations, the certificate of conformity, granted permits or licenses taken from the related governmental authority (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• For certified tourism enterprises, copies of the Operating License and Tourism Investment Certificate taken from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
Documents to be submitted by foreign individuals applying for the first time
• Application Form for Foreigners (one copy of the printed online application form signed by the employer and the employee or one copy of the printed online application form with work contract). For applications within Turkey, a valid residence permit (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• With the exception of residence permits for educational purposes, the residence permit has to be valid for a minimum period of 6 months; if not, the applicant is to apply from his/her country of residence via Turkish Consulates/Embassies
• A notarized copy of the passport translated into Turkish (scanned and sent online during electronic application)

In addition to the documents above, foreigners applying for a work permit as experts in specific fields have to present the following documents:

• Foreign Degree Equivalency for applicants that received their higher education outside Turkey, in accordance with the Regulations for Equivalency of Degrees Obtained Abroad, pursuant to the articles 3 and 7/p of the Law No. 2547 (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• If deemed necessary for the Ministry, a translated and notarized copy of the degree or provisional certificate of graduation; for pilots, pilot’s license taken from their country of origin (scanned and sent online during electronic application; also printed for application file)
• For Certified Tourism Enterprises, copies of the work contract in Turkish and applicant’s native language along with the Letter of Recommendation translated into Turkish (scanned and sent online during electronic application; printed for direct application)
• For foreigners to be employed in educational services subject to the authority of the Ministry of National Education, the Certificate of Proficiency obtained from the same Ministry. (scanned and sent online during electronic application)

Documents to be submitted by the employer for extending a work permit

• A work permit application form addressed to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, (scanned and sent online during electronic application; printed when directly applying to the Ministry)
• Documents showing the employer company has no unpaid tax debt (available online from the Ministry of Finance)
• Documents showing the employer company has no unfulfilled social security obligations (available online from the Social Security Institution)
• A certified copy of The Turkish Trade Registry Gazette indicating the most recent capital and shareholding structure of the organization in case of a change in shareholding or capital structure of the employer company (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• When applying online, a notarized power of attorney for the authorized person and the employee’s work contract with the applicant company (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
Documents to be submitted by foreign individuals for extending a work permit
• Application form for foreigners (one copy of the printed online application form signed by the employer and the employee or one copy of the printed online application form with work contract)
• Residence permit (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• Existing work permit and cover letter (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• A notarized copy of the passport translated into Turkish (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• The renewed Certificate of Proficiency obtained from the Ministry of Education, should the foreign employee switch jobs between educational institutions subject to the authority of the same Ministry  (scanned and sent online during electronic application)
• For foreigners working as engineers/architects/urban planners, an interim membership certificate from the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects according to the article 36 of the Law No. 6235 (scanned and sent online during electronic application)

Work permit criteria for foreigners

The evaluation criteria designated by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security for the purpose of fulfilling transactions related to foreigners’ work permit requests quickly and objectively are defined below:

1) At the workplace for which work permit is requested, at least five persons who are citizens of the Republic of Turkey must be employed. In case the foreigner requesting work permit is a co-partner of the company, aforementioned condition related to the employment of five persons who are Turkish citizens will be required for the last six months of one-year work permit to be granted by the Ministry. In case of requesting work permit for more than one foreigner at the same workplace, for each foreigner following the first foreigner who is granted a work permit, the condition regarding the employment of five persons who are Turkish citizens will be required individually.
2) Paid-in capital of the workplace must be at least TRY 100,000 or the lowest figure for its gross sales amount must be equal to TRY 800,000 or its export amount in the last year must be at least USD 250,000.
3) For work permit requests concerning foreigners to be employed by associations and foundations, Article 2, and for evaluations regarding work permit applications related to foreigners to be employed in representative agencies of foreign countries’ airlines in Turkey as well as those to work in education sector and home services sector Articles 1 and 2 will not be applied.
4) Foreigner requesting work permit who is a co-partner of the company must own at least 20% shares in the company, and this percentage shall correspond to at least TRY 40,000, as an obligation.
5) Salary amount which is declared by the employer to be paid to the foreigner must be at a level which complies with the position and competence of the foreigner. Accordingly, considering the minimum wage amount effective as of the application date, wage to be paid to a foreigner must be equal at least to the following:

• 6.5 times the minimum wage amount, for senior executives and pilots as well as engineers and architects requesting preliminary permit
• 4 times the minimum wage amount, for unit or branch manager as well as engineers and architects
• 3 times the minimum wage amount, for persons to be employed for jobs requiring expertise and proficiency as well as teachers
• 1.5 times the minimum wage amount, for persons to be employed for home services and other occupations.

6) Requests for persons to be employed as masseurs, masseuses and SPA therapists, occupations requiring expertise and proficiency, by tourism establishments with at least four stars licensed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism proving that there is a licensed massage parlor within their facilities, as well as licensed holiday resorts will be evaluated, while requests by establishments and workplaces which are not meeting these criteria will not be considered appropriate.
7) For foreigners to be employed by firms operating in the entertainment sector as well as tourism-animation organization firms for occupations requiring expertise and proficiency there will not be a separate quota application provided that at least 10 persons who are citizens of the Republic of Turkey are employed in these firms. 

b.    How to Get a Residence Permit?

All foreigners wishing to live and/or work in Turkey are required to obtain a residence permit within one month following their arrival in the country and prior to the commencement of their work.

For long-term residence in Turkey, the applicant should submit the following documents to the local Police Department:

•    4 passport-size photos
•    Passport
•    Photocopies of the following pages of the passport: the page bearing the applicant’s photo, the page stamped at the last entry, the page indicating the validity and expiry dates of the passport
•    A bank statement or a currency exchange slip testifying to an asset in the amount of USD 300 for each month

Documents required to apply for a residence permit for work purposes:

•    4 passport-size photos
•    Passport
•    Photocopies of the following pages of the passport: the page bearing the applicant’s photo, the page stamped at the last entry, the page indicating the validity and expiry dates of the passport
•    The original and a copy of the work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security

 

Source: Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency
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