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Work Permits in Turkey

Work Permits in Turkey

Turkey is a place where the sun smiles differently in each geography as well as it’s found at the intersection of three major cultures surrounded by Europe, Asia and the Middle East so that its population belongs to the combined culture and, as a result of this blended structure, Turkey is an open-minded country no matter what is your nationality, race, religion, language, appearance and so on. Therefore, you can easily find a suitable place related to your ideal living style, climate, nature, common personality type, and more. In parallel with it, plenty of people have begun living in the country that consists of approximately 1.000.000 foreign nationals according to the official record of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) and this number keeps increasing day by day. Referring to the official statistics, the most developed cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and Bursa are featured thanks to their industrial, touristic, political, strategic and various business advantages.

Istanbul – 327.871

Ankara – 84.472

Antalya – 57.423

Bursa – 26.198

Izmir – 26.075

Istanbul outscores the rest of the cities with its crowded population reaching up to nearly 20 million people and internationally important statues including historical, economical, strategical, and touristic values. From this point of view, Istanbul is 8th the most visited city worldwide in addition to the 10th of Antalya.

Work Permits in Turkey

How Can I Get Turkish Work Permit?

Applying for a work permit is divided into two types depending on where you reside during the application phase. There is one certain rule that foreigners can not get a work permit on behalf of their names. If a foreign national is willing to work in Turkey, either a local company or a consultancy firm authorized by the related company from Turkey must be a sponsor and handle paperwork a lot to assure your arrival. Before the applications of both sides, these should not be ignored that;

● To obtain a work permit, you need to get a residency permit at first

● The duration of your residency permit is considerably important. The Turkish Republic doesn’t allow foreign nationals who have less than a 6-month residency permit to apply for a work permit program.

● Applications can be rejected due to any subjective reasons

When you achieve all these steps, the easiest stage including only paperwork and applying workload begins. According to where you are located, application types are split up into two categories named as ‘’Domestic Applications’’ and ‘’Overseas Applications’’.

Domestic Applications (Also Employer Guide)

This applying type consists of interior applications of Turkey. If you apply for a work permit from Turkey, you fall into this category. Step by step;

● Both employer and foreign employee candidates apply to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security website as online. However, the required documents are totally different for both sides in the online applying phase.

●Employer signs up a username and inputs all information about the employee from

Caution:Employees should verify all this info. Wrong and missing info undermines the process and extends the duration.

● The documents printed out after the online application are signed up by both sides

● All documents and necessity papers need to be transmitted to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in 6 days after the online applications.

●If not delivered on time, the whole process is obliged to start from the beginning

● The ministry investigates the application and notifies the result by e-mail and written way.

● When approved of a work permit by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, residency and work permit fees are requested from the employer. The employee can begin his/her business life in Turkey after the payment to related bank accounts.

● Employer reports the insurance input to the Social Security Institution (SGK). Insurance payments are determined according to the fee declared to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

● Salary of foreign nationals can not be lower than minimum wage (2324 TRY) in Turkey.

Necessary Documents for the Employee

✔ Passport

✔ Four passport-sized photos

✔ Photocopies of the pages in your passport including the photo

✔ Photocopies of the passport expiration date

✔ Photocopies of the last stamped entry on the passport

Overseas Applications (Also Employer Guide)

Unlike domestic applications, a different procedure is implemented for both sides such as;

● People who don’t have a residency permit yet can apply from either their hometown or hosted country they live in.

● Application is acquired from the closest Turkish Consulate/ Turkish Embassy

● The following step is to get an application reference number (consisting of 10 numbers) and conduct it to the employer.

● Employers should apply to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security website as online with this reference number in 6 days after the application of the employee.

● Gathered documents need to be delivered within 10 days. Otherwise previous steps are ignored and restart from the beginning

● Feedback duration by the ministry takes 30 days if the whole information sets up accurately.

● The result is notified by call or email after the application is approved of

● When work permit and visa are confirmed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, residency & work permits and consular visa fees are paid to the Turkish Consulate. The number of fees shows variances from country to country.

● The input of the Social Security Institution needs to be handled within 30 days starting with your entry to Turkey. Insurance payments are determined according to the fee declared to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Necessary Documents for the Employee

✔ Passport

✔ Photocopy of the work permit application

✔ A copy of work agreement

✔ One passport-size photo

Wages for Foreign Nationals?

Wage declared by the employer must be suitable for the statue and upkeep of the foreigner. By concerning the currency and sufficiency of payments, the amounts written below are seen comfortably fit for a foreigner sustaining its presence in Turkey.

● 6.5 times more salary than minimum wage (2324 TRY) for high-end managers, pilots, prior-authorization architects and engineers, etc.

● 4 times more salary than minimum wage (2324 TRY) for unit and branch managers, engineers and architects, etc.

● 3 times more salary than minimum wage (2324 TRY) for professions requiring expertness, teachers, and so on.

● 1.5 times more salary than minimum wage (2324 TRY) for the other jobs

● The same amount of salary with the minimum wage for a household employee

● Average duration of the work permit changes between 6 months and a year related to the profession.

Tax Rates?

It depends on the duration of your residency permit and what profession you’re participating in.

What About Property Owners?

Even though the government made an announcement about the regulation leading up to work permits for foreign property holders in May 2016, any certain path hasn't been drawn yet. Any further development of the subject is going to be shared with you.

Work Permit as an Employer

The reason why we define each step of getting a work permit for an employee and employer together is because you are independently free to set up your own company in every sense. As in many aspects, Turkey embraces investors from all over the world with supportive opportunities. Besides great loans are provided by a lot of Turkish banks, many business grants are reserved for foreign investors, who wish for setting up their companies in Turkey, at will. To benefit from economic amenities offered by the Turkish Government, some forms are liable to be prepared and get contact with related departments in Turkey. In short, If you are interested in setting up your own business in Turkey, the following titles make it simple for you at all. If you prefer virtual information more than paragraphs, you can visit SeriftheBroker YouTube Channel and titled down as ‘’How to Set up a Company in Turkey’’


1.Do foreigners who are willing to work in Turkey need to get a work permit?

In accordance with the International Labor Force Law No. 6735, it is compulsory to obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services in order to employ a foreigner in our country. Foreigners working in Turkey without a valid work permit are subject to criminal and administrative action.

2. Is having a residence permit enough to work legally in Turkey?

No. Foreigners are required to obtain a work permit before starting dependent or independent work in Turkey, unless otherwise stipulated in bilateral or multilateral agreements to which Turkey is a party.

3. Can a foreigner who has a work permit get a residence permit for his/her family?

The foreigner's spouse and dependent children can also be granted a residence permit through the foreigner's work permit. After the application, the evaluation belongs to the Provincial Immigration Administration.

4. Which foreigners don’t need to get work permit to work in Turkey? Or are there privileged nationalities that don’t require work permit at all?

Foreigners who do not need a Work Permit; Those who have received a Blue Card or are entitled to receive a Blue Card within the framework of Article 28 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No.5901, are citizens of another state but also Turkish citizens.

5. How can work permit application be done?

As we have mentioned above, in accordance with the International Labor Force Law No. 6735, it is compulsory to obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services in order to employ a foreigner in our country.

Foreigners who want to work in Turkey and do not have a residence permit must apply for a work visa by going to the foreign representative office of Turkey in the country where they legally reside. Foreigner must inform his employer in Turkey of the 16-digit reference number that will be provided to him, and his employer must apply for a work permit through the ministry's e-government gate using this reference number.

For foreigners who have a residence permit in Turkey that has a period of at least six months and is valid, an application for a work permit can be made by the relevant employers from the country via the e-government.

For the application to be made by the employer over the internet (system);

  • First of all, the employer must be SSI e-declaration user, which will create the workplace registration in the system of the Ministry, has an electronic signature in employer’s name.

  • Before starting the application, an employment contract should be signed between the foreigner and the employer.

  • E-declaration it is necessary to establish a workplace record by entering the Foreign work permit application of our ministry through it. Workplace registration will be completed by signing the undertaking with an electronic signature

  • After the workplace registration is created, the e-declaration user or a person authorized by the employer (this authorization will be made through the system) can apply for a work permit with his e-signature.

  • After entering the "Make Application" tab in the menu of the e-permit application, you need to select the application option related to the status / status of the foreigner and complete all the tabs by filling in the requested information and documents step by step in the following tabs.

  • After all information and document entries are completed, you can save or approve your application at the last stage. If you sign the petition, application form and letter of undertaking to be opened by clicking the approve button with electronic signature, your application will be completed and delivered to our Ministry for evaluation. Apart from this, there is no information or document you need to send to our Ministry.

  • During the evaluation process of your application, you will be informed by e-mail by Ministry when necessary. You can also get information about the latest status of your application by entering the "Application Tracking" tab in the menu of the e-permit application.

  • If your application is evaluated positively by Ministry, employer will be informed by e-mail in order to pay the necessary fees. In the work permit applications made from abroad, the required fee, valuable paper fee and other fees will be paid by the foreign person to our relevant foreign representative.

  • Applications for work permits that have been paid for valuable paper are approved by our ministry and turned into work permits, and printed work permits are sent to workplace address with PTT cargo.

  • For applications made from the country, within 30 days after the start date of the work permit, and for applications made from abroad, within 30 days from the date of entry of the foreigner to the country, the insured entry of the SSI must be made at least at the fee declared to ministry.

6. What is Independent Work Permit?

An independent work permit is issued for a period of time. Foreigners who have a professional profession can be granted an independent work permit provided that the special conditions specified in other laws are met. In the evaluation of independent work permit applications in line with the international labor policy; the educational level of foreign, professional experience, science and technology to contribute to, the impact of the activities in Turkey or investing the country's economy and employment, the International Labor with the capital shares of foreign companies partner Policy Advisory other considerations are taken into account shall be determined by the Ministry in line with the Council recommendation.

7. What is the Foreign ID Number?

A foreign identification number is a number starting with 99 and consisting of eleven digits issued electronically to foreigners who have a work permit or a residence permit for at least six months in Turkey.

8. How do work permit applications evaluate and finalize?

The Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services evaluates and finalizes the work permit application by taking the opinions of the relevant Ministry and authorities when necessary. Work permit applications made duly, are finalized by the Ministry within thirty (30) days at the latest, provided that the documents are complete.

If the Ministry determines that the application has been made with missing documents, the applicant is informed with a request to complete the missing documents. In this case, the thirty-day period starts from the date the missing documents are submitted to the Ministry. The Ministry makes its decision (affirmative or negative) regarding the work permit application, in the applications made from abroad; the Ministry inform the foreigners through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, it is notified to the employer for applications made from within the country.

9. Is the passport date of expiry taken into consideration during the evaluation?

In accordance with Article 24 of Law No. 6735 and Article 23 of Law No. 6458, work permits to be granted to foreigners whose request is deemed appropriate by the Ministry are arranged in a manner not exceeding the date sixty days before the expiry date of the passport. In addition, work permit applications made with a passport of less than sixty days as of the work permit application date are not processed.

10. For example, I am a foreigner and university student in Turkey. I need to do a mandatory internship regarding my department. Do I need to get a work permit to do it?

A work permit is not required for internships that are mandatory for university education. However, in this case, there must be an official letter regarding the subject to be obtained from the relevant University or Faculty.

11. Do shareholders who are not from Turkey or a member of the board of directors need to get a work permit?

Established according to Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102;

  • Director of Limited liability companies who is a company partner,
  • Member of the board of directors who is a company partner of Joint Stock Companies,
  • Foreigners who are commandite partners, who are managers of commandite companies whose capital is divided into shares,

can work by obtaining a work permit.

Established according to Law No. 6102;

  • Non-resident board member of Joint Stock Companies in Turkey,
  • Non-executive partner of other companies,

is evaluated under the work permit exemption.

12. Can foreigners who stay through work permits change their works?

Work permits for foreigners are issued to work at a specific workplace and address, and if the foreigner leaves this workplace, the work permit expires. Since it is not possible for a foreigner who has a work permit with an employer to work in another workplace with the same permit, his new employer must apply for a work permit to the Ministry and obtain a new work permit to work in his own workplace.

13. What is the minimum wage which needs to be paid to the foreign employee?

Minimum wage levels are determined for foreigners who are required to work permit in accordance with their professions and duties. These wages are specified in Article 5 of the Evaluation Criteria on the website of the Ministry. Social security premium payments for foreigners who have been granted work permits should not be less than this amount.

14. What kinds of rights do foreigners have if they get sick or work accident?

In this regard, there is no difference between Turkish citizens and foreigners who have valid work permits. A foreign working with a work permit benefits from health services, just like a Turkish citizen, since SSI (Social Security Institution) premiums are paid. In this case, the provisions of the relevant legislation shall apply.

15. For example, I lost my work permit document. How can I get a new one?

If your valid work permit is lost / stolen or damaged in a way that cannot be used; You can request a work permit to be reprinted by logging into work permit application system via e-government and clicking the "New Card Request" button. If your request is deemed appropriate, you will be asked by e-mail to pay work permit fees in the amount that the Ministry stated in the said e-mail. When you deposit the specified amounts, your new work permit shall be printed and sent to your workplace address.

16. For example, I got a work permit but couldn’t reach me yet. Where and how can I track down my document?

After the work permit documents approved by the Ministry are printed, they are sent to the employer's address by PTT cargo. After that PTT cargo sends notifications about the status of these shipments to your mobile phone registered in the system, you can also view the status of your shipment by entering the system via e-government and clicking the "Card Tracking" button.