Understanding the work permit in Turkey process is essential for foreigners. This comprehensive guide covers application steps, types of permits, and key regulations
Entry Visa and Work Permit in Turkey: A Comprehensive Guide
If you’re a foreigner planning to work in Turkey, understanding the work permit application process is crucial. This guide provides an in-depth look at how to apply for a work permit in Turkey, the different types of permits available, and the steps involved in both initial applications and extensions.
Types of Work Permits in Turkey
Turkey offers three primary work permits:
Temporary Work Permit:
Employers apply on behalf of employees.
The ministry may extend or limit the validity area based on city or geographical considerations.
After one year of legal work, extensions up to two years are possible with the same employer and occupation.
After three years, permits can extend for three years with any employer but the same occupation.
Spouses and dependent children who have resided legally for five years can also receive work permits.
Permanent Work Permit:
Granted to foreigners with eight years of continuous legal residency or six years of legal work.
Proof of eight-year residency can be obtained from security offices.
Study periods aren’t counted towards applications, except for dependents of work permit holders.
Independent Work Permit:
Issued to foreigners with five years of continuous legal residency.
The work should contribute to economic development and employment.
How to Apply for a Work Permit in Turkey
All applications for work permit in Turkey are made through the e-Government portal of Turkey (turkiye.gov.tr). This platform allows users to fill in the online application form and upload necessary documents. Post this, the employer needs to apply directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in person. The application results will be dispatched within 30 days via email.
Application Process for Foreigners Outside Turkey
Apply for a work permit at a Turkish consulate in their country of residence or citizenship.
The employer manages both online and direct applications to the Ministry within 10 working days.
Upon Ministry approval, foreigners must apply for a work visa at a Turkish consulate within 90 days.
A valid work permit also acts as a residence permit.
Required Documents for Application through Turkish Consulates:
Original and photocopy of the passport
Work visa application form
Application Process for Foreigners in Turkey
Foreigners with at least 6 months of valid residency:
Apply directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
Employers must also apply directly to the Ministry.
Post the online application; the employer should apply in person to the Ministry within 6 working days.
Mandatory Minimum Salaries for Foreign Employees in Turkey
When hiring foreign personnel in Turkey, it’s crucial to ensure that their salary aligns with the responsibilities and qualifications of the position. Depending on the role, there are predefined minimum wage multipliers set by the government:
Salary Guidelines Table 2023:
Base Salary Multiplier
Salary Amount (in TL)
Top-level executives, pilots
6.5 times the minimum wage
Department/Branch Managers, Engineers, Architects
4 times the minimum wage
Experts, skilled laborers, teachers, doctors
3 times the minimum wage
Tourism jobs (e.g., acrobats, masseurs, spa therapists)
2 times the minimum wage
Other roles (e.g., salespersons, marketers)
1.5 times the minimum wage
Equal to minimum wage
Hiring Foreign Employees in Turkey: Key Criteria and Regulations
In the Turkish business environment, there’s a growing need for companies to hire international talent. However, before doing so, businesses should be aware of the specific guidelines and requirements. Below are the general criteria and steps to ensure compliance:
Companies with a paid-up capital of at least 100,000 TL can obtain a work permit for a foreign employee provided they employ 5 insured Turkish citizens.
Example: If a company wishes to hire 3 foreign employees, they must have at least 15 insured Turkish employees on their payroll.
The procedure may vary for foreigners looking to work in domestic services.
The work permit application is typically made by the employer or its representative using an electronic signature.
Essential Criteria for Employers:
Turkish Employee Quota: There must be at least 5 Turkish citizens employed with insurance in the company.
Example: If a company wishes to hire 5 foreign employees, they should be employing 25 insured Turkish citizens.
Foreign Partner Consideration: If the foreign individual for whom the work permit is sought is a partner in the company, the company must meet the condition of employing 5 insured Turkish employees in the last 6 months of the 1-year work permit.
Paid-up Capital: The company’s paid-up capital should be a minimum of 100,000 TL. If it’s not, the company should consider increasing its capital.
Business Revenue: The company’s gross sales amount should be at least 800,000 TL, or the export amount in the last year should be at least $250,000.
Electronic Signature: The company must possess an electronic signature to process certain official applications, including the work permit.
By adhering to these guidelines, companies can streamline the process of hiring foreign talent and ensure they’re in compliance with Turkish labor laws.
Extending Your Work Permit in Turkey
Applications for extensions are also directed to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. After the online submission, a direct application should be completed within 6 working days. Ensure you apply 60 days before your permit’s expiration. After your work permit expired, a new initial application is needed.
If the extension application isn’t made on time and the current work permit expires, the foreign employee is obligated to leave the country. If they remain in Turkey without a valid permit, they will be considered as staying illegally. If caught, they will face deportation.
If an employer misses the extension deadline but still wishes to employ the same foreign individual, the employee must first leave Turkey and then reapply for a new work permit.
Conditions the Company Must Meet for Work Permit Extension
Employment of Turkish Citizens: Over the past year, for every foreign employee, the company should have employed 5 Turkish citizens.
Current Employment Status: At the time of applying for the extension, the company must have 5 insured Turkish citizens employed.
Foreign Employee’s Salary: The foreign employee’s salary should be paid in full via a bank.
Social Security Payments: The company should have paid all of the foreign employee’s Social Security (SGK) contributions and have no outstanding dues.
Tax Payments: The company should not have any unpaid taxes.
Criteria a Foreign Employee Must Meet for Work Permit Extension
Company’s Activity Relevant to Employee’s Role: The company should have operations and turnover in line with the foreign employee’s job title. For instance, if the foreigner is in a sales role, the company should have made international sales during that year.
Residency in Turkey: The foreign individual must not have been outside Turkey for more than 6 months within the year.
Criminal Record: The foreigner must not have committed any crimes during their stay with a work permit.
Availability of Turkish Professionals: The number of Turkish citizens capable of performing the foreigner’s role should not have increased. For example, if the foreigner is an English teacher and there’s a rise in the number of Turkish citizens registered as English teachers seeking jobs, it might be required to employ a Turkish citizen instead.
Timing of Extension Application: The application for a work permit extension can be made when there are 60 days left until the current permit expires. If the application is not made on time, the foreign individual should return to their home country, and a new application would need to be initiated through the consulate.
Work Permit Extension Application: Required Documents
Electronically completed extension application form
Photocopy of passport
Previous work permit document
Trade Registry Gazette (Latest capital structure and number of partners)
Profit and loss and balance sheet approved by the tax office or Certified Public Accountant (SMM)
When Should Work Permit Extension Applications be Made?
It is crucial to apply within the last 60 days before the expiration.
If the extension application is not made in time and the current work permit expires, the foreigner must leave the country. If they don’t, they will be staying illegally and will be deported when caught. If you miss the extension application and still want to employ the same foreign personnel, they must leave Turkey and then a new work permit application must be made.
Work Permit Extension Applications According to Sectors
Foreign personnel working in household services must meet the following conditions for extension applications:
If the foreigner is working in elderly care, the person being cared for must be alive.
If the foreigner is working in child care, the child being cared for must be under 15 years of age.
Social Security (SGK) payments must have been made regularly.
The foreigner must not have committed any crimes during their residency in Turkey with a work permit.
Private Educational Institutions
Before applying for an extension for foreign personnel working in private educational institutions, the following conditions should be considered:
The balance in the number of students, educators, and foreigners from the initial application must be maintained.
If the work permit to be extended is for public relations or guest relations roles, there should be an increase in the number of students compared to the initial application.
There must have been 5 insured Turkish personnel employed for each foreigner in the past year.
The foreign employee’s salary must be paid in full via a bank.
All of the foreigner’s Social Security (SGK) contributions should be paid and there should be no outstanding dues.
The institution should not have any unpaid taxes.
The foreign individual must not have been outside Turkey for more than 6 months within the year.
The foreigner must not have committed any crimes during their residency in Turkey with a work permit.
During the application for a work permit extension, it’s obligatory to employ 5 Turkish personnel for every foreigner.
Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
The duration of the activity certificate must be no less than 6 months.
NGOs, whether employing Turks or foreigners, must not have employed anyone with terrorist organization records or sympathies.
The Interior Ministry or MIT should not have given a negative opinion for the foreign NGO.
Foreigners who enter Turkey at customs borders or airports with a tourist visa or e-visa, and then obtain a touristic residence permit ID card (with a minimum validity of 6 months) can find a job in Turkey. They can then apply to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security for a foreigner work permit ID card, together with their employer.
If a new employee enters Turkey with a work visa and later decides not to accept the job, they should leave Turkey within the first 15 days of their entry to avoid overstaying their visa.
It’s important to note that any employee who comes to Turkey with a work visa for employment or labor purposes must always be insured under the Turkish government’s SGK social security and healthcare system. This ensures they stay in Turkey legally and safely while working.
The work permit is initially granted for 1 year. After 1 year, you have the right to extend it for 2 years. After 2 years, an extension can be made for 3 years.
How Long Does a Foreigner Have After an Overseas Application to Arrive in Turkey?
For applications made from abroad, if the foreign individual doesn’t enter Turkey within 6 months of the work permit being granted, the permit will be canceled.
What Are the Evaluation Periods for Work Permits?
For applications that are properly made and provide complete information and documents, the evaluation process is completed within 30 days.
What is the Time Frame to Complete Missing Documents in Applications?
In cases where there is missing information or documents in the application, the evaluation of the application is postponed until these deficiencies are resolved. This postponement, except in cases where there’s an official documentation of an unavoidable reason delaying the completion of the missing items, cannot exceed 30 days.
About Simply TR’s Work Permit Services
Simply TR offers comprehensive services related to work permit in Turkey. We are here to assist you both in finding the right company in Turkey that matches your profile and expectations and in guiding you through the work permit application process.
How Do We Assist?
Company Matching: We match you with companies that align with your profile and career aspirations.
Work Permit Application: We monitor the work permit application process step by step and guide you in preparing the necessary documents accurately.
Payment and Fees We operate on an upfront payment basis for our services. For detailed fee structures and other related information, please contact us.