How to Obtaining a Work Permit in Turkey for Foreigners?

It's not possible for foreign nationals to work in Turkey without a work permit or exemption certificate. In order to obtain a work permit, a permit granting the right to work and reside must be obtained from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. If foreign nationals do not obtain a work permit, a temporary entry ban and administrative fines are imposed on them and their employers. The steps to take for obtaining a work permit in Turkey and the criteria for issuance to foreign nationals should be examined carefully.


Institutions To Which Applications For A Work Permit Are Submitted


The institutions to which foreign nationals should apply for a work permit vary in Turkey. For filing an application for a work permit, foreign nationals should apply to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in the case of applications in Turkey and to the Republic of Turkey Consulates General in their country of nationality in the case of applications filed abroad. If a foreign national has a residence permit for educational purposes and his/her 6-month residence period has not expired, s/he can file an application through the ministry.


If a foreign national files an application to engage in an occupation considered human trafficking, s/he will not be required to have lived for 6 months, but s/he should apply for a work permit each time. Foreign nationals who enter with a tourist visa or who do not have a purpose of work, those with visa exemption and foreigners without a residence permit will not be able to apply for a work permit. But applications can be made through an intermediary institution. Another point is that people whose work permit is about to expire should apply for an extension.


Documents Required For A Work Permit


The questions asked by foreign nationals applying for a work permit include the required documents and how to get them. The documents required during the application for a work permit for foreign nationals are determined according to the sector for which the permit will be obtained. The documents required for a foreign national who will work in a corporation in Turkey and those who will babysit are different for the employer and the applicant. If a foreign national applying for a work permit in Turkey will work for his/her own behalf and wants to obtain a work permit through that company, s/he is liable to submit the documents to be obtained through a single organization.


Similarly, if s/he files an application for work permit in order to become a partner of a company, s/he should create and submit a document through a single organization. Foreign nationals preparing the documents required for a work permit in Turkey are insured and their processes are performed in accordance with the laws of Republic of Turkey. Foreign nationals who wish to serve in education and healthcare sectors must obtain preliminary permit to reach the evaluation stage, which is issued by Ministry of Health for healthcare organizations and Ministry of National Education for education organizations.


Preliminary Permit and Evaluation Criteria


Foreign nationals who wish to work in education and healthcare sectors must obtain a preliminary permit before their application for a work permit is evaluated. Foreign nationals applying for an extension of their work permits must apply to the relevant ministry for permission.


As for the criteria for evaluation of preliminary permit, a foreign national applying for a work permit in Turkey should prove that minimum 5 Turkish citizens are employed in the workplace which s/he has shown as place of employment. If a foreign national wishing to obtain a preliminary permit is a partner of a company, s/he should employ 5 people for a one-year permit sought by the ministry. S/he must fulfill the requirements for the capital amount paid on behalf of the workplace. If a company partner applies for a preliminary permit, the capital share should be more than TL 40,000 according to the 2020 regulations and his/her share should be 20% of the share.


The amount to be paid monthly for the foreign national must be in accordance with the definition of the foreigner's job. Because the values in the law are determined based on the minimum wage shown. The requirements set for the leisure and tourism sector is to employ 10 Turkish citizens and provide employment to 5 Turkish citizens for every foreign national.


Application for an Extension of Work Permit Filed by Foreign Nationals


Foreign nationals filing an application for a work permit in Turkey for the first time are granted a work permit of one year. Those who wish to extend their work permits can file an application for two years, provided they meet the criteria set. Those whose work permit extension has expired are granted a work permit of three years. The application for extension of the work permit is made in the same manner as the first application. Documents which the foreign nationals are required to submit for extension of a work permit in Turkey vary by organizations.


Different requirements are applicable to companies, home services, private education institutions and non-governmental organizations. The minimum amount charged to foreigners for application for a work permit extension was re-established in January 2019. The application for a work permit extension should be filed 2 months prior to the expiry date of the work permit. Another condition to know is that the procedures and principles applied during the first application will be valid for the application for a work permit filed in case of a change of employer. For foreign nationals, the last issue to consider while filing an application for a work permit extension in Turkey is that if an extension is not granted, the foreign national should leave Turkey within 10 days.