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Work Permits For Foreigners in Turkey: A Comprehensive Guide


Comprehensive guide on work permits for foreigners in Turkey, covering different types of permits, application process, and requirements. Discover opportunities for foreign workers in Turkey & how to navigate the online application system. Lawyer Turkey | Turkish Lawyer | Istanbul Lawyer | Attorney

Are you considering working in Turkey and wondering about the process of obtaining a work permit? Turkey is a beautiful country that offers excellent opportunities for both career growth and personal experiences. However, before you embark on your journey to work in Turkey, it is essential to understand the regulations and requirements related to work permits for foreigners. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of obtaining a work permit, the different types available, and everything you need to know about working legally in Turkey as a foreigner.


Understanding Work Permits for Foreigners in Turkey

Foreigners interested in working in Turkey must obtain a work permit and visa before they can begin employment. The work permit is a crucial document that grants individuals the right to work in a job specified by their employer while ensuring they are contributing legally to the Turkish workforce. Let's delve into the details of the process and the various types of work permits available.


The Importance of a Work Permit for Foreigners


The Fundamental Right to Work in Turkey

The right to work is considered one of the fundamental rights and freedoms of an individual. Turkey recognizes this right, as stated in Article 16 of the 1982 Constitution. As a result, foreigners have the right to work in Turkey, provided they comply with international law and the specific limitations set by Turkish regulations.


The Role of the International Labor Law No. 6735

The International Labor Law No. 6735 plays a critical role in regulating work permits for foreigners in Turkey. According to Article 6, it is strictly forbidden for foreigners to work or be employed in Turkey without a valid work permit. This law ensures that foreign workers contribute legally and ethically to the Turkish job market.


Understanding the Scope of Work Permits


Who is Covered by Work Permits in Turkey?

The scope of work permits under the International Labor Law No. 6735 includes various categories of individuals. Foreigners who work, apply for a work permit, apply for internships, or are involved in providing temporary services and cross-border services are covered. Additionally, real and legal entities employing or applying for foreign workers are also subject to the work permit regulations.


Types of Work Permits for Foreigners

Work permits in Turkey can be classified into several categories based on duration, affiliation, and application type.


Types of Work Permits for Foreigners in Turkey


Temporary Work Permit

A temporary work permit is granted to foreigners for a specific duration, depending on their employer or job requirements. The permit is valid for a maximum of one year on the first application and can be extended for up to three years. However, holders of a temporary work permit cannot change their employer during this period.


Indefinite Work Permit

An indefinite work permit offers greater flexibility and longer-term opportunities for foreign workers. It allows individuals to work independently or for multiple employers. To qualify for an indefinite work permit, a foreigner must have a long-term residence permit or a legal work permit for at least eight years.


Independent Work Permit

Foreigners who wish to operate as professionals in Turkey can apply for an independent work permit. This option is especially suitable for those who do not meet the conditions for an indefinite work permit. Independent work permits are granted for a specific period.


Turquoise Card

The Turquoise Card, as regulated in Article 12 of the International Labor Law, is a special type of work permit reserved for exceptional cases. It is granted to individuals with internationally recognized studies in academics, those excelling in strategic fields for the country, and qualified foreign individuals who significantly contribute to the national economy.


The Process of Obtaining a Work Permit in Turkey

The process of obtaining a work permit for foreigners in Turkey involves several steps. Let's take a closer look at each stage to better understand the requirements and procedures.


Pre-Permission Requirement


Understanding Pre-Permission

Certain fields in Turkey, such as health and education, require foreigners to obtain pre-permission before applying for a work permit. The respective Ministries handle the services related to preliminary permission:


  • Ministry of Health for health services

  • Ministry of Education for educational services

  • Higher Education Board for teaching staff

  • Ministry of Science, Industry, and Technology for R&D personnel


Where to Apply for a Work Permit


Applying for a Work Permit from Abroad

Foreigners can apply for a work permit from abroad, known as the general application form. In this case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the competent authority, and Turkish Consulates are the first point of contact for foreign applicants.


Applying for a Work Permit from Within Turkey

Foreigners who are already in Turkey can apply for a work permit from within the country. In such cases, the application is made to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security through an online application. It is essential for the foreigner to have a residence permit for at least six months in Turkey to be eligible for a domestic application.


Applying Online for a Work Permit


The Online Application Process

Turkey introduced a system in 2010 to streamline the process of obtaining work permits for foreigners. The online application is an official way to apply for work permits or work permit exemptions in Turkey.


Required Documents for the Online Application

To complete the online application for a work permit, both the foreign worker and the employer need to provide specific documents. The documents required for the foreign worker include:


  • Employment contract signed by the employer and the foreigner

  • Passport copy

  • Copy of diploma or temporary graduation certificate (with Turkish translation, if required)

  • Residence permit (for domestic applications)


The employer must submit the following documents:


  • Application petition

  • Turkish Trade Registry Gazette showing the latest capital and partnership structure of the organization

  • Balance sheet and profit/loss statement for the last year approved by the tax office or certified public accountant


Additionally, preliminary permission documents, permit/license/certificate of establishment, and other specific documents may be required for certain professions or sectors.


Remember, seeking the advice of a qualified Turkish lawyer or law firm can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the work permit application process, ensuring a smooth and successful transition to working in Turkey.


So, if you're considering working in Turkey, consult a reliable Turkish lawyer today to get started on your journey to a bright and rewarding professional future in this vibrant country.


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