Pathway: Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions on Work Permits and Residence Permits

Do the foreign nationals requesting residence permits for less than one year in Turkey, need to have a ‘travel health insurance’ issued, which covers the duration of their stay?

The foreign nationals requesting residence permits for less than one year in Turkey will be required to submit a ‘travel health insurance’ covering the duration of their stay. The foreign national must take out a broad health insurance policy (inpatient and outpatient treatment). As from the date of June 20, 2014, a legitimacy statement for Law number 6458 will be needed on the insurance policies. The Undersecretariat of Treasury is known to have the insurance companies informed of these needful standards.  The duration of the Travel Health Insurance needs to cover the whole duration of the residence permit.

Are the foreign nationals, who own real property in Turkey, eligible for residence permit?

The foreign nationals owning real property in Turkey will unconditionally be provided with a residence permit for one year.

Does the work permit card apply as a residence permit?

According to the 27th article of 6458 numbered Law on Foreigners and International Protection, the work permit card applies as residence permit.

How will the foreign nationals have their addresses registered?

he foreign nationals, who acquired work permits, need to have their addresses registered by applying at the District Registry Offices in 20 work days at the latest, following their entrance into Turkey.

Are there any changes in the practice of foreign nationals SSI obligations?

In case that the foreign national, who acquired work permit is present abroad, the SSI obligations are required to be fulfilled in at least 30 work days following the entrance in Turkey. The SSI registration can be achieved by obtaining a Foreign TC (Turkish Republic) ID number with the numbers stated on work permit cards and if TC ID number is not possessed or the work permit card is not yet obtained, then the employment procedures can be initiated by applying to the related Social Security Directorates.

What is a “residence permit”?

Proceedings concerning residence and travels of foreigners in Turkey are in general carried out in accordance with provisions of the law no. 5683 on residence and travel of foreigners in Turkey.
Residence permit to foreigners in Turkey is represented by a certificate named “Foreigner’s Residence Permit”.
Foreigner’s residence means his/her inhabitance in Turkey in accordance with Turkish laws.

Where and how to apply for a residence permit

You should go to the Police authorities you are affiliated to, and obtain and complete an “Application”
form from the Foreigners Department. Then, it will be sufficient to go to the Police authorities with the documents listed below.

These documents are:

  • Residence Declaration form available at Police authorities
  • 4 passport photos
  • Original passport
  • Photocopy of passport (page with photo, page showing last entry, page showing expiry dates)*
  • If the foreign national stays as tenant, notarized rent contract
  • In he/she stays in hotel, reservation certificate
  • Petition from the employer stating foreign national’s will of working
  • The foreign national may apply to the Police authority with a petition stating his/her will to work at the workplace he/she is going to work.


Important Note:

  • If residence permit has been previously obtained, the original permit and photocopy of all its processed pages.
  •  Residence permit for touristic purposes is given for once within a calendar year.
  • The foreign national should apply in person for residence proceedings.

Note: Residence permits not received within 1 month following application will be cancelled by the Police Headquarters.
You should contact us for detailed information about residence permit applications.


What is Co-Residence?

Co-residence means inhabitance under the same roof within the family communion in accordance with the provision of Civil Code.
You can contact us for detailed information about co-residence.

What is Work Permit?

All foreigners who are not Turkey nationals, who are present in Turkey for the purpose of working, have to obtain residence permit in accordance with the law no. 4817 on work permits of foreigners. The Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners sets out the procedures and principles regarding issuance, classification, cancellation of all types of work permits, foreigners to be exempted from work permit, and how to fulfill the notification obligations.

How Many Types of Residence Permits are issued to the Foreigners?

Work permits are issued to Foreigners in 4 groups. These are;
  • Temporary Work Permit
  • Permanent Work Permit
  • Independent Work Permit
  • Exceptional Work Permit

How is a temporary work permit obtained, to whom it applies, and may extension application be made for temporary work permit?

According to the law no. 4817 on work permits;
Save as provided otherwise in bilateral or multilateral conventions which Turkey is a party to; temporary work permit is issued for working in a certain workplace or enterprise and in a certain vocation, and to be valid for maximum one year.

The Ministry may vary validity of temporary work permits based on provinces or geographical regions.

Work permit certificate is valid for the workplace and address written on the certificate. Foreigner’s request for working in another branch of the workplace registered with the trade registry is evaluated by the Ministry. If the request is found to be appropriate, the necessary change is made to the work permit, and this fact is notified to the relevant bodies.
It is possible to extend the temporary work permit as follows:
According to the Law no. 4817 on Foreigner’s Work Permits, the periods prescribed for extension in article 5 of the Law are taken into account.
Following a legal working period of one year, period of the work permit may be extended for maximum two years to work in the same workplace or enterprise and in the same vocation.
At the end of a legal working period of three years, period of the work permit may be extended for maximum three years to work in the same vocation and under any employer.

I want to obtain temporary work permit for my spouse and children, which requirements and documents should I satisfy for this?

Spouse and dependent children of a foreigner who has come to Turkey for working may be issued work permit by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security according to the provisions of laws and regulations provided that they have resided with the foreigner legally and continuously at least for fiveyears. However, the requirement that they should not be student is sought for their being allowed to work. When they are evaluated by the Ministry, temporary work permit may be issued according to the documentation and law and regulation provisions like with other applications. Documents required by the Ministry are:
  • Presentation of the certificate showing legal and continuous residence
  • Calculation of the legal and continuous residence periods of spouse and children
You can contact us for detailed information about temporary work permits.

How is Permanent Work Permit obtained? What are the documents required?

Save as provided otherwise in bilateral or multilateral conventions which Turkey is a party to; permanent work permit may be issued to foreigners who have been residing in Turkey legally and continuously for eight years and have a legal work period of six years in total, without regard to the condition in the labor market and the developments in the work life, and if deemed appropriate by the relevant bodies, without limitation of vocation, civil or geographical area. Documents that should be submitted when applied to the Ministry of permanent work permit are;
  • Presentation of the Certificate showing legal and continuous residence
  • Calculation of the legal working period and presentation of the document showing this
  • Residence permit to be issued depending on the permanent work permit

Important note:

Residence permits for working purposes may be issued to the foreigners who have obtained permanent work permit for up to 5 (five) years each time considering request of the foreigner an period of the contract, if any. However, if the end of that five-year period exceeds the expiry date of the passport held by the foreigner, the residence permit to be issued is arranged according to the expiry date of passport.

What are the requirements to obtain independent work permit?

Independent work permit may be issued provided that the foreigners have resided in Turkey legally and continuously for at least five years, their works have created added value to Turkey’s economy for development, and will influence the employment positively.
Opinions of the relevant bodies are taken into consideration in determining the influence on employment.
Foreigners who remain within the scope of vocational services, under the respective legislation, present a certificate they receive from the relevant bodies, evidencing that they perform their vocation, to the Ministry in addition to other documents.
Independent work permit is used by the foreigner depending on the residence permit period unless nature of the work changes.

What are the documents required to apply for independent work permit?

Documents required for obtaining independent work permit after satisfying the requirement of residence are:
  • Presentation of a certificate certified by the Police authorities and showing legal and continuous residence with exact dates
There are imprtant document which the competent person may require for independent work permit.
We may list them as follows:
  • If the documents evidencing the contribution to be made by the foreigner’s activity to the national economy and that the foreigner has sufficient income for the activity he/she will perform are required by the competent person, he/she should submit these to the Ministry.

When and where should I apply after obtaining the Independent Work Permit Application Certificate?

If the independent work permit application is evaluated positively, “Independent Work Permit Application Certificate” is issued as to that the foreigner may work independently.
This certificate is valid for 3 months following its issuance. Within this period, following establishment by the foreigner of his/her workplace, he/she may be issued independent work permit if he/she presents the trade registry record to the Ministry.
Moreover, residence permit periods of the foreigners to whom independent work permit is issued are determined by the Ministry of Internal Affairs according to the legislation residence and travel of foreigners in Turkey.
If residence permits issued based on the independent work permit are not extended by the Police authorities, the Ministry is informed.

How is Exceptional Work Permit obtained? Who are included in the group of exceptional cases, where may they apply?

Save as provided otherwise in bilateral or multilateral conventions which Turkey is a party to; provided that national legislation is contravened and the legislation on vocational services is observed, considering also opinions of the relevant bodies, work permits may be issued exceptionally to the foreigners whose statuses are indicated in the subsequent articles of this section.
Extension and cancellation of the exceptional work permits are subject to the procedure in general provisions of the regulation. Moreover, exceptional work permits may be cancelled in case it is discovered that requirements of the relevant vocational legislation have not been fulfilled. Decisions on issuance, cancellation and extension of the exceptional work permits are submitted to the relevant bodies.
Those included in the exceptional cases group:
  • In applications of the foreigners who are married with a Turkish national and who live in Turkey with their spouses in conjugal community, the requirement of period for residence is not sought for.
In applications of the foreigners who have been living with a Turkish national in conjugal community for at least three years, the criteria contained in fourth paragraph of this Regulation do not apply.
However, if it is discovered that the marriage has not been concluded for the purpose of establishing conjugal community, the work permit certificate becomes invalid.
  • Foreigners considered resident; work permits of the foreigners who are resident in Turkey, whose conjugal community with a Turkish national has ended after having continued at least for three years, may be issued exceptionally provided that they are legally present in Turkey.
The term “resident” is understood as the persons considered within this scope by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in terms of residence permits. Such foreigners should submit the document they have obtained from the Police authorities, evidencing their status, to the Ministry together with other documents during their applications.

  • Children of foreigners considered resident - work permits of the children of foreigners who are resident in Turkey, whose conjugal community with a Turkish national has ended after having continued at least for three years, which children are from their Turkish national spouse, may be issued exceptionally provided that they are legally present in Turkey.
  • Those who have come to Turkey before completing the age of maturity and completed their education in Turkey - if foreigners who have been born in Turkey, or who have come to Turkey before completing the age of maturity according to their national law, and if they are stateless, according to Turkish legislation, and who have graduated from a vocational school, higher education school or university in Turkey, request work permit, their work permit may be issued exceptionally provided that they document their statuses during application to the Ministry.
  • Those to whom Settlement Law No. 2510 applies - If foreigners considered as migrant, refugee or nomad according to the Settlement Law No. 2510 request work permit, their work permit may be issued exceptionally provided that they document their statuses during application to the Ministry.
  • Those assigned in embassies, consulates, and representative offices of international organizations in Turkey, and their spouses and children
Being in accordance with the principle of reciprocity and limited to the period of assignment, work permits of the personnel assigned in embassies, consulates of foreign states in Turkey, and representative offices of international organizations in Turkey, and their spouses and children, may be issued exceptionally upon taking opinion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • If foreigners who will come to Turkey temporarily for a period more than one month for short-term activities for scientific, cultural and artistic purposes and for a period more than four months for sports purposes request work permit, their work permits may be issued exceptionally for the period during which they will be present in Turkey.

Is work permit issued to those who lose Turkish citizenship status?

Those who lose their Turkish citizenship status - Foreigners who fall within the scope of articles 19, 27 and 28 of Turkish Citizenship Laws No. 403 request work permit, their work permits may be issued exceptionally provided they document their statuses during application to the Ministry.

Where can I apply for foreigner work permit and extension of work permit?

Applications for the first time for work permit may be made to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security with the necessary requirements and documents after applying to the Foreign Missions of Republic of Turkey abroad. If application is made domestically, it may be made directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
In applications for extension of the work permit, after satisfying the necessary documents and requirements, application may be domestically made directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
You can contact us for detailed information about applications abroad and domestically.

What are the requirements and documents for work permits applied for domestically?

There are two legal ways to apply for work permit in Turkey. These are application domestically and abroad. Work permit application procedure and documents required to be prepared vary depending on which of these two ways will be preferred.
What meant by application domestically for a foreigner is that the work permit application is made and concluded in the period during which the foreign national is present within the boundaries of Republic of Turkey. Namely, obtainment of the work permit without the foreign national having to go to his/her own country. However, the prerequisite of this is that the foreigner has a residence permit for minimum 6 months in Turkey (except for educational purposes).
In application domestically, after the requirements above are satisfied for both the employer and the foreigner, the documents required by the Ministry vary depending on the sector of the workplace and vocational position of the foreigner. You can contact us for detailed information about the workplace and foreigner by sector status.

I want to employ a foreigner in my company, what are the requirements and conditions for my company?

First of the requirements for a company is that paid-in capital of the founded workplace should be minimum TL 100,000 or its gross sales should be minimum TL 800,000, or its export amount for the last year should be USD 250,000 (satisfying only one of these requirements is sufficient).
The second important requirement is that it is compulsory to apply the 1 / 5 (one fifth) rule per foreigner, which is one of the important criteria for an employer. If work permit application is made for more than one foreigner in the same workplace, employment of five Turkey nationals per foreign national following the first foreigner to whom work permit is issued will be sought for as a requirement.
The documents required by the Ministry vary depending on the requirements and conditions concerning the company for work permit. You can contact us for detailed information about the workplace and foreigner by sector status.

What are the requirements and documents for work permits applied for abroad?

There are two legal ways to apply for work permit in Turkey. These are application domestically and abroad. Work permit application procedure and documents required to be prepared vary depending on which of these two ways will be preferred. Hence, we consider it useful to address this distinction in the first place.
In applications abroad, the applicants should apply to the mission of Republic of Turkey in the county they are present in and they permanently reside in. As a result of that application, they will be given an application reference number by the embassy (this reference number will be like 2012-a6bg7-3011).
In applications abroad, presentation of several documents is compulsory to be able to make application to the missions of Republic of Turkey. These documents may be defined as labor contract and passport. If the applicant is a company shareholder, he/she should apply to the missions of Republic of Turkey with the Trade Registry Gazette and passport.
Within no later than 10 business days following such application, the documents and reference number will be submitted to the Ministry of Labor. Only this way the work permit application may be deemed to have been completed.
NOTE: If foreigners applying abroad for work permit obtain the work permit certificate from the Ministry, they should deposit the charges for the work permit certificate to our foreign missions.
In application abroad, after the requirements above are satisfied for both the employer and the foreigner, the documents required by the Ministry vary depending on the sector of the workplace and vocational position of the foreigner. You can contact us for detailed information about the workplace and foreigner by sector status.

When should the foreigners obtain permit for working in Turkey?

Save as provided otherwise in bilateral or multilateral conventions which Turkey is a party to; under the Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners, foreigners should obtain permit before starting to work dependently and independently in Turkey.

What are the documents required to be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security for foreigners’ work permit applications?

All applications may be made with the form obtained from the website of Ministry of Labor and Social Security, and wet signed petition from the employer, explaining reason of employment. Forms and documents should be completed as specified in the explanation section of the form, and also, all documents should be attached to the application petition.
The appropriate documents vary depending on required employment status of the foreigner and the position to be assumed by the foreigner.
You can contact us for detailed information about all these forms and documents.

Should I pay any fee to any State Agency to obtain work permit?

When application is made to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, after both the employer and the foreigner satisfy all the requirements, if the application results positively, the amount determined by the Law of Fees No. 492 for that year should be paid to the banks which the Ministry of Labor and Social Security has contracted with. Pursuant to the Law of Fees No. 492, the foreigner to whom work permit will be issued will present Turkish ID number and state that he/she wants to pay the work permit certificate fee. When depositing the fees, no remittance or similar cost other than the fee amount will be paid to the Bank. Then, after it is seen on the system that the foreigner has deposited his/her fee, work permit approval is obtained from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Currently applicable amounts:
  • According to General Communiqué on Law of Fees of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, published on the Official Gazette dated 01.01.2013 and no. 28215,
  • For application for the first time, 537.50 TL
  • For extension applications (up to 3 years), 537.50 TL
  • Valued Paper Fee, 63.00 TL

It is possible to extend the work permits?

Extension is possible, but according to the article 5 of the Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners, in case of temporary work permits, the permit is issued to be valid for maximum one year to work in a certain workplace or enterprise and in a certain vocation, depending on the period of the labor contract signed between the employer and the worker or period of the work.
Following a legal work period of one year, work permit may be extended for 2 (two) years to work in the same workplace or enterprise and in the same vocation. In order to be able to extend a one-year work permit for which the application for the first time has been made to work in the same workplace an in the same vocation, it is compulsory to apply to the Ministry of Social Security, Directorate of Work Permits, within maximum 2 (two) months prior to, and 15 days subsequent to, expiry date of the work permit.
Namely, at the end of a legal working period of three (1+2) years, period of the work permit may be extended for up to three years to work in the same vocation and under any employer.
Another important issue is that the extension applications made after that fifteen-day period will be subject to the guidelines applicable to the foreigners applying for the first time.
Important note: If work permit is not issued within the 15-day period following expiry date of the work permit, the foreigner will be issued foreign visa, and requested to go to his/her own country and have his/her work permit visa entered in his/her passport. Therefore, the foreigners and employers are recommended to make the extension applications as soon as possible.

Who is designated as dependently working foreigner?

A foreigner who works in service of one or more employer having real or legal personality in consideration of wage, salary, commission and similar compensation.

Who is designated as independently working foreigner?

A foreigner working on his/her own behalf and for his/her own account regardless of whether or not employing others. We may give company shareholder as an example for this.

Do foreigners working independently have notification obligation?

Foreigners working independently should make their applications domestically or abroad before starting to work. They are obliged to notify their statuses to the Ministry within no later than 15 days following expiry of their work permits.

Is there obligation to notify foreigners working dependently?

Since they work in service of an employer, majority of the notifications will be made by the employer in respect of the work permits.
Employers employing a foreigner are obliged to notify the Ministry:
  • Before the foreigner starts to work,
  • Within 30 days following date of issuance of work permit, after they go to the Police authority they are affiliated to and have the annotation of work entered, if the foreigner does not start to work; after expiry of that period,
  • Following expiry date of the labor contract, within no later than 15 days, they are obliged to notify the Ministry of the instance.

My work permit application has been rejected by the Ministry. Do we have rights to objection to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security?

Decisions to be made by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security may be objected by the involved parties within thirty days following date of notification.
Objection raised to the rejection letter is examined by a commission established within the Labor General Directorate of the Ministry.

May foreigners work during the period of for work permit extension application?

According to article 8 of the law No. 4817 on Work Permit of Foreigners concerning extension applications, foreigners who apply for work permit extension may continue working in the same workplace and in the same vocation provided that 45 days is not exceeded following expiry of the work permit and nature of the work done is not changed. Work during this period is considered as legal work, and obligations of the foreigner, relevant bodies and employer survive.
Please contact us for detailed information about this subject.

How are the work permit and extension applications evaluated?

The ministry takes to into consideration the following in evaluation of the work permit and work permit applications:
  • Period of residence and work permits of the foreigner
  • Depending on period of the labor contract and the work, working in a certain workplace or enterprise and in a certain vocation
  • Exclusively for that work, condition of the labor market, developments in the work life, and
  • Sectoral, geographical and economical conjuncture changes concerning employment.
Within the framework of these evaluation criteria, taking into account also the evaluations to be made by the Ministry, whether anyone having the same qualifications to do same work is available is checked from records of Turkish Employment Agency within a period of four weeks for the work applied for.
While evaluating the ground justifying employment of foreigners instead of domestic employment, the Ministry takes into consideration the information demonstrating the special nature of the work as well as educational status of the foreigner, contribution of the workplace he/she will work for to the national economy, wage level suitable for that work, and employment status. The Ministry determines the evaluation criteria concerning the items indicated in this paragraph.

What should be done in respect of application of the foreigner in case of change of the employer or decease of the employer after obtaining the work permit certificate?

For a foreigner who currently works legally in Turkey, in case of change of his/her workplace, or decease or change of his/her workplace, it is not possible for the foreigner to work based on the first work permit he/she has obtained. In such case, in order to prevent a possible forfeiture in relation to what the status of the foreigner will be, firstly and urgently, application should be made for work permit through the new employer simultaneously with cancellation of work permit of the foreign worker. After the permit is obtained, the employer will, within no later than 30 days, apply to the Provincial Police Department in the first place, and have that work permit certificate entered in the residence permit of the worker. Besides this, social security obligations concerning the foreigner should also be fulfilled.
You can contact us for detailed information about this subject.

Who can qualify for Blue Card?

Those persons who have been Turkish citizen at birth but lose their Turkish citizenship status by obtaining alienation permit, submit their requests for blue card to the foreign missions abroad, or if they are in the country, first to the General Directorate, then the Provincial Directorates of Population and Citizenship. If results positively, Blue Card showing the rights listed in article 28 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901 is issued and given.
Those Blue Card holders who are, by virtue of article 2 of the Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners, “included in second sentence of article 29 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 403”, are excluded from the Law No. 4817.
However, the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 403 has been abolished by virtue of the Law No. 5901, and provision of article 29 of the Law No. 403 has been reenacted as article 28 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901 which took effect on 12.06.2009.
Article 28 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901 as amended by the Law dated 09.05.2012 and No. 6304 stipulates the following:
“(1) Those who have been Turkish citizen at birth but lose their Turkish citizenship status by obtaining alienation permit and their kinship up to third degree continue to fully benefit from the rights granted to Turkish citizens save as the exceptions specified in this article. Provisions regarding national security and public order are reserved.
(2) The persons falling within the scope of this article do not have rights to elect and to be elected, to import vehicles and household goods with exemption, and obligation to do military service. Such persons reserve their vested rights as to social security, and are subject to the provisions in the relevant laws in respect of exercising these rights.
(3) The persons falling within the scope of this article may not assume basic and permanent public service assignments as tenured and subject to public law regime. However, they may be employed as worker, temporary and contracted personnel in public agencies and institutions.”
In this respect, foreigners who fall within the scope of article 28 of the Law No. 5901 regardless of whether they are Blue Card holder do not have to obtain work permit from our Ministry as per provisions of the Law No. 4817, provided that the obligations in our national legislation concerning execution of the vocation to be carried out and reserving the issued set out in special laws.
You can contact us for detailed information about Blue Card and Blue Card applications.

Who are exempted from work permits?

Reserving the provisions set out in special laws and provided that the foreigner and the employerfulfill their obligations arising out of other laws, and save as provided otherwise in bilateral or multilateral conventions which Turkey is a party to; the following do not have to obtain work permit:
  1. Those who are exempted from work permit by virtue of bilateral or multilateral conventions which Turkey is a party to
  2. Those foreigners whose permanent residence is abroad, and who will come to Turkey temporarily for less than one month for the purpose of scientific, cultural and artistic activities, and for less than four months for the purpose of sports activities,
  3. Those who come to Turkey for the purpose of assembly, maintenance and repair of, and giving training on use of, machinery and equipment imported to Turkey, or taking delivery of equipment or repairing machinery which have failed in Turkey, provided that this does not exceed from the date of entry into Turkey and they prove this with the documents they will present,
  4. Those who are present in Turkey for giving training on use of the goods and services exported from Turkey or imported to Turkey, provided that this does not exceed three months from the date of entry into Turkey and they prove this with the documents they will present,
  5. Those who are present in Turkey for show and similar functions in fairs and circuses that will have activities out of the borders of certified tourism establishments, provided that this does not exceed six months from the date of entry into Turkey and they prove this with the documents they will present,
  6. Those foreigners who come to universities and public agencies and institutions to enhance their knowledge and culture, provided that this does not exceed two years and is limited to their duration of education, and that prove this with the documents they will present,
  7. Those who have been notified to the relevant bodies that they could provide important services and contributions to Turkey in socio-cultural and technological fields and educational subjects, for a period not exceeding six months,
  8. Those foreigners who will come within the scope of the programmes carried out by the European Union Presidency of the Center for Education and Youth Programmes (National Agency), for the period of any such programme,
  9. Those foreigners who will receive internship training within the framework of international intern student programmes, scope and period of which are agreed upon by the Ministry, Ministries of Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs, and Presidency of Higher Education Council,
  10. Foreigners coming to Turkey as representatives of tour operators, provided that their duty period does not exceed eight months,
  11. Foreign footballers and other athletes and trainers, whose requests are found appropriate by Turkish Football Federation or General Directorate of Youth and Sports, throughout the period or their contracts,
  12. Foreign seamen who serve on ships which have obtained “Certificate of Conformity Approval” from the relevant body pursuant to the bilateral protocols entered into with the states according to Rule I/10 of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Shift for Seafarers, which are registered with Turkish International Ship Register and operate outside the cabotage line,
  13. Foreign specialists assigned in the projects carried out within the scope of Turkey - European Union Financial Cooperation Programme, throughout their assignment period.
Foreigners listed in this article have to notify their purpose of coming, information on how long and where they will stay, to the police authorities of the place they are present, within no later than thirty days following the date of their entry to the country, and in any case, before starting their activities, and obtain residence permit. It is compulsory to fulfill the obligations concerning social security in relation to the foreigners who will benefit from exemption provisions. Identity details of the foreigners to whom residence permit is issued under this article, and names and Social Security Institution workplace registration numbers of the workplaces they will work in are notified by the police authorities every month to the Ministry.

What does “Vocational Services” in foreigners’ work permits mean?

Vocational services means the services requiring expertise, which can be provided after academic and vocational qualification requirements are fulfilled. These services are subject to national and international qualification processes and licensing claims and procedures.

What does “Vocational Qualification” in foreigners’ work permits mean?

Vocational qualification means completion by the service provider of vocational qualification claims and procedures after he/she fulfills requirements of academic qualification in order to ensure the service quality.
According to the Vocational Qualification Authority Law No. 5544, service provider’s being member of the vocational organization in his/her own country, submission of the certificate evidencing that he/she performs his/her vocation by the vocational organization he/she is a member of, and his/her having adequate experience in the field he/she will work are prerequisites for vocational qualification.

Do exempted foreigners have notification obligation?

They have to give notification to the Police authorities they are affiliated to and also to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security under the Law no. 4817. You can contact us for detailed information.

May exemption period be extended?

No, exemption periods may not be extended. Because exemption provisions may be benefited from only once in a calendar year.
Furthermore, according the following paragraphs of article 35 of the law no. 4817;
  1. Those foreigners whose permanent residence is abroad, and who will come to Turkey temporarily for less than one month for the purpose of scientific, cultural and artistic activities, and for less than four months for the purpose of sports activities,
  2. Those who come to Turkey for the purpose of assembly, maintenance and repair of, and giving training on use of, machinery and equipment imported to Turkey, or taking delivery of equipment or repairing machinery which have failed in Turkey, provided that this does not exceed from the date of entry into Turkey and they prove this with the documents they will present,
  3. Those who are present in Turkey for giving training on use of the goods and services exported from Turkey or imported to Turkey, provided that this does not exceed three months from the date of entry into Turkey and they prove this with the documents they will present,
  4. Those who are present in Turkey for show and similar functions in fairs and circuses that will have activities out of the borders of certified tourism establishments, provided that this does not exceed six months from the date of entry into Turkey and they prove this with the documents they will present,
  5. Those who have been notified to the relevant bodies that they could provide important services and contributions to Turkey in socio-cultural and technological fields and educational subjects, for a period not exceeding six months,
  6. Foreigners coming to Turkey as representatives of tour operators, provided that their duty
period does not exceed eight months, Foreigners falling within the scope of the paragraphs listed above may benefit from the exemption provisions only once in a calendar year. However, the requirement of lapse of three months from expiry date of the residence permit obtained previously by the foreigner for the same purpose is sought for in order for benefiting from this right. If it will be worked for more than the exemption periods, it is compulsory to obtain work permit from the Ministry.
Foreigners listed in this article have to notify their purpose of coming, information on how long and where they will stay, to the police authorities of the place they are present, within no later than thirty days following the date of their entry to the country, and in any case, before starting their activities, and obtain residence permit. It is compulsory to fulfill the obligations concerning social security in relation to the foreigners who will take benefit of exemption provisions. Identity details of the foreigners to whom residence permit is issued under this article, and names and Social Security Institution workplace registration numbers of the workplaces they will work in are notified by the police authorities every month to the Ministry.

What is work permit exemption confirmation certificate?

The “Work Permit Exemption Confirmation Certificate”, form and substance of which will be determined by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, to be given upon their request of those foreigners exempt from work permit after they satisfy the necessary conditions.
You should contact us about obtaining Work Permit Exemption Confirmation Certificate.

What are the evaluation criteria for foreigners’ work permits?

  • First, paid-in capital of the founded workplace should be minimum TL 100,000 or its gross sales should be minimum TL 800,000, or its export amount for the last year should be USD 250,000.
  • The 1/5 (one fifth) rule per foreigner, one of the essential criteria, is compulsory to be applied. In the event that work permit application is made for more than one foreign national at the same workplace, it is obligatory that five Turkey nationals shall be employed per foreign national following the first foreign national for whom a work permit is issued.
  • Article 2 will not apply to evaluation of work permit requests of foreigners who will work in associations and foundations, and articles 1 and 2 will not apply to evaluation of work permit requests of foreigners who will work in representative offices of foreign airlines in Turkey, and in education sector and home services.
  • A foreign company shareholder requesting permit has to hold a minimum capital share of 20 percent, being not less than TL 40,000.
  • Requests from minimum four-star tourism establishments certified by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and certified holiday resorts which prove that they have an authorized massage parlor for jobs requiring specialization such as masseurs, masseuses and SPA therapists will be evaluated, and requests of enterprises and workplaces which are not found to be within this scope will be rejected.
  • If at least 10 Turkish nationals are employed per foreigner to be employed for jobs requiring specialization and proficiency in the entertainment sector and tourism-animation organization firms,the quota on employment of five Turkey nationals per foreigner will not be applied in addition.
  • In evaluation of the cases which are provided in the bilateral or multilateral conventions which Turkey is a party to and of the work permit requests concerning the foreigners to be employed by public agencies and institutions in the works of procurement of goods and services by tender, the criteria specified in articles 1 and 2 will not apply.
  • In works requiring advanced technology and in cases where Turkish specialists with the required qualifications are unavailable, the criteria specified in articles 1 and 2 will not apply upon approval from the General Directorate.

Which qualifications should a Direct Foreign Investor have?

In Direct Foreign Investments, pursuant to the Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners, the foreign national personnel to be employed within the companies, branches and liaison offices operating under the Direct Foreign Investments Law No. 4875 should meet the qualifications relating to work permits.
It applies to foreign national key personnel to be employed in specific direct foreign investments and liaison offices. However,
  • To work permits of foreign national personnel other than key personnel to be employed in specific direct foreign investments, and
  • of all types of foreign national personnel to be employed in direct foreign investments other than specific direct foreign investments; provisions of the Law No. 4817 and of the Implementing Regulation of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners apply.
For foreigners to be employed in the enterprises qualifying as of Specific Direct Foreign Investment other than key personnel, the criterion specified in article 1 applied taking into account the number of Turkey nationals employed in all workplaces of the enterprise across the country.
You should contact us about procedures and principles for employment in direct foreign investments.

I have a residence permit for 6 (six) months, I want to apply for work permit, but I haven’t given notification for work purposes to any foreign mission. Should I notify foreign missions to take a work visa?

Except for residence permits issued for educational purposes in Turkey, the requirement of work visa through foreign missions of Turkey is not sought for from the foreigners who have obtained residence permit for a period of minimum six months based on any reason.
However, for the foreigners working in such fields that are and may be vulnerable to human trafficking, the requirement of residence for at least six months is disregarded, and the requirement of obtaining work visa from our foreign missions each time is sought for.

If work address of the foreigner changes, should any notification be made to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security? If yes, how and with which documents should this be done?

If the address where the foreign personnel to whom work permit has been issued changes, the employer or the foreigner should make notification to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security with an address change request petition. When making the notification, the request petition should be accompanied by:
  • Original, or enterprise-certified copy, of Turkish Trade Registry Gazette showing the address change,
  • A copy of the currently valid work permit certificate.
You can contact us for detailed information about this subject.

When I apply for the first time as company shareholder, do In have to ensure employment of 5 Turkish citizens?

Pursuant to article 13 of the implementing regulation of the Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners, and beginning from the 6th for work permit in the capacity of “company shareholder” according to the practice that started on 02.08.2010, 5 Turkish citizens should be employed and their Social Security Premiums should be regularly paid. Otherwise, extension application of the company shareholder will not be possible.

I am married with a Turkey national for 1 (one) year and we live in Turkey. May this provide any convenience in obtaining work permit?

It does not provide any convenience. Because, in the Law No. 4817 and the regulation enacted in connection with this law, there are protective and facilitating arrangements for other citizens, which arrangements stipulates: “Save as provided otherwise article 8 of the Law No. 4817 and in bilateral or multilateral conventions which Turkey is a party to; work permits may be issued to a foreigner who is resident in Turkey, who is married with a Turkish citizen and who live with his/her spouse in conjugal community in Turkey, or whose conjugal community has ended after having continued at least for 3 years, and to his/her children from his/her Turkish citizen spouse, without regard to the period prescribed in this law.”.

Which documents are required for foreigners married with a Turkish citizen?

Birth registry extract with entry of events (original) obtained on a recent date, pertaining to the Turkish citizen spouse, and the notarized copy of the marriage certificate will be presented.
In applications of foreigners married with a Turkish citizen, documents required by the ministry varydepending on vocational position of the foreigner. You can contact us for detailed information about the workplace and foreigner by sector status.

I obtained work permit for one year in Turkey, and when I applied for appointment to have it entered in the residence permit, they gave me a future date, might there be any inconvenience if I go abroad in the meantime?

No, there is no inconvenience, because the date of making appointment is considered as application date, and even if visa or residence permit has expired before the appointment date, application is considered to have been made.
However, you should take along a document evidencing that the appointment has been made or printout of the mail from the file officer of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security evidencing that the work permit has been issued, just in case while going abroad.

What are the applicable minimum wages in respect of work permits?

Pursuant to article 13 of the implementing regulation of the Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of
Foreigners and according to the regulation published on 02.08.2010, the wages should be at least as follows:
  • For senior managers, engineers, architects and pilots requesting preliminary permit, 6.5 folds of the minimum wage,
  • For unit or branch managers and engineers and architects, 4 folds of the minimum wage, month following positive conclusion of the your application
  • For those who will work professional vocation groups requiring expertise and proficiency, and foreigners who will work at the positions of business analyst, rail systems mechanical technician, drilling technician, physiotherapist, musician and stage artists, 3 folds of the minimum wage,
  • For foreigners who will work in home services, the minimum wage,
  • For foreigners who will work in vocations other than listed below, such as sales person, guest-greeting staff and marketing-export officer, etc., 1.5 fold of the minimum wage,
  • For foreigners who will work as acrobat and at similar functions in tourism-animation organization
firms, and foreigners who will work in the jobs such as masseur, masseuse and SPA therapist, 2 folds of the minimum wage.

What are the vocations prohibited for foreigners?

As is known, according to the Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners;
  1. Pharmacy (pursuant to the Law on Pharmacists and Pharmacies)
  2. Veterinary (pursuant to the Law on Organization and Functions of the Unions and Chambers of Vets)
  3. Advocacy (pursuant to the Law of Advocacy)
  4. Notary (pursuant to the Notary Law)
  5. Security officer in private and public institutions (pursuant to the Law on Protection and Ensuring Security of Several Agencies and Institutions)
  6. Export of fish, oysters, mussels, sponges, pearls, corals, diving, exploration, pilotage, captainship, engineering, clerkship, seaman job, etc. (pursuant to the Cabotage Law)
  7. Customs brokerage (pursuant to article 227 of the Customs Law No. 4458)
Legal actions will be taken against those who are engaged in vocations listed above regardless of whether they have obtained work permit or without work permit, due to violation of the law no. 4817.

What are the requirements and facilitating arrangements for the foreigners who are wanted to be employed in home services?

There are two legal ways to apply for work permit for home services in Turkey. These are application domestically and abroad. Work permit application procedure and documents required to be prepared vary depending on which of these two ways will be preferred. Hence, we consider it useful to address this distinction in the first place.
In case application abroad; in a work permit application to be made in an embassy of Republic of Turkey, first, the foreign national worker will make work permit application abroad according to the procedure at the bottom, and as a result of that application, an application reference number will be given to him/her by the Embassy (this reference number will be like 2012-a6bg7-3011).
Within no later than 10 business days following such application, the documents and reference number will be submitted to the Ministry of Labor. Only this way the work permit application will be deemed to have been completed.
What meant by application domestically for a foreigner is that the work permit application is made and concluded in the period during which the foreign national is present within the boundaries of Republic of Turkey. Namely, obtainment of the work permit without the foreign national having to go to his/her own country. However, the prerequisite of this is that the foreigner has a residence permit for minimum 6 months in Turkey (except for educational purposes).
In home services, there are protective and facilitating arrangements for both foreigners and Turkish citizens,

which are:

  • Those who do elderly and patient care and those having little children
  • If existence of an illness requiring care is proved with a medical report

Important Note:

  • Moreover, if male foreigners who serious health problems and conditions requiring care proved this with medical report, work permit for working in home will be given. Otherwise, no permit will be given.
  • In addition, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security has a decision as to not giving work permit to single male employers if the requirements above are not satisfied.

 

What does key personnel mean? May I obtain work permit as key personnel in liaison officer?

Under the Law No. 4817 on Work Permits of Foreigners, application for the capacity of “Key Personnel” may be made if at least one of the following requirements are satisfied in a company founded in Turkey and having legal personality. These are as listed below:

  1. Working in senior management or at an executive position of the company,
  2. Managing entire or part of the company,
  3. Supervising and controlling works of the auditors, administrative and technical personnel of the company,
  4. Recruiting new personnel to the company or dismissing the current staff, or making proposals on these matters,

For any person who takes part or is authorized in at least one of the foregoing, and who serves as company shareholder, chairman of board of directors, member of board of directors, general manager, assistant general manager, company manager, assistant company manager and at similar positions, the option “Key Personnel” is selected.
There are two legal ways to apply to be key personnel in liaison offices. These are application domestically and abroad. Work permit application procedure and documents required to be prepared vary depending on which of these two ways will be preferred.
Some of the crucial documents are as follows:

  • Documents evidencing that foreign exchange amounting to at least USD 200,000 or its equivalent has been brought from abroad during the last one year for activities of the liaison office (authorization certificate for the executive of the office, and documents such as bank receipt, bank letter concerning foreign exchange transfer, photocopy of foreign exchange purchase certificate).
  • Certificate of Activity or Activity Report, or a letter to be obtained from the relevant country’s official bodies, demonstrating that the parent company has direct foreign investment in at least one company other than the country of its headquarters, and the letter of assignment as to that the key personnel to be employed has been assigned by the parent company abroad.

In application at liaison offices, after the requirements above are satisfied for both the employer and the foreigner, the documents required by the Ministry vary depending on the sector of the workplace and occupational position of the foreigner. You can contact us for detailed information about the workplace and foreigner by sector status.

What is the effect of the foreigners’ presence abroad on the temporary work permit obtained in Turkey?

Essentially, the period spent abroad by the foreigner is not added to the period of the temporary work permit; exceptionally, work periods spent by foreigners who are sent to abroad with the permission from their employers and for work purposes, and whose premiums are paid to the Turkish social security institution, are included in their residence and work periods.

In work permit application, how a foreigner can prove he has resided legally and continuously?

He/she proves his/her minimum five-year legal and continuous residence with a certificate to be obtained from the Police authorities. In application for temporary work permit to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the file is sent with a copy thereof.

Which actions are taken against the foreigners who have been discovered to work without work permit and against their employers?

In the event the foreigner works illicitly, this instance will be recorded with a minute, which is sent to Regional Directorates of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security for imposition of the fines prescribed in article 21 of the Law to the foreigner, the employer employing the foreigner and the employer’s agents. Since notification may also be made abroad to an illicitly working foreigner according to article 25 of the Notification Law No. 7201, abroad addresses of the foreigner should also be contained in the minute sent to Regional Directorates of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. For those foreigners determined to be working illicitly during the inspections, their entry to Turkey, passport, visa and residence issues are examined, and deportation proceedings of those whose statuses are found to be illegal are initiated forthwith.