Work permits and residency for expats in Turkey

August 20, 2021by Bünyamin Esen0

Foreign nationals must obtain a work visa and a work permit before starting work in Turkey. The Ministry of Labour of the Republic of Turkey and Social Security grants the work permit.

Under the Code of Work Permits for Foreigners, work permits are not valid without a work visa.

Foreign nationals who have obtained a residence permit valid for at least six months will not need to obtain a work visa through Turkey’s foreign missions, as they can directly apply for a work permit in Turkey.

The work permit should be processed by the employer in Turkey whereas the employee should submit a work visa application in the embassy of the Republic of Turkey in the employee’s home country.

A Turkish work visa application is worthless without the work permit application.

Work permits are applicable for the following employees:

  • foreign employees who are intending to work in Turkey
  • foreigners who would like to invest and start their own business in Turkey
  • foreign managers of limited liability companies
  • foreign board members of joint stock companies
  • foreign unlimited managing partners of limited partnership divided into shares.

There are four types of work permits:

  • temporary work permit
  • permanent work permit
  • independent work permit
  • Turquoise Card work permit.
Temporary work permit

Temporary work permits are only obtained by the employer or through intermediary institutions. Therefore, foreign employees cannot apply for a temporary work permit by themselves. Once applied for the first time, a maximum of one year of valid work permit may be granted.

Permanent work permit

The foreigners who are granted a long-term resident permit or the foreigners who have at least eight years of legal work permit can apply for the permanent work permit.

Permanent work permit provides all the benefits of a long-term residency permit. Accordingly, foreigners who have permanent work permit benefit almost from all the citizenship rights that are given to the Turkish citizens.

Independent work permit

Independent work permits are issued for the foreigners who have been living in Turkey continuously for at least 5 years. This creates value on economic development and has a positive effect on employment.

Bünyamin Esen

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