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Getting a work permit in Turkey banner. 

How to Get a Work Permit? 

1. Initial Application

 

The application required to obtain a work permit in Turkey can be filed while in Turkey, as well as from outside the country.

 

In case of applications filed abroad, foreigners are required to file an application to the consulates of the Republic of Turkey in the country of which they are a citizen or a permanent resident, submitting a labor contract, letter of assignment, or a document stating company partnership. The employer in Turkey is required to file an online application and submit the required information and documents to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, either in person or via mail, within ten business days to follow the date of application to consulates. The consulates of the Republic of Turkey and the ministry will execute online the procedures regarding the work permit applications to be filed abroad. The documents required for the application must be submitted by the employer to the ministry, following the electronic application to be filed within ten business days to follow the application filed by the foreigner at the consulate.

 

The foreigners whose applications are approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, and who have been issued a work permit, must enter Turkey within a maximum of ninety days.

 

Save for the case of residence permits issued for education in Turkey, foreigners who hold residence permits with a remaining term of at least six months as of the date of application, or their employers thereof, may file work permit applications. Such foreigners are not required to submit an application to the consulates of the Republic of Turkey. The documents required for the application must be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, either in person or via mail, within a maximum of six business days to follow the online application.

 

The Ministry of Labor and Social Security concludes the procedures regarding work permit applications, in consultation, where necessary, with relevant ministries and authorities as well. The procedures regarding duly submitted work permit applications are concluded by the ministry, within a maximum of thirty days, provided that all required documents are submitted in full. In case the ministry determines that there are missing required documents, the applicant is notified so as to enable him/her to submit the documents in question. In such cases, the thirty-day period commences on the date on which the missing documents are submitted to the ministry. In case of applications filed abroad, the ministry forwards the affirmative or negative decision regarding the work permit application, to the relevant consulate of the Republic of Turkey (via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) for the notification of the applicant. In case of applications filed in Turkey, the ministry notifies the foreigner or the employer.

 

The methods and principles concerning the work permits to be issued to foreigners to be employed in Turkey vary by the relevant sector, such as the education, housekeeping services, health services, tourism, aviation, entertainment, and others, as well as with respect to foreign direct investments, special foreign direct investments, professional services, and liaison offices. The following information covers the methods and principles regarding work permit applications concerning foreign direct investments.

 

1.1.  Documents required from the employer at the time of the initial application

 

  • Work permit application letter (The letter must be scanned and submitted as part of the online application; it must also be submitted in hardcopy, signed by the employer).
  • Foreign personnel application form (The form filled online must be printed and a hardcopy signed by the employer and the foreigner must be submitted to the ministry. The employment agreement executed by and between the parties must be submitted where the signed form is unavailable. The application will not be processed in the lack of a signed form or a labor contract.)
  • The Trade Registry Gazette of Turkey, detailing the current shareholding and capital structure of the entity (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • A balance sheet and a profit/loss statement for the most recent year, certified by the tax office or certified public accountant (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • Information and documents stating that the entity is subject to Special Foreign Direct Investments* (These documents must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • The document stating that entities (including consortiums) awarded international tenders by government agencies or organizations have been contracted for the awarded job from the relevant agency or organization (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • As for legal entities that are to employ foreign specialists in the field of engineering, architecture, contracting and consulting services, payroll stating that Turkish engineers/architects/city planners are employed for the same occupation (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • Notarized power of attorney for the person authorized to file the online application as a user on behalf of the entity or organization to employ the foreigner, or the document attesting the employment of the user at the applicant entity or organization (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).

 

1.2. Documents required from the foreigner at the time of the initial application

 

  • In case of applications to be filed in Turkey, the copy of the residence permit other than the ones issued for education purposes, with a remaining term of at least six months as of the date of application (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • In case the foreigner who files a work permit application does not hold a valid residence permit, the foreigner is required to file an application to the consulates of the Republic of Turkey in the country of which he/she is a citizen or a permanent resident, submitting his/her labor contract or a document attesting company partnership. However, in case of companies which meet at least one of the criteria required for Special Foreign Direct Investments*, the work permit application can be filed directly with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security provided that the foreigner to be employed in key personnel status is currently in Turkey staying on a legitimate basis (by submitting the copy of the passport showing the visa and entrance date, or a letter obtained from the Police Department). The key personnel who are granted work permits in this context shall be required to obtain work visas from consulates of the Republic of Turkey, and enter the country with that visa.
  • In case the foreigner is a key personnel, the documents and information specified in article 10/b of the Regulation on the Employment of Foreign Nationals with Foreign Direct Investments (The documents must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • Copy of the passport (where the passport is not printed in Latin alphabet, a sworn translation or an official certified translation must be attached. The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • Sworn translation or an official certified translation of the diploma or provisional graduation certificate (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application, as well as submitted in hardcopy).
  • In addition to the abovementioned documents, for the foreigners who file an application for work permits within the framework of professional services and who hold a degree from abroad, the "Diploma or Provisional Graduation Equivalency Certificate" to be obtained in accordance with the "Regulation on the Equivalency of Diplomas from Foreign Higher Education Institutions" (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).

 

2. Application for Extension

 

The application for the extension of the work permit must be filed by the foreigner or the employer, directly with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, by submitting the original copy of the previous work permit, along with the application form and the documents specified in the annex of the implementation regulation.

 

The work permit and term extension applications must be first submitted online. In this context, in order for the work permit or term extension applications filed online and pre-approved by the system to be valid, the application form print-out with barcode, generated online, must be signed by the foreigner and the employer, and submitted, along with the other documents specified in the annex to the regulation, to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, within a maximum of six business days to follow the pre-approval of the online application, either in person, or via mail.

 

The term extension applications must be filed within a maximum of two months in advance of the expiration date of the permit. Furthermore, extension applications filed within a maximum of fifteen days to follow the expiration of the work permit are also processed. The term extension applications filed thereafter are subject to the principles applicable to foreigners who file an initial application. In case of work permit term extension applications filed with a valid residence permit (as is the case with initial applications filed while in Turkey), the required documents must be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, within six business days to follow the online application.

 

Term extensions for a period of two years may be filed for an existing work permit to follow the one-year term of statutory work permit, provided employment with the same entity or enterprise, and for the same profession. At the end of the three-year statutory work permit term, the existing work permit may be extended for a further three years, for employment with any employer, for the same profession. Foreigners who had resided in Turkey for at least eight uninterrupted years on a legal basis, or foreigners who had a total of six years of employment with work permit, may file applications for indefinite work permits.

 

2.1. Documents required from the employer at the time of extension applications

 

  • Work permit term extension application letter (The letter must be scanned and submitted as part of the online application; it must also be submitted in hardcopy, signed by the employer).
  • Foreign personnel application form (The form filled online must be printed and a hardcopy signed by the employer and the foreigner must be submitted to the ministry. The labor contract executed by and between the parties shall be submitted where the signed form is unavailable. The application shall not be processed in the lack of a signed form or a labor contract.)
  • The Trade Registry Gazette of Turkey, detailing the current shareholding and capital structure of the entity, if modified since the initial submission (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • Document attesting that the employer has no outstanding tax obligations (The information shall be accessed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, over the records of the Ministry of Finance).
  • The Social Security Institution insured registration number of the foreigner named in the application form, and the information regarding the employer and on whether the employer fulfilled its social security obligations regarding the foreigner (The information shall be accessed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, over the records of the Social Security Institution).
  • Notarized power of attorney for the person authorized to file the online application as a user on behalf of the entity or organization to employ the foreigner, or the document attesting the employment of the user at the applicant entity or organization (The document shall be scanned and submitted during the online application).

 

2.1. Documents required from the foreigner at the time of extension applications

 

  • Copy of the passport (where the passport is not printed in Latin alphabet, a sworn translation or an official certified translation must be attached. The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • Previous work permit and cover letter (The documents must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • Residence permit for work, covering the term of the work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
  • Provisional membership certificate required from foreigners who are granted work permit for work as an engineer, architect, or city planner, as per article 36 of the Law no. 6235 on Turkish Association of Chambers of Engineers and Architects (The document shall be scanned and submitted during the online application).

 

*Special Foreign Direct Investments

 

The "Regulation on the Employment of Foreign Nationals Within the Framework of Foreign Direct Investments" introduced special provisions regarding work permits, and intended to facilitate work permits. The work permit applications required for the personnel to be employed within the framework of foreign direct investments other than these, are subject to the abovementioned general provisions (Law no. 4817 and Implementation Regulation).

 

The scope of the Regulation on the Employment of Foreign Nationals Within the Framework of Foreign Direct Investments is defined on the basis of two fundamental criteria:

 

  • Special Foreign Direct Investments (including liaison offices)
  • Foreign national key personnel

 

The term Special Foreign Direct Investment refers to a company or branch which is subject to the Law no. 4875, and which meets at least one of the following criteria (figures applicable for year 2013):

 

  • Provided that the foreign shareholders hold at least TRY 1,062,691 out of the capital, the company or branch registered a turnover of at least TRY 79.8 million in the most recent year.
  • Provided that the foreign shareholders hold at least TRY 1,062,691 out of the capital, the company or branch posted an export figure of at least USD 1 million in the most recent year.
  • Provided that the foreign shareholders hold at least TRY 1,062,691 out of the capital, the company or branch employs in the most recent year, at least 250 personnel registered before the Social Security Institution.
  • Provided that, in case the company or the branch is to make investments, the planned minimum investment figure is at least TRY 26.6 million.
  • Provided that the company has a foreign direct investment in at least one more country other than the country where its headquarters is located.

 

Key personnel refers to the personnel who meet at least one of the following criteria, at the legal entity located in Turkey:

 

a) Persons serving as a company shareholder, chairman of the board of directors, member of the board of directors, chief executive, vice president, executive, assistant executive or similar positions, with authority or role in at least one of the following:

 

  • A senior management or executive position in the company
  • Managing the whole or a part of the company
  • Auditing or controlling the work of the company auditors, administrative or technical personnel
  • Hiring new personnel or terminating the employment of existing personnel, or making proposals concerning these issues

 

b) Holding key knowledge regarding the services, research devices, techniques, or management of the company
c) At liaison offices, a maximum of one person in whose name the authorization certificate is issued by the overseas parent company

 

Charges Applicable to Work Permits for Foreigners: According to the Act of Fees no. 492, the work permits to be issued to foreigners are subject to charges. In case the work permit application is approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the applicable charge must be deposited with reference to the term of the permit. The applicable charge figures are set each year on the basis of the revaluation rate, and announced on the Official Gazette.

 

For detailed information on work permits:
www.csgb.gov.tr