A foreigner, whose work permit application is approved, is granted a work permit for a maximum of one year at the first application, provided that he/she works in a specific workplace belonging to a real or legal person or a public institution or an organization or in a specific position at one of their workplaces in the same line of business, and that the term of the employment or service contract is not exceeded.
Foreigners with a long-term residence permit or a legal work permit for at least eight years are eligible to apply for a permanent work permit. However, simply meeting the application requirements does not confer on the foreigner any absolute legal rights.
Foreigners with permanent work permits enjoy the same rights as Turkish citizens, without prejudice to their acquired rights concerning social security and are subject to the provisions of the relevant legislation in exercising these rights, except for the provisions of special laws.
Foreigners in professional occupations are granted independent work permits for a limited period of time, provided that the specific conditions stipulated in other laws are met.
In the evaluation of independent work permits in line with international labor policy, the foreigner's level of education, professional experience, contribution to science and technology, as well as the impact of the foreigner's investment on the country's economy and employment, the share of capital if he/she is a company partner, and other factors to be determined by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in line with the recommendations of the International Labor Policy Advisory Committee are taken into account.
Work permit applications may be submitted both domestically and abroad. The application procedures vary depending on whether the application is submitted from Türkiye or abroad.
Work Permit Application Procedure
Work permit applications are submitted through the E-Permit System. (https://ecalismaizni.csgb.gov.tr/eizin) All applications require the foreign national's passport, photo, and a copy of the employment contract.
The documents required for each type of application are listed below:
In order to obtain a work permit, a foreigner in Türkiye must have a residence permit for at least six months, except for foreigners deemed appropriate by the General Directorate of International Labor Force. The application for a work permit for a foreigner must be submitted by his/her employer.
- Employment contract signed by the employer and the foreigner. (This document will be scanned and uploaded to the system during the electronic application).
- Copy of passport. (If the passport is not issued in the Latin alphabet, a translation certified by a sworn translator or official authorities will be enclosed with the application. This document will be scanned and uploaded to the system during the electronic application).
Important Note: Pursuant to Article 23 of Law No. 6458, work permits for foreigners whose applications are approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security are issued no earlier than 60 days prior to the passport’s expiration date.
A copy of the diploma or a temporary graduation certificate, certified by a sworn translator or official authorities, will be scanned and uploaded to the system during the application.
*It is not mandatory to submit a diploma for home services, but a declaration regarding the most recent school will suffice.
Turkish Trade Registry Gazette, indicating the organization’s most recent capital and partnership structure.
Balance sheet and profit/loss statement for the most recent year certified by the tax office or certified public accountant.
The application is submitted to the embassies or consulates general of the Republic of Türkiye in the country where the foreigner is a citizen or legally resides. There, the foreigner is given a 16-digit reference number. Applications are submitted through the E-Permit System with a reference number. No additional documentation or information is sent to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security for work permit applications that will be approved and completed through the system. A foreigner who is granted a work permit based on the application submitted from abroad must start working within one month from the date of entry into the country and, in any case, within six months from the start date of the work permit, by fulfilling his/her obligations under the relevant legislation. Work permits granted to foreigners will be revoked in case they fail to show up for work within the specified time frame.
For detailed information on the documents required for domestic and international applications:
The application for a work permit extension is submitted through the system 60 days prior to the expiration of the work permit, and in any case before the work permit expires. Applications for extensions after this date are rejected.
The work permit of a foreigner whose extension application is approved is valid for up to two years for the first extension application, and up to three years for subsequent extension applications, under the same employer. Applications to work for a different employer are evaluated in accordance with the procedures and principles of the first application.
A foreigner for whom a work permit extension application has been submitted may continue to work from the expiration date of the work permit during the review of the application and in any case for a period not exceeding 90 days as long as the work performed and the place of work do not change. During this period, the rights and obligations of the foreigner and the employer arising from the work permit remain unchanged. If the work permit extension application is approved, the newly granted work permit will take effect on the day after the previous one expires.
For detailed information on work permit processes:
Review of Work Permit Application
The review of the duly completed applications is completed within 30 days provided that the information and documents are complete. The 30-day period starts on the date the application is submitted through the system or, in the case of a request for additional information and documents, on the date the requested information and documents are uploaded through the system.
For detailed information on the review of work permit processes:
Special Circumstances Regarding Work Permits
In addition to the above-mentioned work permits, in line with the International Labor Force Policy, it is aimed to issue Turquoise Cards to foreigners whose applications are deemed appropriate by taking into account the foreigner’s level of education, professional experience, contribution to science and technology as well as the impact of the foreigner’s investment on the country's economy and employment, and to subject the work permits of foreigners who will work in these enterprises to special provisions and to issue work permits easily in accordance with the Regulation on the Employment of Foreign Nationals in Foreign Direct Investments.
The Turquoise Card is a document that grants foreigners the right to work in Türkiye indefinitely and the right of residence to his/her spouse and dependent children in accordance with the provisions of the legislation, and the foreigner benefits from the rights associated with the indefinite work permit.
The Turquoise Card is issued with the first three years being a transitional period . At the end of this period, the transition period record in the Turquoise Card is withdrawn upon submitting the application by the foreigner and the Turquoise Card is thereafter issued indefinitely. This application will be filed starting 180 days prior to the expiration of the transition period, and in any case, before the transition period expires. After the expiration of the transitional period, the application for removal of the transitional period record is rejected and the Turquoise Card becomes invalid.
In the Turquoise Card procedure, qualified foreigners are defined as those who have internationally recognized studies in the academic field, those who are prominent in a field considered strategic for Türkiye in science, industry and technology, or those who have made or are expected to make a significant contribution to the national economy in terms of export, employment, or investment capacity.
Foreign Direct Investments
Pursuant to the Regulation on the Employment of Foreign National Employee in Foreign Direct Investments, a company or branch that falls within the scope of Law No. 4875 and meets at least one of the following criteria is considered a Qualified Foreign Direct Investment. The relevant legislation regulates the identification of Qualified Foreign Direct Investments and the key employee of foreign nationality to work in these enterprises.
I. Qualified Foreign Direct Investment Values (2022)
A company or branch must meet at least one of the following criteria to qualify as a Qualified Foreign Direct Investment:
- The turnover of the company or branch must be at least TRY 258.4 million in the past year provided that the total capital share of the foreign shareholders is at least TRY 3,439,592.
- Exports of the company or branch must be at least USD 1 million in the past year provided that the total capital share of the foreign shareholders is no less than TRY 3,439,592.
- The company or branch must employ at least 250 employees registered with the Social Insurance Institution in the past year provided that the total capital share of the foreign shareholders is at least TRY 3,439,592.
- If the company or branch will make an investment, the minimum fixed investment amount must be at least TRY 85.8 million.
- The company must have foreign direct investment in at least one other country other than the one where its headquarters is located.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security grants work permits to a maximum of one foreigner holding an authorization certificate to work in the liaison offices of enterprises falling within the scope of Qualified Foreign Direct Investment, provided that they have obtained an operating license from the General Directorate of Incentives Implementation and Foreign Capital of the Ministry of Industry and Technology, limited to the duration of their activities.
II. Foreign Key Personnel
Employees of a company incorporated in Türkiye with a legal entity within the scope of foreign direct investment who meet at least one of the following criteria are referred to as key personnel.
a) Those serving as a company shareholder, chairman of the board of directors, member of the board of directors, general manager, deputy general manager, executive, assistant executive, or similar positions, with the 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
- Supervising or controlling the work of the company auditors, or administrative or technical staff
- Hiring new employees or terminating the employment of existing employees, or making proposals concerning these issues
b) A person with critical knowledge of the services, research devices, techniques, or management of the company
c) A maximum of one person at liaison offices who is issued an authorization certificate by the overseas parent company