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Work permit in Turkey


Work permit is a permission to work in Turkey for foreign employees and companies which would like to legally employ foreigners, given by Ministry of Labor and Social Security of Republic of Turkey. There are four types of work permit in Turkey: temporary, permanent, independent and Turquoise cards. Foreign nationals cannot obtain work permit in Turkey by themselves, the employers must apply with them.

All foreigners who want to live and work in Turkey must obtain a work permit before they start their job in Turkey. It is illegal for employers to employ people without valid work permit in Turkey. The contract made with Turkish employer guarantees foreigners monthly salary, insurance and all advantages that Turkish citizens have. However, not every Turkish employer can hire a foreigner to do the job, they must meet specific requirements.

Work permit applications

Work permit applications are made through e-Government portal of Turkey. Applicants must fill the online application form and upload necessary documents into the system. Once work permit application is made, the employer is required to make direct application to the Ministry by mail or in person.

The decision from the Ministry is usually done in 30 days. There are 3 ways of applying for a work permit in Turkey:

  • foreigners living outside of Turkey (applications to Turkish missions in foreign country)
  • foreigners residing inside Turkey (if a foreigner have valid residence permit for at least 6 months, the application can be done directly to Ministry of Labor and Social Security)
  • work permit extensions

Types of work permit

Temporary work permit: Work permit in Turkey shall be granted to the foreigners whose work permit application is approved for maximum 1 year. It can not exceed the term of the contract they signed with the employer. The permit can be renewed for 2 years for the foreigners who want to extend their work permit, with the condition that they continue to work in the same workplace. The further applications will grant the work permit in Turkey to maximum 3 years.

Permanent work permit: Foreign nationals who have long-term residence permit in Turkey and work permit for minimum 8 years can apply for an indifinete period of work permit.

Independent work permit: If foreigner has legally and uninterruptedly resided in Turkey for at least five years, can obtain an independent work permit for definite period of time. Foreig nationals shall work independently on their own behalf.

Turquoise card: Having Turquoise card means that foreigner may work in Turkey for indefinite period of time. The card may be granted by considering several factors (education, professional experience, their contribution to science and technology, the impact of activities and investments in Turkey).

What jobs in Turkey are available for foreigners?

There are plenty of jobs in Turkey available for foreigners. The mandantory is to have enough qualifications and language skills. Foreigners work permits vary by relevant sectors: tourism, health, entertainment, education and others. Jobs in Turkey for English speakers can be usually found in the field of teaching English language or tourism industry.

Jobs in Turkey for foreigners vary from teaching, customer care services, jobs in Turkey in hotels to editing and translating, teaching foreign languages, sales representatives and more.

Customer care services jobs have increased due to the number of international businesses, real estates, tourist agencies, hotels.

Tourism sector includes jobs in Turkey in hotels, small businesses like jewelry, leather, carpet and textile stores, spa, beauty centers, sports centers, hairdressers:

 - at least three-star tourism establishments, certified by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with a certifiation of having an accessible massage parlors, certified holiday villages, thermal houses with permission from the official authorities

- Turkish bath, sauna, spa with agreement with licenced tourism establishments

- sport centres with at least 20 Turkish workers

- jobs requiring expertise – masseur/massuese, spa therapist

Tourism sector includes jobs in Antalya, Marmaris jobs and other touristic places, mostly by Mediterranean Sea. There are not available only jobs in Turkey for English speakers, but also for the foreigners speaking other languages.

Teaching jobs in Turkey are available for native English speakers. As Turkey continues to develop relations with English-speaking economies, TEFL teachers (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) are in high demand in all country. Particularly, they can easily find jobs in Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir.

If you are looking for a work in Turkey, there are many jobs that you can choose from. Be sure to read all the information about work permit in Turkey and the requirements for obtaining work permit.