Work visa in Turkey


To enter Turkey for employment, all foreigners need a work visa which must be obtained along with work permit. Without valid work visa and work permit, foreigners cannot legally work in Turkey.

Can I work in Turkey with tourist visa?

The answer is no. If a foreigner has valid tourist visa, he/she is not entitled to work in Turkey. Tourist visa are obtained for touristic purposes only and if a foreigner will decide to continue to live and work in Turkey, he/she must apply for work permit in Turkey.

How to obtain Turkish work visa?

To obtain a work visa and work permit, all foreign nationals must fill up the online application form at least 30 days before planned entry to Turkey and attend an interview at Turkish Embassy or Consulate in their home country.

Requirements for work visa in Turkey:

In order to obtain work visa, foreigner must have contract or specific job offer from employer in Turkey. Both employee and employer must submit all required documents in order to get work visa and work permit in Turkey.

What do foreign employees need?

  • valid passport
  • completed work visa application form in Turkey
  • 2 biometric photos
  • police clearance certificate that proves you are not under any investigation and have not had any legal issues in the past
  • contract or job offer
  • diploma or provisional graduation equivalency certificate and notarized translation of these documents

Turkish Embassy may ask for additional documents, depending on your case and nationality.

Processing time for work permit in Turkey

The employer should complete the work visa application online form and submit all the documents to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Turkey within 10 days after your interview and 6 business days after the online application.

The decision of Ministry will be within 30 days after the application.

Work visa and work permit in Turkey

There is a difference between work visa in Turkey and work permit. Work visa allow foreign nationals to entry the country , but they are not allowed to work until they obtain valid work permit, which is equivalent to residence permit while applying from abroad. Work visa are submitted by foreign employees to Turkish Embassy in their home country and work permit in Turkey must be finalized by the employers.

Documents required from employer:

  • work permit application form
  • foreign personnel aplication
  • The Trade Registry Gazette of Turkey
  • a balance sheet and profit/loss statement

Before starting to work, all employees must register to the Immigration Authorities within 30 days after the entrance to Turkey in order to get residence permit. The foreign nationals are not allowed to begin working until obtaining work visa, work permit and residence permit.

After entering the country, Turkish employer must activate foreigner work permit ID card by first month SGK social security fee and registration for government healthcare. Any employer that fail to do so, cannot employ foreigner and work visa will be cancelled.

Any new employee, who enters Turkey with work visa and decides not to take the job, may leave the country within 15 days after entering. In this case, all foreigners overstaying will not be fined or banned.

There are 3 ways of obtaining work visa and permit in Turkey:

  • foreigners may apply outside the country to Turkish missions in their home country
  • foreigners living in Turkey can apply for work permit in Turkey: they must have a valid residence permit for 6 months  
  • work permit extension

Work permit in Turkey can be extended by 1 year up to 30 days before its expiration date. The next one can be renewed by 2 years, then renewed by 3 years. Work permit obtained for 8 years is indifinite and does not need extension.

All foreigners may be employed in Turkey and benefit from social security, medical care and retirement.

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