Getting a Turkish Work Permit

Information on how and where to apply to the authorities and the paperwork required...

If a job has been offered by a Turkish company, an application for a work permit can be made before moving to Turkey. Otherwise, if a job is found once in the country, the application may be made in Turkey. Documents required for an application may vary depending on the industry sector and the level of the position.

The Turkish company offering the job is required to meet the work permit criteria to employ a foreigner. These include the requirement that there be a minimum number of Turkish nationals employed by the company, and a stipulation that the foreigner is paid an equal wage to a Turkish national.

  • For further information, see the heading Work permit criteria for foreigners: Click here

Work permit application from outside Turkey

Application for a work permit and entry visa is made by the prospective employee to the Turkish MLSS via the Turkish consulate or embassy of the country of residence or of citizenship. The employer also submits an application to the MLSS.

Provide the following documents (depending on the industry sector of the job, additional documents may be required):

  • Passport (valid at least three months longer than the expiry date of the requested work visa)
  • Completed work visa application form
  • 1 passport-sized photo
  • Copy of the work contract
  • Notarised Turkish translation of the passport
  • Notarised Turkish translation of relevant diplomas/degree certificates

Note: If not a national of the country where the application is being made, proof of legal residency in that country must also be supplied.

The Turkish company also has a number of steps to follow which include making an application to the Turkish MLSS, enclosing a balance sheet, a profit and loss statement for the past year certified by tax authorities, and an extract from the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette indicating the most recent capital and shareholding structure of the organisation.

Processing can take from four to eight weeks. When the application is approved, the applicant is informed by email or phone. The applicant then pays a non-refundable visa processing fee and a non-refundable work permit processing fee to the consulate or embassy for the documents to be entered in to the passport.

Within 30 days of arrival in Turkey take the passport with work visa to the foreigners office of the local police headquarters to lodge an application for a residency permit.

Work permit application in Turkey

A foreigner in Turkey with a residence permit valid for at least six months may apply directly to the MLSS for a work permit (this does not apply to foreigners on residence permits for educational purposes).

The required documents include:

  • Work permit application form
  • Expatriate personnel application form
  • Notarised copy of the passport translated into Turkish
  • Notarised copy of relevant diplomas translated into Turkish
  • Residence permit or previously-issued work permits
  • Written application of the employer for a work permit
  • Employer details: 
    • Balance sheet and profit and loss statement of the employer for the past year certified by the tax authorities
    • Original or certified copy from the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette indicating the most recent capital and shareholding structure

The procedure takes around 30 days if all the documents are complete and correctly submitted. The applicant is informed of approval by phone or email.

Special industries

In the case of an application by an engineer or an architect, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security requires the approval of the Higher Education Council and the Union Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB).

Degree certificates, CVs and proof of equivalent qualifications are required for applications to certain industries such as healthcare, teaching and aeronautics.

Documents and Document Following

The website of the Department of Work Permit for Foreigners has much useful information in English.

  • For specific details on documents required for an application per sector, and a timeline of the application process: Click here (select relevant sector and then select if the application is being made from within Turkey or abroad)
  • For sample letters and application forms: Click here
  • To follow an application procedure online: Click here
  • For additional information from Invest in Turkey: Click here