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Work Permit in Turkey

Work Permit in Turkey: Criteria, Application Steps, and Considerations for Foreign Workers and Employers

In this article, Att. Hasan Özer will provide further clarification and insights into the intricacies of the process of work permit in Turkey, shedding light on key legal aspects and considerations.

Foreigners seeking to work in Turkey for business purposes, much like Turkish citizens travelling abroad, often navigate the process of obtaining a work permit in Turkey. Whether individuals are exploring job opportunities independently or employers are tapping into the foreign labor force, the working conditions and rights of foreigners in Turkey are governed by pertinent laws and regulations.

In the context of labor processes for foreigners in Turkey, the spotlight falls on the International Labor Law No. 6735, enacted in 2016. The fourth paragraph of Provisional Article 1, along with Article 13 of the implementation regulation concerning the law on work permits for foreigners, still in effect, lays out the evaluation criteria for work permit requests. These criteria are established by the ministry to facilitate the work permit in Turkey application process for foreigners.

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The criteria for the Process of Work Permit in Turkey

  1. The work permit process for business purposes in Turkey is subject to certain conditions.
  2. It is a mandatory condition that at least five Turkish citizens are employed in the workplace where the application is made.
  3. For company partners, this condition is valid until the last six months of the one-year work permit issued by the Ministry.
  4. If permission is requested for more than one foreigner in the same workplace, five Turkish citizens must be employed separately for each foreigner.
  5. The workplace’s paid-in capital should be a minimum of 100,000 TL; gross sales should reach at least 800,000 TL, or the export amount from the previous year must be a minimum of 250,000 USD.
  6. If the company has a foreign partner, the capital share of the foreigner must be at least 20 percent.
  7. The monthly wage amount declared by the employer must be compatible with the duties and competencies of the foreigner.
  8. In cases specified in bilateral or multilateral agreements to which Turkey is a party and in applications for foreigners to be employed through tender procedures of public institutions, the specified criteria are not applied.
  9. The criteria determined with the approval of the Directorate General are not applied in works requiring advanced technology or in cases where there is no Turkish expert.
  10. The criteria for the employment of foreigners, excluding key personnel, in enterprises subject to special foreign direct investment conditions will be established based on the total number of Turkish citizens employed across all locations of the enterprise nationwide.

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Within the scope of the Ministry’s applications for work permit in Turkey, there exists a distinct group of foreigners who do not align with the specified criteria. This particular group encompasses Turkish citizen parents or children, individuals engaged in a marital union with a Turkish citizen for a minimum of three years, citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recipients of residence permits under the umbrella of Turkish and related communities practices, those granted residence permits for humanitarian reasons, individuals granted residence permits as victims of human trafficking, and those holding residence permits with stateless status. Owing to the unique circumstances surrounding these individuals, the specified criteria for work permit in Turkey are not applied to them.

Work Permit in Turkey
Work Permit in Turkey

The application process of work permit in Turkey for foreign workers includes the following steps:

  1. Employers can select foreigners who have a valid residence permit for at least 6 months.
  2. As a first step, the employer signs an employment contract with the foreign worker.
  3. The employer or the authorized e-declaration user uses e-signature via e-government to create a workplace record in the Foreigners’ Work Permit Automation System.
  4. The employer completes the application by filling in the requested information and documents from the “Make Application” menu.
  5. If the application is evaluated positively, the work permit fee and valuable paper fee are deposited into the designated bank accounts.
  6. The work permit card issued for the foreign worker is sent to the workplace by PTT Cargo.
  7. The employer applies to the Social Security Center within 30 days from the date of work permit approval and submits the insured employment declaration.

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The documents required for applications made through e-government have been determined and applications can only be made through e-government. There are separate document lists for foreign worker and employer applications. The documents required for foreign worker applications include an employment contract, biometric passport photo of the foreigner, passport and diploma, if any.

For employer applications, tax certificate, trade registry gazette, workplace balance sheet, workplace activity certificate and, if the foreigner is a member of health and education, a prior authorization certificate from the relevant ministries are requested. Companies should be ready to make a presentation including detailed steps for applications of work permit in Turkey that they will make using e-signature via e-government.

Av. Hasan Özer Arb.


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