HOW TO GET WORK (AND RESIDENCE) PERMIT IN TURKEY
Getting work (and residence) permit is a significant issue with regards to the foreign employees of companies which will operate within Turkey. Rules regarding this procedure are set forth in the Code of International Labour Force, dated 28.7.2016 (hereinafter referred to as “CILF”).
According to the second paragraph of Article 6 of CILF, persons who are characterized as foreigners, e.g. those who do not have a citizenship connection with the State of Republic of Turkey, are prohibited to work or to be employed without a work permit. Ministry of Labour and Social Security (“Ministry”) is the competent authority in respect of granting of work permits in accordance with the international labour force policy as determined by Article 4 of CILF.
The procedure and conditions of getting work permit differ depending on from where the foreigners apply, either from Turkey or abroad.
A. APPLICATIONS FROM ABROAD
Foreigners who are located abroad should firstly apply to the Turkish foreign mission (either consulate or embassy) in their respective country to get a work permit. Then, the foreign mission forwards the applications to the Ministry for evaluation.
Foreigners who apply from abroad are not required to get a residence permit beforehand and if their applications are granted, the obtained work permit will also be regarded as the residence permit. Therefore, it is more favourable to apply from abroad instead of domestic applications in terms of shortening the time spent on bureaucratic procedures.
1. How Long Does It Take to Get a Work Permit When Applied from Abroad?
In applications from abroad, applicants must file their applications electronically at first. In case that all the required documents are presented as full at the application stage, the work permit is granted between 1 month – 45 days duration in this type of application. It is essential to receive consultancy from an expert law firm for the proper collection of documents and smooth continuation of the process.
2. Conditions of Application
A company that wishes to employforeign personnel in Turkey must meet the following conditions:
If the partners of foreign-capital companies wish to get a work permit, the amount of paid capital of the subject foreigner(s) in the established company must be of at least %20 and this percentage should worth 40.000 TL. The company must be established according to this condition.
B. DOMESTIC APPLICATIONS
The pre-condition for domestic applications is having an at least six months valid residence permit beforehand. Therefore, foreigners who do not have that document must first get an at least six months valid residence permit before applying for work permit. In that case, the whole process will prolong since the Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Immigration Management will be involved in the procedures.
Foreigners must apply electronically at first to get a residence permit. Foreigners who applied accordingly have the right to reside in Turkey until their appointment day and it is highly recommended to not leave the country during this period.
Required documents for the residence permit applications are as follows:
Application for the work permit is allowed only after the residence permit is received and subsequently, work permit application is filed electronically to the Ministry.
1. How Long Does It Take to Get a Work Permit in Domestic Applications?
Getting a work permit will take longer in this type of application if an at least six months valid residence permit does not exist, since having this permit beforehand is mandatory. In that case, granting of the residence card takes approximately 1-2 months as of application. It takes approximately an additional 1 month to get a work permit after the granting of the residence card. Hence, receiving a work permit requires approximately three months duration in domestic applications.
2. Conditions of Application
The conditions required to be fulfilled by the companies in domestic applications are same as the ones stated under the “Applications from Abroad” heading.
C. REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION AND EXPENSES FOR WORK PERMIT APPLICATION
Required documentation at the application stage is as follows:
INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED FROM THE EMPLOYER
Certificate of good standing
Investment Incentive Certificate etc.)
INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED FROM THE FOREIGN EMPLOYEE
Copy of diploma with Turkish translation as approved by certified public translator and notary (not requested from Syrian nationals)
In case that any document falls short, the outstanding documents must be completed and delivered in thirty days at most, except the force majeure.
Since the expenses regarding the application process may differ, it is recommended to be informed of the amount of total expense during the time of application. What should be kept in mind is that additional fees and other expenses such as for proxy or translation will be included in the total cost. In addition, it should be considered that additional expenses will occur in respect of residence permit to be received in domestic applications and that other additional expense items, particularly private health insurance costs will be included in the total expenses in that case.
D. FOR HOW LONG WILL THE WORK PERMIT BE VALID?
A one-year valid work permit is granted to the foreigner –applied either domestically or from abroad- at first application. If the validity period of the work permit is wished to be prolonged later on, a different procedure will apply in the framework of the related code and directive.
E. CASES IN WHICH THE WORK PERMIT APPLICATION WILL BE DENIED
According to the Article 9 of CILF, following the assessment of the applications by the Ministry, the related application will be rejected by the Ministry on the following grounds:
 DOĞAN, Vahit: Türk Yabancılar Hukuku, 1. Baskı, Ankara 2016, p. 162. (“Doğan”)
 Directive on the Application Regarding the Code of Foreigners and International Protection, Article 19/4. Related link: https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/Ikamet/Basvuru/IlkBasvuru (Accessed on 16.10.2017.)
 Doğan, p. 162.
 Doğan, p. 162-163.