Getting work and residence permit in Turkey 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[1].

The procedure and conditions of getting work permit differ depending on from where the foreigners apply, either from Turkey or 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.

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.

Conditions of Application

A company that wishes to employforeign personnel in Turkey must meet the following conditions:

  1. At least five Turkish citizens must be employed in the workplace seeking work permit. The amount of paid capital of the company must be of at least 100.000 TL worth or gross sales must be of at least 800.000 TL worth or last year’s export quantity must be of at least 250.000 USD worth.
  2. The amount of monthly wages declared by the employer to be paid to the foreigners must meet a standard compatible with the duty and competence of the respective foreigner. Accordingly, pursuant to the minimum wage amount in force as of application date, the wage to be paid to the foreigner must of at least;
    1. 6,5 times value of the minimum wage for senior executives, pilots and engineers and architects who applied for a preliminary permission,
    2. 4 times value of the minimum wage for unit or branch office managers and engineers and architects,
    3. 3 times value of the minimum wage for those who will work in jobs requiring expertise and craftsmanship and teachers,
    4. 1,5 times value of minimum wage for foreigners who will work in other occupations.

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.


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[2]. 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:

  1. Residence Permit Application Form (must be signed by the foreigner and/or his/her legal representative.)
  2. Passport or original and photocopy of passport substitute document (pages containing identity information and the page containing photo and processed pages)
  3. Four (4) pcs photos (must have been taken within the last six months, against a white background and biometric.)
  4. Declaration which states that financial capacity is to be provided sufficiently and regularly throughout the stay (Is declared in the Application Form. Directorate may request supporting documents.)
  5. Valid health insurance (Insurance period must cover the intended residence permit duration. One of the following document is considered as sufficient):
    1. E-signed/signed and stamped/sealed document to be obtained from provincial social security units which states that the foreigner is benefiting from the health services inn Turkey within the scope of bilateral social security agreements
    2. E-signed/signed and stamped/sealed provision document received from Social Security Institution (Provision documents to be received from Social Security Institution must be in such a manner that they must be both supportive and cover family members in family residence permits.)
    3. E-signed/signed and stamped/sealed document of the application made to the Social Security Institution to become a general health insurance holder
    4. Private health insurance (The policy must have the expression of “This policy covers the minimum coverage stipulated in the circular no 9, dated 06/06/2014, on private health insurance required to be taken out for residence permit applications.”. Signed and stamped/sealed original of the insurance policy must be presented during application.)[3]

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.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Work Permit in Domestic Applications?

Getting a work and residence permit in Turkey 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.

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.


Required documentation at the application stage is as follows:

Required Documents:
Tax certificate
Letter of application
Commercial Registry Gazettes

Certificate of good standing
Circular of signature
Proxy statement
Balance-sheet (Approved by Certified Public Accountant or Tax Department)
26 digit Social Security Number of the enterprise
Document granted by Social Security Institution indicating number of employeesRequired Information:
Official permits documents, if any (Production Permit,

Investment Incentive Certificate etc.)
Other supportive information and documents justifying the employment of foreigners, if any.


Required Documents:
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Copy of passport with Turkish translation as approved by certified public translator and notary

Copy of diploma with Turkish translation as approved by certified public translator and notary  (not requested from Syrian nationals)
Copies of all pages of residence permit or residence card (This document is not required for applications from abroad, however it is necessary for domestic applications.)

Required Information:
CV written in Turkish
Marriage license if married with a Turkish citizen and copies of ID cards of children born from this marriage.

In case that any document falls short, the outstanding documents must be completed and delivered in thirty days at most, except the force majeure[4].

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.


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.


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:

  1. If the application is not found fit to the international labour force policy,
  2. If the application is filed with fake or misleading information and documentation,
  3. If the justification of employment of foreigners is not deemed satisfactory,
  4. If the application is filed for works and occupations which are confined only to Turkish citizens,
  5. If the application is filed for foreigners who do not have necessary qualifications and expertise,
  6. If the application does not meet the assessment criteria set forth by the Ministry,
  7. If the foreigner in question shall not be allowed to enter the country,
  8. If the application is filed for foreigners who shall not be granted a visa and if the foreigner in question is reported to the Ministry of Interior as having a deportation order on his/her name.
  9. If the application is on behalf foreigners who are deemed inconvenient to work in Turkey on grounds of public order, public security and public health.
  10. Except for cases in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ assent is present, if the application is filed for citizens of countries derecognized by Republic of Turkey or the countries with which Republic of Turkey has no diplomatic relations,
  11. If the application is not filed or the deficiencies of the application are not corrected within the prescribed term[5].

[1] DOĞAN, Vahit: Türk Yabancılar Hukuku, 1. Baskı, Ankara 2016, p. 162. (“Doğan”)

[2] Directive on the Application Regarding the Code of Foreigners and International Protection, Article 19/4. Related link: (Accessed on 16.10.2017.)

[3] (Accessed on 16.10.2017.)

[4] Doğan, p. 162.

[5] Doğan, p. 162-163.