How many types of work permits (Calisma Izni) are in Turkey?

There are four different work permits for foreigners in Turkey:

  • Work Permit for a Definite Period: In accordance with the International Labour Law No 6735 which came into force after being published on the Official Gazette dated 13.08.2016 and No 29800; work permit shall be granted to the individuals whose application is approved for maximum 1 year provided that it does not exceed the term of the labour contract they signed with the employer. At the end of this period, a permit is granted for maximum 2 years to the foreigners who want to extend their work permit, provided that they continue to work in the same workplace. On the third and further application, a work permit is granted up to maximum 3 years.
  • Work Permit for an Indefinite Period: Foreigners who have a long-term residence permit in Turkey and work permit for minimum 8 years are entitled to apply for a work permit for an indefinite period. Foreigners who have a work permit for an indefinite period can benefit from the rights granted to the Turkish Citizens, except for some special regulations in-laws. However, they cannot benefit from rights such as military service, working at public institutions and right to vote and be elected.
  • Independent Work Permit: Every foreigner cannot benefit from the independent work permit which is granted for a definite period. This permit is evaluated by the Ministry in accordance with the following criteria:
  • Level of education
  • Professional experience
  • Contribution to be made in science and technology
  • The contribution of the investment to be made in Turkey in the country’s economy
  • The capital to be invested in our country, if a shareholder of a foreign company
  • Turquoise Card


Turquoise Card is a card given to the foreigners who contribute in Turkey in the fields of economy, science, technology and industry, who invest and provide employment or who are evaluated to do so. The holders of this card benefit from all rights granted to the foreigners who have a work permit for an indefinite period. The spouses and children of holders of this card are granted a document which functions as an indefinite residence permit.

First 3 years are the transition period. Within this period, if the foreigners fail to provide the expected contribution, their Turquoise Card shall be canceled. If the holders apply for getting Turquoise Card for an indefinite period within the last 6 months of the 3-year period, Turquoise Card for an indefinite period is given if they fulfill the required criteria. However, the applications after this 3-year period expires shall not be accepted and the card they have shall expire.

How to apply?

Foreigners who plan to work in Turkey are required to submit some documents and pass through certain stages within the scope of work permit. These are;

Foreigners work permit application is made at the Turkish Consulate from which the foreigner has obtained the residence permit or the Turkish Consulate in the country of origin of the foreigner. In the applications stage, it is obligatory to submit;

  • Labour contract
  • Invitation letter
  • Application letter for a work permit
  • Foreign personnel application form
  • Photocopy of the passport
  • Copy of the diploma or interim graduation certificate translated into Turkish by certified translators or official institutions (in applications for household services, the applicant’s diploma from the last school he/she has graduated)
  • Notarized power of attorney of the person who is authorized to submit an electronic application in the capacity of “user” on behalf of the organization or institution who will employ the foreign personnel or a certificate showing that the person acting in the capacity of user works at the organization or institution which submits the application
  • Turkey Trade Registry Gazette which shows the most recent capital and partnership structure of the organization or institution which will employ the foreign personnel
  • Balance sheet and profit/loss statement for the last year approved by the tax office or the certified public accountant

At the same time, the organization or institution which will employ the foreign personnel in Turkey is required to scan the required documents during the electronic application and submit these documents online within the prescribed time. It is also required to submit the documents required to the Ministry of Labour and Social security by hand or mail after the application is completed.

In order to apply for a work permit, the foreigners who live in Turkey are required to have a residence permit which is valid for at least 6 months. The foreigners who meet this condition are required to submit their applications online. Within the 6 business days following the application, the application form and application letter must be delivered to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

What is required for acceptance of Foreigner Work Permit Application?

Even though the abovementioned steps are fulfilled, there are some conditions to be fulfilled by both the employer and the foreign personnel in order that the applications are accepted. These are;

  • The employer has to employ at least 5 Turkish Citizens in the workplace. If more than one foreign personnel will be employed, it is necessary to employ 5 Turkish personnel for each foreign personnel.
  • The workplace which will employ foreign personnel must have at least TRY 100.000 capital. If this requirement is not provided, the gross sales of the workplace are taken into consideration. These sales must be TRY 800.000 or the overseas sales must be minimum USD 250.000.
  • If the applicant for a work permit is a shareholder of a company, he/she must have a capital of minimum TRY 40.000.
  • The salary paid to the foreigner must comply with his/her professional competence. According to this;
  • 6,5 times the minimum wage for the senior managers,
  • 4 times the minimum wage for the unit or branch directors, engineers and architects,
  • 3 times the minimum wage for the ones who will be employed in jobs which require specialty or competence, teachers, psychologists, physiotherapists, musicians and stage artists,
  • At least the minimum wage for the foreigners who will be employed in household services and 1,5 times the minimum wage for the foreigners who will be employed in jobs other than the above (Sales representatives, marketing-export personnel, etc.)
  • 2 times the minimum wage for the foreigners who will be employed in tourism-animation and organization companies as acrobats or in similar positions and masseurs and SPA therapists, etc.

Foreigners who can get a work permit unconditionally

An unconditional work permit is granted to the foreigners who fulfill the following conditions provided that they submit the documents taken from official authorities of the Republic of Turkey indicating that they fulfill these conditions.

  • Foreigners whose parents or child are Turkish Citizens,
  • Foreigners who are married to a Turkish Citizen for at least 3 years,
  • Citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,
  • Foreigners who have residence permit within the framework of the practices of the Administration for Turks Living Abroad and Related Communities,
  • Foreigners who have residence permit within the framework of the humanitarian considerations,
  • Foreigners who have residence permit because of being a victim of human trafficking,
  • Foreigners who have a residence permit in the status of stateless (heimatlos) persons.

What are the duties of the Directorate General of International Labour?

Directorate General of International Labour, which was established when the International Labour Law No 6735 which was enacted on 28.07.2016 came into force after it was published on the Official Gazette dated 13.08.2016, has started its operation under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. It was founded to determine, inspect and approve the work permits granted to the foreigners.

Where can the foreigners submit their objections if their work permit application is not accepted?

Foreigners, whose work permit or work permit extension applications are rejected, can submit their objections online within 30 days after the rejection date. In this objection, it is required to scan and upload the petition which contains the detailed explanations regarding the acceptance of the objection and other required documents. If the objection is rejected, a lawsuit may be filed.

What is the procedure for the foreigners who work illegally and the employers who employ foreigners illegally?

An administrative fine is imposed on the employers who are determined to employ foreigners without a work permit and the foreigners they employ. In addition, the employer is obliged to cover the accommodation and medical expenses of the foreigner they employ and their spouses and children if any until they leave the country as well as the expenses for the return of these foreigners and their families to their countries.

Foreigners who are determined to be working without a foreigner’s work permit shall be brought to the Ministry of Interior to be deported. Then they are brought to the Directorate General of Migration Administration and required procedure is carried out.

What are the professions that cannot be performed by the foreigners who have a work permit?

There are some jobs that cannot be performed by the foreigners who have a work permit in Turkey. These are:

  • Lawyer
  • Notary Public
  • Dentist
  • Nurse
  • Veterinarian
  • Customs Broker
  • Tourist Guide
  • Pharmacist
  • Director of Private Medical Institutions
  • Security Officer
  • Fisherman, captain, ship crew, etc. in our territorial waters.

Can the foreigners who come to Turkey as tourists apply for work permit?

Foreigners who come to our country with a tourist visa cannot apply for work permit in our country. Such foreigners can go to the Turkish Consulates in their countries and submit their applications together with required documents.

Which documents are required for employing Syrians?

As known, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have come to Turkey because of the turmoil which started in Syria in recent years. The employers who want to employ the Syrians who come to our country can submit their application to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. For this, it is required that minimum 6-month residence permit that the Syrian to be employed has taken from the Directorate General of Migration Administration is not expired yet.