- Download our Moving to Turkey Guide (PDF)
Expats eager to obtain a work permit for Turkey may have their hopes put on hold as the process is characterised by a large amount of paperwork and coordination.
Expats may be surprised to learn that requesting a work permit is a double-application process that also involves applying for a work visa. Both the expat employee and the sponsoring employer must apply, with the necessary documents, to the appropriate bodies within ten days of each other. The expat will be required to submit their application to their nearest Turkish consulate, and their employer in Turkey must deal with the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Only those individuals who can prove they possess a specific skill that is in shortage in Turkey qualify to receive a work permit. Furthermore, only a business entity formally registered in Turkey can submit a work permit application.
Theoretically, it follows that an expat who wishes to work in Turkey must have a job offer before pursuing the permit. Expats should note that there are several job categories that the Turkish government has specifically banned foreign nationals from working in.
Turkey's Ministry of Labour and Social Security has more on work permit application processes for specific sectors.
Applying for a work permit for Turkey
Work permits for Turkey are processed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (within Turkish borders) while the work visa is granted by the Consulate of the Turkish Republic. Work permit application processes differ for specific sectors.
Generally, an application must be accompanied by a letter from the employing company. Typically, the letter must contain essential information such as the business's name, address and industry, as well as other specifics dictated by the Turkish state.
Normal processing time is approximately one month, but it may take longer. Work permits are dual-purpose as they also function as residency permits.
*Please note that visa and work permit regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their nearest Turkish consulate for the latest information.
►Read more about living and working in Turkey in Visas for Turkey.
►Learn about how to find a home in Accommodation in Turkey.
What do expats say about obtaining work permits for Turkey?
"Work permits are generally tied to a particular job so your new employer has to obtain it for you. How easy it is to get a work permit depends on the experience and efficiency of your employer." See Lisa's interview to learn more about her experiences of expat life in Turkey.
Are you an expat living in Turkey?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Turkey. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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