Work permit for foreigners is provided by the Ministry of Labor and Social Services and the Ministry of Labor and Social Services in accordance with the provisions of the International Labor Law No. 6735 (“Law”). It is prohibited to work and operate the foreigners who are subject to the Law without a work permit in Turkey. However, in some exceptional circumstances, the foreigners can work without a work permit. Foreigners can work or be operated without a work permit as per law if such foreigners meet the specified qualifications stipulated under the agreements that Turkey is a party to bilaterally or multilaterally.  

Work Permit Application Process for Foreigners

Internal applications for work permits shall be submitted directly to the Ministry; External application shall be submitted to embassies or consulates of the Republic of Turkey located in the country where the foreigner is a citizen or legally resident.

Application Process for Extension of Work Permits of Foreigners

Application for extension of work permit must be submitted 60 days before the expiry of the work permit. Extension applications submitted after this period shall be rejected by the Ministry. If there are missing information or documents in the application, the evaluation of the applications shall be postponed until such information or document are completed. Postponement period shall not exceed thirty days except that the existence of a force majeure or any delay re. Completion of information or document by an official authority. Applications that are not completed at the end of the postponement period shall be rejected.

Types of Work Permits

If the work permit applications submitted by the foreigner are evaluated positively, the foreigner shall be granted work permit for one year period in the first application provided that work permit period shall not exceed the duration of the employment contract. If the applications for extension of work permit are evaluated positively, maximum two years’ period is granted for the first extension application and up to three years for subsequent extension applications for the same employer.

Foreigners, who have at least eight years of legal work permit or have long-term residence permits in Turkey are entitled to apply for permission to work for indefinite period.

Appeal Process for Work Permit Applications

It is possible to appeal against the decisions of the Ministry regarding the work permit requests within thirty days from the date of notification. In case the objections are rejected by the Ministry, administrative lawsuit may be filed.

Validity Period and Cancellation of Work Permit

The work permit for foreigners ceases  up on  the expiry  of the permit or  cancellation of the permit by the Ministry. Pursuant to the Implementing Regulation of the Law on Work Permits of Foreigners (“Regulation”); in case one of  the following conditions occur, the Ministry, without the request of the foreigner or the employer, may cancel the work permit.

  • The situation in the business market and developments in the labor life and sector and economic conjuncture changes regarding employment are not appropriate to grant work permit,
  • If there is a person in the country with the same qualifications for a period of four weeks to perform the applied job,
  • Negative opinion is expresses by The Ministry of Interior,
  • Working of the foreigner endangers the national security, public order, general security, public interest, general ethics and general health.