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The Essentials for Getting a Work Permit in Turkey

15th March 2016

With literally thousands of expats moving to Turkey every year getting a job is something many expats are going to face. Getting a work permit might not be simple but it might not be as complex as you think and remember with our YellAli Permit Services if you ever need help we will be able to offer professional assistance and guidance throughout the process.

With our helpful guide you’ll know all the essential information you need to know about getting a work permit in Turkey. But if you need some extra information and want advice about applying for a work permit get in touch with YellAli today, we will provide expert help and guidance throughout the application process. So without further ado let’s begin the guide.

The Types of Work Permit

First of all let’s outline the three types of work permits in Turkey, YellAli can help you during your application process for any of the work permits. So if you need help with the documents, notarising, and translation or just need some guidance and support then get in touch.

Work Permits for a Definite Period

This work permit is typically issued for one year and after this time it can then be extended by up to three further years if it’s for the same position (with the same employer). After the further three years your permit can then be extended once more for another three years. This time it will be a valid permit for any employer although you must continue to work in the same profession. 

Working Permit for an Indefinite Period

This permit can be granted to foreigner’s who have resided in Turkey legally and continuously for at least eight years. This work permit can also be granted sooner if a person has worked in Turkey continuously for six years. 

Independent Work Permit

Finally we have the Independent Work Permit this permit is available to foreigners who are setting up a business. However in order to be eligible you must have also lived in Turkey continuously for at least five years.

You will also need to show with evidence that your business will provide employment opportunities or contribute to local economic growth and development. If you are able to prove this and meet the conditions then you will be issued with a Certificate of Application for an Independent Work Permit. This is valid for three months and during this time you will need to set up your business. 

Applying for a work Permit

So now we know about the types of permit how do you go about applying for them? Well this depends on certain factors, if you are currently abroad you apply to the Turkish Consulate. This is a quicker process (usually taking 2-3 weeks) and the permit will also act as residence permit.

IMPORTANT - Please note; You must first secure employment before making a work permit application - It is NOT possible to apply for a work permit without first being offered a job. 

If you’re in Turkey already you’ll need to apply for a Turkish Residence Permit before you can apply for any kind of work permit. This process takes much longer usually between 6 – 8 weeks depending on the type of job position you’re applying for.

No matter if you’re in Turkey or abroad when you apply you can only start your job once the work permit has been granted. All work permit applications are submitted to The Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security. You can read more information on their official site. (

YellAli can offer professional support and guidance throughout the application process so if you do need help or guidance during the application process get in touch

Company Requirements

In Turkey a work permit is always made in the company name and not in the individuals, this applies even if it’s a company you own and have set up. The company must meet all the requirements in order to apply for a work permit.

Because the work permit is linked to the company and not the individual if you quit or leave your job your work permit will be voided and then you will need to apply and be granted a Turkish Residence Permit if you want to stay in Turkey.

If you’re currently married to a foreign national then the requirements are reduced and it’s therefore easier to obtain a work permit. Also if you’re being appointed as the manager or head of a company then you will be considered a key person and there are exemptions in the work permit criteria for key people.

Required Documentation

Both the individual and the company will need to submit the required documents in order to be granted a work permit. We’ve laid out the details on what both parties will need to supply below. YellAli can provide both translation and notarising services and offer professional services on the needed documentation, so if you need assistance contact us today.

Company Documents: a valid petition, a labour contract signed by the foreign employee, activity certificate, a trade registry gazette, an income statement which is approved by an accountant and a Work Permit power of attorney that’s to be granted by the company. 

Individual Documents: a valid petition of application, a foreign personal application form, a notarised residence permit, a translated and notarised passport, a notarised and translated certificate of education, an up to date photograph and a CV.

Written by David Varty - YellAli Content Team

Turkish Residence Permit


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