Employment Of Foreign Nationals (Work Permit)
a) Criteria for Employers to Employ Freigners
In order to employ a foreigner, the employer must meet certain criteria with respect to its company’s minimum paid capital, its gross sale amounts, its exportation amounts and the number of Turkish employees it employs in its company.
For all criteria to be met by the employers and the foreigner employees please see: https://www.csgb.gov.tr/uigm/calisma-izni/calisma-izni-degerlendirme-kriterleri/
b) Work Permit
As per the International Work Force Law, foreigners who would like to work in Turkey are required to obtain a work permit. Such requirement is applicable for (i) foreign employees to be employed in Turkey, (ii) foreigners who would like to engage in their own business.
b.1) Types of Work Permit
There are 3 types of work permits: (i) a temporary work permit, (ii) a permanent work permit, and (iii) an independent work permit. Temporary work permits can only be obtained by the employer on behalf of the employee; therefore, a foreign employee cannot apply for a temporary work permit by himself/herself. Upon the necessary conditions (holding a long-term residence permit or having a work permit for at least 8 years) are met, the foreigner can apply for a permanent work permit and if the foreigner would like to be selfemployed, he/she can apply for the independent work permit, by himself/herself.
b.2) Work Permit Application Procedure
Work permit applications can be made from Turkey or from abroad through the representative agencies of Turkey (i.e. the consulates or embassies). Work permit holders who applied from outside of Turkey must enter Turkey within six months from the date the permit begins – otherwise, the work permit will be cancelled. Applications for permanent and independent work permits must be made through National Electronic Notiication System operated by Post and Telegraph Organization with an electronic signature.
For a irst-time application, a temporary work permit will be issued for up to 1 year permitting the holder to work in the (i) same workplace or in (ii) another workplace of the same employer within the same branch of activity. The irst applications to be made from abroad must be made to the representative agency of Turkey in the country of nationality or in a country where the applicant resides lawfully. The employee must submit his employment agreement, and other required documents to the agency and must send 16-digit reference number obtained to the employer. Subsequently, the employer will submit the application to the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services through the Work Permit for Foreigners Automation System, sign with an electronic signature, and pursuant to approval the Work Permit Card issued for the foreigner will be sent to the registered workplace address. The entire application process takes place online.
Foreigners having a residential permit for a period of at least 6-months in Turkey can apply for the work permit within Turkey. In case the irst application shall be made within Turkey under such conditions, the employer must submit an online application to the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services through Work Permit for Foreigners Automation System signed with electronic
signature and containing required documents for the application. For the full list of required documents for the irst work permit application please see: http://calismaizni.gov.tr/calisma-izni-hakkinda/gerekli-belgeler/
Such work permits can be extended for a maximum of 3 years (up to 2 years in the irst extension application and up to 3 years in the following extension applications) and extension applications must be made within 60 days before the expiration date.
Foreigners holding permanent work permit shall beneit from the same rights long-term residence permit provides. Holders of permanent work permits, without prejudice to acquired rights with respect to social security, and provided that they are subject to applicable legislation in the enjoyment of these rights, shall beneit from the same rights as accorded to the Turkish citizens with the exception of the provisions in laws regulating speciic areas. Such foreigners have no right to elect and be elected or to enter into public service, and they have no obligation of compulsory military service.
b.3) Exceptions and Exemptions to Work Permits
Under the International Labour Force Law, certain exceptions/ exemptions may be granted (i.e. being exempted from (i) certain requirements and/or procedure for work permit applications or (ii) obtaining a work permit), among others, to the persons listed below:
– Persons assessed as qualiied workforce because of their level of education, salary, professional experience, contribution to science and technology or any other similar qualiications
– Persons assessed as qualiied investors because of their contribution to science and technology, investment and export volume, level of employment to be generated by them,
– Persons employed in Turkey for a certain period of time for a project in Turkey,
– Persons declared of Turkish origin by the Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Foreign Affairs
– Nationals of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
– EU Member State nationals,
– Applicants of international protection, conditional refugees persons under temporary protection and stateless persons, victims of human traicking beneiting from the victim support program,
– Persons married with a Turkish citizen and living together in Turkey with their spouse in matrimony,
– Persons working in the agencies of foreign states and international organizations in Turkey without diplomatic immunity,
– Foreigners who come to Turkey for scientiic, cultural, artistic or sportive purposes and who are recognised internationally in these fields,
– cross-border service providers (foreigners who came to Turkey to provide services on a temporary basis and paid in Turkey or from abroad)
Moreover, (i) board members of joint stock companies who do not reside in Turkey, (ii) shareholders of other types of companies who do not reside in Turkey, and (iii) cross-border service providers whose activity in Turkey does not exceed 90 days within 180 days may be eligible to work in Turkey without the need for work permit the context of the exemptions.