Work permits in Turkey and working in Turkey
Even if you are not a Turkish national, you can still obtain a work permit in Turkey. Before you do this, you have to obtain a residency permit within one month of your arrival into the country.
You can apply for your work permit in Turkey from both inside and outside Turkey depending on your needs.
How to obtain work permits in Turkey
Once you’ve obtained your residency permit in Turkey, you will need to gather similar documents for your work visa:
- Four passport-sized photos
- Photocopies of the pages in your passport which show your photo, the expiry date and the last stamped entry
If you are already staying in Turkey, you will need the documents listed above, plus an application from the Ministry for Labour and Social Security. This application is made by Turkish employer. If you are outside Turkey and planning to move there, you should contact your closest Turkish embassy / Consulate to begin the work permit process.
A bit confusing – sounds like even if you are setting up your own business, you still need a Turkish employer to sponsor you?!
(Do check how much time you have left on your residence permit, because if there are less than six months remaining, you may be denied the right to work in Turkey. Also, be aware that certain jobs in Turkey can only be taken up by Turkish nationals, such as doctors, dentists, chemists, attorneys, and opticians.)
Submit all your paperwork to the Ministry for Labour and Social Security. Upon approval, you must have your passport stamped with your new work visa in Turkey. Please also remember if you are an employee on a work permit, you will need a Turkish business to sponsor you.
What happens after you have obtained your work permit in Turkey
Once you have your work permit, you are free to conduct business and are considered employable in Turkey. Turkish banks offer loans to foreigners who are opening small businesses, and various business grants are also available, so the employment climate in Turkey is quite friendly to foreigners.
If starting a business, there are a number of forms that must be filled in and the corresponding trade office contacted to process your request. It is possible to open a business in less than a day in Turkey if you provide the trade office with the correct paperwork!
Although the work permit process in Turkey may seem rather longwinded, it is worth the effort.