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How to Get a Work Permit While in Turkey


This article is about the process of applying for a work permit from inside Turkey, after living in Turkey for a required six months. To learn about applying for a work visa and work permit from outside of Turkey, see Apply for a Work Visa and Work Permit from Outside of Turkey: Eligibility, Required Documents, and the Application Process.

Turkey Work Permit Rules

  • To work in Turkey, you must have a work permit.
  • To apply for a job and get a work permit while in Turkey, you must be a resident of Turkey for at least six months.
  • You must have a job offer before you can apply for a work permit. Your employer will make the application, while you provide information about yourself and various required documents.
  • Your work permit is only valid for the job you're hired for, and only for the employer who hired you. If you get another job, your next employer must get you another work permit.
  • Your work permit also serves as a residence permit, but you can have both a work permit and a residence permit at the same time.

The Work Permit Application Process

As your employer creates an application for your work permit, you'll provide your personal information, details about your education, skills, and experience, and various required documents.

Here's how it works:

  1. You get a work contract or job offer letter from your employer.
  2. Your employer creates an application using e-Devlet, at www.turkiye.gov.tr. This site is Turkey's official government portal.
  3. As your employer registers as your employer and goes through the online work permit application process, you provide required documents (see below) which are scanned and uploaded into the system.
  4. Your employer prints out and signs the application, then sends it with the other required documents to the Aile, Çalışma ve Sosyal Hizmetler Bakanlığı (Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services) within six working days. If you will be working as an English teacher or at a university, your application will be sent to the Yükseköğretim Kurulu (Council of Higher Education, or "YÖK").

You can start working as soon as the work permit application is approved.

Work Permit Fees

Your employer will pay the work permit fees.

Required Documents

  • Passport
  • Copy of your passport
  • Residence permit
  • Copy of your residence permit
  • Four biometric photos
  • Diploma or certificate which qualifies you for the job
  • Sworn translation of the diploma or certificate

Legalization and Translation of Foreign Documents

If any of your documents are issued by a foreign government, they will need to be legalized with an apostille or through diplomatic channels. In all cases, documents in a language other than Turkish must be translated by a sworn Turkish translator.

Learn how to get foreign documents legalized with an apostille and translated for use in Turkey.

Work Permit Processing Time

Work permit applications are typically approved within thirty days.

Work Permit Duration and Extensions

Your first work permit will have a duration of one year. Your employer can then extend it for up to two years. After that, your employer can extend it for up to three years and continue to extend it indefinitely.

Extensions can be made any time within 60 days prior to your work permit's expiration, and within 15 days after expiration.

The Unlimited Work Permit

Once you've worked or lived in Turkey for eight years, you can apply for an unlimited work permit, which never needs to be extended and which enables you to work for any employer.

Learn about the unlimited work permit.

Termination of Employment

If your employment is terminated, your employer will also terminate your work permit. You'll then have ten days to leave Turkey or apply for a short-term residence permit, which will enable you to live in Turkey for up to two additional years and can be extended indefinitely.

Learn about the short-term residence permit.

Checking the Validity of Your Work Permit

You can check to see if your work permit is valid, or if it has been canceled, by going to

https://izinsorgula.ailevecalisma.gov.tr/#/app/giris

Here's what to enter into the form:

  1. Sorgulamak İstediğiniz Başvuru Türünü Seçiniz (Select the Application Type You Want to Inquire About): Select Yabancı Çalışma İzni (Foreigner Work Permit).
  2. Yabancı Kimlik Numarası (Foreigner Identification Number).
  3. Belge Numarası (Document Number): This is the number of the ID card itself, rather than the foreigner. It's printed on the card.
  4. Doğrulama (Verification): Click "I am not a robot".
  5. Lastly, click Sorgula (Inquire).

You can also use a smartphone application. Go to your smartphone's app store and look for an app called CSGB Yabancılar Uygulaması (Ministry of Labor Foreigners Application).

After you download and activate it, click Yabancı İzin Sorgula (Foreigner Permit Query) and enter your foreigner identity number. The result will show if it is active or canceled, and if canceled, the date of cancellation.

Having a Work Permit and a Residence Permit

Your current residence permit will remain valid even after you apply for and receive a work permit. You can either let your residence permit expire or continue to extend it. That might be a good idea because if you quit your job or are terminated, you won't have to leave Turkey within the required ten days or have to apply for a residence permit.

Work Permit Law

Work permits are covered by Law Number 6735 On the International Labor Force.

Assistance and Support

Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services: They also have a national customer service number, which, from within Turkey, is 170. From outside of Turkey, call +90 216 170 1122. There is an English option.

The Yükseköğretim Kurulu (Council of Higher Education, or "YÖK"):  If you'll be working at a University, contact the Council of Higher Education, at +90 312 298 7000.

Work Visa and Work Permit Forums: If you have questions, search our forums to see if it's already been answered. If it hasn't, feel free to open a new topic. We have quite a few members who have gone through the work permit process who can help you.

Ken Grubb, author.

As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.


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