If you want to come to Turkey for work, you must first have a job offer letter or a contract from an employer in Turkey. Once you have that, go to a Turkish embassy or consulate in your home country (or the country where you legally reside) and apply for a work visa. The whole process involves three basic steps.
Step 1: Receive Your Job Offer Letter or Employment Contract and Apply for a Work Visa
Once you have your letter or contract offer, go to a Turkish Embassy or Consulate and submit your portion of the work permit application, and apply for a work visa.
You will need:
- Work visa application, which you can get from the embassy or consulate
- Your passport, with an expiration date at least 60 days beyond the expiration date of your work permit (which is usually one year)
- A translated and notarized copy of your passport *
- Your university diploma and/or any certificates of training which qualify you for the job
- A translated and notarized copy of your university diploma and/or certificates of training *
- Four photos
- A copy of the work contract
You may be asked to provide other documents, depending on the type of job you are applying for.
* For the notarized translation, the embassy or consulate will tell you where to go to have this done. There are usually qualified and government-certified Turkish translators and noters (notaries) who work around Turkish embassies and consulates.
Once the Turkish embassy or consulate has your application package, they will send the application to the government organization responsible for approving your work permit, which is usually the Çalışma ve Sosyal Güvenlik Bakanlığı (Ministry of Labor and Social Security).
Step 2: The Company Applies for Your Work Permit
As are applying for your work visa at the Turkish embassy or consulate, your employer will apply for your work permit, using an online system. They will both upload and send by mail various documents. One of these documents must be either the printout from the online system, signed by you and your employer together, or the printout with their signature and a work contract signed by you.
Important! The company must apply for your work permit within ten business days before or after you apply for your work visa at the embassy or consulate.
Your work visa application, and the work permit application made by your employer will take up to 30 days to process. The embassy or consulate will then e-mail or call you when it is ready. Or if they don't do that, they will tell you, on the day you make your application, when to come back and pick it up.
Step 3: Pick Up Your Work Visa and Come to Turkey
When you are told to do so, go back to the Turkish embassy or consulate and pick up your work visa. The work visa will be a one-time entry visa specifically for incoming workers. It is a large sticker which will be glued onto one of the pages in your passport. You must have this visa, and not a tourist visa, to enter Turkey for work. Once you're in Turkey, your will receive your work permit.
Your work permit will also be your residence permit.
Work permits in Turkey are governed by Article 4817 of the Foreigner's Work Permit Law.
Useful Telephone Numbers
You can contact the Ministry of Labor and Social Security using their national customer service number, which, from within Turkey, is 170. From outside of Turkey, call +90 216 170 1122. If you will be working at a University, contact the Council of Higher Education, at +90 312 298 7000.