The limited-time work permit is the type of permit most foreigners get. After receiving a job offer from a Turkish company while either inside Turkey or outside of Turkey. If inside Turkey, an application is made directly to the Çalışma ve Sosyal Güvenlik Bakanlığı (Ministry of Labor and Social Security, or CSGB), by both the employer and the job applicant. If outside of Turkey, the employer makes the same application to the CSGB, while the job applicant applies for a work visa at a local Turkish embassy or consulate, so they can come to Turkey for the job.
It is called a limited-time work permit because it has a maximum duration of one year, after which the employer and employee must extend it, or the employee must leave Turkey or apply for a residence permit.
The CSGB looks at several factors before deciding whether or not to grant a work permit, such as the general economy and business environment. The two major factors which will determine whether or not you receive a work permit are:
1. If there is an unemployed and qualified Turkish citizen who can do the same job
This normally makes a job waiting tables or mixing drinks in a resort town out of the question, since there are plenty of Turks who are qualified to do the same thing. But for jobs like teaching English at a language school, native speakers are needed, and few Turkish citizens are native speakers of English. There are also other jobs which may require specialized skills and education which are not common in Turkey, making them difficult to fill with Turkish citizens.
2. If the employer has already employed at least five Turkish citizens
If the employer already has at least five Turkish citizens working, the employer can hire one foreigner, without regard to whether or not a qualified Turkish citizen can do the job. For every five Turkish citizens an employer hires, he or she can hire one foreigner without meeting any of the above conditions.
Work Permit Applications
The application for your work permit will actually be made by your prospective employer. You will, more or less simultaneously, make a separate application as a individual being hired by that company. If you are outside of Turkey, this will include applying for a work visa, which will enable you to enter Turkey for the purpose of employment. Your application, and your employer's application, must occur within ten business days of each other. If you are applying from inside Turkey, both applications must occur within six business days of each other.
You cannot apply for a work permit without having accepted a job offer from a Turkish employer.
Work Permit Extensions
Your employer should provide you the necessary information for extending your work permit as the expiration date approaches. The process is the same as first-time applications. Extensions need to be filed no later than fifteen days after the expiration of your current work permit. Once your application is made, you may continue working until you receive your new work permit.
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.
Turkey International Workforce Law: A PDF document law No. 6735, dated 28 July 2016.
Turkish Labor Law: A website dedicated to everything having to do with working in Turkey, including labor law, social security law, and work permits.
Çalışma ve Sosyal Güvenlik Bakanlığı: The website for Turkey's Ministry of Labor and Social Security. For work permit applications and questions, click Yabancı Çalışma İzni Başvuru. While the main site has an English translation, these pages do not.