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  1. This article is for those who will be applying for work in Turkey from outside Turkey. If you have already been in Turkey with a residence permit for at least six months, see: Apply for a Work Permit While in Turkey: Eligibility, Required Documents, and the Application Process. If you want to travel to Turkey for work, you must first find a job and have a job offer or contract from an employer. You'll then attend an appointment at a Turkish embassy or consulate and get a reference number to send to your employer. Your employer will then apply for your work permit, as the Turkish embassy or consulate arranges your work visa. Your work visa and your work permit will be arranged simultaneously. You won't have to go through a second application when you arrive in Turkey—you'll just pick up your work permit and start working. The Work Visa to Work Permit Process Here's what you'll need to do. 1. Find a Job and Get Hired. To learn how to find a job and a list of websites which have jobs in Turkey, see Jobs in Turkey: Employment Websites and Tips for Finding Employment. 2. Receive an Employment Letter or Contract. 3. Make an Appointment at the Local Turkish Embassy or Consulate. Turkey has an online system where you pre-apply for a work visa. Go here: https://www.konsolosluk.gov.tr/ Select the Turkish embassy or consulate nearest your location and enter the site. At the upper right, click "Visa." From the drop-down menu, select "Visa Pre-Application." That will take you to the visa pre-application form. At the end of your pre-application, the system will let you choose a convenient date and time to go to the Turkish embassy or consulate. Then it will give you a link for you to download and print your pre-application appointment document. 4. Go to Your Appointment Go to the address printed on your appointment document. Take these documents with you: Appointment document Employment contract and/or invitation letter from your employer Passport (must be valid for at least 60 days beyond the expiration date of the work permit, so it must have at least 425 days of validity remaining) Copy of your passport, including the photo, identification information, and validity dates Four biometric photos University diploma or certificate which qualifies you for the job Official translation of your diploma or certificate* *If you need to have something translated, the consular official will tell you where to go. Sworn Turkish translators have offices near Turkish embassies or consulates. After your appointment, the consulate will send you an e-mail with a reference number to send to your employer. 5. Send the Reference Number to Your Employer. Once they have this reference number, your employer will open a work permit application using an online application system. This must be done within ten days of your appointment at the consulate. While your employer probably already knows this, remind them anyway, because if they don't make the application within ten days, you'll both have to start the process again. 6. Receive Approval If your work permit (and work visa) are approved, the embassy or consulate will notify you and tell you to return to get it. 7. Make a Second Appointment to Get the Visa. You'll go to the consulate with your passport, a confirmed one-way ticket to Turkey, and a travel insurance policy, and pay the fees. You'll leave your passport for them to affix the work visa onto one of your passport's pages. Fees: You'll need to pay the following fees (current for 2021): Work permit fee: ₺1,017.80 Work visa fee: ₺758.90 Work permit card printing fee: ₺125 Your employer may pay one or more of these fees depending on your agreement. 8. Pick Up Your Passport and Visa Return to the consulate and pick up your passport and work visa. You can also have them mail it to you if you provide them with a pre-paid, self-addressed envelope. 9. Travel to Turkey and Enter with your Work Visa Your work visa will be valid for 180 days, for a single entry. You can travel to Turkey any time you want during that period. 10. Go to Your Workplace Go to your new workplace and report in. You'll then receive your work permit and start working. Your Work Permit To learn about the work permit itself, see Turkey Work Permits: Types, Benefits, and How to Get One. Accompanying Family Members If any of your family members will be accompanying you to Turkey, talk to the embassy or consulate personnel about getting them a visa also. Citizens of many countries can get an e-visa online. Some can even come to Turkey with their national ID card. And others may be required to get their visa from an embassy or consulate. In any case, of your family members must travel to Turkey using their own visa or ID card. They can't accompany you with your work visa. After arriving in Turkey, your family members can apply for a short-term residence permit. The short-term residence permit is issued for up to two years and extended indefinitely. After you've worked in Turkey for one year, your family members can apply for a family residence permit, which is issued for up to three years. If you have children, they'll be allowed to go to public schools in Turkey for free. Work Permit Law The law concerning work visas and permits in Turkey is Law Number 6735, International Labor Force. Assistance and Support The Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Security: They have a national customer service number, which, from within Turkey, is 170. From outside of Turkey, call +90 216 170 1122. Yükseköğretim Kurulu (Council of Higher Education, or "YÖK"): If you will 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 about work permits, search our work permit forums, or open a topic. We have quite a few expat members who have already been through the process and can help. Ken Grubb 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.
  2. Many foreigners get jobs in Turkey and travel to Turkey for work. Briefly, it works like this: Find a job in Turkey. Apply for the job. Get a job offer from the employer. Accept the job. Take the job offer or contract to a Turkish embassy to apply for a work visa. Pick up the work visa and travel to Turkey. Get your work permit from your employer and start working. While you're applying for your work visa, your employer, in Turkey, will be applying for your work permit. These two things happen at the same time. You'll be providing documents such as your identity information and information about your skills and experience to your employer and to the Turkish embassy when you go to your appointment to apply for your work visa. The guide to getting a work visa and work permit from outside of Turkey is here: How to apply for a Work Visa and Work Permit from Outside of Turkey To learn how to find a job in Turkey, see: Turkey Employment Websites and Tips for Finding Employment. Ken Grubb 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.
  3. To work in Turkey, you must have a work permit. It's the employer who applies for the work permit, as you provide documents required for the application. In this article, I'll teach you how to get your first work permit while outside or inside Turkey, then cover other types of work permits you might apply for. I'll also cover the types of work permits available, the benefits of working in Turkey, and the restrictions you should know as you search for a job. What is a Work Visa? A work visa is a sticker issued by Turkish embassies and consulates. It's applied to one of the pages in your passport, and it allows you to enter Turkey for employment. It's valid for six months, for one entry. If your employer hires you while you're outside of Turkey, your employer will simultaneously apply for your work permit, which should be ready for you when you arrive. What is a Work Permit? A work permit is an identity card that allows you to work in Turkey, subject to certain restrictions. It also serves as a residence permit. The definite-time work permit is the most common, issued for one employer and one job for a fixed amount of time, then extended as needed. Other types of work permits include the independent work permit, for those who work for themselves, the unlimited work permit, which is issued for life, and the Turquoise Card, which is given to foreigners with exceptional talent or skills that Turkey needs. How Can I Get a Work Permit to Work in Turkey? If you've never worked in Turkey before, the type of residence permit you'll apply for is the definite-time work permit. How you get one depends on whether you're outside or inside Turkey. If You're Not in Turkey If you're not yet in Turkey, you must: Find an employer. Accept their job offer Go to a Turkish embassy or consulate and apply for a work visa. While you're applying for your work visa, your employer will be applying for your work permit in Turkey. After you get your work visa, travel to Turkey, and go to your job site, your employer will give you your work permit. Learn more about applying for your work visa and work permit while outside of Turkey. If You're in Turkey If you've been living in Turkey for at least six months, you don't need a work visa since you're already in Turkey. But you must still find an employer and get a job offer first. You'll be supplying the required documents as your employer applies for your work permit. Once your employer receives your work permit and gives it to you, you can start working. Learn more about applying for a work permit while in Turkey. Restrictions for Foreigners Working in Turkey The general rule is that you can't work in a job that a qualified Turk can do. After your employer applies for your work permit, the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Security will check the national employment application database to see if there is a qualified Turkish citizen available. If there are no qualified Turkish candidates, they'll approve your work permit. For that reason, many foreigners work as teachers of their native language or in positions requiring hard-to-find skills. Also, an employer can only hire one foreigner for every five Turkish citizens. Learn more about the restrictions for foreigners working in Turkey. Learn more about professions which are prohibited for foreigners. Types of Work Permits in Turkey Definite-time Work Permit If you're coming to Turkey for the first time or applying for a job after you've lived in Turkey for six months, you'll get a definite-time work permit. The definite-time work permit is for a single employer, for a specific job, for a definite amount of time. Duration At first, the definite-time work permit is valid for one year. After the first year, it can be extended for another two years, then for three years at a time. After eight years of work, you can apply for an unlimited work permit (see below). For seasonal jobs, the definite-time work permit may be issued for less than 12 months. How the Definite-time Work Permit Application Process Works For the definite-time work permit, you must first find an employer. Your employer will then apply for your work permit online, using the e-Devlet system, at www.turkiye.gov.tr. e-Devlet means "e-Government." It's Turkey's government services website. While your employer is completing the work permit application, you'll provide your identity information and various required documents (see below). Some of the documents you must provide will be scanned and uploaded into the online application system. Changing Employers and Expiration of the Definite-time Work Permit If you stop working for one employer and want to work for another one, you and your new employer must go through the work permit application process again. Definite-time work permits aren't transferrable from one employer to another. If your work permit expires or you become unemployed, it becomes invalid. You must apply for a short-term residence permit or leave Turkey within ten days. If you leave Turkey, you can return on the next day with an e-visa, then apply for a residence permit. Work permits are unrelated to visas, so your time in Turkey isn't counted against your visa. When you re-enter with the e-visa, your time in Turkey for the visa will start at zero. Independent Work Permit Independent work permits are given on a case-by-case basis to foreigners who work on their own, without an employer. Unfortunately, approvals for these types of applications are rare. To apply for an independent work permit, contact an office of the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Security for guidance on how to apply and what documents are required. Unlimited Work Permit Once you've lived and/or worked in Turkey continuously for eight years with no interruptions in residence, you can apply for a long-term residence permit and an unlimited work permit. You don't need to have an employer when you apply, and you can work for any employer, anywhere you want. With the unlimited work permit, it doesn't matter if the job can be filled by a Turkish citizen or not, and it's not subject to the "one foreigner for every five Turkish workers" rule. However, the restrictions on what professions you can work in still apply. The unlimited work permit is issued for life. Learn more about the long-term residence permit. Learn more about the unlimited work permit. Turquoise Card The Turquoise Card is an unlimited work permit without the requirement to live in Turkey for at least eight years. It's given to foreigners with exceptional talent or skills on a case-by-case basis and allows the foreigner to work in professions where their talent or abilities will benefit Turkey. It's first issued for three years, then can be made permanent. Learn more about the Turquoise Card. Finding a Job in Turkey There are several websites where employers offer jobs to foreigners. Some are in English, some in Turkish. If the site you're searching is in Turkish, try searching in English, since jobs for foreigners on those sites are usually written in English. Learn how to find a job in Turkey. Legalization of Foreign Documents for Use in Turkey All foreign documents must be "legalized" for use in Turkey. Legalization is done with an apostille, a separate document (or stamp) that authenticates the document it's attached to. Then the document and the apostille must be translated by a sworn translator. Learn how to legalize foreign documents for use in Turkey. Learn how to get foreign documents translated into Turkish by a sworn translator. Who Issues Work Permits Work permits for most jobs are issued by the Aile, Çalışma ve Sosyal Hizmetler Bakanlığı (Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services). This ministry also issues independent and unlimited work permits, and also the Turquoise Card. Work permits for teachers are issued by the Yükseköğretim Kurulu (Council of Higher Education, or "YÖK"). Some universities are authorized to issue work permits. So if you're a teacher, contact your school or university for details. Benefits of a Work Permit Your work permit also serves as your residence permit. It also enables you to leave Turkey and return without a visa. Family Members For the first year, your family members can get short-term residence permits. After you've been employed and living in Turkey for one year, your family members will be eligible for family residence permits. The family residence permit is valid until your work permit expires or for three years, whichever is soonest. So as your time on the job increases and your work permit is extended for two and three years at a time, your family's residence permits can have the same duration as your work permit. Education for Your Children Your children will be able to attend public schools for free until they reach 18 years of age. Social Security and Health Insurance Your employer will enroll you in Turkey's national social security and retirement plan, provided by the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (Social Security Administration, or SGK). They have 30 days to do this. Your employer will pay the monthly payments. After a required number of years working in the system, you'll be eligible to receive a pension. Your employer will also enroll you in Turkey's national health insurance plan, provided by the SGK, and pay the monthly payments. Your family members will also be covered. The plan entitles you and your family to free medical treatment at state hospitals and will usually pay most of your bill at more expensive private hospitals. Checking the Validity of Your Work Permit To see if your work permit was issued or if it's still valid, go to https://izinsorgula.ailevecalisma.gov.tr/#/app/giris. The site is in Turkish. In the first menu, select Yabancı Çalışma İzni. In the second box, enter your foreigner identification number. In the third box, enter the document number of your work permit. Complete the "Captcha" verification and click Sorgula. Working Illegally Don't work without a work permit. To learn more about working illegally in Turkey and what can happen if you do, see: Working Illegally in Turkey: How You Might Get Caught and What Might Happen to You. Work Permit Law Work permits are issued under Law Number 6735 on International Labor Force. Assistance and Support Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Security: They have a national customer service number, which, from within Turkey, is 170. From outside of Turkey, call +90 216 170 1122. It has an English option. Yükseköğretim Kurulu (Council of Higher Education, or "YÖK"): If you'll be working at a University, contact the Council of Higher Education at 0 850 470 0 965 from outside Turkey. The call will be free. From inside Turkey, call +90 312 298 7000. Work Visa and Work Permit Forums: If you have questions about work permits, search our work permit forums, or open a topic. We have quite a few expat members who have already been through the work visa and work permit process and who help. Ken Grubb 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.
  4. It's illegal to work in Turkey without a work permit. Some employers may hire you to work illegally, since they won't have to register you with the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (Social Security Administration) or pay anything towards your healthcare, retirement, or other benefits. It's strictly a cash deal, paid after you provide your services. Your employer might not pay you at all. You'll be helpless to do anything about it, since you'll have no rights to assert. How You Can Get Caught There are three main ways you can get caught working illegally: A surprise inspection of your workplace by the local office of the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services to check the work permits of any foreigners working there. An anonymous telephone call to the authorities. Anybody can call and report illegal workers. Often it will be a former disgruntled employee or a competitor. The police coming to your residence for some reason and asking a neighbor where you are. Then your neighbor telling them that you're at work. What Will Happen if You Get Caught There will be a hefty fine for both you and your employer. The fine is doubled if an offense is repeated. You may also face being turned over to the Ministry of the Interior for deportation, and being banned from re-entering Turkey for 90 days or more. Turkey's Law on Illegal Workers The authority for government officials to inspect workplaces for illegal workers and the fines which can be imposed comes from the Law on International Workforce, No. 6735. Ken Grubb 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.
  5. How is it possible for my wife and I to secure a job in Turkey?
  6. Hi! Does anyone here knows the process for applying for a work visa for a domestic helper coming from another country? My daughter is a Filipina architect married to a Turkish Pilot - they're based in Istanbul and are expecting their first baby in 2 months. They want to hire a helper from the Philippines. How long is the usual process for work visa application?
  7. Hello friends, I am applying for my work visa on Tuesday at the embassy in washington DC, and I have a few questions. With the school year fast approaching, my employer has recommended I apply for my work visa as 'coordinator'. I have no idea what this means, or how it might expedite the process, but due to time constraints, they are adamant I apply as 'coordinator'. Any one familiar with this distinction? I will have all the necessary documents from my employer before I go, but I'm wondering about not yet having my TEFL certificate; I am about a week or two from completing it. The school has offered me a jobk, knowing that I will soon complete my certificate, but I hope this is not something that the embassy wants to see before I can get my visa. I will bring my diploma, passport and the documents from my future employer (Doğa schools) and hope for the best. Thanks to any one who can give me any advice. Best wishes Thomas
  8. I've been looking at teaching in Turkey through the company 'teach to travel'. Their website says: 'You will have your Residency Permit applied for before you arrive in Turkey, however, you will need to pick it up from the bureau in Turkey within 90 days of your arrival. You will need to get a tourist visa at the Turkish airport when you arrive. You will pick up your residency permit after this. You will also be picking up your work permit in Turkey.' What I don't understand is why can't they put in the application for the Work Permit before I arrive in the country (the job starts months down the line after all) Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!
  9. Hello everyone! I am a CELTA-certified, English BA-holding qualified teacher currently living and teaching in Vietnam. I am looking to move to Izmir in two months, but have had trouble finding many job prospects online. I've read the forum threads and people seem pretty confident about being able to find work in Turkey/Izmir. What I would like to know is: If I move to Izmir without a concrete job, how possible would it be to secure one (one which would pay for and support a work visa, at that) once I arrive? I have no problem going to Izmir without a job, but would need to know that it's definitely possible to secure one once I arrived. Thanks so much for reading this & I hope to hear from you all soon! You have a great community on this site-- v. cool.
  10. Hi Everyone, This board looks like a great place to learn about Turkey, I'm so glad I came across it. I have a few questions about Teaching English in Turkey and was hoping someone here might have been in a similar situation, or know the ins and outs of the Turkish system. A little about myself: I am a Canadian. I have a BA in English Lit and History. I have a TESOL certificate. I have 4 years teaching experience. (1 year teaching K-12 in South Korea, and 3 years in Germany teaching adults business and conversation English) I currently live and teach in Germany. First, work permits: How long does it normally take to get a work permit, who usually handles the processing of the permit (me or the employer), and can I apply for the permit outside of my home country (say at the Canadian Embassy or Consulate)? Second, compensation: What is the typical compensation package? Does the employer take care of accommodation, health insurance etc? And what is an average salary?
  11. My husband and I are planning to move to Turkey in the near future. I have a couple of job offers as an English teacher, so I'm not worried about myself, but my husband, who wants to because CELTA certified, does not have a university degree (he dropped out after two years and has been working full time in the finance sector for a decade now). Will it be impossible for him to find a job, even with a CELTA, without a university degree? What about non-teaching jobs? I've been told it's possible, but I haven't seen any concrete information.
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