The Right of Foreigners to Work in Turkey

February 24, 2022

The right to work has been deciphered as a fundamental human right both in international human rights instruments and in national constitutions. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regulates that everyone has the right to work. However, in no country do foreigners have the right and freedom to work or freedom to be provided on an equal basis with citizens. It is natural for states to go to some limitations in this regard. Accordingly, the freedom of work of foreigners in Turkish law is limited by law and on the grounds of public order, public health, public safety, and public interest.

Employing Foreign Personnel

Foreign investors may want to employ foreign personnel in their investments. The regulations introduced within this framework have expanded the opportunity to employ personnel familiar to foreign investors. In this direction, it has further increased the opportunity for foreign investors to hire foreign personnel.  Foreigners within the scope of the law on the employment of personnel are prohibited from working or working in Turkey without a work permit. 

Work Permit

A work permit is a permit applied for by foreign citizens who want to work in Turkey. Nowadays, many foreign citizens want to work in Turkey in order to take advantage of the advantages provided by Turkey in the clearest way. At this point, in order for people to work in Turkey, they must have a work permit. Otherwise, it will be a legal offense for people working in Turkey without a work permit. In order to have the right to work legally in Turkey, to take advantage of the advantages offered by Turkey, and to work in Turkey, you must apply for a work permit. So, how do get a work permit to work in Turkey? Let’s all examine it together. 

How to Get a Work Permit in Turkey?

There are 2 different ways that people can apply for a work permit in Turkey. Students are provided with a temporary residence permit. Foreign citizens who have a residence permit valid for at least 6 months other than the temporary residence permit issued to students can apply directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Applications are made online via e-devlet (online system). In the form of this application, it is called a domestic work permit application.

 Residence permits can be obtained from immigration authorities. Applications for a residence permit can be made online, just like for a work permit. Persons who do not have a valid residence permit for at least 6 months can apply to the Turkish embassy or consulate of their countries of residence. Applications are again made online via the Internet. 

Employers employing foreigners are required to inform the ministry of the start and end of work within the scope of a work permit. In addition, if they require the cancellation of a work permit, they must notify the ministry within 15 days. Employer applications for cancellation of work permits issued by the Ministry are made via the Internet system. The cancellation request is being processed as a result of uploading the petition signed by the employer or his/her proxy to the system. In addition, it does not need to be sent to the ministry on paper.

The Relationship of a Work Permit and a Residence Permit

We mentioned that there are two different methods to obtain a work permit. At this point, one requires a residence permit, while the other does not require a residence permit. People who have obtained a work permit without a residence permit are engaged in research on whether they should obtain a residence permit. Accordingly, during the period when the work permit is valid, people are also considered to have a residence permit. With the expiration of the work permit, the residence permit of the persons will also be finished. Although the work permit has expired, people who do not extend it and continue to stay in Turkey will have a violation of the residence permit. 

Types of Work Permits

There are different types of work permits. These species are as follows. 

Duration Of Study

A long-term work permit is a permit with a maximum validity of 1 year for foreigners to work in a particular region. This work permit must be renewed every year. 

Indefinite Work Permit

An indefinite work permit is a recognition of the legal right to work in any region without any time limits. In order to apply for indefinite work, individuals must have resided in Turkey continuously and legally for 8 years. 

Independent Work Permit

An independent work permit refers to the granting of a legal right to work if individuals do not have any restrictions, such as region, profession, job, and duration. Market limitations in the Turkish labor force are not taken into account with the work permit in question.

First Application in Turkey

This is the type of application made by foreigners who are in Turkey and have a residence permit for at least 6 months. 

First Application Abroad

Cases where foreigners do not have a residence permit also mean that they should apply by going to the foreign representative office of the Republic of Turkey in the country where they are located. 

Application for International Protection

It is the type of application made by foreigners who are under international protection in Turkey and have applied for international protection.

Application for Temporary Protection

These are applications made by foreign citizens who are under temporary protection in Turkey and have Syrian citizenship. 

Application for an Extension

An extension application is being submitted for the extension of the work permit, which was previously received from the ministry and is ongoing. It is necessary to apply 2 months before the end of the previous work permit.

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