Work Permit

Work permit exemptions

As it is introduced by law no 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection, those foreigners who are exempt from work permit requirement should apply for work permit exemption certificate to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Work permit applications, exemption applications can be made directly to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security within Turkey or to the Turkish Embassies and Consulate Generals. Although new law does not specify the list of categories of nationals who are exempt from work permit requirement, forthcoming regulation will likely list the specific categories of exemption categories. However last paragraph of article 13 indicates that those cross border service providers for a period of 90 days within 180 days and the non-manager and non-resident shareholders of companies established under Turkish Trade Act might also be exempted from work permit requirements. In the calculation of legal working days in Turkey, periods worked with work permit exemption will not be considered.

Accorind to the Article 55 of the Regulation on the Implementation of the previous Law on Work Permits for Foreigners outlines the main categories of foreign nationals who are exempted from the work permit requirement. Following foreign nationals may work in Turkey without a work permit. As per article 56 of the Regulation, upon request, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security might issue Work Permit Exemption Certificates for the foreigners who are exempt from work permit.  The “Work Permit Exemption Certificates” will also be used as residence permits.

  1. Foreign nationals deriving from their rights to be exempted from work permit requirement under bilateral and multilateral agreements in which Turkey stands as a party,
  2. Foreign nationals that live abroad permanently and enter Turkey temporarily to either engage in cultural, scientific and artistic activities for less than one month or in sport activities for less than four months.
  3. Foreign nationals who come to Turkey temporarily for less than 3 months, in order to perform assembling, maintenance or training of imported machines and equipment and those coming  to deliver equipment or to repair damaged equipment, as long as they provide supporting documents relevant to their purpose of travel.
  4. Foreign nationals who enter Turkey for training purposes related to exported or imported goods and services.
  5. Foreign nationals who come to Turkey temporarily for less than 6 months, to perform shows or similar activities in the fairs and circuses outside of the borders of  Certified Tourism Investments and Establishment, as long as they provide supporting documents relevant to their purpose of travel.
  6. Foreign nationals who come to Turkey temporarily in order to improve their knowledge and experience in universities or public institutions and organizations, for a period limited to their education which does not exceed 2 years, provided that the situation is supported with relevant documentation.
  7. Foreign nationals regarding whom a reasoned offer is made by the relevant authorities  about their abilities to render significant contributions to Turkey in socio-cultural, technological and education fields, for a period that does not exceed  six months.
  8. Foreign nationals who come to Turkey within the context of programs executed by the Center of European Union Education and Youth Programs ( Turkish National Agency)
  9. Foreign interns participating in international internship programs of which the scopes and duration are agreed by Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a Higher Education Institution.
  10. Tour Operator Representatives coming to Turkey for a period that does not exceed eight months within a calendar year.
  11. Foreigner soccer players, other sportsmen and coaches who come to Turkey with the approval of Turkish Football Federation and General Directorate of Youth and Sport for a period determined in their contracts.
  12. Seafarers having endorsement certificate, which is recognized according to bilateral protocols under the International Convention on Standard of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers – Regulation I / 10 and who work in ships that are operating outside the cabotage zone and registered with the Turkish International Ship Register.
  13. Foreign Experts assigned in projects within the context of EU-Turkey Financial Co-operation programs.

Foreign engineers, architects and city planners who will work within the framework of professional services and who are subjected to exemption provisions, might be exempted from work permit requirement for a period not longer than one month. In the case of exceeding one month period, those foreigners are required to obtain a work permit by completing a series of assessment procedures related to their academic and professional qualifications.

Work permit exemption periods cannot be extended. Those foreigners who are subject to provisions (2), (3), (4), (5), (7) and (10) might benefit from the work permit exemption once in a calendar year. Foreigners seek to benefit from the exemption for the next calendar year, might only be eligible three months after the expiration date of their previous residence permits. For instance a tour operator representative benefited from exemption for 8 months between January 2013 and August 2013, might be eligible for exemption only after 01/11/2013.

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Ata Kurumsal

Ata Institutional Consulting is a leading consultancy company in its field, with expert personnel, with 12 years of experience, providing residence permit, work permit, Turkish citizenship consultancy and corporate consultancy services to foreigners. Ata Instiutional Consultancy


  1. Hi

    Wounder if you can help me.

    I am an owner’s representative on a boat that is being build in turkey. I won’t be working for a turkey’s company ; I am working for a foreign employer overseeing the build of the of the boat in Turkey. It requires me to be in turkey till the boat is finished with the building.
    Proximity a year till the boat is finished with the build.

    What visa do I need, and can you help me with to proses of it.

    Thank you in advance

    Kind Regards
    Joost Heystek

    1. Hi Joost

      I am in the same situation now as you were when you wrote this. Did you manage to find a solution to stay in turkey? If so what did you do? Any advice would be helpful, thank you in advance.

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