Work Permit

Types of Work Permits in Turkey

As a general rule individuals who have no citizenship bond with the Republic of Turkey, in order to work either dependently or independently, are obliged to have a valid work permit before they start to work. The rules and principles of Non Turkish citizens’ entry to the Turkish labor market are governed by the New Law on International Labour Force (law no. 6735) which was enacted on 28th July 2016.  The Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security is entitled as a competent authority for processing the work permit applications, granting, extending, restricting or canceling work permits.

You may interested : Exceptional Work Permit



After taking several economic and demographic factors of the Turkish labor market into account, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security may grant a work permit for a definite period of time to the applicants. A Work Permit with definite period of time provides to the holders the right to work in an appointed profession, in a definite geographical zone, for an appointed employer within a specific time frame. By law, the work permits of definite period of time are valid at most for one year. At the end of the one year term, the work permit may be extended up to two years to work in the same job for the same employer. At the end of the two years extension, the work permit may be extended at most three more years to work in the same job for the same employer.


A foreigner may be eligible for a work permit of indefinite period of time, if meets one the following criteria;
• The Foreigner should have been residing in Turkey legally and uninterruptedly for 8 years (with valid Long Term Residence Permit)
• The Foreigner should have a total legal working period of 8 years in Turkey. (with valid work permit)
The work permit of indefinite period of time is granted without taking the status of the business market into consideration. Moreover it is not restricted for a certain operation, profession, civil or geographical area.


A foreigner who shall work independently on his/her own account may be granted with an independent work permit if he/she has legally and uninterruptedly resided in Turkey for at least five years.

An independent work permit for a definite period of time in line with Turkish International Labor Force Policy might be granted to the foreigners who shall work independently on him/her own behalf and account. Additionally, under new law, shareholder managers of limited companies, shareholder members of board of Joint Stock Companies and shareholder managers of Commandite Companies are required to obtain work permit.


Turquoise Card could be granted to foreigners as an indefinite work permit. The Turquoise Card would be granted through the recommendation of the Turkish International Labor Force Council by considering several factors such as the education level of the applicant, their professional experience, their contribution to science and technology, and the impact of activities and investments in Turkey on the economy and employment.

To the spouse and dependent children of the Turquoise Card holders, a document shall be given which indicates that they are relatives of a Turquoise Card holder and which can be used as residence permit.

As per article 11, Turquoise card might be granted for a transition period, first three years. The application for extension should be filed within 180 days before or in any case before the expiry date of the Turquoise card. Turquoise card, then, might be extended for indefinite period of time. Turquoise Card Consultancy Please consult the associated article on Exceptional Work Permits.


Source :

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. Dear Expat Guide Team,

    I’m a British citizen who has been working in Ankara for over 11 years with uninterrupted stay. I am also married to a Turkish spouse for over 7 years.
    My employer states that they will only apply for a 2 year work visa, not an ‘Indefinite Period of Time’, and that I have to personally apply for a long stay residence permit. As I understand, I am now able to reside in Turkey permanently and be able to work indefinitely. I do not hold Turkish citizenship and will not be applying for this. Can you explain which applications should be made?

  2. Assalam o alikum sir i am male nurse from pakistan and two years experienc how can i find a job in turkish hospital??

  3. Hi
    I’m darsh from Sri Lanka,
    Can you please advise me if it’s possible to visit northern Cyprus of turkey with the Turkish work permit witch im currently holding ?

  4. Hi, I am en electrical engineer with 5 years experience and now I’m studying master’s degree in business management at Turkish university…how i can know if I can get TURQUOİSE CARD ? And if i have online business and I work overseas (not selling in turkey ) so which work permit i can get?

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