Every foreigner that wants to work in Turkey is required by law to obtain a work permit. There is also a requirement to obtain a residency permit within your first month in Turkey. Applications for a work permit can be filed in your own country or after you arrive in Turkey.
Getting a Working Permit in Turkey
If you have arrived in Turkey and already received a Turkish residency permit, you can go ahead with the application for a work permit. Both you and your employer will need to provide the following documents: (Source: www.invest.gov.tr)
1.1. Documents required from the employer
• Work permit application letter (The letter must be scanned and submitted as part of the online application; it must also be submitted in hardcopy, signed by the employer).
• Foreign personnel application form (The form filled online must be printed, and a hardcopy signed by the employer and the foreigner must be submitted to the ministry. If the signed form is unavailable, the employment agreement executed by and between the parties must be submitted. The application will not be processed in the absence of a signed form or a labor contract.)
• The Trade Registry Gazette of Turkey, detailing the current shareholding and capital structure of the entity (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
• A balance sheet and a profit/loss statement for the most recent year, certified by the tax office or certified public accountant (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
• Information and documents stating that the entity is subject to Special Foreign Direct Investments (These documents must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
• A document stating that entities (including consortiums) awarded international tenders by government agencies or organizations have been contracted for the awarded job from the relevant agency or organization (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
• In the case of legal entities that are to employ foreign specialists in the field of engineering, architecture, contracting and consulting services, a payroll document stating that Turkish engineers/architects/city planners are employed for the same occupation (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
• Notarized power of attorney for the person authorized to file the online application as a user on behalf of the entity or organization to employ the foreigner, or a document attesting to the employment of the user at the applicant entity or organization (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
1.2. Documents required from the foreigner: (Source: www.invest.gov.tr)
• In the case of applications filed in Turkey, a copy of the residence permit issued for other than education purposes with a term of at least six months remaining as of the date of application (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
• If a foreigner who files a work permit application does not hold a valid residence permit, the foreigner is required to file an application to the consulates of the Republic of Turkey in the country of which he/she is a citizen or a permanent resident, submitting his/her labor contract or a document attesting to company partnership. However, if the company meets at least one of the criteria required for Special Foreign Direct Investments, the work permit application can be filed directly with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security provided that the foreigner to be employed with key personnel status is currently staying in Turkey on a legitimate basis (by submitting a copy of the passport showing the visa and entrance date, or a letter obtained from the Police Department). Other key personnel who are granted work permits in this context shall be required to obtain work visas from consulates of the Republic of Turkey, and enter the country with that visa.
• In the case of foreigners who are key personnel, the documents and information specified in article 10/b of the Regulation on the Employment of Foreign Nationals with Foreign Direct Investments (The documents must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
• Copy of the passport (where the passport is not printed in the Latin alphabet, a sworn translation or an official certified translation must be attached. The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application).
• Sworn translation or an official certified translation of the diploma or provisional graduation certificate (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application, as well as submitted in hardcopy)
• In addition to the abovementioned documents, foreigners who file an application for work permits within the framework of professional services and who hold a degree from abroad must file a "Diploma or Provisional Graduation Equivalency Certificate" obtained in accordance with the "Regulation on the Equivalency of Diplomas from Foreign Higher Education Institutions" (The document must be scanned and submitted during the online application)
Applications need to be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Once your application is reviewed and accepted, you will receive a work visa stamped on your passport. With the work permit, you can also start your own business. You can also apply for a loan from a Turkish bank and take advantage of the many existing incentives available to foreigners. Keep in mind that you cannot practice certain jobs like doctor, optician, dentist, chemist and attorney despite having a work permit.